Back To Normality After Christmas

After a hectic few week’s thing’s are finally getting back to normality after Christmas. I’ve been much quieter than planned on the blog so thought I’d write a quick catch up post. We had a brilliant one this year and were on top of the girl’s presents thanks to starting early and picking up a few bargains along the way.

The lead up

 

The lead up to Christmas was very busy especially with the Mr painting characters on the walls for the girls including Olaf (don’t mention the body ūüėČ) , Gingerbread man¬† and an elf! The girls absolutely loved them and I personally don’t want the gingerbread man to go!

 


There was plenty of last minute buying and panicking about the Mr’s present which luckily a very good friend (you know who you are!) helped me out with. So the Mr at least had a few beers to go along with a top I bought him instead of nothing.. good job really since he got me a Microsoft Surface 3!!!! Admittedly I still feel guilty & going to order him another box of beers for him next payday from Beer52, as I said I would for Christmas but ran out of time!

Santa visit

We visited Santa with Alex (my brother) on Christmas eve again this year. Carrying on the tradition we started last year. Although I forgot to pre-book so we had almost a 2 hour wait it wasn’t too bad. We chatted inline with a mum and her son Oscar after we watched him so she could grab McDonald’s for them to eat whilst they waited. They helped keep the girls chatting to stop the boredom. We also¬†took pictures with the big bears that came round to entertain those queueing. The girls and Alex also ended up with a HUGE stash of candy canes as they all had to go and Izzy was being cheeky and cute haha!

Christmas Morning

 

Christmas morning we had a 30 min wait for my brother to arrive.¬†Well¬†once the girls were eventually awake the Mr and I were up rather early so it wasn’t too bad! The girls couldn’t wait to see their Uncle Alex and make sure he joined in. They all opened their stockings then took a quick break to eat some more chocolate before moving onto bigger presents. They were all over the moon with their gifts which was lovely to see. My¬†jaw was on the floor though when I realised my blogging life was about to become a whole lot easier. Thanks to the Mr buying me a Microsoft surface pro 3!¬†

Normality after Christmas

We had a delicious Christmas Dinner cooked by the Mr¬†with all the usual yummy stuff!¬†We all ended up in a food coma and wanting bed quite soon after! My brother spent most of the day saying how happy he was and how the day had given him a sense of normality and family life. It was brilliant spending the day with him and spoiling him along with the girls. He joined us again to see in the New Year and again couldn’t stop saying how happy he was. It’s really hit him how well he has done over the last year. He’s turned his life around with a little bit of help and knowing he does have family who really do love & care about him.

Coming to an end

So all in all it’s been a fabulous time but as always very tiring with all the running around & cleaning. As the holidays came to an end Izzy was quite ill and had a few sofa days. Eva began to misbehave quite a bit over the last few days which has made me feel quite low. Luckily she is back to school today and normality has returned.. fingers crossed so does her good behaviour!

How was your Christmas? Are you relieved to get back to routine or wishing it was Christmas every day?

Warner Bro’s Scooby Doo! 6 DVD Christmas Collection Giveaway

Grab the mistletoe and get ready to find the perfect gift for that special someone this Christmas.

Warner Bros. has the ultimate selection, whether you’re looking for him, for her, or for festive favourites to get the whole family in the Christmas spirit.

Who doesn’t love Scooby Doo!? It was one of my favourite cartoona growing up, following Scooby and the gang on their mystery solving adventures! I know I would love to watch this DVD set myself.

The girls recently discovered Scooby Doo! too and they absolutely loved it. I thought you might all enjoy adding this to your Christmas shopping list or wish list this year! The festive 6 DVD set can be bought here at HMV or enter the competition below to win a set yourself!

 

Cbeebies Magazine РLearning & Colouring Fun Together 

Cbeebies magazineIzzy loves Cbeebies and was ecstatic to receive a copy of the magazine for us to take a look at together. We received the big colouring pack edition which was an added bonus for Izzy as she absolutely loves colouring!

She was really excited about having her own special crayons, pens & felt tips and couldn’t wait to get them off and open the magazine. Of course she was more than happy to pose and show off her magazine first.

Izzy concentrating

 

 

Izzy flicked through the pages and was so happy to see almost every page had something to colour in! She went back to the first page to colour Bing a present.

Bing is her FAVOURITE character on Cbeebies and she loves flop too so she tried so hard to stay in the lines.. Not too bad for a 2 year old! We were both really pleased with her efforts and there was plenty of praise for her.

 

 

Concentrating

 

Of course we then had to colour in the big Bing picture too. Izzy decided Mummy had to join in aswell.. Although as always she had to be a little bit awkward so this time she was wayyyy over the lines but we had fun. Check us out concentrating really hard on our colouring!

 

Bing

Gingerbread Man

 

Next we moved on to some of the activities like this Topsy and Tim one. Although she can’t quite write yet Iread Izzy the questions. She was really pleased to get them right and add the relevant stickers too.

The activities throughout the magazine were really fun and even at Izzy’s age the activities are doable with a little extra help. This magazine is brilliant for improving fine motor skills with colouring and sticking amongst other things.

 

There’s a brilliant Peter Rabbit workbook in the middle which Izzy decided to colour in but would have been great for a slightly older child. I do enjoy buying magazines Izzy will actually enjoy with lots of activities too so I’ll definitely buy it in future for her. Izzy absolutely loved The Furchester Hotel activity though. Finding Isabel and decorating the Christmas tree with stickers. It’s always lovely to see a toddler having fun and concentrating at the same time!

The Furchester Hotel

The Cbeebies magazine gave me and Izzy something to sit down and do together during a very hectic month. I have to say it’s been a great distraction for both of us. Magazines are usually a rare treat as generally they don’t have much in them. The girls are usually bored in minutes in all honesty. However Izzy has spent a few days colouring in some more and getting Eva to read the stories to her. I’ll be buying the next issue for to keep us busy on days Eva is at school.

You can buy a Cbeebies Magazine too in your local newsagents & supermarkets.

*I received this item in return for my honest review.

Beer52 Craft Beer Subscription Review & £10 Off!

Beer52 is a Craft Beer subscription which sends out a box of specially selected Craft Beers to try each month. I received a box to review contained 8 Craft Beers, Fermented Magazine and a packet of Chilli bites Munchy Seeds. For a single box of 8 beers it’s only ¬£24 or ¬£14 if you use my ¬£10 odd code – RELENTPURP10

My Mr is EXTREMELY fussy! It’s so hard to find something he actually enjoy and Beer52 have smashed it! I finally have a gift I can order him on special occasions which I know he will truly enjoy after almost giving up on my hunt for a gift for him this year!

The Mr had a look at each of the beers and picked out the3 bottles on the right as he thought he would like them just from the labels.

The 3 he thought he might like were some of his favourites once he had tried them all which he was quite pleased about. He worked in pubs for years so he has tried a lot of beers out there. None of the 8 we were sent he had tried before which really impressed him.

I was really impressed with the Littlebro 360 ring-pull can haha! I love how the can turns into a cup.

How cool is that!? It tasted pretty nice too. I had a little sip of each beer as the Mr drank them and I quite liked most of them even though I’m not keen on beer. The Mr loved all but one which for a fussy sod like him is AMAZING! Beer52 Should seriously be proud of themselves!

Whilst drinking the beers we flicked through the magazine reading about each beer as we went. The Mordue Brewery was the Mr’s absolute favourite although it wasn’t in the book. The Mr said all the description for the beers in the Ferment magazine were spot on.

Both of us are very impressed with the box we received from Beer52. I will definitely be using them again to treat the Mr! I was shocked to see him so happy with something.
Do you love Craft beer? Or do you know a fussy guy who might just find this subscription interesting? Head over to Beer52 and give it a try using my ¬£10 off code – RELENTPURP10 

Spreading The Joy Of Reading This Christmas

I have always loved to read and reading was my favourite thing to do as a child so I love the idea of spreading the joy of reading this Christmas by giving 3 amazing Penguin Random House Children’s Books (teamed up with Britmums) I received to Izzy as Christmas presents.

Izzy is really enjoying reading books with all of us and as we did with Eva, we intend to encourage her love of reading. We sometimes go to baby rhyme time at the local library and always come back with a stack of books which we read over and over at home. The girls have an ever growing book shelf too & these books will make a lovely addition!

Max & Bird

Max & bird looks like quite a funny book about a kitty who wants to be friends with Bird. He also wants to chase and him as a tasty snack . But that’s not what friendship is all about… is it? I can’t wait to read this to Izzy, I know she will love the illustrations as she loves cats!

 

The Little Elephant Who Wants To Fall Asleep

 

The Little Elephant who want to fall asleep is a the latest book from the author of The Rabbit who wants to fall asleep which is a global best seller! It’s aimed at helping children fall asleep.¬† Following Ellen the elephant on a journey through a magical forest that leads to sleep! This sounds like a brilliant book and I’ll definitely be trying it out on those nights the girls just can’t sleep.

 

The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas

 

I can’t wait to read the dinosaur that pooped Christmas! We’ve read the dinosaur that pooped the world which the girls absolutely loved. This time Danny’s new dinosaur eats Christmas!! I wonder what happens next!?

 

 

They all sound like brilliant books, I can’t wait to read them to Izzy!

I loved books growing up and The Secret Garden was always my favourite as a young child! I have saved a copy for the girls to read. Hopefully one day it becomes a favourite for them, getting lost in the beautiful secret garden and storyline.

What was your favourite book as a child? Do you read it or plan to read it to your child/ren?

Are you giving books as gifts this year? Which ones?

*I’ve been sent these books by Britmums and Penguin Random House as part of their children‚Äôs books Christmas present challenge.

Children’s Christmas Gift Guide

Children’s Christmas Gift Guide

I am fussy when it comes to shopping for the girls at Christmas. I like to know what I’m buying is something they will genuinely use or play with. I’ve put together a small gift guide for kids that I think would make great gift ideas.

1. Itty bittys newest craze by Hallmark UK Christmas gift guide - itty bittys

These super cute little soft toys are Hallmarks latest Soft toy series ‘Itty bittys’. The girls love anything small and cute! The Wizard of Oz series make a lovely addition to any little girls soft toy collection. Itty bittys come in a range of characters and are currently available on Amazon. If your little one loves role-playing these are great for acting out scenes from their favourite films. As you can see we made our own yellow brick road out of lollipop sticks!

 

Christmas gift guide - jungle jam2. Jungle Jam Book 

My girls still can’t get enough of Jungle Jam, following Mikey the monkey on his musical adventure. It’s such a lovely & colourful story and a brilliant addition for any bookshelf.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Emoji book & Minecraft booksChristmas gift guide emoji & minecraft books

I recently reviewed these amazing books by P.T Evans. The Emoji & Minecraft book series are great for children aged 6 upwards and are easy to read and follow with your finger. If you are looking for a way to encourage your kid to read, these books would be a brilliant way to get them having fun & enjoying reading about their favourite characters.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Mobicep Parenting Control’s App – Filter and manage the on-line content your children access across all devices they own or will own after Christmas such as Phones, Tablets & Computers.

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5. Santa’s Answers Letter – Order your child a magical reply from Santa, personalised just for your child. With 3 beautiful styles and several packages to choose from they make a lovely gift to get your child into the Christmas spirit!

*This post contains affiliate links

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

 

Getting Into The Christmas Spirit!

We’ve started getting into the Christmas spirit already which you may have noticed if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram!Christmas spirit

 

We’ve been counting down the days until Christmas and doing lots of planning and making! The girls have made a few Christmas cards & pictures & Eva made an rather long paper chain!

Out and about

 

On Friday we popped into town for the Christmas Light show.The girls got a ride on the little Trains, ate hot doughnuts, made elf badges & collected their hoof bell which was part of ‘Come as yourself leave as an Elf’. It was fairly busy and the girls were quite tired so we didn’t do them all but the girls really enjoyed themselves.¬†

 

Eva was particularly happy to have Anna & Elsa head straight for her to have a good 5 minute chat! Belle tried to join in too bit seemed a little upset as Eva pretty much ignored her.. Although in all fairness Anna was rather talkative haha!

We didn’t stay to watch the lights being turned on as it was freezing & the girls wanted to go home for dinner. But we did return the next day so the girls could get a picture with the tree!

Every day we have been adding doing something Christmassy (yes that is a word as is Christmassing ūüėČ). The Mr has been repainting the living room for Christmas.. based on an an idea Eva had. He has gone slightly crazy and come up with a brilliant/crazy idea! I can’t wait to share with you all so look out for my next Christmassy post!

The girls bedroom is slowly getting there too with their Christmas tree up, tinsel on their chest of drawers & the ‘Santa please stop here’ sign the girls made!


Are you getting into the Christmas spirit yet? Have you been making or buying anything special?

Magical Letters From Santa’s Answers

 

Magical Letters From – Santa’s Answers

Magical Letters - Santa's Answers
How amazing is this personalised letter?

¬†I order a letter from Santa for the girls every year but wanted to find them one that really added a touch of Christmas magic. Santa’s Answers have definitely helped¬†add a touch of magic to Christmas for Eva this year!

I order a letter from Santa for Eva every year but this has been my favourite one yet. The letter is beautifully personalized and I absolutely love the design. There are a range of packages available from a personalized Santa’s Answer letter all the way up to the Deluxe Package I received which came with a letter, 4 colouring pages, Christmas stickers, Reindeer food and a signed photo of Santa himself!

Santa Letter

Ordering your letter

You can choose from 3 different letter styles, and add your child’s name and age along with a load of other information when ordering. This helps Santa’s Answers personalise the letter perfectly for each child. The more information you put in such as presents on their wish list, accomplishments, reasons why they are on the good list and a lot more.

The Letter arrives in an envelope addressed to yourself to check the contents before sealing in an envelope with you child’s full name and town on.

 

 

I love the deluxe package, especially the signed photo and reindeer food. The letter was written so well with the information given which makes it much more believable. I chose the Santa’s Stationary letter but there are 2 other beautiful designs to choose from too. The colouring pages and stickers will keep any child happy for 5 minutes too!

Do you order personalised Santa letters too? What do you think of the letter we received?

Baking Fun Using My Cupcake Toppers

The girls had some baking fun yesterday making cakes after I was given a ¬£15 off code to try out some of the Toppers from MyCupcakeToppers in exchange for a review of them.

 

After looking through MyCupcakeToppers site I picked out some lovely Minnie Mouse & Disney Prince Real Icing toppers (12 for £6) that I knew the girls would love.

 

For our Minnie Mouse & Disney Princess cakes the girls made a mix for 12 chocolate chip cakes each. They quickly got their mixes made up, poured into the cases and into the oven.. so they could lick the bowls of course!

We loved the cakes and all helped ourselves to a few since we made 24 in total. The real icing cupcake toppers were amazingly yummy, even the Mr who isn’t keen on cake toppers really enjoyed it and munched through quite a few cakes!

The real icing toppers are absolutely brilliant and the printing is amazingly clear, they make the girls messy (but tasty) cakes look lovely.

I will definitely be ordering again in future for special occasions. I love how many design choices were available on the site. If you can’t find a design you like you can upload your own images or fill out a form with details of what you would like and the in-house design team can see what they can do for you too!

Want to make some too? Check out our recipe below.

You will need:

110g(ish) Caster Sugar

110g(ish) Butter

2 eggs

110g(ish) Self-raising flour

1tsp(ish) Vanilla extract/flavouring 

2ish handfuls of milk chocolate chips (plus a few to ‘test’)

1 tub of chocolate frosting 

A pot of sprinkles you completely forget to add

Method:

1. Preheat oven 180¬įc. Cream butter and sugar and add vanilla extract. Beat in 2 eggs.

2. Fold in the flour & throw in the chocolate chips.

3. Fill 12 cases halfway and bake for 10ish minutes until brown.

4. Let cakes cool (and sit on your hands to stop yourself eating them warm) before adding the frosting.

5. Pop the Real Icing sheets in the oven (once it’s cooled/cooling so it’s just warm) until the icing is easily removed from the sheets.

6. Add toppers to your cakes and ENJOY!

What do you think of our recipe will you be trying it out or do you have one of your own we could try? 

How lovely are the cupcake toppers? What design would you go for? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Racing In The Blood Part 1: The Seduction of Speed by Max M. Power

I recently received a copy of Racing In The Blood Part 1: The Seduction Of Speed By Max M. Power to review. If any of you follow my Instagram you’ll know the Mr & I love cars & racing.

I love the pictures on the front cover and back of the book by Andrew Whitson it really draws you in to take a closer look at the book.

If you love reading in depth stories about racing then this is definitely the book for you!

The introduction – The Birth and Development of Motor Sport is really interesting to read. It covers the repeal of the Red Flag Act in 1896, the first motor race in 1895 in France along with more facts and information on races, speeds and more.

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The rest of the book is full of stories about Frank Cartland and George Marshall. It explains how they ended up following the same paths racing the dangerous racetracks at Le Mans and Brooklands, the people they met, the things they did outside of the racetracks and everything in between.

With 30 chapters covering the twists and turns of racing following Cartland and Marshall on and off the track it is a fairly long but interesting book and includes circuits maps and photo’s of Brooklands in 2016.

This would be an ideal christmas present for racing enthusiasts who are interested in the history of the world of speed and want a little more detail than the basic facts. If your interested in the book you can buy it here from the Auto’s UK website.