3 Christmas Books To Snuggle Up With

Little Tiger sent us 3 Christmas Books to snuggle up with as thy are releasing new paperback editions of some of their much-loved Christmas titles. We enjoyed snuggling up on the sofa to read these 3 lovely Christmas books.

3 Christmas Books Perfect For Snuggling Up With

 

One Noisy Night

One Noisy Night

Written by M Christina Butler and Illustrated by Tina Macnaughton this gorgeous touch and feel book is perfect for snuggling up with on a cold wintery night. The gorgeous wintry scenes and soft touch & feel flocking throughout makes it lovely to read keeping your little one involved.

One Noisy Night inside

Little Hedgehog and his friends hear strange creaking sounds coming from the woods giving them a strange puzzle to solve. A wonderful story of friendship & bravery, One Noisy Night is the 10th book of the best-selling Little Hedgehog Series. We love this new release which is available for £6.99 on Amazon. Christmas books like these are lovely to read during the Christmas season and make lovely presents too.

The Perfect Present

Written By Stella J Jones and Illustrated by Caroline Pedler this beautiful Christmas tale is about giving, receiving and friendship. This is such a cosy Christmas story to cuddle up with.

The Perfect Present

Billy and Bella are the best of friends & they would do anything to make each other happy, even if it means giving up something they love. Full of beautifully festive illustrations this lovely Christmas book is a great one to snuggle up with giving you that festive feeling. We love Christmas books like this and think it’s great for £6.99 on Amazon.

 

Santa To The Rescue

Santa To The Rescue

The 3rd book on our list of Christmas books perfect for snuggling up with over Christmas is written by Barry Timms and Illustrated by Ag Jatkowska. This book is a fun and festive picture book with beautiful illustrations.

Santa To The Rescue

Perfect for sharing with little ones excited about Christmas, this story follows the bears of mistletoe mountain on Christmas eve. The bears get snowed in and the animals of Holly tree Forest Work together to help Santa save the day. We find Christmas books like this really get us into the spirit of Christmas. Available for £6.99 on Amazon.

Do you think these 3 Christmas books would be perfect for snuggling up with your little one too over Christmas?

Monday Stumble Linky
Burnished Chaos

UK Gift Shopping Habits Infographic

With Christmas approaching I’ve been looking at UK gift shopping habits. What2buy4kids has provided a fantastic infographic (below) which shows how much we spend in the UK on gifts, when we buy them and more.  It’s quite interesting learning more about the UK gift shopping habits & reading the facts.

Women spend more money on average than men in the UK gift shopping, with over £100 difference! I guarantee we get more for our money though 😉

Over half of the UK buy gifts 2 months earlier. The majority of Christmas shoppers start in November. I always hope to buy gifts with plenty of time and have managed to over the last 2  years. I find last minute gift buying way to stressful, it gets far too people out there!

Mothers day is the most popular gifting occasion in the UK outside of Christmas and Birthdays whilst gifting new parents is the least popular. For both occasions gifts are usually bought a week before unlike occasions like Christmas and birthdays.

Shockingly UK parents spend the most on toys for their kids beating the USA, France & Germany. I guess we must get a little too excited. Lets face it though there are some awesome toys out there!

What2buy4kids sell some fantastic Birthday and Christmas gifts and created this infographic to show the UK gift shopping habits. I think they have put together some brilliant statistics and interesting facts on our gift shopping habits, what do you think?

UK Gift Shopping Habits

uk gift shopping habits

 

My Sunday Photo – Home-grown Happiness

This week’s #MySundayPhoto – Home-grown Happiness photo’s were taking straight after the girls picked the peppers they have been growing over the last few months. The girls look so happy and proud that they have planted & grown the peppers to perfection. They helped us make a delicious salad dinner with their freshly picked peppers which we all thoroughly enjoyed.

Home-grown happiness

Home-grown Happiness

The girl’s faces in these pictures show how amazed and happy with what they have produced. From a tiny seed and a bit of soil on a tiny windowsill they produced these delicious peppers. The peppers grew to a great size, especially Eva’s.

Eva & Izzy's Peppers

There was even more excitement when we discovered Eva’s big red pepper had another pepper trying too grow inside! It looked so pretty with the red and green together.

Pepper inside a pepper

Do you grow your own fruit or vegetables? Do you get that home-grown happiness when you harvest too?

De-stressing With Thrive: Feel Stress Free

I’ve been de-stressing with the  Thrive : Feel Stress Free  app over the last fortnight. I introduced Thrive here, a fantastic app created for mental health conditions and designed to gradually build resilience to and manage stress, anxiety and mild depression. Using clinically proven techniques such as mindfulness and CBT over a few weeks can have huge benefits.

De-stressing with Thrive: feel stress free

De-stressing with Thrive

Me being me I haven’t managed to religiously use the app. I had hoped to use it much more. The Zen garden and Zen challenge does keep drawing me back in however and I feel it’s been beneficial for me. Most evenings I will sit and design a Zen garden or try one of the challenges. I can feel the stress disappearing as I rake and arrange my pretty little gardens. The challenges are simple, a little bit of thinking involved but it’s very enjoyable. With a star rating you can go back and try to think of better ways to solve the challenges too. It really does help me de-stress.

Zen Garden

Managing Better

Anyone who has seen my tweets this week will no doubt know we have had a stressful month which seems to be continuing. Normally these stresses would have me in tears, feeling helpless and useless.We had our washing machine breakdown the first week back at school. Although we managed to borrow money to replace it only for it 2 breakdown less than 2 weeks later.. with school uniform in.. AGAIN! Using the Zen garden each night seems to be helping me stay calmer. Whilst I am annoyed and frustrated I am managing to keep a hold on my temper and emotions much better. I’m not instantly reacting and being much more mindful.

Using Thrive

As mentioned in my previous post there are subscription costs for thrive, having used the app I feel they are actually very reasonable prices.

The Thrive app is available on all Android and Apple devices. 3 different subscription packages are available.

Monthly –  £5.99

Quarterly – £14.97 for 3months of unlimited access. That’s just £4.99 a month!

Yearly  – £47.88  a year brings the cost down to £3.99 a month.

For my readers however I have a special code to use through October so you can try out Thrive: Feel stress free for yourself and hopefully start de-stressing like I have! Use code FSFOCT300917.

 

 

 

St Grizzle’s School For Girls, Goats And Random Boys – Book Review

St Grizzle’s school for girl, goats and random boys is written by Karen McCombie and Illustrated by Becka Moor. Published earlier this year by Stripes (An Imprint of Little Tiger Group) is available in paperback for £5.99. Perfect for children aged 7-9 years St Grizzle’s is a hilariously quirky book.

St Grizzle’s Series

St Grizzle's

Eva loves to read books that are funny and a bit quirky and she is currently loving books based around schools. I remember enjoying similar books at her age. We’ve been hunting out new series for her and we were sent St Grizzle’s school for girls, goats and random boys. The title caught Eva’s eye because it had such a silly name.

As soon as Eva had started reading she was giggling away. The main character, Dani is packed off to a strict girls boarding school while her mum heads off to the Antarctic to study penguins bums! St Grizelda’s school for girls turns out to have had a drastic change of teaching style. Dani and her mum realise the school is in chaos with no rules, craziness and a goat!?

Dani feels homesick but has to wait for her mum to make alternative arrangements. Whilst she waits the madness begins to warm Dani’s heart. The quirky characters throughout the story kept giggling throughout the story. She loved Dani and after reading the teaser for the second book in the series she couldn’t wait to read more! She loved the illustrations throughout the book making sure to show me each one. Luckily I have a copy of the second book St Grizzle’s school for girls, ghosts and runaway grannies for her to review next week. Check back to see what Eva thinks of the next book and to find out more yourself!

Do you know a child that would love this book too?

Surprise Visit To Southend Pier

The Mr planned a surprise trip to Southend Pier last week which I had absolutely no clue about until we got to Southend. The Mr took us up to the viewing platform and pointed out the pier letting us know that’s where we were going!

Southend Pier

I’ve visited Southend a fair few times over the years, I took the girls last summer for a day on the beach and fun in the arcades. I’ve wanted to go on the Pier since I was a child. As it was my first time I was as excited as the girls. I caught some lovely shots for #MySundayPhoto too!

Southend Pier Railway

Sir John Bejeman

Southend Pier has it’s own railway so you can either walk the length of the pier or take the train, the Mr had also planned for us to take the train. We love trains and the girls are still so impressed you can take a train to the end of the pier.

Enjoying Southend Pier Railway

Although a little nervous to begin with Eva really enjoyed the train journey and looking out all around us, it’s definitely different looking back at land whilst being on a train! Izzy was a little unsure too but still enjoyed it. She loved watching out the doors whilst holding her daddy’s hand.

Looking out the train

The railway is 1.25 miles long, the Pier itself is 1.34 miles although there is a sign at 1.33 miles marking the end of the pier which of course the girls had to get a picture next to!

End of the Pier

End of Southend Pier

RNLI

At the end of the pier there are a few huts selling treats and drinks. One hut has a load of old posters from over the years. There is also a small lifeboat museum at the end of the pier which the girls enjoyed looking around.

Southend Pier lifeboats

Eva stood and read about the uniform & equipment the lifeguards need to wear. It was quite informative for such a tiny little place. It was interesting looking at the lifeboats and reading the information leaflets about them.

RNLI kit

The RNLI do an absolutely amazing job, their lifeboat crews and lifeguards saved 558 lives in 2016! They can only do this with support, whilst this isn’t a sponsored or affiliated post in anyway, if you would like to donate to their page to help support them then please do, you can find their page here.

Treats on the Pier

Before heading back to the Pier Railway to go back to land we stopped for a drink. The Mr had a beer on the Pier whilst the girls had ice cream! He had a pint of Wallasea Wench, brewed in Great Wakering in Essex.

The Mr is enjoying a #beeronthepier

A post shared by Ember (@relentlesslypurple) on

We headed back to the Railway but missed our train by a minute or so. We stopped at one of the small huts for a stick of rock each. A seaside tradition! I picked up this yummy cream egg flavoured one!

Cream Egg rock from Southend Pier

Heading back to land

The Southend Pier railway really is beautiful, I could watch the trains for hours! I managed to get a few lovely shots of the railway. I’m no professional but I do love taking photo’s like one below, as the train was pulling in to take us back to land.

Approaching train

Arcades

We headed to the arcades afterwards. After all you can’t go to the seaside without spending £1/2 on the 2p machines! Both girls managed to win themselves prizes to take home, Emoji key rings for Eva & Paw patrol erasers for Izzy made a lovely end to the day.

Arcades

It was a fantastic surprise day out and we all loved our visit to the world’s longest pier. The railway was absolutely brilliant too and I can’t wait to go back again!

Have you ever visited Southend and the Pier before? Did you know it is the longest pier in the world?

Monday Stumble Linky

My Sunday Photo – Orange Rose

My Sunday Photo this week is of a discarded orange rose that caught my eye the other day as we left one of our favourite parks. The park itself has a gorgeous garden area which is always beautiful to look at. This discarded orange rose really stood out in a garden of perfect flowers.

Orange Rose

Things like this orange rose always seem to draw me in, what about you?

Photalife

Little Tiger Press Books 30th Birthday

The girls and I were invited to celebrate Little Tiger Press Books 30th birthday on Saturday, at Discover in Stratford – London. Eva was especially excited at the idea of getting to meet authors and illustrators as she has become a total bookworm. So excited she woke us at 6am that day!

Tracet Corderoy reading Fairytale Pets

When we arrived Author Tracey Corderoy read her book Fairytale Pets, an absolutely fantastic story full of fun characters. As Tracey read illustrator Jorge Martin drew the characters which was amazing to watch! Eva sat mesmerized listening to the story whilst Izzy was… well Izzy haha! She spent half the time listening and half trying to ‘pop’ balloons.

After Tracey read the story to us Beth from Little Tiger Press ran through what we would be doing. There were 4 tables where we would spend 15 minutes at each. Authors and illustrators had crafts laid out based on their book. They all looked fantastic but biscuits definitely lured all the children in!

Jonny Lambert Author Of An only lonely panda

I managed to coax the girls away from the biscuits and we sat with Jonny Lambert, Author & illustrator of An Only Lonely Panda. Jonny had Tiger masks to cut out and wear. He was brilliant with the girls, chatting away with us all and helping Eva whilst I helped Izzy.

The girls loved acting like tigers with their masks, getting out their claws and growling!

Tiny Tantrums - Caroline Crowe

At the next table we met Caroline Crowe, author of Tiny Tantrums.  Tiny Tantrum monsters had been cut out ready for decorating. Again the girls happily chatted away whilst making their monsters, adding googly eyes & colouring them.

As always Eva made her’s extra colourful whilst Izzy enjoyed giving her monster 4 eyes. They both brought home their monsters to finish off too.

Making Biscuits with Tracey Corderoy

We then moved on to the table the girls had their eye on at the start, Tracey Corderoy had delicious biscuits for them to decorate with icing and a range of sprinkles. The girls loved chatting to Tracey and covering their biscuits. They also made a paper bag grumpy bear from the story!

Izzy icing her biscuit

Izzy concentrated so much making her biscuit, no surprise there. She loves her food haha!

Making her own 'Actually that is MY blanket, baby!'

When the final bell rang Eva ran over to the final table. ‘That is Actually MY blanket, Baby!’ author Angie Morgan and illustrator Kate Alizadeh helped the children decorate their own blanket.

Izzy drawing with Jorge Martin

 

Whilst Eva was busy glittering, Jorge Martin sat with Izzy drawing a tiger. Izzy of course took over! Between them they made this cute tiger with a basket of fruit for him to eat.

Little Tiger by Izzy & Jorge Martin

 

Eva loved making her blanket and getting glitter everywhere. Izzy did get round to making her own blanket too but I accidentally left it behind. Oops.. bad mummy!

Izzy and Kate Alizadeh decorating a blanket

 

 

At the end Caroline Crowe read Tiny Tantrums and the girls had lots of fun joining in and stamping their feet. Izzy tried getting a little too involved . She loved the story and had to be pulled back. She was over the moon to discover she had a copy to take home at the end.

Caroline Crowe reading Tiny Tantrums

To finish celebrating Little Tiger Press Books 30th Birthday there was a buffet. Of course this made Izzy extremely happy! A Little Tiger tote was handed out too. Inside were the 4 books from each table. The girls were able to get them signed by the authors and illustrators too which of course made Eva ecstatic. A beautiful selection of books to add to their ever growing book case!

It was lovely being invited to Little Tiger Press Books 30th Birthday party. It was a brilliant afternoon & I got to meet another blogger too, Bell From Bow who surprised me by recognising me. Pretty cool but so unexpected I probably went bright red!

Discover

After the party we were able to explore Discover and it’s fantastic play areas. You may have seen from My Sunday Photo’s. The girls were amazed by it and I can’t deny I was too! The magical tree with it’s musical notes & hidey holes for the kids to play in, Hootahs flying observatory & the outside play area have to be our favourite parts. We spent well over an hour there before having to head back for the train. We will be going back there in the summer to play as it is so cool!

Did you know it was Little Tiger Press Books 30th Birthday? Do you have any of the books mentioned here?

 

Turning #TearsIntoSmiles With Elastoplast

We’ve been turning #tearsintosmiles with Elastoplast this week! Eva can be rather clumsy at times and quite often hurts herself in some way. It has become a family joke that Eva could win an award for the most medical forms sent home from school! We joined the Britmums & Elastoplast #TearsIntoSmiles challenge and were sent some awesome Frozen and Star Wars Plasters to join in with.

Elastoplast

We headed out to the park at the weekend, the girls really enjoyed running around and playing on this awesome ship! Whilst playing outdoors is important in child development falls and scrapes can happen often. Eva loves to climb but she managed to lose grip fall off the climbing frame and hurt her arm. We dusted her off and she seemed ok, just a small scratch. We gave her a quick cuddle and tried to distract her with pirate jokes.

#TearsIntoSmiles with Elastoplast

Playing in the park

When a cuddle doesn’t help usually distractions work best. Usually joking helps but when she has a cut it can be quite difficult to calm her down. Luckily I had the Frozen plasters we were sent in my bag at the ready. We quickly cleaned the scratch and popped a plaster on it which instantly turned her #TearsIntoSmiles. We headed home for a cuddle on the sofa & watched a film and Eva soon forgot all about her cut.

All kids react differently when they hurt themselves but when they do get upset a cuddle and distraction seems to work for us. Izzy rarely cuts herself and is one to get straight back up and dust herself off like nothing ever happened. Occasionally she will ask for a cuddle but cheers up fairly easily and carries on playing.

 

How do you #TurnTearsIntoSmiles? Do your little ones love character plasters too?

Check out Elastoplast’s #TearsIntoSmiles video below! What do you think?

*This post is an entry for the BritMums #TearsintoSmiles Challenge, sponsored by Elastoplast.

 

 

 

My Sunday Photo – The Gull Lightship

The Gull Lightship

The Gull Lightship as it’s known locally or Lightship No.38 is possibly one of the second oldest lightships in Europe. I’ve been taking pictures of this since we moved to the area and still love capturing it whenever we walk along the river.

 

Photalife