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Christmas 2019

Christmas 2019

I love writing this little round up of our Christmas each year. With it being William’s first Christmas and the first one Florence really understood the whole magic of Santa, this Christmas was a really special one for us. I tried to fill Advent with […]

William’s Christmas Gifts – Gift Ideas for Baby’s First Christmas

William’s Christmas Gifts – Gift Ideas for Baby’s First Christmas

Following on from my post yesterday about what Florence is getting for Christmas, I thought I’d also share with you the things we have bought for William this year. With it being his first Christmas I have been so excited to choose the perfect gifts […]

What Florence is getting for Christmas this year

What Florence is getting for Christmas this year

I hope that this post is taken in the spirit that it’s written – for inspiration for those who aren’t sure what to get, rather than a showy off kind if thing, but I thought I’d show you some of the things Florence will be getting for Christmas this year.

A lot of thought has gone into the children’s gifts this year and I’ve continued a tradition that my mum started when I was young of each of the children getting 10 things from Father Christmas and then some other bits from us too. I know that Father Christmas giving more than one small token is a bit of a controversial way to do things these days, but as long as they’re taught gratitude and kindness along with it I hope that they would never gloat or make someone else feel less as they grow up. Neither of the children have super expensive gifts this year but in the future I’m sure the requests will start to come in and that’s when we’ll likely make sure ‘main’ presents come from us. I guess it’s just a personal preference but I do love the sense of magic that Father Christmas brings and the feeling of  having woken up to a pile of gifts (regardless of their value –  one year all I had asked for was some paper!) from Santa as a child was just magical. All of their presents are already wrapped and they have their own Father Christmas paper that he’s chosen specially for each of them – according to him, this saves a lot of time writing labels!!

The Father Christmas gifts

Unicorn Scooter

 We had originally got her a second hand paw patrol balance bike but out of nowhere she has been set on Father Christmas bringing a unicorn scooter so we are holding it back for her birthday. I’ve ordered this one from Argos which was £21.99 and part of their 2 for £30 deal so I picked up a gift for a friend’s little on too. undefined Image 0

Wooden princess carriage

Asda sell some absolutely beautiful and great value wooden toys but very rarely put them on their website so it can be a bit of pot luck when you go into their stores as to what you might find. With Florence’s recent adoration for Frozen and all things princesses I thought this little play set I found would make the perfect gift.

Fairy Dress up Set

I couldn’t find the full set online but I’ve bought this pair of fairy wings together with a matching tutu  from our local Claire’s store.

Skye & Chase Figures

These were a bit of a bargain find in our local Entertainer toy store at just £3.50 each. I guess they were so cheap because they are from the discontinued Mighty Pup range? Not sure, but they complete her collection and I saved some pennies too.

Wooden play scales

We do a lot of baking here and we are really starting to ecplore maths through our weighing of the ingredients etc. I thought it might be a nice idea to add some scales to her play kitchen so that she can not only expand on her roleplay but we can continue to explore numbers through play. This little set was £12 in WilkoImage result for wilko wooden scales

Frogs Frenzy Game

I’d really like to start having Sunday night board games as a family so I thought this would make a perfect little intro to board games for Florence at her age. It’s like the original Hungry Hippos but with frogs! Image result for elc hungry frogs

HappyLand Playground |  I’m adding just one thing to our Happyland collection this year, and that’s this playground set.

 Image result for Happyland Playground Playset

Personalised baking bits | I mentioned above how much we love baking and I wanted to get something personalised for each of the children so when I found this personalised baking bowl & matching utensils from Sophia Victoria Joy I knew they’d be perfect! Personalised Mixing Bowl

 

Gifts from us

Of course, the children will also both receive some gifts from us. The big guy isn’t getting all the credit! We’ve chosen a few gifts for each of them to open in the morning from us and these will be wrapped in different paper so as not to ruin the illusion!

Elsa doll

Frozen Princess necklace

Pincer set

Fisher Price Music Set – joint with William

Tea Time / Stocking Presents

These are the standard little bits which most people call stocking fillers, but we always open them after Christmas dinner or just before tea so they’ve been fondly known as tea time presents for as long as I can remember. Most of these have been picked up in poundland or similar stores and none of them cost more than a fiver.

Tooth Brush & Tooth paste – Christmas just isn’t Christmas if you don’t get a new tooth brush am I right?

Money Box

Lanka Kade Unicorn

Stickers

Frozen Plate / Bowl / Cup set

Alphabet Place Mat

I hope this has given you some inspiration for your own 2 year old’s Chirstmas gifts. 7 sleeps to go!

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A Christmas Playdough Recipe and a cool way to wrap it!

A Christmas Playdough Recipe and a cool way to wrap it!

Florence loves play dough (what toddler doesn’t?!) and she’s been asking me to play it almost every day since our last tub had to be thrown out as she’d left the lid off and mushed all the colours together. I’ve been meaning to have another […]

Florence & William’s Christmas Photo Shoot – 2019

Florence & William’s Christmas Photo Shoot – 2019

It has become a bit of a tradition here to have a little mini Christmas photo shoot in December. This year is William’s first Christmas, so as well as some festive photographs of ecah of them, I got to capture some sibling shots which have […]

Dinner at The Horsehoes  {#AD – Gifted for Review}

Dinner at The Horsehoes {#AD – Gifted for Review}

Last week we were lucky enough to be invited to the press night of the Horseshoes relaunch. The country pub, set in the charming village of East Farleigh has had an extensive makeover and has been transformed into a stylish & chic haven with luxurious seating, bespoke decor and fine equestrian touches spread across three zones – the dining area / conservatory with views out to the paddock & stables, the snug/bar and a private area perfect for functions, parties or more formal affairs.

We were greeted and showed through to the bar where an extensive list of cocktails, spirits, ales and wines were on offer as well as a distilled gin station. In the spirit of date night and a child free evening I opted for a Raspberry and pomegranate gin cocktail and Sean ordered an Old Fashioned. We made our way through to one of the two fireside snugs to relax and chat before dinner. It was so cosy sitting there I could have sat there all evening. I could really picture us coming here for drinks with friends on a cold winters night and said to Sean if we only lived closer I think we’d probably visit an awful lot more! That’s before we even got to the food!

Once we’d finished our drinks, we made our way to the dining area where we were seated by a very lovely waitress. A table for two. I cannot remember the last time we sat down for dinner, just us, without having to worry if there was room for a highchair or pram! Having checked out the rest of the tables though, there definitely would be room for little’s at one of their larger tables in case you were wondering. We were pretty much sat in the centre of the room and so we could really feel the buzz of the atmosphere around us. 

The huge array of delicious sounding food on the menu made it so hard to decide what to order. To start we opted to share a camembert and Sean wanted to try out their Scallop dish. While it might not be the prettiest thing to plate, In my opinion you just can’t go wrong with  a camembert starter and honestly, I am not sure how much Sean actually got of it once I had finished – totally and utterly delicious and the chutney that came with it complimented the cheese perfectly. 

For the main course, Sean being burger mad and thinking himself a bit of a burger connoisseur chose the pub’s signature Dirty Burger. He cleared the plate so I can only assume that meant that it was pretty good!  

I went back and forth between the rack of lamb and the pork belly for ages, eventually deciding on the latter. My plate was absolutely packed full of flavour. Served with deliciously tender pig cheek, rich and creamy dijon mash and a sage & wine jus to die for I was very pleased with my choice.  

After two delicious courses I was so full up but I couldn’t resist ordering dessert having seen the chocolate bomb served to some of the other guests. It was just too tempting! A dark chocolate sphere with a Hazelnut and rich chocolate ganache encased inside which when the warm white chocolate is poured over, melts and leaves you with a chocoholics dream on a plate. And the vanilla ice cream just sets it off perfectly. 

Sean chose a lighter dessert, a  Lemon Meringue Baked Alaska which I probably should have ordered myself! It was gone before I could even steal a bite and he’s been raving about it ever since. 

While we didn’t order anything from it, they also have an extensive vegan menu as well as a children’s and Sunday menu and have carefully selected dishes to make sure everyone walking through their door can be catered for.

We were looked after so well by all of the staff at The Horseshoes and I genuinely cannot praise them enough.  The only thing, and it’s a tiny thing, that I think could have been improved would be to have had the same waiter/ress throughout our meal. I know they were busy and cannot fault the service that each of the staff gave us, but it would have been nice to have had some continuity and build up a bit of rapport with our server. That being said, I am already planning another visit to The Horseshoes with some friends.

The Horseshoes officially opened their doors to customers this weekend so if you are planning a meal out as a couple, a family, with friends or maybe for a special occasion I thoroughly recommend you give them a call and book a table.

JUST SO YOU KNOW…

We were invited to The Horseshoes Pub in East Farleigh and gifted a three course meal complete with drinks in return for an honest review. All opinions are those of myself and Sean. 

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Our Activity Advent – 33 things to do as a family during Advent

Our Activity Advent – 33 things to do as a family during Advent

I was talking on instagram stories he other day about out family advent calendar for this year and I how instead of just toys & chocolate we were going to be filling it with activities to do in the lead up to Christmas. I really […]

Recipe: Rudolph the Reindeer biscuits

Recipe: Rudolph the Reindeer biscuits

I’m back with another festive bake this week and this time I am revisiting an idea I first made a number of years ago. Florence has been asking to make biscuits a lot lately and frankly I’m not all that good at making them but […]