I’ve now been blogging for almost three years and it always amazes me the things that pop through the post. This week we were sent a bear dressing up kit from the people at Bear Nibbles, along with two of their newly revamped Alphabites cereal boxes. When Poppy saw the face paint kit, she got very excited and demanded I paint “a beautiful rainbow” on her face immediately! When I explained to her that she needed to dress up as a bear she gave me a look that said “are you serious?”. She’s definitely more goldilocks than bear, if you know what I mean. She has to be the girliest girl I’ve ever known!

On the other hand Iris is too little to have an opinion, so we decided she’d make the better (and cuter) bear cub.

Poppy did have a go with the ears though and was happy to tuck into the cereal, which she likes to eat dry like they were crisps or popcorn. I don’t mind though, because they’re much healthier than crisps and as she doesn’t eat any fruit (I know, it’s a problem) this is a good snack option for her.

The new Alphabites boxes are very cute! They’re shaped like Bears, with actual pop-up ears, arms on the side and a pom pom tail design on the back – and of course a friendly little bear face on the front.

I’ve mentioned this before but we love Bear Alphabites. They’re 100% natural and contain no added refined sugar or salt, which means they’re also a great snack or breakfast option for Iris, our youngest little cub.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.

It’s Wednesday afternoon and I’ve just realised it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday. How did that crop up so quickly? I hope Dom and the girls have been more organised and have something lovely planned for me! My mum is staying with us this week as it’s been Iris’ birthday, so I really have no excuse. I should have planned something weeks ago but alas motherhood and general busyness took hold and I’m now feeling a little caught out.

When I was young (maybe seven or eight), I remember going to the local flower shop and buying a bunch of daffodils with some coins I’d got from my money box. I knew mum liked daffodils and thought it would be the perfect gift. To be honest I’d be more than happy with a bunch of brightly coloured daffodils from my girls come Sunday morning. Thinking back, I also remember creeping downstairs with my brother and attempting to make mum breakfast in bed.  I don’t think it would have been much more than some jam on toast and a glass of orange juice but we thought we were the best kids in the world, as we carried a tray of ‘breakfast’ up to my parent’s room.

As the years went on the bunch of daffodils turned into a box of chocolates, then perfume and more recently photograph gifts of the kids. For me Mother’s Day (just like Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day) is a lovely excuse to celebrate and treat our loved ones. My mum lives in Wales, but she travels up to visit us in London as often as she can (usually once every six weeks) and we speak on FaceTime most days. She’s the one person in my life that I can always depend on and is the person I want to talk to when I’m excited about something or feeling down and need a ‘pick-me-up’ chat. I hope she knows how much she means to me and the girls.

This year, Tesco have to come to my rescue with their range of experience gifts. Most of the vouchers can be bought immediately online and be used anytime over the next ten months. Having looked through the different options, I’ve chosen the Chocolate Afternoon Tea for Two at The Hilton, Green Park. What I really love about this ‘last minute’ gift is that as well as it being a lovely treat, I’m also buying quality time for us together. I hope she’s as excited about it as I am… CHOCOLATE Afternoon Tea. It literally incorporates three of my favourite things; afternoon tea, chocolate and my lovely mummy!

If you’ve left it to the last minute and need a little help in finding the perfect Mother’s Day gift, don’t panic because Tesco can help you too. They’re setting up Inspiration Stations in over 300 stores nationwide this Saturday, 25th March (the day before Mother’s Day) to help all stressed sons and daughters find the perfect gift. Each station will be manned by shopping experts who can make recommendations for a truly thoughtful, personalised gift. So no excuses, there’s no need to stick to the same old predictable gift this year.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but all the words are my own and true. 

Over the Christmas holiday we went to west Wales, as we do every year. I grew up there and my parents and brother still live in the same little town, just ten miles from the beautiful west coast of Cardigan Bay.

We tend to visit twice a year, for a few weeks in the summer and a week at Christmas – and to be honest there is nowhere else on earth I’d rather be! I moved away when I went to university almost twenty years ago and never went back to live but it will always be my home, where I’m from and where my roots are firmly planted.

This year we travelled back to Wales on Thursday 22nd December and had a couple of days at my parents’ house to relax before the big day. It was lovely being back but to be honest we didn’t do much on these first few days, we mainly saw family and watched movies. The girls were tired after a long term at school and I think we all needed some downtime, being cared for by my mum.

Christmas Eve is always my favourite day, I love the anticipation and excitement that buzzes through the house. Every year we get together with mum’s family and share gifts. Also, I make a Christmas Eve hamper of treats and gifts for the girls to open in the evening, which of course includes matching Christmas pyjamas.

After Christmas day we were definitely ready to head out. Cabin fever had set in, so we had a few days of travelling down to the coast. The girls love running around the beach at any time of year, so it’s always a good choice for us. On the day after Boxing day we drove down to Cwmtydu beach, which is a small cove with rocks and caves and a beautiful pebbly beach, just twelve miles away.

The day after we headed over to Aberaeron for a walk along the seafront, where the girls climbed the rocks. The weather was clear and cool but with the sun shining so bright it didn’t feel too cold, we even managed to have fish and chips outside, sittingon the harbour wall. This is normally something we do in the summer, never usually during our Christmas holiday!

And on our last day we drove up to the bigger seaside town of Aberystwyth, where we again walked along the long seafront and played on the 2p machines in the arcade. I think this might have been one of Lili’s holiday highlights, she does love winning those tokens.

Of course the sunset came early, so we were able to stand on the pier and watch the sun go down over the horizon – and wow it was an amazing sunset! Even these pictures don’t do it justice.

It’s times like these that you realise that (as long as the weather is good) there’s nowhere like home!

Thanks for following me and my blog and I’d like to wish you all a very happy, healthy and wealthy new year.

Yes, you read that right a baby Christmas dinner, with all the trimmings in a pouch! This makes me very happy, especially as the pouch resembles Santa’s red coat. I know what Iris will be eating on the big day! I’m a big fan of these pouches for ease and convenience and Iris loves the Chicken dinner pouch so I’m sure this will be a big hit too. What makes this Christmas pouch extra special is that it also helps raise money for an important charity.

The Ella’s Christmas Jumpers challenge! And Christmas Dinner in a Pouch

For the second year running Ella’s Kitchen are giving 30p from the sale of each Jingle Belly Christmas dinner pouch to Save the Children’s award-winning Families and Schools together programme, which promotes the importance of family meal time and the positive impact it can have on a child’s wellbeing and development.


The Ella’s Christmas Jumpers challenge! And Christmas Dinner in a Pouch

Take Part in the #EllasChristmasJumpers challenge!

Ella’s Kitchen are also helping Save the Children to support their annual Christmas Jumper Day (held this Friday, 16th December). To celebrate, they’re asking us parents to created our very own #EllasChristmasJumpers film, similar to this one on their YouTube channel.

To get involved and take part in the challenge all you need to do is record your little one wearing their Christmas jumper, bouncing or ‘jumping’ along to their favourite Christmas song. Then post your video onto your Facebook or Instagram account and you’ll automatically be entered into the #EllasChristmasJumper competition (remember to use the hashtag and tag @EllasKitchenUK).

Look out for my video on Instagram this Friday!

The Ella’s Christmas Jumpers challenge! And Christmas Dinner in a Pouch

 

Christmas is now fast approaching and if you’re on the lookout for beauty gifts, I have a roundup that’s perfect for you. Here are my favourite beauty gifts, for under £50.

Beauty Christmas Gifts Sets

Up first is a body duo from REN. I absolutely love REN and their body products are some of my favourite, so this gift set is right up my street! The refreshing and invigorating body wash and hydrating body cream duo are formulated with Neroli oil, which is distilled from Tunisian Orange Blossom and cold pressed Grapefruit Oil. The fragrance is fresh and revitalising and the products will leave your skin soft and silky. A great gift for only £29.

Beauty Christmas Gifts Sets

Next up is this gorgeous London Audacity Palette by Lancôme. Lisa Eldridge (Creative Director at Lancôme) has selected sixteen eye-shadow shades inspired by her hometown to bring together this stunning eye palette.

You can literally create endless colour combinations with the five high-pigment matte shades, seven soft shimmering creamy shades and four glittering shades. Go on add this little beauty to your list for £42.

Beauty Christmas Gifts Sets

Another makeup set that caught my eye was this stunning palette by Marks & Spencers’ Autograph collection. The colours are a brilliant selection of eight wearable day and night eye-shadow colours, along with a blusher and a highlighter that are perfect for finishing any ‘look’. This set is currently on offer at half price making it only £7.50, which is an incredible price for the quality of this products.

Beauty Christmas Gifts Sets

If you’re after a luxury hair care gift set then I can highly recommend any of the Redken sets. I have highlighted hair so I’d opt for this Redken Colour Extend Magnetics Gift Set.  Formulated with IPN technology and Amino-ions to preserve colour radiance, this set contains a full size shampoo, conditioner and multi-benefit treatment ‘One United’ – a lightweight conditioning treatment that leaves your hair soft, smooth and radiant. You can get this set for £29.

Beauty Christmas Gifts Sets

Lastly, I’ll definitely have this Limited Edition, jumbo size Kiehl’s Creme de Corps (500ml) on my Christmas list! This has to be one of my favourite products, it’s basically a beautifully nourishing, skin-smoothing body butter. And this festive bottle looks just amazing, especially with the handy pump applicator. At £49, it is a little extravagant but it will last a long time!