Christmas Crafting with Baker Ross

I absolutely love being a Baker Ross Blogger. Since C became a big brother, doing crafts is one of those things that is just ours and we both really enjoy ourselves. Baker Ross sent us a lovely big box filled with Christmas related crafts.



Christmas Foam Stampers (£3.99 per pack of 10)
Festive Fingerprint Cards (£2.49 per pack of 10)
Snowflake Stampers (£3.99 per pack of 10)
Penguin Foam Stickers (£2.99 per pack of 120)
Christmas Ceramic Tealight Holders (£3.96 per pack of 4)
Assorted Ready Mixed Paint (£7.99 per pack of 6 bottles)

We started off with the wreaths and cards as fingerprint crafts (with the little stamps) were something that C had never done before. He did turn his nose up at the start but once I did it first he thought it was brilliant and didn't want to stop! The wreaths are super easy to make. The ink transfers well onto the foam and then all thats left to do is add stickers and a photo to it. Simple! They even come with ties so you can hang them on the tree or wall as decorations. I had to help him a little with the photo on the wreath so I think he preferred the card decorating as that was all him. He told me he wanted to give one to his daddy so I helped him write inside it. The cards come with envelopes so you can get the kids to decorate them and send them out to family members.




C was begging me to do his paint and stampers by this point so I took all the snowflakes and other Christmas stampers and laid them face up so he could choose what he wanted to use. I created a makeshift palette out of cardboard for his different colours of paint. He traditionally chose white for his snowflakes but mixed up the colours when it came to the others. The paint didn't have a strong, overpowering smell so it's great for little ones. I did find that it was easier for me to put the paint on the stampers as C would end up putting too much on and the image would be gloopy and unrecognisable.



I always write in my Baker Ross posts about how much C loves stickers. He told me that he wanted to make a neat line up of all the different styles included in the bag so I poured them out, separated them and let him choose. I was a little shocked at how many different characters there were. He was really proud of himself after sticking them all down!


I did most of the work on the ceramic tealight holders. We received ceramic pens in a previous Baker Ross box so I dug them out of C's craft box and got to work on decorating. C liked having a little squiggle on them but he got a little bored after a while and just wanted to colour on something flat. I think we did a good job! C was impressed anyway.




Baker Ross's selection of Christmas crafts are great for getting your little ones excited in the run up to Christmas. You can view the full range at the Baker Ross website and you can also give them a follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

(Disclaimer: We received this box of crafts as part of our role as a Baker Ross Blogger. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)




Christmas Gift Guide: Wicked Uncle

I really struggle when it comes to buying gifts for children, especially when I have never experienced a child of that age. For example, I have a 1 year old girl and 3 year old boy. My boyfriend Chris has two brothers at 5 and 7 years old. I have never had 5 and 7 year old boys so how on earth do I know what they like? Wicked Uncle eliminates this struggle. The name itself shows that it isn't just for parents buying their own children gifts, but family members can choose the perfect gift too.

When you first visit the website you can select the child's gender and age. Tons of suggestions will appear but you can whittle them down if you know a little about the child such as if they are creative or adventurous. Of course, you could just browse everything if you'd like but I love this aspect. I was able to find some items that I previously wouldn't have thought about and it dramatically slashed my present-searching time. The toy selection that they have is just wonderful. There are plenty of unusual gifts which gives them the edge over high street stores.

I searched for my own children's genders and ages and settled on the Wooden Pirate Set for C and a Dress Up Princess doll for E. 


Both of these went down amazingly well when received. The pirate set contains everything for a wannabee pirate; sword, shield, map, dubloons, eye patch - it's fantastic! The quality is unbelievable for the £19.95 price. The doll, E wouldn't stop hugging, talking to and pushing around in her pram. The different textures and things to do on it keep her occupied and having fun.




I did browse through all ages and genders and was really impressed by the selection available. Usually when I shop online I get a little overwhelmed by how much there is out there and I rarely make it through all the pages of gifts. If I am looking for a gift for an outdoorsy 8 year old girl, I am given 12 gift ideas to choose from. It's so simple to quickly have a read through the description, think "yep, that's the one" and bam, present bought. My favourite ever thing about Wicked Uncle is that although you can search by gender, traditional "boy toys" will appear in the girls searches and vice versa. I really dislike when companies and shops try to pigeon hole toys so this is a massive plus in my book. Yes, a 6 year old girl can like discovering geodes too!

Wicked Uncle can gift wrap your items and send a handwritten card directly to recipient if you'd like that option, plus you can set up reminders for family members birthdays. You'll never miss one again!

I would definitely recommend Wicked Uncle for anyone strugging with buying a gift for a child this Christmas. The quality is fantastic for such reasonable prices.

(Disclaimer: I received a £40 voucher towards my purchase at Wicked Uncle. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)



Look in my Letterbox #34

This week has been pretty okay for me! I'm still waiting on lots of competition wins to arrive but since my regular postman left during the summer *sob* it's been a bit slow! I'm really looking forward to the advent competitions starting on Tuesday so I'm hoping for busy LIML's throughout December. As ever, I've linked up with Look in my Letterbox.

Wins:
Grandad Plaque
I won this on Facebook and I love it so much! I've added it in with my dad's Christmas gifts. He'll be chuffed with it.

Maya the Bee plush
Last week I posted in LIML a similar prize. It was a Maya plush, Willy plush and Maya tableware set. Now the kids can have a Maya each!

Tea
This was a quick Twitter RT win from Stir Drinks. The box is almost gone already! 

Phone case
I won this in a game of tag on Instagram from @sparkle.glitz Ariel is my favourite Disney Princess - I love it!

Reviews:
The Fantasy Box
I don't really think I need to say a lot about this one! I think it will make for an interesting review, haha!

Dress
This beautiful dress is from Tutakids and honestly, the photo doesn't do it justice! I have a competition for a £50 to run alongside the review so keep an eye out.

Made With Love Designs cards
Apologies for rubbish photo! These are for my Christmas gift guide :)

Purchases:
Penguin skirt
I bought this gorgeous handmade suspender skirt from @thelittlemeadows on Instagram. It arrived and I realised I had nothing for her to wear under it so I had to go shopping (hence the pic of E not actually wearing it!)

Santa vest
As soon as I saw this I couldn't not buy it! I've ordered a handmade Christmas skirt to go with it so hopefully that will be in next weeks post.

Others:
Snow Bites
Hurrah, a SoPost freebie!

Did you receive anything nice this week?


My Winter Fashion Essentials

Winter is my favourite times of year when it comes to fashion. I find it hard to dress for my shape in spring/summer as I'm not comfortable with my body shape but winter is when I really enjoy what I wear. I've compiled a little list of my winter essentials for this year.



Chunky knit jumpers
I am totally in my element when it comes to chunky knit jumpers. I own an impressive selection and I especially love Christmas themed ones - the cheesier the better!

Jeans
I often hear women say that they are "afraid" of jeans and would much rather wear leggings or 'jeggings' which I've never quite understood! I've pretty much lived in jeans since I was 13 and there are so many different styles to choose from, you're bound to find a pair to suit your body shape. Over at M and M Direct you can even find ones in bright colours like red and green (which is so my style!)

Boots
The possibilities are endless when it comes to boots. Heeled, flats, ankle boots, knee high ones. They are so versatile. I'm partial to a Chelsea boot at the moment!

Parkas
I love, love, love parkas! I know they can be a bit marmite but they are so comfy, warm and stylish at the same time. How can that be wrong? I'm not a fan of khaki but you can get other colours like red and black. I love a black coat as you can wear it with any outfit.

Hat, glove & scarf set
When I was a teenager I'd always moan at my parents for telling me to wrap up with a hat, gloves and scarf but as I've got older I've learned to love them. Now you can buy some really on tread sets with lots of different hat styles so you can find one that suits you.

Woollen dresses
I love dresses but they don't need to be banished to the back of your wardrobe until we get sunnier weather. There are plenty of heavy or woollen dresses on the market and when you team them up with a nice pair of thick tights, you won't even feel the cold!

What are your go-to's for this season?

(This is a sponsored post.)


Christmas Gift Ideas: Personalised Books from love2read

Love2read combine two of my favourite things - personalised items and books.
I absolutely love their books, you can find one for any occasion and they also do ones for Christmas!

You can choose from either Christmas 2015, Memories of 2015 (great to look back on what you got up to throughout the year), My first Christmas and What Elf got up to (perfect for if you do Elf of the Shelf). As last year was E's first Christmas, I opted for the first Christmas book.


Creating the book is easy. You have the option to go right ahead and make the book or you can view a demo version for some ideas. When you are making it, you have options to fill in the name of the person it is going to alongside a personalised message. The next ten pages are completely free for you to do what you like with them and you can add both text and images to them all. When your book is completed, you'll see that the front cover will be made up of the first four images that appear inside your book. The last two pages are the words 'first' and 'Christmas' repeated so you can learn to say them and a collage of all of the photographs from your book.



I went through my photos and chose some lovely Christmassy ones from the day itself and those leading up to it along with relevant captions. I think it will be such a lovely memory for E as she grows up and one she'll treasure forever.


These books retail at £14.99 for a softbacked book. You can browse the range at the love2read website and you can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

(Disclaimer: We received a book for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)



KD UK Thomas & Friends Smartphone - Review

I am always buying my children toys but they would much rather play with either the remote control for the TV or mummy and daddy's mobile phones. When we received our KD UK parcel a few weeks back, I was so chuffed to see the Thomas & Friends Smartphone. C is a huge Thomas the Tank Engine fan anyway so I knew he'd love it.


The phone obviously has an on/off button but also number 0-9. At each of these numbers are images of different Thomas & Friends characters so each number represents a person to call. If you press one of these buttons and leave it idle, the phone will ring as though the character is calling you back. Like a regular phone you have buttons to answer or decline the call.


You will also find four game modes: learning number, colours, quantities and to learn more about the characters. You can switch between modes using the four buttons directly above the power button. C loves to match the fact to the characters and find the correct number when he's asked.


Above that you have a little image of a train and when you slide your finger along it, the train will play a tune and the three lights above it will flash.

C (and E!) love this little smartphone and there is so much packed into such a small toy. He has discovered so many new facts and he didn't take very long to suss out how to use it.

The Thomas & Friends Smartphone is recommended for children aged 2 years+ and it retails at £13.00 and it is worth every penny. It's played with every day in our house!

You can find out more at the KD UK website or you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

(Disclaimer: We received this item as part of our role as a KD UK Mumbassador. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)


Christmas Gift Ideas: Lloyds Pharmacy

Next up on my Christmas gift guide is Lloyds Pharmacy

Lloyds Pharmacy have tons of different gift ideas for all ages and genders. You're sure to find something for your loved ones. I've put together a few ideas to hopefully take the stress off and maybe give you a helping hand.

Kids:


Frozen Band Set (£9.99)
This is perfect for the Frozen-mad budding musician. It includes a recorder, tambourine, paddle drum, xylophone and stick.



My kids are Minion crazy as I'm sure a lot of others are! Those little characters are very loveable. This art set contains tons of crayons, felt tips, pencils and even stickers so little ones can draw as many Kevin's, Bob's and Dave's as they like.

Frozen 52 Piece Art Set (£4.99)


If your giftee isn't into Minions, they do have a Frozen set. This one contains paints too!


Men:



This little kit is the perfect gift for the man in your life. It contains 3 precision trimmers for detailed styling, a shaver attachment and nose hair trimmer. It is also cordless with 45 minute usage time.

Women:


I do love Baylis & Harding sets and the combination of mandarin and grapefruit is sure to smell divine! This little set would be a great gift for women of any age.



My previous hairdryer was a little travel BaByliss one. I loved it but I didn't realise how much I needed a new one until I tried this. It has 2 heat/speed settings alongside a cool shot. The 2000W is pretty amazing compared to my little one and my hair drying time is slashed dramatically. I love that it comes with sectioning clips and gorgeous sequinned bag which I've been using as a make up bag! It's super lightweight too which is a huge bonus in my book.

(Disclaimer: I received a BaByliss hairdryer for the purpose of this post.)





The Nonsense Show by Eric Carle - book review

I'm pretty sure everyone has heard of Eric Carle, the best-selling author behind The Very Hungry Caterpillar. C and E have the book and recently discovered 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other stories' on Netflix which has been a huge hit so when we were offered the chance to review his new book 'The Nonsense Show' of course I accepted. 


There is a little bit of nonsense behind every child's story book; cows jumping over moons and the like, so Eric Carle has written a totally nonsense book! The Nonsense Show is aimed at children aged 3-7 which is an age where I think their minds can run away with them. The book is full of weird combinations (ones that we would see as 'wrong') such as birds in water, fish in cages and mice chasing cats, but why is that wrong? 


C thought this was absolutely hilarious. On first read, I thought "This is so weird" but that's the point! It's full of surrealism to spark children's imagination and creativity. The semi-abstract artwork is amazing too. It's full of colour and I've never seen a kids book illustrated like it. It is a wonderful way to introduce children to art.

I think that The Nonsense Show is a great book to get children thinking and getting them to come up with their own nonsense creations. At 3, C is at the very bottom of the age range but as we continue reading and he gets older, I will definitely be getting him to create his own nonsense situations!

The Nonsense Show by Eric Carle is published by Puffin Books and retails at £8.10 for a hardbacked copy.

(Disclaimer: We received a copy of the book for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)


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