I know many people don’t like to think about Christmas too early in the year. I’m not one of those people! I love Christmas. I love everything about it. The excitement, the decorations, the religious meaning. I really enjoy planning for Christmas and since having children its been made so much more magical in our home. As a child I remember Christmas being the most amazing day of the year, my mum and dad must have put so much unseen effort into making it a special day for myself and my brother, something I want to pass on to my children. I want them to grow up remembering the fun family times we have had a Christmas. The magic starts early in our house with writing letters to Santa (or Father Christmas as I like to call him in our home) so when I was given the opportunity to receive letters from the big man himself I jumped at the chance. The company I have used is called Lapland Mail Room and they can be found here.The elves ship letters worldwide from the website!

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 20.26.17

The website itself has a lovely Christmassy feel and is easy to navigate around. Prices start form £6.95 for each letter, theres even an option for a babies first Christmas letter which I think is a lovely idea. Once you click through to order your letter there are lots of easy to use personalisation options with prompts given at each stage, you also get the option to add your own “P.S” at the end of the letter, and with 255 character allowance theres plenty of room to add something special about your child. My favourite option is a drop down box to choose what you call the big man in your house. I prefer Father Christmas so that is what I picked for our letters. Once you have gone through the easy personalisation you can review your letter.

The whole letter appears on screen and as you hover over various parts of the letter a magnifying glass appears so that you can review the text. Once you’re happy with the letter you can go through to pay for it. I particularly liked that paypal is accepted as a form of payment even if you don’t have an account. I added two letters to my basket and finalised the order. I can’t wait to receive them! I hope the boy is as excited as I was as a child to have his own letter drop onto our door mat! I’m hoping when the boys are older that they too pass on the magic of the festive season to their own children if they choose to have them.

www.laplandmailroom.com

 

I am being sent our letters from Father Christmas for the purpose of this review.

 

This week we are lucky enough to have Daddy off work for three days, two of the days the boy is going to be carrying on at nursery and on Friday we will all spend a family day together. Keeping the boy in nursery means that Daddy gets to spend some quality time with Flixster and we can go look at and buy some Christmas presents for the boy. This morning we decided to go and have breakfast out somewhere which is not something we often do. I love breakfast, I think it is my favourite meal of the day. As a breastfeeding mummy I get so hungry in the night and have a rumbly tumbly each morning. I’ve always loved breakfast especially cereal and we often have a vast array of cereals in the house. I could eat it morning noon and night (and have been known to!) So as we were discussing it last night I was googling places to go and Harvester popped up. We have 3 different harvester restaurants local to us so we picked the one that was on the way to the place we were going today. Daddy dropped the boy off at nursery and came back to pick us up. I was very happy to see this sign in the door taking proud of place, as we arrived.

IMG_4003

 

I’m happy to feed anywhere but I hope that this sign makes other mummies who may feel uncomfortable feeding in public a little more comfortable. No matter if you’re bottle or breastfeeding, babies should be able to eat when they are hungry and mummies should be free to feed anyway they choose without being worried about anyone else.

We arrived not long after 9am and we were the first people in today. It had been open since 8am but it is midweek so I wouldn’t have expected it to be busy. Not long after we arrived other people started to arrive too. We were seated at a table of our choosing and offered a highchair which we politely declined as Flixster isn’t sitting up yet or eating any solids. Our waitress explained the new menu. I don’t know what they offered before but it is apparently now unlimited which is new with a choice of continental (£2.99)  or continental and cooked items (£4.99). Unlimited drinks of tea, filter coffee and juice was an additional £2.25. After both choosing the cooked option and unlimited drinks we went off to see what was on offer. The usual salad bar had cold  breakfast items which you help yourself to rather than salad as it does for lunch and dinner. The menu listed all these items too but I noticed somethings were on the menu but not out on the bar. There was however still lots of choice including fresh fruit, yoghurt and pancakes.

IMG_3977

 

Over on the other side of the room there was a table set up with a large toaster where you could put a choice of bread, crumpets or muffins through. This was also where the drinks were on offer. There was two large jugs of filter coffee and a good selection of tea bags.

IMG_3993

The toaster and coffee

IMG_3994

The crumpets and muffins

IMG_3990

Coffee and tea

IMG_3992

Tea selection and decaf coffee

IMG_3991

Juice and milk

Everything was lovely and clean and looked and felt fresh.

I started with a small bowl of muesli (I tried to start a little bit healthy!) from the cold bar and I took a couple of pancakes over to the toaster to warm them up and pour a little syrup on top. There were all sorts of toppings for toast including Nutella and Marmite. Whilst we enjoyed the cold items we ordered our hot breakfast items from the waitress, you can have whatever you want from the list which included lots of different potato and egg choices.

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 20.22.58

We both made our choices and finished up our cold items. The pancakes and syrup were lovely and hubby said the crumpets were nice too. The hot breakfast didn’t take long and was exactly what we had ordered. I’m not keen on meat so I ordered the cheese and leek sausage instead of the meat sausage. I did have the bacon and was hoping it wouldn’t be greasy. It was in fact just perfect, nicely cooked and not greasy at all.

IMG_3998

The scrambled eggs were lovely and creamy and the mushrooms had a lovely flavour. I loved the veggie sausage although would only have one next time as I was truly stuffed! We rarely have breakfast out so really enjoyed treating ourselves. It was past 10 by the time we were ready to leave so we had been there well over an hour. The total came to £14.48 which I think was really good value for money considering what we had enjoyed and the time we had been there. I would definitely return again some time, I think the boy would love it too. I imagine weekends do get busier and having to wait a while to use the toaster (as you do in hotels) may not make it quite as fun but I guess I’ll have to go back sometime and see.

IMG_3999

 

Overall we really enjoyed ourselves, the food was lovely and a really good choice to suit all tastes, the place was clean and the service was good. The price was just right and I would certainly be recommending the harvester breakfast to friends, I hope that we can go back again soon with the boy to see what he thinks!

IMG_3987

This past weekend I made a trip to the Baby and Toddler Show at Eventcity Manchester with my good friend Jenny from Lets Talk Mommy. I had won tickets in a giveaway on another parenting blog and was looking forward to having a nosey around the various stalls of companies large and small. I have been previously and knew what to expect of the day. I arranged to meet Jenny in Starbucks for breakfast before the show, as usual I was running late so text her as I was leaving to say I’d be there soon. Unfortunately her son had been poorly during the night so she too was running late, we ended up arriving at roughly the same time. I had a pumpkin spiced latte and pumpkin loaf. I love pumpkin spiced lattes but they are an occasional treat for me as I know they are quite calorific so try not to have them all the time. I love autumn and winter time so I know once Starbucks start promoting the PSL its time for the seasons to change!
IMG_3344

We had breakfast and chatted about the children then headed over to the show. The line to get in was long but moved quickly, once inside we headed straight to the changing area as Flixster was getting grouchy. I didn’t bring the boy with me as he’d have been bored and would have a much better time at home with daddy. The changing area was well equipped with complimentary disposable nappies, wipes and Vital Acquaint Sanitising spray. I haven’t seen or used this product before so thought I’d give it a go, I used it to wipe down the surface after changing. It certainly seemed to act like water with no sticky residue, I’d definitely be looking out for it in the shops so that I can give it a try around the house. I’m a sucker for cleaning products, especially baby friendly ones! After a quick change we swapped sides and went into the feeding area, as a breastfeeding mummy I love it when comfortable seating is provided for me to feed baby in, I certainly wasn’t disappointed at the show, I managed to bag myself a nice rocking chair to feed in. As I was first into the area this was great, I think later on in the day then it may have been harder as there were only two rocking chairs as far as I could see and some other softer seating, so I hope for future shows that they provide a few more comfortable chairs to feed in. After Flixster had finished we headed back into the main show area to begin exploring all the stalls. There were major brands showing there alongside some much smaller companies which was great. I love to see new products and find that getting hands on at show and seeing demonstrations live really helps me to remember them. The show seemed busy but I was able to move around freely which was great. I had Flixster in a baby sling but even the mummies and daddies with prams and pushchairs had room to move which was great. I tried to avoid the large area of prams and buggies on display as I already own three myself and I don’t think the hubby would be happy if I told him I wanted another one, I do really enjoy trying new prams though so best to steer clear!
One of the highlights of the show for me personally was seeing the OnetoOne Midwife stand. When I was pregnant with Flixster I referred myself to the fabulous service of OnetoOne midwives as I am very lucky to live in an area that they currently provide services to, free of charge to pregnant ladies. My main midwife wasn’t at the show on the day I attended but my secondary midwife was so it was lovely to see her again there. I was on the look out for some new dribble bibs for Flixster at the show and I wasn’t disappointed, there were at least two stands selling them but I chose to buy from a company I’d never heard of before called Zippy Bibs as they had a large selection of Christmas bibs and I am absolutely mad for Christmas, it’s my absolute favourite time of year, I have fond memories of Christmas as a child and find its even more magical now I have children of my own. So I bought at least 3 Christmas themed bibs in my selection.

IMG_3321

Jenny didn’t really have much on her shopping list but did buy a new changing bag or as she would say in her lovely american accent ‘Diaper bag’ from Mia Tui. Last year I bought a lovely change bag from them at the show so I wasted no time in recommending them to Jenny who does a lot of travelling with her children. Their bags are great for everyday use as a handbag as well as a change bag and are ideal for travelling. I will do a review of mine soon, but as it’s in everyday use I’d need to find time to empty it out properly, its like a Tardis! As there’s so many lovely colour choices Jenny took her time to decide on a beautiful autumnal coloured one that will go with anything.

IMG_3302

 

Jenny and I spent quite a lot of time at various stalls and by the time we had finished looking around and shopping our tummies were rumbling so we headed oer to the Trafford centre for some lunch before heading our separate ways to go home.

The baby and toddler show was a fun day out but I’m not sure it would have been worth the £15 price per ticket, in the run up to the show there were lots of ticket offers flying about so if you can get a discount on future shows then I’d highly recommend it to expectant parents and parents of young children. I didn’t notice many products for toddlers but I’m sure this may change in future years as it certainly seemed busy this year so I’d hope that in future this would attract even more brands and products to the show. I’m looking forward to visit again in future as Flixster gets older!

The Day that

The Day That – A beautiful gift picture for any special day

I wanted to write about something that I’ve bought thats very close to my heart. I have not been paid by the company to write this, nor do I have any connection to them at all except my love of their work.

I first discovered this company when they were exhibiting at a baby show that I attended a good 3 years ago now. I was so overwhelmed by their work that I kept their leaflet for ages in a draw.
Their idea is amazing, you can buy a sunrise picture from any date special to you in the last 8 years. Each morning for the last 8 years someone from their company (and I get the impression its not a large company by any means so thats a lot of hard work and dedication) has gone down to the coastline in West Cornwall and taken several sunrise photographs. Can you imagine that everyday no matter what time or weather conditions having to get up and out, and just take a moment to realise that in summer sunrise is very early. I am in awe of the people that in the middle of winter have to leave their cosy beds to make sure they get that perfect picture, as for someone, somewhere in the world that day will be their first on this earth.

The Day That

When I first saw the pictures of the sunrise the first day I became Mummy I had tears in my eyes. That day was so special to myself and my husband, our lives changed for the better in so many ways and what better way to remember it than with a picture of the sunrise that morning. Not only is it a beautiful shot but it means so much.

When our second son came along of course I couldn’t wait to see his sunrise too. My view of the sun that morning was from the birthing pool in our lounge looking out over our garden and as beautiful as that view and his birth was the sun rising over the calm sea in Cornwall makes for a better photograph to hang on the wall.

I have hung them both at the top of our stairs, so each new day and each evening and time in between I am reminded of the days that our lives changed, just a snapshot of a tiny moment in time that meant to much to us.
So now I have two beautiful sunrise pictures that mean so much to me, the two days I want to remember for eternity…..

Dawn on the day both my boys were born

the day that

www.thedaythat.co.uk