We have been shopping at Morrisons for years, and I have loved seeing it evolve with its market street stores, to toys and beautiful, affordable kids clothing. They not only have delicious fresh foods, and are a great place for the weekly (and Christmas) shop, but with tasty treats, lovely seasonal delights, entertainment and now even plush home-ware’s too, they are are basically a one-stop Christmas shop!

We were excited this last week to receive from them a gift box containing goodies for a cosy family night in; complete with cute festive itty bitty’s, treats, a gorgeous purple throw and a copy of the new “Beauty & the Beast”!

All available in their stores, it was so delightful to have some samples of what is purchasable this Christmas time from them. Their stuff is such lovely quality and would make wonderful and affordable gifts for teachers, friends, kids and family. With bigger gifts to stocking fillers, to even delicious things for food hampers Morrisons has really become the one-stop shop for the whole families needs this Christmas time. We are more than excited to steal some time together over the weekend to snuggle down, crack open their best fudge and mince pies, and enjoy some family time with a film (we surprisingly haven’t seen yet) courtesy of them!

With the festive period right around the corner, why not pop along to your local Morrisons and discover their tasty treats and plush home furnishing’s, sparkly decorations and that all important family entertainment. Their stores are packed with all sorts of goodies at great prices and with this season of giving you are bound to find something for everyone you’re still to buy for!! They also have a beautiful array of cards for everyone, as well as yummy things in their seasonal foods range. Check out my video below as I explain a little more and do a little show and tell of what we received! Then  go see for yourself the goodies in your local store…you are sure to find something for everyone.

*Thanks to Morrisons for sending us these goodies/cards for the purpose of this review 

 

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In 2 days we will be in December and officially on the countdown to Christmas (whaaattttt!!), and whilst that thought is a little scary, it is also rather exciting too! Christmas for us, like so many others, revolves A LOT around family, food, chocolate, gifts and lovely decorations. But we also try to make it more, and capture the spirit of the season by remembering the birth of Christ through reading the stories of the bible, singing hymns/songs, attending Christmas services, and now my favourite thing – Following his example of love for others through daily acts of service.

Christmas is a time of year that is rich in family tradition and one of these traditions for several years now, has been to carry out random acts of kindness leading up to the big day! Before it was rather sporadic, but in recent years our Church has introduced #LightTheWorld and given us 25 ways over 25 days we can light the world through service and kind acts. Each suggestion is taken from the bible and relates to the life and teachings of Jesus!

Whilst I try to be kind all year and help in both big and small ways to those who need it, I love that light the world makes me really spring into action and get things happening! It helps me focus on the needs of others and it puts things into perspective at a time of year we can get carried away and perhaps a little self absorbed!

I am a strong believer in giving and helping those whose circumstances differ and are in need of help in someway! Saying this though, lets be real… I am also a busy mum to 3 kiddies, have oodles of cleaning and stuff, blogging and other commitments. So I also find it hard with said young family, to do things daily for others when some days I am totally lost and my limit! With this in mind, I have tried to be uber organised so that I don’t have that as my excuse or reason. I want to help others at Christmas time and show our love and appreciation too, and I want my kids to learn early to think of others too. And so I planned ahead, started weeks ago with our reverse advent box for the food bank (December 1st) and since that it has all just come together!

So here is a sneaky peak of our ideas to #LightTheWorld in December 2017 (we are also collecting walking boots and thermal socks for the refugees in Calais who have trench foot/are at risk of it, along side this!). I have contacted the necessary charities and organisations, and I am hoping others will jump on board too!

Last year we thoroughly enjoyed the days we joined in. From donating gifts and helping to sort at the refugee centre, to making dinner for some fellow church members we knew were having a hard time. We baked treats and delivered them and we donated food too. Whilst I am sure this was helpful to those we served, the blessing of joy and lessons we learnt were great for our family! And so we are choosing to #LightTheWorld again this December to celebrate the birth of Christ. I look forward to the people we will meet, the friendships we will build and the lessons we will learn. I hope it ignites kindness and thoughtfulness in my kids as they help too, and that it will make a season that can be hard for us, one of light and Joy!

You of course don’t need to be LDS/Mormon to join in! #LightTheWorld is an opportunity for us all to bring peace and kindness to others; be that in our families, our neighbourhoods or even our wider communities and the world! If you live near me then come and donate to these great causes too. If you want me to elaborate then leave me a comment, but really whatever you can do – do it!Then snap a picture and # it “LightTheWorld” … share the love as we light the world together for others one day at a time.

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As we approach Christmas I am excited for Alice to have her first Christmas where she is actually aware that something is happening. Because of this increased awareness of gifts, (and things that are hers) that comes with being almost 18 months old, I have been way more thoughtful about her gifts and what she will love! With this, I have had a lot of joy in choosing for her things she can play with and enjoy, all whilst building her confidence and skills.

At the top of the list has always been a Playmobil Noah’s ark, followed closely by a little toddler bike, and then a doll or something similar since she has taken a shine to Megan’s! I think all of these things will be so lovely for her and are things that grow with her and will be used for a good couple of years! The Doll and playmobil are very straightforward, however when it comes to a bike suitable for her age I have wondered, which would be most suitable?!

We have been excited to review with her (and then hide away before the kids get home) the Toddlebike2, and have found it to be a lovely little toy for toddlers with great benefits.

Toddlebike 2

The Toddlebike2 is a unique pre-balance bike for ages 18 – 36 months and will certainly make a great Christmas or birthday gift for the little tots in your life. Available in 3 lovely colours (red, pink, blue) it is fun looking and there is something for everyone. They are really reasonably priced too at £23.95 which I think is brilliant.

Whilst Alice already has a scuttlebug she has inherited (and I only bring this up as I am sure many will think they have no need for this as well), the Toddlebike2 is a lot different, as it is specifically designed to be more like a real bike and give the child their first cycling experience. I absolutely love it for its simplicity, and that it promotes balance, is light weight and easy to clean. It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, and over all terrains so gives them lots of practice! It fills the gap from the baby ride on toys they have outgrown to the age when they can handle a balance bike or scooter.

As I said one of its great features (aside from being a pre-balance bike) is that it is super light (like under 1kg light) and so can hang on the buggy when out and about, be easily carried to the park, or the best part for Alice – she can easily manouver it and move it around the house when she isn’t on it too (goodbye frustrated tot). It really has been thought about from the perspective of little one and you can see how well it fits into their life. She loved riding it, carrying and pushing it.

When Alice first saw it she shouted some delightful gabble at it and then was itching to have a go! She sat on it and grinned, and then began shuffling around the room! She struggled a little to get her leg over the cross bar, but it doesn’t phase me because with practice I know she will tackle it – I just see it as promoting her problem solving skills!

I loved after we had been out on it, I could so easily wipe it clean and when she wanted to walk, we could easily carry it!

She has had lots of fun both inside and out trialling this, and has found great delight in her new toy bike! I loved watching her toddle along with it across the village green, and chatter away as she went. As it hung on the buggy she would periodically turn to check it was still there, and give it a reassuring pat, and then as we walked she kept pointing at it and smiling! Yes it’s safe to say it gets the thumbs up from Alice, and me… she loved being on it…so much so that she wailed a little when it went away for Christmas!

I am really pleased to have discovered the Toddlebike2 as it is perfect for kids around Alice’s age and a little older too. It has great benefits; promoting balance, steering and confidence and is something that will teach her all of the skills she needs as she grows into a preschooler and towards a balance bike. For now though I look forward to getting it out again on Christmas morning, seeing everyone’s excitement (especially hers), and for it to become a daily part of her life to have fun on and master!

If you are looking for a fun and yet practical gift that will last a good year or 2 for your tot, then give them a Toddlebike2 this Christmas! Hours of fun and adventure await for them in their little world whatever the weather!!

 

Family Fever
 *We were sent the Toddlebike2 for the purpose of this review! All thoughts and pictures are my own.
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Yesterday we were invited down to Wheatley Shopping Centre in Doncaster to board a big red double decker bus, to meet Santa and participate in the festivities of writing and decorating a postcard to give to him. It was the first proper time the kids have been to see a Santa in a grotto and it was such a magical and lovely ordinary moment for our family!

Seeing Santa is an ordinary moment of most childhoods, and it is a moment in a small life that is filled with excitement and curiosity, wonderment and magic, and then for most kids – a little scary too! I remember as a child myself visiting Santa before Christmas in grotto’s and whilst feeling nervous my memories are mainly joy and fun. These are great memories and I always want to recreate similar for my own kids. But never in my day would we have had something so wonderful and as fun as seeing Santa on a big red bus!

Whilst my kids have had Santa visit them at school, they have never been to a grotto and never really believed that those Santa’s were real! Seeing Santa yesterday – aboard a Winter dressed bus, felt like a bit of pressure but also the perfect way to get them to embrace it and kick off Christmas time! Nathan and I loved the adventure as much as them and it was a wonderful memory to create together.

Everything about our visit felt magical and exciting – it was so festive and lovely! We were greeted by Santa’s elves and walked a red carpet to board the festive bus. Downstairs we sat at the tables and designed Christmassy post cards and wrote to Santa about what they would like him to bring them. With glitter and stickers everywhere it was perfect! Next we waited on the seats, before an elf helped us climb to top deck, where we entered a Winter wonderland with Santa sat at the end to greet us.

The kids LOVED it and said it was one of the best days! And we agreed that it was amazing. To them the magic was real as Santa knew so much about them … they marvelled at how he was the real thing sat there, knowing their ages and their names and being so kind and interested! They enjoyed talking with him and telling him how excited they were for Christmas and hoped he would bring them some Sylvanian families and a stunt camera. I loved how modest they were in their requests, how natural they felt speaking to him and how blumming excited they were to be there. Whilst Alice was VERY suspicious, Ethan and Megan were fascinated and embraced it all. Excited was certainly the word of the day – excited to have made a post card, be on a double decked bus, chat to the Elves and most excited to have finally met “the real Santa!”.

I loved the magic and family fun we had yesterday boarding Santa’s big red bus and meeting him together. An ordinary moment of Christmas that was a truly wonderful and magical way to kick off our Christmas celebrations this year!

If you are around Doncaster this weekend, (or not – it is worth travelling to for some free festive fun), then pop on over and share in the fun with your kids and embrace an opportunity to meet and chat with Santa Claus!

 

The Ordinary Moments

*This post is in collaboration with Wheatley Shopping Centre.

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