C&G baby club launch The Happy Song

C & G’s Sound Of Happy Song!

A few weeks ago Archie and I went into London on a top secret day of fun to be one of the first people to listen to the song from C&G baby club #SoundofHappy campaign! We arrived at the location and with a few other babies/toddlers we went into a room and listened to a song written by songwriter Imogen, who was also there and watched the babies’ reactions to a happy and uplifting piece of music. Archie dances all the time as soon as any music comes on he is up and jigging along to it, so he loved it.

C&G baby club

Advertorial brought to you by C&G baby club

So C&G baby club’s aim is to make babies happy and their research so far has shown that babies laugh at a lot at different noises; being with siblings, the sound of laughter, the sound of daddy’s voice, the ice cream van, blowing raspberries and the sound of peekaboo all make the little ones beam from ear to ear! Laughter is definitely infectious and when one little one starts to giggle they are usually all off. 

Working alongside top psychologists, a team of mums and babies and a high-profile singer/songwriter, C&G baby club has created the World’s first song made from sounds and melodies that will make babies giggle and fill them with joy! Happy days. A thousand British parents have helped C&G baby club create an extraordinary, groundbreaking new song called The Happy Song – the first scientifically tested song created to make babies happy. 

Mums and dads across the UK were asked to the name the noises that make their little ones cheerful so they could be added to the track, which is released today on Spotify and SoundCloud. Top sounds include sneezing (51%), animal sounds (23%) and baby laughter (28%), which are all featured in the song that was created by C&G baby club, leading child and music psychologists and Grammy award-winning musician Imogen Heap. Baby laughter certainly sets off Archie, its infectious!

C&G baby club launch The Happy Song

The song itself has a lovely tune and the words are really catchy. Archie really enjoyed listening to it as you can see from the video. The children got to then listen to the song as a group and play with musical instruments as well. I love these sort of musical activities as they are really positive and make the children really come out of themselves and have a wiggle and a dance.

The song, designed to encourage happiness and laughter for babies aged 6 – 24 months was played to and tested on 56 infants, monitoring their reactions to see whether it worked. Remarkably, the cheerful two minute long tune amazed researchers when it brought smiles of delight, laughter and happiness to the little ones. The specially formulated testing process involving parents, Imogen and Goldsmith University psychologists Caspar Addyman and Lauren Stewart first started with mums and dads uploading sounds that made their little ones laugh to the C&G baby club page. Imogen took these sounds sent in by UK Mums and Dads, along with some previous scientific research and hypotheses from the psychologists, and worked her musical magic to produce four short tracks that explored different tempos, chord ranges and patterns, pitches, rhythms, performance cues and musical devices.

‘The Happy Song’ is now available at: www.soundofhappy.com

Here are the lovely lyrics;

Bring bring on the bicycle

Beep beep in the car

Ping ping a submarine

Phew phew helicopter

A choo choo train an aeroplane

Or whee down the slide

I just adore & adore you every day more

Wherever we are

So up in the sky

And deep in the ocean

Through valleys and hills

Away we go

Bring bring on the bicycle

Beep beep in the car

Ping ping a submarine

Phew phew helicopter

A choo choo train an aeroplane

A rocket to the stars!

There’s a dance dance dance going on in my heart

Wherever we are

So up in the sky

And deep in the ocean

Through valleys and hills

Away we go

You oo oo little monkey who’s staying up late

Who purrs like a cat when they get their own way

Who then turns into a lion and let’s out a

ROAR!!!

I love love love you every day more

Whatever’s in store

Wooo up in the sky

And deep in the ocean

Through valleys and hills

Away we go

C&G baby club

Advertorial brought to you by C&G baby club

 

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Archie is 2 & Little Tikes Birthday Giveaway 🎂

Today Archie is 2! I can’t actually believe it, it only seems like a few months ago that he was born. Time flies!

Archie is a real character as so different to how Oscar was at his age. He is a little rascal. If you say ‘no’ to Archie if he does something naughty he laughs at you, takes absolutely no notice and then says “happy, happy, happy.”

He’s a climber and finds it hilarious to empty the entire contents of my kitchen cupboards and as soon as I put everything back, empty them all over again. He is non stop!

He calls Daddy “Nanny” even though he can say Daddy but thinks it’s funny!

He loves playing with Oscar and it’s nice to watch them sit and play properly together.

It is also nice to see that he is starting to make his own friends now at his toddler groups and recognises them straight away and plays with them as soon as he sees them.

Today we are going to my Nanny’s for a little birthday party with family and a few close friends. As Archie loves Teletubbies I have got a teletubbie cake, balloons and decorations.

To celebrate Archie’s 2nd Birthday Little Tikes have kindly given us a Lil Ocean Explorers 3in1 Adventure Course to give away to one of my readers! It is a great toy and can be used from 6 months until 3 years. So enter below and good luck! 

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Image result for little tikes 3 in 1 ocean adventure course

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Our Super Yummies Adventure & Competition

Last week Archie was sent some fabulous adventure goodies from The Super Yummies so we could go on an adventure of our own over the weekend. We had the ultimate discovery pack when keeping both Oscar and Archie entertained when out and about.

As well as The Super Yummies snacks we had a LittleLife rabbit rucksack and reins, a Hello Nature art book and a nature art activity book. Both the boys were thrilled, Archie loves his LittleLife rucksack and Oscar loves art and craft and thought the books were fantastic. His exact phrase was “epic”.


So on Saturday we went to the farm and had a fantastic day exploring and having fun. We stopped mid-morning for a snack and the Pear and Berries rice cakes went down a treat and are great for a quick and easy refuel snack and on when we went. The rice cakes are suitable for 12 months plus. They are the perfect size for little hands and taste really fruity and without sounding cliché are super yummy! Oscar pinched a few too and loved them. It is great when you find a snack that both boys will love and comes in convenient sized packs to always carry around with you!


Archie loves being out of the pushchair now and free to run around when we are out, although sometimes I lose count of how many times he runs around at a hundred miles an hour and falls over. Today he wore his adorable little rabbit LittleLife backpack and reins that carried his snacks and water beaker inside and then as we walked around I held onto the reins and he managed to stay on his feet. The backpacks are a fantastic idea, in fact years ago we had a shark one with Oscar. We took it everywhere with us as it easily fits under the pushchair or I used to attach it to my changing bag. It is really one of those ‘wow’ products that makes your life so much easier and you can’t live without. No more panicking that Archie is getting too close to the water when feeding the ducks and him refusing to hold my hand (he is Mr Independent). A lot of people also commented on how cute his backpack was with the little rabbit ears.


At lunch Archie had some of the tomato and herb breadsticks. I love that they are flat which is easier for him to hold and actually he manages to eat all of it rather than crumbling everywhere like breadsticks usually do. They also come in a resealable packet which is great, rather than having to put them in a bulky container in my bag to keep them fresh. Once again they are full of flavour and taste lovely, even Daddy liked them!


The fruit pouches are perfect for an after lunch treat/pudding and have rescrewable lids so can be eaten on the go. Archie loves to feed himself with these and sucks all the yumminess out. Archie loves yoghurts and often gets in a right mess when trying to use a spoon, although this is great fun at home it’s not ideal if you are out and about and the pouches just save the day!



The apple and orange rice cakes were definitely Archie’s favourite and by the time we left Willows Farm the packet was empty. He literally walked around with them eating one after the other. I managed to prise one off him so I could try it too but nobody else got a look in. They do taste really good, I can see myself eating them as a snack, just don’t tell Archie.

Here is the full Super Yummies range:

Breadsticks: spinach breadsticks, tomato & herb breadsticks which are 12 months +

Rice cakes: pear & berries rice cakes, apple & orange rice cakes which are 12 months +

Pouches:  apple & forest fruits yoghurt, strawberry, kiwi & banana squeeze, mixed berries & coconut squeeze which are 12 months +

Slices and pieces: beetroot & parsnip slices, strawberry & yoghurt pieces, banana & yoghurt pieces which Archie hasn’t tried yet as they are 36 months +

Both flavours of rice cakes, the two flavours of breadsticks, the fruit pouches and the slices and pieces follow The Super Yummies promise:

With our little discovery pack we also have a sheet full of fun mini adventure ideas. Check out my Instagram to see lots of The Super Yummies mini adventures over the Winter! I would love to see your photos too, so don’t forget to tag me in them.

The Super Yummies and LittleLife have kindly given me one discovery pack to give away to one lucky reader. So enter below and good luck!

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Disclaimer: We were sent the above mentioned Super Yummies snacks and adventure kit for the purpose of this blog post. All opinions are honest and my own.

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Oscar’s Airfix Quick Build #QuickBuildTimeChallenge

Recently we were chosen to take part in Airfix’s #QuickBuildTimeChallenge. Oscar was super excited when our package arrived. Inside was a Airfix Quickbuild Hawk and a Lamborghini along with a stopwatch to see how long it took Oscar to build them. Previously when I think or Airfix models I thought of hows of building and glue and paint but not with the Quickbuild kits they are great for younger children that are old enough to want to build their own model independently.

The Quickbuild kits are for children aged 5 and over, Oscar is six so I was interested to see how he would get on building on his own and with the stop watch I have timed him which will give you a better idea of how easy they are and how long they really take…..

The pre-coloured pieces simply snap together, without glue or paints, to build an impressive model which can then be decorated with the included self-adhesive stickers. Plane models also come with their own display stand to show off your handiwork! The whole Quick Build range is manufactured in the UK and features some of the most iconic aircraft and vehicles ever constructed.

The instructions are easy to follow and Oscar has had great fun building them. He know wants to collect and build them all. There are 12 different models currently in the range and at only £12.99 they would make fantastic gifts. I have ordered a couple more to go in Oscar’s Christmas stocking.

Overall I am really impressed with the Airfix Quick Build range and it was nice to watch Oscar follow the instructions and build something all on his own. He was really proud of himself and they now have pride of place on his window sill in his bedroom.

 

 

Disclaimer: We were sent the above mentioned Airfix Quickbuild kits for the purpose of this review. All opinions are honest and my own and they are great!

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Graco Modes 3 Lite Trio Travel System Review

As you will have seen before for the last few months we have been a Generation Graco Ambassador. Within this time we have reviewed the Nimble Nook Travel Cot and the Milestone car seat. When we were at the Generation Graco event at London Zoo in September we were given a glimpse of the Modes 3 Lite and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it!


The Modes 3 Lite is a new travel system from Graco that is suitable from birth to 15kg and has seven ways to ride. When it arrived I couldn’t believe how much was in the box, inside there is the main chassis, the Graco SnugRide first stage infant car seat, baby carry cot, toddler seat, rain cover and foot muff. Literally everything you will need from birth until three or 15kg is in the box. I love that just like the Milestone car seat the stroller will last for the whole time you will need a pushchair and grow with your child.

As I mentioned there are seven ways to ride in the Modes 3 Lite using the ClickConnect technology which is absolutely fantastic and makes it so easy and quick to use the travel system. You can attach the infant car seat which can face you or face away from you, or attach the carry cot which again can face you or away from you, attach the infant car seat whilst the toddler seat is on which is great for when your little one is to big for the carrycot but can still fit in the car seat, or the toddler seat can face you or away from you. There are so many possibilities to suit everyone!

Obviously Archie was to big to try out the SnugRide first stage infant car seat and the carry cot as he is now almost two but our closest friends are having a baby next year so I will do another review next year on those. Although I can say that the SnugRide first stage infant car seat is without a doubt the lightest infant car seat I have come across. I wish I had one after I had both of the boys as I had a caesarean with both and carrying the car seat afterwards was quite difficult to start with. It also has a Sun shade hood that can be attached to the carry handle. It is attached into your car using a seat belt and has a three point harness. The carrycot is also really light and has a carry handle conveniently placed on the hood making it easy to carry around. Archie actually climbed into the carrycot and it is massive.

Setting the travel system up was fairly easy and the instructions were clear and easy to follow.

Once I had put the Modes 3 Lite together the first thing I noticed was just how massive the basket underneath is. It is absolutely huge which is great for me as I have Oscar’s school bag, handbag and shopping which fits under easily. It’s that big I am pretty sure I could fit in it! 🙂 I also noticed how sturdy the system is it feels well made and I like that the handle is slightly higher up as I found it comfortable to push and with Greg being 6ft it was high enough for him too. The only thing that would be better was if it was adjustable but it wasn’t a problem for us.

The toddler seat is lovely and wide and Archie looks lovely and comfortable in it. It has a five point harness. The fabrics are luxurious and plush and can easily be moved and are machine washable which is great as I love to keep my pushchair nice and clean. The footplate is also nice and big on the toddler seat and can just be wiped over to clean off the muddy footprints.

The best feature without a doubt is the fast action fold. I actually couldn’t believe just how fast the travel system folded when we were given a demo at the event. It literally takes a second to fold and you can even fold it with the toddler seat still attached. Once folded the travel system is so flat and would fit in any boot, big or small.
I also liked the cup holder so Archie can put his bottle or beaker in whilst were out and about, he also stuffs his dummy and comforter in there too just like he does on the Milestone car seat. It would have been great to have one on the handle too for my drink.

The Graco Modes 3 Lite Trio Travel System is without a shadow of a doubt absolutely amazing value. The complete package has an RRP of £389.99!! Yes only £389.99 you did read that right! Considering everything that is included it is incredible. I know that with other brands you would have to purchase the infant car seat separately, the car seat adaptors, drink holder, footmuff and sometimes the carrycot separately too. Sometimes this can cost in the thousands!

I really think the Graco Modes 3 Lite Trio Travel System is as great as I expected from when I saw the demo. If you are looking for a complete travel system with all the extras that is sturdy and well made, easy and quick to use and won’t break the bank then this really is the one for you! I love it!

Disclaimer: We were sent the Graco Modes 3 Lite Trio Travel System for the purpose of this review however all opinions are honest and my own.

 

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Hosting A Stress Free Christmas Day

With Christmas now less than a week away and Oscar finished school for the holidays I am trying to be super organised so Christmas runs as smoothly as possible. I reserved my Turkey from Waitrose back in November along with a few other bits and will pick it up on Friday morning. You simply turn up they give you your order and then you pay at the check out. It is always very organised and I am in and out of Waitrose in no time at all. I also have a Tesco delivery coming on Friday morning with most of our food and anything that I haven’t got I pick up from M&S. I always get my carrot and suede mash, pigs in blankets, yorkshire puddings and a few other bits from M&S too. I then go home and play fridge jenga until everything fits in.

On Christmas Eve I will bake the chocolate cake with Oscar and have brought a little snowman and the snow dog cake topper to go on top. I have also brought mince pies and some brandy butter for another dessert choice. Also on Christmas Eve I write a list of all the food that needs to be cooked for Christmas lunch and write all the timings next to each one and the order they need to be cooked in. I also lay the table the night before too.

Our Christmas day consists this year of my Mum, Dad, Brother and my Nanny joining us for lunch and then Greg’s Mum, Dad, Brother and his girlfriend, Sister and two of our closest friends coming over at about half three and then I do a buffet for us all at 6pm. So in total we have 15 people at our house. I love having Christmas at home and hosting!



Christmas morning I usually go downstairs before everyone else and take the giblets out of the turkey, put a large orange, a lemon and a cooking apple inside and rub butter under the skin. (I leave the butter out on the side over night so it is nice and soft). I use an online cooking calculator to work out how long it needs to cook for and remember to add 30-40 minutes on for resting time and put it in the oven. As a general guide, in an oven preheated to 180ºC (350ºF, Gas Mark 4): allow 45 minutes per kg plus 20 minutes for a turkey under 4.5kg. allow 40 minutes per kg for a turkey that’s between 4.5kg and 6.5kg allow 35 minutes per kg for a turkey of more than 6.5kg. Usually my Turkey is in by 7.15ish to be eaten at 1pm.

I then follow my cooking list for my roast potatoes, carrot and suede mash, peas, carrots, cabbage, sprouts, parsnips, bread sauce, gravy, sausage meat, pigs in blankets and Yorkshire puddings. Most bits go in the oven once the Turkey is out and resting. I cook everything in disposable foil trays so they can be thrown away rather than using up space in the dishwasher. Timing is key and makes it so much easier. I also love my kitchen to stay tidy so clear up as I go.

After lunch all that goes in the dishwasher is the cutlery and plates as everything else is disposable and the kitchen is clear and tidy straight away ready for round two which is the buffet I do at about 6pm. I usually serve new potatoes, cold tukey, beef and ham and salad a fish platter. Again I put it all on disposable platters from Waitrose and have brought disposable napkins, cutlery and plates from M&S so everything can go straight in the bin.

I honestly find it much easier being organised and its just like cooking a bigger roast dinner which is easy. I remember the first year I cooked Christmas dinner I panicked so much but was so surprised how easy it is! I even hosted Christmas Day two years ago four days before I had Archie.

Have a lovely Christmas and don’t forget to share your Christmas top tips too, I would love to see them! #christmastoptips

Merry Christmas!


 

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#ClangersForKindness Competition

A few weeks ago the boys received a lovely bundle of Clangers goodies as part of their new Clangers For Kindness campaign. Both the boys love watching Clangers on CBeebies and it was last Christmas that Oscar’s Auntie brought him the play set and all the figures.

The Clangers For Kindness campaign will be encouraging kids, parents – in fact everyone – to spread kindness every day, just like the Clangers do on the little blue planet. From giving a hug, to helping a friend in need, there are many ways to spread kindness. Spreading kindness is something we have installed in Oscar. Spreading kindness at Christmas time is especially lovely and one example of Oscar spreading some kindness happened last week in London. Each year we go to Harrods to see Father Christmas and last Tuesday after school we drove into London for our annual visit. After we went into the grotto we walked around the corner to Pizza Express and on our way Oscar noticed a man in a sleeping bag sitting in a shop doorway. He asked us why he was there and we explained to him that not everybody is as lucky as him. He kept asking questions throughout dinner. We then had to walk back past the man to get to the car and Oscar had put a £1 out of his money box in his pocket in case he wanted to buy something. When we walked past the man Oscar let go of my hand and walked over to him and gave him his pound and said Merry Christmas! I was so proud of him and as we walked back to the car he had a huge smile on his face. I asked him if it made him feel good, his reply was “yes very good, hopefully the man will buy a new house with my pound and be safe and warm.” It made me want to cry, I was so proud of him.


In the Clangers bundle we were sent an activity book, a DVD, a model your own clangers modelling kit, magazine and a Clanger whistle. The boys loved watching the DVD over and over, especially Archie who normally I have to download episodes on my Sky box. The model your own Clangers kit is great and we had great fun making our very own Clanger, the tin has everything you need inside and would make a great stocking filler. Oscar took ownership of the activity book as he didn’t trust Archie with his stickers! 🙂 And the Clanger whistle is great fun, I couldn’t believe how spot on the noise it makes is to the Clanger sounds.

The Clangers For Kindness website is full of fun activities and also a free downloadable reward chart.

Take a look below at the lovely #ClangersForKindness video. Warning: You may shed a tear or two…..

The lovely people at Clangers have kindly given me a matching bundle to give away to one of my lovely readers! I would love to hear any stories you might have of your little ones and their acts of kindness! Then enter the competition below to win your very own Clangers bundle.

Don’t forget Clangers are also on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

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Disclaimer: We were sent the Clangers For Kindness bundle for the purpose of this post. Competition is in association with Hello Clangers.

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Review: The Magic Of Lapland UK

Yesterday we went to Lapland UK in Ascot. When I was asked to do a review for them last month I was so excited for the boys as I had seen a lot of reviews and photos last year and it looked absolutely magical! I love Christmas and try to make it as special as possible for Oscar and Archie every year like my parents did for me.

Oscar and Archie’s personalised invites from Father Christmas arrived in the post and we surprised them with them the night before, on Saturday night. Their elves delivered them and Oscar couldn’t believe he had been invited to Lapland by Father Christmas as Daddy read their letters to them. He was bouncing up and down with excitement!

Lapland UK opened on Saturday the 19th of November and closes on Christmas Eve 2016. The tours run from 9am-5pm. Tickets start at £65.50 per person and included in your ticket price is a personalised invitation to every child from Father Christmas by post, a child elf passport, all activities including ice skating, a personalised meeting with Father Christmas, a luxury gift from Father Christmas for every child over 12 months of age, a souvenir photograph with Father Christmas for each family and a Thank you card from Father Christmas for each child on Christmas morning. Tickets have sold like hot cakes so that avoid disappointment book quickly HERE.


We were booked on the 9am tour so left home after breakfast and as we were the first tour it was lovely and easy to park. We walked through the enchanted forest to the Elf check in where Oscar and Archie received their elf passports. The tour takes three and a half hours and on the back of your passport is the time that Father Christmas will be ready to see you. Oscar and Archie’s passports said 12.00 and Oscar kept asking me throughout the morning how long he had left until he would meet the big man himself.

We then went through the magical wooden doors into the most magical room where we were greeted by Sage the elf who really got the children’s imaginations going and then Echo the elf of nature. It was great that they managed to get across to the children how important nature is and how they must help to look after it. We were in the Husky group so after saying the Elves magical pass rhyme we were let through the magic door into Lapland.

Behind the door we were greeted by beautiful fir trees covered in snow and we followed the path all the way to the Toy factory. We met Whittle and Conker the elves and Wish the elf who watch over the small folk to make sure their wishes come true. The toy factory is amazing, it reminded me of the toy factory in the 1985 classic ‘Santa Claus The Movie’ which is my favourite Christmas film ever! With wooden toys spinning around on the ceiling, to the ornate furniture and elf tools it blew me away at the attention to detail and hugely surpassed my expectations. Oscar and Archie sat at the work benches and stuffed the cuddly reindeer and built wooden teddies. When they had finished Whittle the elf stamped their elf passports and we sung The Elf Song.



On we went through the enchanted forest to Mother Christmas’ kitchen where we met her elf cooks and the children got to decorate their own gingerbread man with icing and sweets. When they were finished all the children gathered around whilst Mother Christmas read them all a story. Again the room was decorated beautifully and all the children looked amazed. After the story it was 10.30 so we were given an hour and a half to explore the Elf Village before Father Christmas was ready to meet us.



We walked to the Elf Village and when we arrived there was so much to see and do. It was hard to believe we were actually in the UK, it looked exactly how I imagined Lapland would look. As a child it must be the most magical experience! The Elf Village has a restaurant, a cafe where we sat and had a cup of tea and a salt beef sandwich sitting on benches covered in furs to keep us warm. We then went to the Elf post office, Oscar wrote his letter to Father Christmas with Elva the postmistress who stamped their passports and changed up some money to elf jingles for Oscar to spend in Pixie Mixie’s elf sweet shop. The sweet shop was full of pick ‘n’ mix and Archie loved the smarties, which the elf behind the counter kindly gave him a few.


The Elf Emporium is full of beautiful decorations and gifts. I was surprised at how reasonably priced everything in there was. Usually when you go on a day out with a gift shop the prices are extortionate. I spotted a lovely Christmas plate and when I took it to the till I expected them to say it was £20 but it was only £9 and I love it!

Greg and Oscar went on the village pond ice rink. They both like ice skating and each Christmas we go to somewhere fun so they can skate. The scene was picturesque, everyone skating on the ice rink, snow falling off the snow covered trees and the log cabins in the village buzzing with excited children. A lot of children’s Christmas’ were made yesterday. After 20 minutes or so of skating we went and met the beautiful Husky dogs.


At 12.00 we met one of the Husky trainers by the bauble shop where you can make your own baubles and walked through the enchanted forest until we got to Father Christmas’ reindeer and his sleigh. Oscar couldn’t believe that all the presents can magically fit on one sleigh! Oscar then prepared his own magic reindeer food to keep and leave out on Christmas Eve.

Finally we made it to a wooden lodge where we told the Elf at the desk who we were then sat and waited for a few minutes until we were collected by another Elf to walk to Father Christmas’ lodge. We met other elves and children along the way and finally made it to the lodge. The Elf went inside and we could here Father Christmas talking about Oscar and Archie through the door. Oscar was bursting with excitement and the look on his little face made my day. Both Oscar and Archie then knocked on the big wooden door and in we went.


Father Christmas was sitting in his chair with his giant good list book. A fire was burning behind him and a beautiful Christmas tree stood in the corner. Before your visit you fill in information online so Father Christmas knows things about your children. He said to Oscar that he heard he had been busy playing the piano and Archie had been watching Teletubbies and that Oscar’s best friend Oliver was also on the good list. Oscar looked at him in utter amazement that he knew so much about them. We had a photo taken with Father Christmas and one photo is included in your ticket price, others you can buy at an extra charge.

Father Christmas then gave the boys a beautiful Husky soft toy each that has Lapland Uk embossed on his foot. This is a soft toy that can be kept for years to come to remind them of their magical adventure. They were also given a copy of the Lapland book, ‘The Untold Story Of Father Christmas’. This is a magical extra and only costs £10 (RRP £18.99) and Father Christmas will then give it to your child/children. It is a beautiful book, with lovely pictures and is a heart-warming tale to be enjoyed as a tradition each Christmas.

Other magical extras that you can purchase before your visit is the wooden construction Teddy Bear kit that they built in the toy factory and the reindeer that you can pick up at the end. Both of these are £25. You can also purchase the Elf Jingles which is the currency at Lapland UK but if you don’t you can pick some up at Elf check in and the Elf post office.

After we left Father Christmas we walked back through the enchanted forest and collected our photograph and there is also a shop where you can purchase different outfits for your new Husky and also pick up anything you may have ordered.

Overall Lapland UK was the most amazing day and has made this Christmas the best yet. The magic of Lapland UK is absolutely fantastic and exceeded all expectations. Just seeing the boys faces has made my Christmas already. Oscar can’t believe how lucky he is to have been. We will going back next year! So book your tickets today and experience the real magic of Christmas. Here is a video of our amazing and magical day!

 

Disclaimer: We were given tickets for the four of us to go to Lapland UK for the purpose of this review. All opinions are honest and my own and it is just so amazing!

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Graco Milestone All-In-One Car Seat Review

Since Oscar was a baby and now with Archie we have had a fair few car seats. Some in my car and duplicates in Greg’s. Car seats cost a fortune and changing them when your child reaches different age or weight limit can be expensive. When we went to the Graco ambassador event a few months ago I saw their Milestone All-In-One Car Seat for the very first time. I was shocked when I learnt that the car seat is the only car seat you will ever need to own! This car seat will grow with your child from birth up to 36kg (12 years!) making it one of the only car seats you will ever need which is great.

I love the name of the seat ‘Milestone’ as as a parent you count so many milestones with you children and with these milestones often comes expense… bigger sized clothes and shoes, new toys and of course new car seats, now with the Milestone car seat you can take that off of your ever growing shopping list.

Archie is 23 months old now and was 21 months when we started using our new Milestone car seat. The car seat is easy to fit, it took me about three minutes to fit securely into the car. The convertible car seat has three different modes: transitioning from rear-facing infant car seat (birth to 13kg) to forward-facing 5-point harness seat (9-18kg) to high-back booster (15-36kg). For the best and most comfortable fit for your child, the no re-thread harness system and 10-position headrest allows you to adjust harness and headrest together with just one hand.

Side impact protection provides the best head protection at every stage and features a steel reinforced frame giving you peace of mind that your little one is always safe. The safety features on this car seat are outstanding, we were talked through all the key points and Graco don’t mess around, they have done so much research into making the safest car seat for your precious little bundle.

Another fantastic feature is you don’t have to fiddle around and re-thread the straps as your little one grows, the car seat really does grow with your child in one pull of a button. The headrest has 10 positions for optimum comfort and also has 2 reclining positions so when Archie is tired I can recline it back so he is more comfortable. The seat is so plush and comfortable and has a durable, steel reinforced frame built into the seat provides peace of mind and added safety for your child. It also has side impact protection in the headrest as well. The seat cover comes off easily and can be machine washed and you don’t have to take out the harness to get the cover off it just simply slips over the top. The cup holder is great too, at the moment Archie puts his comforter and dummy in there but as he gets older he can keep his drink bottle in it.

Graco Milestone All-In-One Convertible Car Seat

To sum up I think this is a great car seat and great value too and you can’t beat a product that will grow with your child, save your money and keep your little one nice and safe in the car! It has an RRP of £179.99 but amazon currently has it at an then amazing price of £114.99!

 

Disclaimer: I was sent the Milestone car seat for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are honest and my own and this is truly a great car seat!

 

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SmartMax Playground XL & Power Vehicles Mix Review

With Christmas less than a month away and with your little ones writing their Christmas wish list for Father Christmas I know as a parent thinking of present ideas for grandparents and other family members often leaves me confused. I don’t want Oscar and Archie inundated with toys, I like them to get books or fun and educational toys too. SmartMax is the perfect present as they are award-winning magnetic construction system which allows children of all ages the chance to be creative, to learn and to explore the fascinating world of magnetism and most importantly, to have fun. So when we were asked to review the SmartMax Playground XL & Power Vehicles Mix I was really excited to see what the boys thought.

We were kindly sent The Playground XL play set and The Power Vehicles Mix play set. Firstly we got out The Playground XL which is a 46 piece set and straight away I loved that both Oscar and Archie could play with it together easily. Obviously having such a big age gap between the boys means that not many toys are great for them to play together with but all the pieces of the set were big enough for Archie who is almost two to play with as all the parts are bigger than 3cm and thereby don’t fit a child’s throat. The pieces are also great for building fine motor skills.

Archie was fascinated with the magnets sticking together, it made him laugh so much. Oscar sat and copied the playground on the front of the box and put it together easily without any help at all. They then sat for ages rolling the magnetic ball through with Archie catching it at the bottom. When Archie went to bed, Oscar sat and built different models with the pieces, allowing him to use his imagination and get creative. You can also purchase other SmartMax sets to your collection to build all sorts of fun creations!

The Playground XL set is absolutely fantastic and would make a fantastic gift this Christmas for all ages to enjoy!

The second set we were sent was the Power Vehicles Max. This set was perfect for Oscar as he loves cars! In terms of building them it was better for him as it challenged him a bit more then free play building. The set has 26 pieces in the box and once again all the pieces are big enough for Archie to use as well and are specifically designed for handling by children as young as one as they learn about the effects of magnetic attraction and repulsion. The coloured guide book is so easy to follow and Oscar had great fun sitting with Grandad and building the vehicles last weekend. Archie then enjoyed playing with the vehicles and pushing them around. Oscar quite liked that he had built something for Archie to play with, he was really proud which was so sweet.

The magnets are strong enough to carry up to 60 times their weight, so the building possibilities are endless. This set also helps improve visual thinking as you have to follow the instructions. You can build a bulldozer, a fire truck, a forklift, a tow truck, a pick-up truck or a van with this set. They are then fun toys to play with too.

The boys absolutely love their SmartMax sets and your children will love them this Christmas! It is great to have a toy that they can learn and have great fun with too. It is also a toy that will last as Archie has years of play left with them. Archie also walks around with two pieces and a magnetic ball and pretends its a microphone. I asked Oscar what he thought of the sets and he said “they are so much fun and fantastic!”

Disclaimer: We were sent the SmartMax Playground XL & Power Vehicles Mix to review, however all opinions are honest and my own.