Friday, 19 December 2014

Personal message from Santa #iBelievePNP @PNPSanta

Shell Louise

Santa has sent my three children a video message using his Portable North Pole console for the last few years now and for the last few days the girls have been wondering when this year's would arrive!

They've been asking me on a daily basis whether I've had an email yet from Santa :)

I finally received them last night and to say they were excited would be an understatement.

Ella couldn't believe it when Santa put a photo of our house on the screen, she got so excited.
I think she was a little worried that Santa wouldn't know where we were now that we've moved!


Santa talks about the things they've been asked to do this year, like keeping their bedroom tidy or being respectful. Last year Santa said Kaycee needed to try really hard to stop sucking her thumb and she expected him to say the same this year but instead he knew that she's been having a problem controlling her temper so she's going to work on that :)


We've always used the free version to do our videos previously but this time we had a premium account which lets you create unlimited videos and receive phone calls for the great price of £7.49
I think that's excellent value for money, especially when you've got more than one child. If you just want the one video you can get a free version or pay just £2.99

I loved being able to choose from 3 different stories because it made it more believable when all their messages were different. I think Kaycee suspected something wasn't quite right last year when all three were the same.
She loved that they were all different this year :)

I don't know how much longer they'll believe but I hope it'll be a couple more years yet and receiving these video messages each help keep the magic alive.

If you'd like to create a magical video for your little ones this Christmas, you can get 20% off all digital products (excluding in-app purchases) by using PROMO CODE BLG20BKP

You can find PNP on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, You Tube and Pinterest

There's also a free app :)

Please note: We were given a voucher for an Unlimited Holiday Pass for the purpose of this review. All opinions are honestly given.

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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Dear Diary - Busy week

Shell Louise

The blog has been a little neglected this week, what with Christmas shopping, present wrapping and family gatherings.
It's probably going to be neglected for a while longer seeing as it's Christmas in a week :)

I'm really excited and can't wait for the girls to open their presents. Aiden's going to be at his dad's so he won't get his from us until Boxing day.

This week, Ant's mum went into hospital for an operation that she's been waiting for for a while. She was supposed to have it a few weeks ago but it got cancelled due to her surgeon being ill.
I haven't seen her yet but Ant said she's doing really well and the operation was a great success. She should be home on Friday :)

It's the last day at school today and it was so lovely being able to switch the alarm from auto to OFF!

The girls and Ant are busy packing lots of star cookies into tins so they can take them to school for their class mates. Ant and I had to finish baking and decorating them last night after the girls went to bed.
I thought I was going to be up till midnight until Ant came and reminded me that we have 2 ovens, one of them being a fan oven, so instead of baking 6 cookies at a time I could use 2 ovens and bake 18 at a time!

We had our Christmas party at Slimming World yesterday and unbelievably, I lost 1lb at weigh in! I was expecting a gain after all the Baileys I had at Nanny's Christmas party on Sunday!

Just in case I don't do a diary post next week, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and new year :)

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Friday, 12 December 2014

Glade Christmas Scents - Review

Shell Louise

A couple of years ago I bought some Christmas scents Glade candles. I did buy them intending to light them but I loved them so much I decided not to light them so I could bring them out again the following year.

When I opened the tin that they'd been stored in all year, the smell was intense! I had planned to buy some more this year so I could actually light them and I'd added them to my Tesco delivery order for the following week.
The same day, Glade got in touch and asked if they could send me some Christmas themed items from their range.

Of course I jumped at the chance and I have to say when they arrived it was like I'd had an early Christmas present!
They came wrapped in lovely Christmas paper...

and smelled wonderful when I opened them :)

I expected the cosy apple and cinnamon to be my favourite but that's because I'd not smelled the roasted chestnut and macaroon!

I love the designs on the glasses. They're Christmassy without being over the top.

I plugged the warm spice plug in into the socket about half an hour before the girls came home from school.
I was in the kitchen when they came home; Kaycee came through to me and said 'it totally smells like Christmas in the living room, what have you done?' :)

She loves all the candles as much as I do! We plugged the cosy apple and cinnamon plug in into the kitchen and now our kitchen smells gorgeous.

The Glade winter range is available from most leading UK supermarkets.

Cosy Apple & Cinnamon and Warm Spice are available as Plug ins, Air & Fabric spray, Auto and Touch & Fresh sprays

You can find more information on the Glade UK Facebook Page

Note: We were sent a selection of Glade products in return for a review. All opinions are totally honest.

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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Dear Diary - It's Christmas at our house!

Shell Louise

I'm just so rubbish at keeping a diary! I think I've missed a couple of weeks now.
I even set a reminder on my phone but instead of snoozing it, I switch it off meaning to do the post soon after but then I get distracted!

Anyway, the usual things have been happening here, Christmas preparation for the most part. We're doing a story advent as well as our activity advent and the usual chocolate advent calendars.

We put the tree up on Sunday, our first ever real tree :) and the garlands yesterday then today I had to take everything off the tree and redo it because the two sets of lights that Ant warned me wouldn't last, didn't last!
Some of the bulbs weren't working and I thought they'd be ok but when I unplugged them last night before bed they both refused to come back on.

My Christmas officially started when Ant made me my first snowball of the season while we were decorating the tree.
Ant making me a snowball while we're decorating has become one of our traditions. The kids get one as well. Snowballs were the only alcohol we were ever allowed to have when we were children and it was such a treat when my dad would make us one.
Now our kids are going to have the same memories from their childhood that I have from mine, well Aiden and Ella will, Kaycee doesn't like snowballs!

Ant's now allowed to wear his Christmas jumper again :) I took it off him when he kept wearing it in January this year and now he's trying to tell me it's not Santa on the front, it's a Scottish leprechaun!

Well I think that'll do for this week. I'll try and remember next week but I'm not promising anything!

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Monday, 8 December 2014

Most popular Christmas purchases

Shell Louise

There’s no doubt that Christmas is an expensive time of the year. There are presents and decorations to buy, not to mention the huge supermarket shop to stock up on food and drink.

Billions of pounds are spent every year in Britain alone in a quest to enjoy all that the festive season has to offer, with a large proportion of the money coming from loans and credit cards.

Gifts Are Biggest Christmas Outlay for Most

An Evolution Money Christmas Infographic reveals the results of a survey of 1,200 people who were asked what they spend most of their money on at Christmas. Around two-thirds (67 per cent) said that they spent the majority of their festive money on presents, compared to 22 per cent who admitted to spending the most on food and drink. Eight per cent of those involved in the survey claimed to spend most of their Christmas cash on travel, while three per cent said that it was the decorations that took up the lion’s share of the yuletide budget.

To get an idea of the scale of the spending that goes on in the UK each year, just take a look at how much was spent on just Christmas cards in 2013 — more than £1.37 billion. With figures like these, it is no surprise that people find themselves relying on credit to help fund their seasonal spending.

A Seasonal Parenting Dilemma

Parents, in particular, can face a difficult decision when it comes to choosing how much they are going to spend and where the money is going to come from to pay for gifts and the rest of the celebrations. On average, British children will be given £132 worth of gifts this Christmas, and almost half of all parents (around 47 per cent) will feel under pressure to spend more money than they can actually afford in a bid to keep their children happy. It seems that guilt and a desire to do the best for the children can be a major factor in prompting over-spending before and during the festive season. Certainly, it can be hard to say no to heartfelt written pleas to Santa and doe-eyed wishes as youngsters see the latest toys advertised on TV.

Traditions Still Important over Christmas

On top of the gift-buying, many people also feel obliged to put on a festive feast to mark December 25. Tradition still rules and most families in Britain will still sit down to a roast turkey this year, but this meal alone will cost an average of £161 a family — more than many will normally pay out for a whole week’s worth of food. Then there are all the other meals over the festive season to take into account, not to mention the vast array of chocolate, sweets, nuts and nibbles that many people feel obliged to buy every year. Add to this the cost of special drinks and alcohol, and most people find themselves with an incredibly hefty shopping bill. There is no surprise then that one in three adults in the UK admit that they expect to start the next New Year in debt as a result of their spending for Christmas.

Yet this knowledge is not enough to stop the splurge, as two out of five people claim they feel pressurised to spend more money than they really afford over the Christmas period.

There is also the draw of a bargain in the Boxing Day sales to take into account as another example of seasonal spending. Many people will spend more money than they have in the belief that they will save money in the end, although many are also tempted into buying items that they didn’t really need just because of the reduced price tags. Nevertheless, on Boxing Day alone, people in Britain will spend a combined total of 17 million hours online browsing and shopping for goods.

This is a collaborative post

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Sunday, 7 December 2014

More Ella Selfies!

Shell Louise

Ella loves taking selfies and tonight I found some more that I didn't know she'd taken! I love them, she makes me laugh so much with the expressions she makes :)

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Thursday, 4 December 2014

Worst stains with

Shell Louise recently got in touch asking about our worst stains after one of their guys got a toner stain on his shirt. I sent them a photo of Kaycee's t-shirt that she'd recently got damson jam on.

Her sister bought her the t-shirt a couple of weeks ago and Kaycee was upset that she'd ruined her new shirt.
She was convinced the jam wasn't going to come out and if I'm honest, I didn't expect it to either but a few squirts of Vanish and 40 degree wash with Persil saw it gone :)

This is a collaborative post.

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