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December 2014

Boxing Day Photos

Boxing Day turned out to be a little more eventful than we had planned. In the morning Ant’s daughter, Kellyann visited to give the girls their main present from her and her boyfriend, Ian.
They’re taking them to Harry Potter World in February. The girls were really excited.

After lunch, we went to visit Nanny and just as we were leaving we saw one of Ant’s sons, Jerome with his girlfriend, Emily, who we hadn’t yet met.
We didn’t see them for very long but she seems really lovely 🙂

We left to travel to Derbyshire to visit my mum, brothers, sister and all my nieces and nephews. I didn’t get to see my dad because he was on nights so he was sleeping ready for his shift later that night.
We ended up having to leave early because it started snowing really fast and heavy. It usually takes us around an hour and 15 minutes to travel the 55 miles from Belper to Lincoln.
It ended up taking us 3 hours 20 minutes and in the process of getting home, I lost my iPhone 🙁

Ant got out to help someone push a car that was stuck and I gave him my coat. I didn’t realise my phone was in the pocket and it must have fallen out in the snow.
I had to phone O2 when I got back and get them to put a block on the sim card and phone then I had to phone Tesco house insurance the next morning to make a claim.

They told me someone would phone back early the next week but it was only a couple of hours later when I got a call.
With no hassle whatsoever, they sorted out my claim and I can now order a new phone 🙂

Boxing Day photos- We watched the animated version of Elf in the morning
We spent a lazy morning watching Elf the animated movie

 

Boxing Day - We played Ella's Moshi Monopoly
We then played Ella’s Moshi monopoly….

 

KayCee playing Moshi Monopoly

 

Ella

 

Party at mum's
before travelling to Derbyshire to visit family

 

Ella and my niece, Megan
Ella with her cousin, Megan

 

Ant and my niece, Lily-May
Ant with our niece, Lily-May

 

Aiden and my nephew, Bradley
My wonderful boy 🙂

 

My brother, John with his wife, Gemma and their daughter's, Chloe and Alyssa
My brother John, his wife, Gemma and 2 of their kids, Chloe and Alyssa. The boys, Oli and George were with their Grandparents.

 

My sister, Stacy with her partner, Scott and 2 of their children, Mason and Bradley
My sister, Stacy, her partner Scott and 2 of their 5 kids. The others were around somewhere!

 

My best friends, Jo and Yvette and me
My best friends, Jo and Yvette 🙂

 

Me, Chloe and Jo
My niece, Chloe and best friend, Jo

 

Me and my boy, Aiden
Me and my boy 🙂

 

Me and my niece, Lily-May
My lovely niece, Lily-May

 

Me and my brother, John
Me and brother, John, aka Chap!

 

Me and my brother, James with his baby son, Logan and KayCee
My brother James and his youngest son, Logan. I took a photo of his son, Jake but it didn’t turn out very well. I totally forgot to get a photo of James with his wife, Kirsty and their kids, Jake, Megan and Logan

 

Heavy snow on the way home to Lincoln
The reason we had to leave early

 

It snowed all the way home
It snowed all the way home and well into the night

 

Snow covered trees
Apart from the stress of driving in it, I do love how beautiful it is 🙂

 

Christmas Day Photos

We had a wonderful Christmas Day which could only have been made better by having Aiden with us. It was his dad’s turn this year though to have him so we took his presents to him on Boxing Day when we went to see the rest of the family 🙂
Here are our Christmas Day photos.

KayCee and Ella next to a pile of Christmas presents
The girls were up at 6.15am!

 

Christmas Day Photos - Christmas Day mess!
Christmas Day mess 😀

 

KayCee and her presents
Kaycee with some of her gifts. We discovered later in the day that silly Santa had forgotten a box of gifts outside on the patio!

 

some of KayCee's gifts
Some of Kaycee’s gifts

 

Ella and her presents
Ella’s very pleased with her scooter!

 

some of Ella's presents
Some of Ella’s presents!

 

Ant with his presents
Ant’s very happy with all of his books, gadgets, beer, clothes and port!

 

Ant's presents
Ant’s presents

 

Ella with her Furby
I have to admit I’m regretting buying the Furby Booms now! Non stop chattering is really very annoying!

 

Ella

 

KayCee
Kaycee’s collecting Monopoly games and she absolutely loves the electronic banking version

 

Furby

 

My new Coolpix camera
I was so excited to get this wonderful new camera 😀 I absolutely love it 😀

 

My presents
Spoilt again, as usual. Thanks to all my wonderful family and friends 🙂

 

My presents

 

My presents

 

My presents

 

My presents

 

My presents

 

My presents

 

Playing Monopoly
I like this version of Monopoly and I’m looking forward to playing it again when the kids come back from Derbyshire 🙂

 

KayCee playing Monopoly
Ant playing Monopoly
Not exactly sure what Ant’s looking at here!

 

Christmas tree ornament
This year’s tree decoration. I buy the kids one each every year. I’m not sure if this is kaycee’s or Ella’s. Aiden’s got a Santa one.

 

Table set for dinner
Kaycee and Ella dressed the table for dinner

 

The Turkey
Huge turkey that we’re going to be eating for days!

 

Christmas dinner
Delicious Christmas Dinner

 

Whistles from the crackers
We bought Christmas crackers with whistles in and had great fun trying to play Good King Wenceslas!

 

PLaying Minions Monopoly
A game of Minion Monopoly before bed 🙂

 

Christmas Eve Photos – Buffet, Concert & Reindeer Food

We had family round on Christmas Eve for a buffet tea and we were all really happy to see Jamie and Damien, our grandsons. They live in Scotland and we don’t get to see them very often so it was a real treat for us to have them here on Christmas Eve 🙂

Christmas Eve photos.

Christmas Eve advent activity and storybook - Christmas Eve photos
Our Christmas Eve story and activity advent
I love this photo of the girls and boys together 🙂

 

Jamie, Kaycee, Ella and Damien - Christmas Eve photos
Grandsons Jamie and Damien with Kaycee and Ella 🙂

 

Kaycee and Ella giving a piano concert - Christmas Eve photos
Kaycee and Ella treated us to a piano concert 🙂
Kaycee and Ella in new onesies and with new Christmas mugs - Christmas Eve photos
Christmas Eve onesies and hot chocolate mugs
Kaycee and Ella sprinkling reindeer food - Christmas Eve photos
Sprinkling reindeer food 🙂

 

Ant, Kaycee and Ella putting food and drink out for Santa and Rudolph - Christmas Eve photos
Milk, mincepie and carrots for Rudolph 🙂

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Personal message from Santa #iBelievePNP @PNPSanta

Santa header

Santa Videos

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 video 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.
Santa
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!

Personalise For Your Child

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 🙂

Premium Account

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 🙂

Keep The Magic Alive

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 helps keep the magic alive.
One of Santa's elves holding a present
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 🙂
Santa - Portble North Pole app

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

 

Dear Diary – Busy week

 

Dear diary

Busy Week

The blog has been a little neglected this week, what with Christmas shopping, present wrapping and family gatherings. It’s been a very busy week and the blog is 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.

Operation

This week, Ant’s mum went into the 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!

Star Cookies

The girls and Ant are busy packing lots of star cookies into tins so they can take them to school for their classmates. 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 until 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!

Busy week - Star Christmas cookies

Christmas Party

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 🙂

 

Glade Christmas Scents – Review

A couple of years ago I bought some Glade Christmas scents 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.

Glade Christmas Scents

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…

Glade Christmas scents - Christmas presents

and smelled wonderful when I opened them 🙂

Glade Christmas scents - candles and plugins

 

Roasted Chestnut & Macaroon

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.

Glade Christmas scents - warm spice candle
Glade Christmas scents - winter white candle

 

Glade Christmas scents - cosy apple and cinnamon cream

 

Glade Christmas scents - roasted chestnut and macaroon candle

I plugged the warm spice plugin 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?’ 🙂

Cosy Apple & Cinnamon

She loves all the candles as much as I do! We plugged the cosy apple and cinnamon plugin 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 Plugins, 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.

Dear Diary – It’s Christmas at our house!

Dear Diary – 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!

Dear Diary – The decorations are up!

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.

Book advent and activity advent - pop-up book called Hurry, Santa, Hurry! and the activity is to make paper chains

First Real Christmas Tree

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.

Dear diary - our first real Christms tree

 

Fireplace decorated and lit with fairy lights

 

The tree lit up at night

 

The fireplace lit-up at night

 

Tree and fiereplace lit up at night

 

Nutcraker ornament

 

Mantel decorated

First Snowball Of The Season

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!

First snowball drink of the season

Christmas Jumper

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!

Ant wearing his Santa jumper

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

 

Most popular Christmas purchases

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 percent)
said that they spent the majority of their festive money on presents, compared
to 22 percent 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 percent 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 percent) 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.
The Real Cost of Christmas in the UK

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