When a lot of people think about the idea of a skiing holiday, their first concern will be the cold which comes with it. Of course, when you’re in a place which is home to winter sports, you’re likely to have to deal with a little bit of chill, and this makes sense. For some, though, this will be enough to persuade them to go elsewhere. This is a shame, as a trip like this is much more appealing than you might think. To help you out, this post will be exploring the benefits of a vacation in the snow.

The Sports: Skiing is one of the most popular cold sports there are. Giving you the chance to race down a slippery slope in excess of 30 mph, it can be a very exciting experience to have. Staying in a place like Purple Ski in Meribel, you will get the chance to spend each day of your vacation on the ice if you want to. For some people, this will be a little too much, though, but you can still choose exactly how much you go out.

The Drinks: Of course, going on a vacation to somewhere cold isn’t just about the sports. Along with this, your hotel or lodge will also have loads of other things on offer, with one of the big options being drinks. Hot chocolate is, of course, very common. With this, though, you will also find mulled wine, spirits, and other alcohol to keep you nice and warm. Most of the time, all of the beverages will be designed with warmth in mind.

The Food: One of the biggest benefits of a trip like this is the food. In most hotels and resorts, you will find that food is provided to you, especially if you choose a goods package. Sometimes, this will be in the form of room service, and you won’t even have to leave the place to get some food. In other cases, you may have to do a bit of walking, but this will usually mean that there’s a lot more to choose from.

The Heat: Like the drinks in these places, the rooms and other inside areas will be designed to be hot at all times. Providing you with a way to warm up, this is a great way to make sure that you’re healthy in the cold, as a lot of people get sick if they’re not careful enough. As in any resort, comfort is always a priority of businesses offering holidays. This means that you can reasonably expect a very high degree of luxury on your vacation. You shouldn’t leave it to chance, though, as there are loads of helpful reviews on the web to get you started.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start looking into the idea of skiing for your next break. Doing something which you’ve never experienced is an excellent way to enhance a trip, as it will give you loads of strong memories to keep. Of course, though, it will take a lot of work to get this planned, and you’ll have to make sure you like it beforehand

*This is a collaborative post*
This Christmas gift guide focuses on stocking fillers and presents for children. It's packed full of plenty of ideas. Keep checking back to my blog for more gift guides coming soon or catch up on the ones already published such as stocking fillers for women.

1) Sylvanian Families Ballet Theatre*
Sylvanian Families were one of my favourite toys when I was younger so that will tell you how long they stand the test of time. They are beautiful sets and figures that provide hours of imaginative play possibilities. The ballet theatre which was released this year is a fantastic set for little dancers. It even plays ballet music. You can read a full review here, Sylvanian Families Ballet Theatre.

2) Hallmark Itty Bitty's*
Itty Bitty's make the perfect stocking fillers and they have produced super cute limited edition one's for the festive season. With the brand new Star Wars film being released imminently then Yoda and Chewbacca are a must. My personal favourites are the Mickey and Minnie Mouse ones.

3) Watch*
Watches are a great size for a stocking filler or they make a lovely Christmas gift on their own. Ice-Watch do a fantastic range of children's watches (and also one's for the whole family). Both myself and my eldest daughter have them and she loves matching me. 

4) Board Games*
Family board games are always a great idea at Christmas. They are something that every one can enjoy and are perfect for after dinner at the Christmas table. University Games have a large range. We have tried 'Word Has It' and 'Staccups'. Staccups was a big hit in our household. 

5) Mitre Ball*
Star Wars fans will love this Mitre Scriball. It allows you to colour the ball in, however you'd like and therefore is unique and customisable. This is a great crafty plus outdoorsy stocking filler for kids.

6) Little Tikes - Tikes Place*
Tikes Place is suitable for ages 3-5 and encourages imaginative play. It comes with four family figures and plenty of accessories to ignite your child's imagination. One of the accessories is the iconic crazy coupe car.

7) Spin Master - Build-A-Bear Stuffing Station*
If your children are fans of Build-A-Bear then they will absolutely love this Stuffing Station. It allows your child to make their own mini bears in the comfort of their home. It comes with everything you need to make 2 mini bears including certificates and outfits.

8) Toddlebike*
The Toddlebike is a balance bike for children around 18 months old. It's a bike that will get your child ready for riding a proper bike when they are bigger. My littlest has one and she is obsessed with it. She uses it everywhere from inside the house to out on the beach.

9) Sylvanian Families - Christmas Set*
Even though i've already featured Sylvanian Families as Christmas gifts, I wanted to mention that the smaller items such as families and figures make wonderful stocking fillers. There are lots to choose from but for a festive feel, the Baby Sleigh Ride set is perfect 

10) Little Tikes - Cute Lil' Pups Just Born Puppy*
The Little Tikes Just Born Puppy is a cute, interactive toy where little one's can feed, play with the puppy and pop them down for a nap. Children will love training and teaching it. They are available at all good children's toy retailers. 

11) Aquabeads*
Aquabeads are ideal for any children who like crafting. It will keep them entertained for hours. We've been making the Cars 3 set but there are plenty of others avaiable such as Disney Princesses and Minions to name a few. They can be purchased in all good children's toy retailers. 

What have your children got on their Christmas list? Have you got any of the above?

*These items were gifted to me for the purpose of this gift guide. All opinions are my own*


December is such an exciting month. The first snow of the year, the countdown to Christmas, social gatherings and parties- it’s the perfect time to catch up with loved ones. And as the saying goes- eat, drink and be merry. But with so many events on your social calendar and the fact that you might be seeing people for the first time in a while it can be a little stressful if you’re not happy about your appearance. If you want to get out of your style rut, make a good impression and get yourself Christmas party ready, here are a few ideas for how to go about it!

Go To The Hairdresser

Our hair is such an important part of our identity, and it can go a long way in the way we feel about ourselves too. It only takes one bad hair day to realise how stressful it can be when our hair is refusing to cooperate! That gorgeous, swishy feeling you get when you come out of the hairdresser probably goes hand in hand with feeling great, so treat yourself to a new ‘do. You could go for a change of colour, or just a few highlights. At the very least, a trim and a deep conditioning treatment will have your hair looking and feeling much healthier. Before your Christmas party you could book in at the salon and have them to style it for you for an ultra glamorous look, now is the perfect opportunity to make the effort!

Experiment With Makeup
One of the most effective ways to glam up, transform yourself or just bring out your natural beauty is learn to use makeup. A foundation and concealer will even out your complexion, hiding redness, eye bags, acne and dark spots. A bronzer will help to warm up the skin and add some definition to the face. There are lots of different eyeshadow looks you can try that will make your eyes stand out, check out Youtube for tutorials. On the lips, how about a bright red since it’s Christmas! You don’t have to run out and buy tonnes of expensive makeup, there are plenty of great brands and products on the high street that perform amazingly but don't cost much. Have a look on blogs for swatches and examples, that way you can see exactly how something looks before spending money on it. False lashes are a great way to glam up a look and make your eyes look completely stunning. They can be tricky to apply, but you can by packs of ten from places like ebay and practice so you’re getting it right on the night.

Buy a Killer Outfit
An outfit that you feel fantastic in is a surefire way to boost your confidence. There are loads of great party dresses on the highstreet, but you don’t have to just limit your search to formal wear. If you check our brands such as Anthony's Ladies Apparel you’ll see that even some of the summer dresses on offer are suitable. Worn with a smart blazer and the right accessories they can easily be dressed up for an evening occasion. Work out what your body shape is and choose a style that will flatter your figure and let you feel gorgeous and confident during the evening. If you’re able to comfortably wear heels, these will elongate your legs and also glam up your outfit.

Improve Your Pearly Whites
Finally a stunning smile will be the perfect accessory for any outfit. If you’ve been thinking of having your teeth whitened for a while why not have it done now- an early Christmas gift to yourself? You will feel great and get to flash your smile at the social events over the month. Laser teeth whitening can lift your teeth up to eight shades so makes a dramatic difference, and unlike whitening trays it can all be done in one session lasting less than an hour. If you don’t want to have something this dramatic done, you could test out some over the counter teeth whitening products. Another tip is to choose a red lipstick with a cool undertone, this can help to make your teeth look whiter! Perfect for flashing a smile on all of your pictures.

Look after yourself, have a bit of a pamper session and see a professional if necessary. You’ll feel great now and be Christmas party ready, and will be a good start going into the new year too.

*This is a collaborative post*
Since having children, Christmas has become even more of a magical time for us. They make it even more exciting. They love everything about the festive season especially decorating the house.

This year, will be an extra special time of year for us as we will be spending Christmas Day in Australia with my family. My mum, sisters, stepdad, aunty and uncle emigrated there 9 years ago but this will be the first time we have ever had Christmas there. The thought of not having a traditional British Christmas dinner worried me, so we’ve decided to have a family dinner with the rest of my family at our home this weekend.

With that in mind, Fforestfach Retail Parc gave me a shopping mission and asked me to decorate our home from a selection of stores with a budget of £200. This was perfect timing as even though we have plenty of d├ęcor around the house, we didn’t have anything to dress a Christmas table for our Christmas dinner. It was fairly safe to say we had no decorations in our kitchen and we certainly weren’t prepared to host a dinner for 10 people.

Fforestfach Reatil Parc has a fantastic selection of stores which cover everything from homeware to fashion. My favourite part about shopping there is the fact you get 4 hours free parking which is such a rarity these days. I shopped till I dropped and I was able to pop any heavy bags into the car instead of lugging them around. Just what you need when you’re doing Christmas shopping.

My mission was to find things for the home from Homesense, Marks and Spencer, Boots, Poundland and H&M. I was also allowed to buy some gifts which I kept within the home theme.

There are some great festive decor themes this year such as woodland, brights, animals etc but we decided to choose traditional so we were looking for lots of reds, tartans and cute Christmas prints for the kids to enjoy.

We started our shopping spree in Marks and Spencer. We needed some new wine glasses for our festive meal so those were our first pick. We chose some gorgeous Nova red wine glasses which cost £29.99. Even though they are delicate, they are dishwasher friendly, wahoo. I also found some craft beer glasses as a gift which cost £10. I then headed to the decorations and found a beautiful star shaped wreath for £29.50, a pot pourri metal tree for £15.00 (which smells and looks amazing) and a set of red character crackers for £15. The decorative items were included in their 3 for 2 so I spent £85.05 in Marks and Spencer.

Next up was H&M. I couldn’t find anything to decorate our home itself so I decided to look for some secret Santa pressies. I bought a make-up bag (to be used as a pencil case) for £3.99 and some decorative tape for bullet journaling and planners for £2.99 so a grand total of £6.98. They have some gorgeous small items in store which are ideal for stocking fillers or secret Santa gifts.

We then headed for Poundland. This store always amazes me as it literally has everything you could possibly need. We bought a table runner, coasters, fairy lights and pack of red baubles which will be used as place name settings at our dinner. This came to a total of £4.

Then came the big shop…Homesense. I spent ages in there (much to my husband’s dismay). They have so many wonderful things for the home on offer. There were decorations, toys, candles, tableware, pet items, food, you name it, it was there. I decided to pick up two small artificial trees priced at £7.99 each. I thought these would make great table centrepieces. They can then be used as decorations elsewhere.

I also purchased some festive wine stoppers (we will drink a lot of wine at our family meal) priced at £7.99. They had a huge selection of crackers. I knew we had some for the grown-ups so I decided to buy some cute, Elf crackers for the kids which were £12.99. I also found some tartan napkins which matched perfectly to our traditional theme and they were £4.99.

I then decided to buy some homely gifts as they had such a good selection. I bought 2 Christmas themed drinks flasks at £6.99 each and also 2 a4 sized planners, priced at £12.99 each. I spent a total of £73.92.

We then decided to have a pit stop. All that shopping was thirsty work so we headed to Marks and Spencer for festive hot chocolate and latte’s.

Last up was Boots. I was going to buy some candles for our Christmas table but decided against it. I chose to pick up some stocking fillers and gifts that were included in their fab 3 for 2 offer. I bought 3 small make up brushes and 3 children’s toiletry gifts for my girls (I won’t show you a picture of them, just in-case they see). I spent £23.00 on 6 gifts.

Overall, I was under my budget at £192.95. We now have a wonderful range of decorative items and tableware to make our family Christmas dinner special. Make sure you follow me on Instagram so you can see our finished festive look this Sunday.

To celebrate my partnership with the Fforestfach Retail Parc Guide to Christmas, were giving someone the chance to win £50 to spend on making their home sparkle this Christmas! To enter visit the FforestFach Retail Parc facebook page. Competition closes on Thursday 14th December. Follow their twitter page for updates.

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