Tuesday, 23 December 2014

A Frozen themed basket gift

I don't know about you but I love a good basket/hamper gift. I've been giving them for years so as you can guess I was ecstatic when I saw this amazing idea on another bloggers page and knew it was the perfect gift for Eva. Before I continue with the post please take a look at the lovely mum Kerry's (no i'm not talking about me) blog which is http://www.ohsoamelia.com. She writes a fantastic parent and lifestyle blog full of wonderful ideas like this one.
I already had bought a basket ready for christmas eve and there will be a post on the christmas eve basket coming up asap. The ideal thing about baskets is that they can be used again and again. This one will be used as shown here, on christmas eve and for Eva's upcoming birthday when it will be full of Peppa Pig gifts.
I can't wait to see her face when she sees this under the tree. She will be so excited. We have probably had this film on everyday for the last few months and 'let it go' is literally all she sings.
The contents of the basket were all fairly cheap which is one of the reasons why I love baskets! You can fill it with whatever you like at whatever expense and they will look fab regardless of the price.

The items below were all from B and M bargains. They've got a huge range of stuff there and most of it is a lot cheaper than the bigger toy stores. View some of their range here: B and M frozen range.

The next gifts are from Asda. The mug was £2.50 Mug and the 2 pack of socks was £3 Socks.

 The hair set and hand wash were from poundland. Eva is really into washing her hands at the minute so I know she'll love it even more with this wash. Poundland also has a huge range of Frozen gifts and are particularly good for stocking fillers. The only trouble is whether your local store will actually have any as people have gone mad for it. View their range here, Poundland Frozen range.

I bought the book of the film from Sainsbury for £3.49. It's actually got some photo pictures in the middle too. You can buy the books anywhere but I found them cheapest at Sainsbury.

I got this 2 pack of vests from Primark for the amazing price of £3. If your child is into Frozen then I can't recommend Primark enough. Pretty much half of their children's floor is full of the range supplying anything and everything from socks to dresses. 

 Finally I got this drinking cup from the Disney Store. I have to say the Disney Store is a scary place to be over the christmas period. It's crazy!! 

 Does your child like Frozen? Do they have any Frozen pressies for christmas? We would love to hear about them.

Love Kerry and Eva xx


Sunday, 21 December 2014

A homemade christmas canvas gift from babies and toddlers

Firstly, apologies for leaving this post so last minute before christmas but hopefully you'll still have enough time to make them if you want.
I was wracking my brains for pressies I can send to family from Eva and decided to go to pinterest for more inspiration and I wasn't disappointed. I knew I wanted them to be homemade but couldn't think of any with a festive feel to them. If you search for me on pinterest (amininorrisblog) you'll see I have lots more ideas on various boards if you are looking for inspiration.
One thing Arwyn and I never did enough of was to take lots of prints of Eva's hands and feet which is why I thought this gift was perfect. What could be more cute than a canvas with her feet named 'mistletoes'. A massive plus with making ones like this is that Eva could get involved. She adored having her feet painted and didn't stop giggling. We just put her straight in the bath afterwards to clean her up. 
So to make the canvas we bought some from the range and they cost £3.99. You can probably get them from other places such as home bargains and maybe even Asda etc. Then we painted up Eva's feet with green paint (you can use any colour you like) We found the easiest way of getting the print onto the canvas was to sit her down and bring the canvas to her feet rather than her standing on it. Please note this is a two person job!!!
If your child is older you could get them to write mistletoes onto the canvas, however we wrote that on ourselves. I'd like to add that my husband didn't even trust me to write it on and actually wrote it in pencil for me to trace over. Charming! 
Then draw some bows on top of the feet and decorate the rest as you wish. We let Eva do a few circles and then finished it off. 
We had a fab time as a family making these and Eva found the whole thing fantastic. It was a good sensory exercise for her to do. Now all that's left to decide is who's getting them for christmas.

Have you made any homemade gifts from your little ones? Let me know what you have done.
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Love Kerry and Eva xx

Monday, 15 December 2014

A very wired coffee day with Nespresso

Recently, I was invited to attend a coffee day with Nespresso hosted by Joe's bloggers and curry's at the wonderful Wyndham Tea in Cardiff City centre.
Now, I don't know about you but I cannot start the day without my caffeine fix. I'm sure this is common of most people I know. I am honestly evil unless I've drunk a nice hot cup of tea or coffee. With this in mind and the fact that my husband is rather obsessed by coffee, I was very much looking forward to the day.
I had heard of Nespresso before but for some reason I hadn't realised how much of an exclusive coffee loving brand it was. I knew of their machines but I didn't know that you couldn't buy the capsules in any supermarket. After having a talk about the brand I came to learn of their passion for not only their coffee but their customers too. Nespresso are committed to sustainability and without mainstreaming themselves in supermarkets they are directly able to help and work with coffee farmers all around the world. The fact that you can't buy the coffee in the shops makes you feel part of an exclusive group, oh wait a minute you are!! When you buy a machine you become part of the Nespresso club. The more I was hearing the more I wanted to be in it.
We were shown a range of machines that are available from basic to all singing and all dancing. With my coffee snob of a hubby we would have to have the all singing, all dancing machine. You can view their range on the curry's website here and they are all on offer at the minute, Nespresso range. I was really impressed by the milk frothing machine. I adore latte's so this is something that would go down really well in our house. Not only does it froth your milk perfectly for you but you can make iced coffee in there and also hot chocolate. 

One of the staff from Wyndham Tea then taught us how to make a latte and how to put a heart shape on top of it. I loved this part of the day and I have to say it is an incredibly difficult task to do. I am in awe of the baristas that can do it.

We also enjoyed a spot of coffee tasting although I have to say after all the coffee I had drunk it was all beginning to taste the same, kind of the same effect you get if you go wine tasting......
We had a fantastic lunch in Wyndham Tea. I have quite often been there for lunch and I haven't been disappointed yet, so I highly recommend it. The staff are always so helpful and friendly and the food is always so tasty.
To finish off we were taught how to make some fabulous coffee laced cocktails. As you can imagine after all the coffee we'd had that day, we were all completely wired and had perfected our jazz hands.

I had such a fun day and came away with a new outlook on coffee and nespresso as a brand. Their passion for coffee and sustainability is inspiring. I just hope we will be able to upgrade our coffee machine to one of theirs soon. 

Do you have a nespresso machine? Do you like coffee?

Love Kerry x

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The Dinosaur That Pooped reviews

I'm guessing by now you should all have heard of Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter either from McFly or by the fact that one is dating Ellie Goulding and won i'm a celebrity get me out of here or by the fact that the other's pregnancy announcement and wedding songs went viral over youtube. However, did you know that they were bestselling authors too, creating the Dinosaur That Pooped series of children's books. It all started with the Dinosaur that pooped christmas and has continued with the dinosaur that pooped a planet and most recently released, the dinosaur that pooped the past. 
We were very fortunate to be asked to review the series and I think I may have been more excited than Eva as I had already known about how successful the books were so I couldn't wait to get stuck in.

First up for review is the Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas which is available from Amazon for £4 here, The Dinosaur that pooped christmas. The book is about a young greedy boy named Danny who wants everything for christmas but instead santa decides to give him a hungry dinosaur who precedes to eat up all of christmas. In order to save christmas the dinosaur has to come up with a plan which is to poop it all back out. I have to say with every page turned I didn't stop giggling. This book is so much fun to read as a parent. It beats reading all the soppy stories of christmas with wonderful happy endings. This book reiterates what christmas is all about with lots of fun, silliness and laughter. Eva loved all the illustrations and the rhyming story and also really enjoyed seeing her mummy laughing hysterically. I defy any parent not to enjoy reading this, how can anybody not enjoy reading and seeing santa in his sleigh above a huge pile of poo. 

Next up is the Dinosaur that pooped a planet which again you can buy from amazon for £4 here, The dinosaur that pooped a planet. We couldn't wait to read this one after enjoying the first one so much. The book is about Danny and the Dinosaur going on a trip to the museum, but before they'd eaten their lunch. They were involved in some mischief at the museum and ended up in space with one hungry dinosaur. Guess what, he ate everything and then of course had to do a big poo to put it all back in its place. Once again, Eva and I giggled from start to finish. I personally enjoyed this story slightly more than the christmas one. We are big space fans in this house so we particularly enjoyed the pictures and the cats with the cool hats. I also loved the fact that there was a slight moral to the story which is don't forget to eat your lunch!! 

Last up is the dinosaur that pooped the past, buy it here from amazon for £3.49, the dinosaur that pooped the past. This story is about how Danny and the Dinosaur swing back in time and meet some new dinosaur friends. However, a volcano is about to erupt and in order to save them all the dinosaur must poop them all out of the past. Another very enjoyable, easy read which had Eva laughing and cheering. I think this book was her favourite (with the christmas one being a close second) as she loved the fact that there were multiple dinosaurs in this book. 

To summarise our thoughts, these books are absolutely fantastic. They really are a joy to read as a parent and can be enjoyed by a child of any age. They will be a huge hit with young dinosaur fans. The illustrations are particularly eye catching and the rhyming stories keep little ones engaged. 
It is safe to say Tom and Danny have successfully transferred their songwriting skills into creating very clever but silly books for all the family to enjoy.

There is also a video about these books on youtube if you would like to watch it, Video.

Have you read these books? Which one is your favourite?

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Love Kerry and Eva xx


Sunday, 30 November 2014

Photo gifts from Snapfish UK

Now that I have a daughter one of my favourite presents that I like to give and receive are photo gifts. Photos are precious memories that can be treasured forever and can take you back to a happy place in an instant.
They are particularly important to me as some of my immediate family (mum, stepdad, sisters and more) all live in Australia and therefore miss out on a lot when it comes to Eva. Therefore, I like to send them gifts with her photos on for them to feel like they aren't missing out. 
Last year I chose to make photo calendars from Photobox, so I was delighted to be able to be asked to review Snapfish UK as I have not yet used them. They have a huge range of gifts that you can make such as calendars, magnets, mugs, keyrings, notepads and many more. I chose to create a photo calendar, mug and keyrings.
First up for review is their calendars. They have a few different styles available such as desk calendars and slimline etc, to view the full range click here, Calendars. I went with the normal shaped calendar in size 12 x 12 " costing £18.99. It's a really good size with a large picture at the top and plenty of room for writing in the boxes at the bottom. There are different calendar themes you can choose from for your backgrounds but I chose 'simply elegant' as I wanted the pictures to be the main focus. View all the backgrounds here, Themes. You can start the calendar from any month and you can also put a picture on the front along with a personalised message. Something which I loved was the fact that you can put a picture on specific dates too. For example, if you look at the picture below I have highlighted my birthday and also left a little message. 
Overall, I am very impressed with the calendar and will definitely be ordering more for the various grandparents in Eva's life. I was worried that the quality wouldn't be as good as photobox seeing as these are cheaper but that is not the case at all.

Next up is the photo mug. As with the calendars there are various ones to choose from including thermal travel mug (very popular with busy people on the go). View the full range here, mugs. I chose the smaller sized collage mug for £7.99. We are huge tea drinkers in this family so this gift is suited for all here. You can place up to 16 images on the mug, change the colour of the mug and place a personalised message on it. I put 16 images on mine and I have to say some of them are a bit small but what did I expect with putting all 16 images on. They are still all clear and a good quality and the mug is still fab but when I order another I will put a few less on. 

Lastly up for review are the acrylic keyrings priced at £2.99, Keyrings. I have to say i'm a big fan of keyrings, the more the better. I've had this weird phobia since I was younger of dropping them down the drain, therefore I like to have a lot to prevent this from happening. Weird I know. I think they also make good gifts for various members of your family who have a key to your house. This way they are able to identify which one is yours easily. The quality of the keyring is fantastic. You get the same picture printed both sides. 

So to conclude I am really happy with how all the gifts turned out. They were made and dispatched very quickly and they arrived in good packaging suited to the product type. Be careful with images from your phone as the quality is never as good as a real camera and sometimes that can show when they are printed. I will definitely be ordering more, so all that's left to decide is who's having what.
Have you ordered any snapfish gifts before or any photo gifts?

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Love Kerry and Eva xx


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Meeting Santa at Pugh's garden centre

Even though Eva is only 22 months I already am aware of how difficult it can be to choose the best place for your child to meet the big man himself. More often than not meeting santa is severely overpriced and the queues are always huge, which let's face it, is pretty hideous when you're trying to entertain a toddler.
Last year we went to Caerphilly Garden Centre as Eva was not even 1 she didn't really understand anything. We also had to wait 1.5 hours to greet him. This made me realise I had to find something easier this year.
A few people had mentioned Pugh's garden centre to me and after following them on twitter (follow them here Twitter) and reading their updates I knew we had to give it a try. 
You can book online before hand (huge tick in the box for me) so there is not much waiting around. Have a look at their winter wonderland website and book here: Pugh's winter wonderland. It costs £2 per adult, do not be put off by the fact that you pay for an adult, you are involved in a 10 minute experience with your child. The child price is £7 with a toy. I found these to be pretty good prices when compared with other places but little did I know how good they were until we got there.
We visited on the opening night which meant they had real reindeer there!!!! What a bonus and a special treat. They were adorable. I think Arwyn and I were more excited than Eva who simply called them dogs. If you visit their Facebook page Pugh's Facebook page there are lots of reindeer pictures from the night on there and there is a competition running for the most likes and shares. Please feel free to like and share any i've put on there (if you like them of course). 

The winter wonderland is 'Frozen' themed. This is a huge hit with Eva and I imagine with the majority of children. Eva was elated to see the life size cardboard cutouts of Elsa and Anna (little does she know she'll be meeting the real life princesses in Disneyland Paris in a few weeks). There is Frozen music on in the background which helps create the atmosphere. 

Before you enter Santa's winter wonderland you are given a lantern to carry (loved this idea) and you are on your way through a magical journey of christmas and ice to find Santa. A lovely elf takes you on your guided walking tour through the frozen winter wonderland. Expect lot's of decorations, snowmen, ice, water and mist. The whole walk through sent Eva into a sensory overdrive (same with mummy and daddy). She loved all of it and was amazed at everything she saw. Even all the adults couldn't wipe the smile from their faces. 

Finally you end your journey by finding santa. Firstly an elf reads you all a story while the children sit on the floor and the adults sit on surrounding benches. Then santa calls your child up to meet him. Eva was rather nervous about meeting the big man and when asked if she wanted anything for christmas she simply replied no. All the more presents for mummy then!! 
Last on the agenda was collecting your present which you can pick yourself (another bonus as you know your child will like it).

My pictures do not do this wonderful experience the justice it deserves. We had the most fantastic time and certainly felt like we were taken into a magical wonderland. I can't recommend it enough. It's a unique experience for all the family to enjoy. We loved it so much we are going to take Eva again nearer to christmas day. 

Have you been to this winter wonderland before? Where have you taken your child to see Santa? Please leave me a comment of your experience if you visit Pugh's.

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Love Kerry and Eva xxx
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