Category Archives: Shopping

Christmas Eve Boxes

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I’ve never done anything like this before but was so excited at the idea, I absolutely love Christmas Eve and love the fact that it falls on a weekend so no working Christmas eve for me this year!

I thought it would a lovely surprise to present my boys with their boxes on Christmas Eve. I really wish this sort of stuff had been around when I was younger, I would have loved my parents doing this for me. Christmas is a magical time and receiving a gift on Christmas Eve is exciting for any child.

Christmas Eve can be a long day for a child that’s excited for Christmas day, they just want the day to over with so they can go to bed and wait for Santa to arrive with all the presents they’re wishing for.

To help speed the day along and to make the day extra special I’ve tried to find suitable items to pop into their Christmas Eve boxes. My boys like the same kind of things so I’ve brought them the same items just so there are no arguments! Alfie is 7 years old and Charlie is 4, I’ve found bits that are age appropriate for them both.

I picked up 2 large gift boxes with lids from the Card Factory priced at £3.99 each. I’m going to wrap all the individual items inside to make it more exciting and then wrap the boxes up too.

My favorite shops for little bits and bobs are Wilko, Poundland and The Works, these shops are great for cheap stocking fillers.

The first item going into their boxes are their Christmas Pyjamas from Next, I brought these back in November, I thought it would be lovely for them to have them on Christmas Eve so they can all be matching. Who doesn’t love new Pyjamas for Christmas? Even Daisy’s got a matching pair!

I’ve not done Daisy a box, she’s not really old enough to understand but it’ll be something we do next Christmas for her. I can’t wait to fill it will all pink girly stuff.

I picked up the following bits below in The Works – Christmas books (3 for £5), Christmas colouring activity packs (£1.50 each), a light up novelty Christmas teddy (£1 each) and a festive Christmas tree each filled with festive erasers (£1). My boys love little novelty gifts like these.

Next up are a couple of items from Wilko. Chocolate coins (£0.50) and a Smarties chocolate penguin (£0.50). Everybody needs a chocolate fix at Christmas!

Locally we have a news agents that’s called McColl’s, I hardly ever go into this shop but one day last week I needed to pop into the post office and our post office is at the back of the news agents. I spotted these Santa hats and Christmas rubix cubes which I thought were great for the boy’s boxes. Both items were £1 each.

The last few items I purchased were from the Pound Shop, we’ve got some Gingerbread shaped bath bombs (£1 each), I can’t wait to try these out in the boy’s bath and some glow sticks. I thought we could have a bit of fun with these at bed time in the dark. Hopefully they won’t be over excited when it comes to sleep time!

Pound Shop

I really hope the boys love their Christmas Eve boxes.

 

Thanks for reading

Corina xx

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Christmas is well and truly here in the Mann household, we’re a little early this year, we normally buy our real Christmas tree on the last weekend of November but sadly this year we’re not having one. We paid a visit to our local garden centre which made us feel all festive and really put us in the Christmas mood.

This year we have baby Daisy and because she’s just started crawling we thought it would be safer to go with an artificial tree this year, so no needle dropping this year. Daisy’s at the stage where everything goes in the mouth and I really don’t want her putting tree needles in her mouth and I don’t think a real tree would make it to the 25th of December with the way she’s bashing about in her baby walker!

Our advent calendars are hanging up ready and the boys are super excited to start opening those doors! We’re super excited for the 1st of December.

Today is the 26th November and today marks the 4 week countdown to Christmas, so 4 weeks today it will be Christmas eve! Yikes, I’m so excited! I’ve brought quite a few Christmassy bits over the last couple of weeks, I probably go a little over the top but I always strive to make the perfect Christmas and to make it extra special and magical for the little ones, my excuse is that it only happens once a year.

We popped to our local B&Q store to look at Christmas trees, I can’t believe how expensive they can be, there was a really beautiful one that was really realistic looking but was around £120 and we didn’t want to spend that much on a tree when it’s only going to be for this Christmas, next year I think we’ll return back to our normal tradition of buying a real tree. James picked the tree and settled on a tree for a bargain of £30 (he’s a bit tight when it comes to parting with his money!). I have this love/hate relationship with the tree but it will do. James really wanted a white tree but I had to reign him in a bit! White is really not my cup of tea, give me a traditional green one any day.

I’ve finally picked out a frame for my completed snowman cross stitch and I’m so proud of how it looks now it’s finished and framed, it was certainly worth the effort stitching it. The white wooden square frame was a bargain £4 from Wilko.

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Debenhams had a sale on recently so I treated myself to a Christmas throw which is the Red Fair Isle print fleece throw and was £19.60 in their sale. I liked the idea of jazzing up my old boring sofa in the kitchen and turning into a cozy Christmas sofa, we now have a lovely cozy corner right by the Christmas tree. I’ve also brought some Christmas cushion covers off Ebay and Amazon for the sofa, I can’t believe how cheap they are to buy. I decided to just buy just the covers and I’ll put them over some old cushions to jazz them up for Christmas. (I’ll post pictures when my cushions have arrived).

A few days ago something magical happened over night! The boys woke to find 2 little elves sitting in the Christmas tree sent from The North Pole. A week ago we finalized the boys letters to Santa and Alfie asked Santa in his letter if we could adopt an elf for Christmas (I think this tradition started last year in his class at school). We’ve still got to fill out the adoption details online but we’ve adopted Timmy and Donkey Who (Don’t ask!) this was Charlie’s choice. The elves sit and watch everything that’s going on and report back to Santa every night when the boys have gone to bed and return back each morning. There’s certainly been a bit of mischief with this pair of elves!

 

These arrived yesterday, I’ve brought matching tops for the boys and also one for James, these were from Next and they have a lovely Christmas family range where you can all be matching. I’ve not told James yet, I’m going to surprise him on Christmas day when I present this to him, I just thought it would add to the fun to have all the boys matching. Thank you Next for thinking outside the box and creating this fantastic range.

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This year I’m going to make up some Christmas Eve boxes, I know it’s an American tradition but I love the idea of presenting the kids with a box of treats on Christmas eve, I’m going to do a separate blog post when I’ve done them and I’ll share with you what’s going inside each one. I’m thinking along the lines of new Christmas Jammies, some Christmas chocolate bits like chocolate coins, some Christmas books and maybe some hot chocolate and marshmallows for a Christmas eve treat. I’d love to know if anyone else does this and what you put in your boxes.

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a festive Costa cup! I got really excited when I saw these, hot chocolate and marshmallows at this time of year are just the best. Me and my sis had a cheeky Costa and it was bliss, this has become our guilty secret.

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Thanks for reading and we’ll be back soon with some more festive fun xxxxx

 

‘Best of Christmas’ Hamper from Prestige Hampers

We received a gorgeous Christmas hamper from Prestige Hampers to review. We received the ‘Best of Christmas‘ hamper which retails at £69.99. The hamper is filled with delicious fine foods and wine and plenty of sweet treats for all the family to enjoy.

The ‘Best of Christmas’ hamper comes in a lovely festive designed convenient, sturdy and 100% recyclable postal box and has been carefully packed to avoid any damage. We were really impressed with the contents that we received, there were plenty of luxury items that have been selected for their taste and quality.

Hamper

The hamper includes;

Ardens Green & Black Olive Twists 100g
Barfield Bakery Mince Pies x 4
Border Divinely Chocolatey Cookies 150g
Brown Bag Crisps Smoked Bacon Crisps 150g
Crunch Craving Spicy Peanuts 85g
Edinburgh Tea & Coffee Company Medium Roast Coffee 113g
Farmhouse Biscuits Luxury Sticky Toffee Pudding Butter Biscuits 150g
Lily O’Briens Sticky Toffee Chocolates 110g
Linden Lady Handmade Fudge 115g
Oloves Chili & Garlic Ripe Black Pitted Olives 30g
The English Provender Co. Plum & Bramley Apple Chutney 300g
The Original Cake Company Top Iced Slab Cake
Yorkshire Popcorn Salt & Sweet Popcorn 40g
Stas Small Milk Chocolate Bauble 75g
Simpkins Festive Fruit Drops 200g
Merlot Rio Rica Central Valley Chile 75cl
Sauvignon Blanc Rio Rica Central Valley Chile 75cl

 

Myself and James really enjoyed trying out the luxury medium roast coffee with a luxury mince pie to go with it. The boys enjoyed trying the Border Divinely Chocolatey Cookies, I tried these too and they are just so tasty and just melt in your mouth. We’re saving the Christmas fruit cake and the Sauvignon Blanc for Christmas day.

I would definitely recommend this hamper, it’s perfect for if you want to try something a bit different and really want to indulge over the festive period, there’s something for everyone and the hamper comes with a good variety of different foods. I just love the festive box which I’m going to re-use, it’s just too nice to throw away and I also love the personalized message on the box, it really brightened my day and made me smile, thank you David.

This fabulous hamper will make a lovely gift for friends, family or even a corporate gift for your clients or staff. This would make the ideal gift for that one family member that’s always difficult to buy for, I’m sure we all come up against this problem every year!

Prestige Hampers sell a wide range of hampers to suit every ones needs & budget with something for everyone. Prestige Hampers are fantastically priced and are definitely value for money, I would definitely buy a hamper like this as a gift and if anyone wants to treat me to one for Christmas then I will be the happiest mummy on Christmas day, hint hint!

The service, communication and delivery I have received with Prestige Hampers as been excellent, I can’t fault them in any way and I look forward to using them in the near future.

Please go check them out, you won’t be disappointed.

www.prestigehampers.co.uk 

 

A little Christmas haul

Today is exactly 8 weeks until Christmas, Facebook reminded me that there are only 8 Mondays left until the big day! 56 days to be exact according to my count down to Christmas app.

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Christmas preparations are well under way and I definitely have Christmas fever! I can’t wait for all the Halloween stuff to disappear to make way for Christmas, definitely my favorite part of the year.

I’ve been busy getting organized for the festive period and thought I’d share some of my festive buys with you.

First on my list was a box of McVitie’s Victoria biscuits, I picked these up in Asda for £4, my boys love biscuits, who doesn’t love choccy biscuits? I actually picked these up for the promotion that McVitie’s are running to win a family trip to Lapland so a win all round. I just love stock piling for Christmas, there’s just so much yummy food around at this time of year. Whilst also in Asda I spotted tubs of Cadbury roses for £4.00, I always pick these up when I see these at £4.00, this is the best price I’ve seen them and are great to put away for Christmas.

Asda also have advent calendars in store at the moment so I picked some up for the little ones. Daisy’s got Milkybar buttons priced at £2, Charlie asked for George pig which was £2 and Alfie asked if he could have a Lindt chocolate reindeer one (gosh this boys got expensive taste!) priced at a whopping £5. The boys have also got their blox lego calendars which were £8 from Wilkinson’s, we thought we’d try something new with the boys this year so we’re putting them to the test.

I went for a mooch around Debenham’s the other morning, killing a bit of time before work. They have a gorgeous Christmas shop, it’s just magical, I’d definitely recommend going for a look round. I ended up coming out with a few Christmas bits for Daisy. Christmas pyjamas which were £11 in size 9-12 months, they have cute little reindeer feet on them. A lovely little red dress which is a 2 piece set and comes with a long sleeve cream coloured vest top, this was £14.00, I think this might be Daisy’s Christmas day outfit. I also picked up a little Christmas jumper a few weeks ago from Primark which is a sweatshirt style jumper and cost £6.

Today we ventured into Tesco and picked up some more bits for Daisy (gosh she’s one spoilt little lady). We picked up a little Santa hat which I couldn’t resist and this was £2.00 and size 6-12 months and also a little long sleeve vest that says My First Christmas also £2.00, I thought this would look nice with a pair of jeans. Daisy was born on the 29th December so just missed out on Christmas so this year we plan to make a big fuss with it being her first Christmas, she won’t really understand what’s going on but she’ll certainly have memories and photos to look back on.

Santa hat

My last purchases were from Next, I thought I would buy some Christmas gift wrap so I can start wrapping early this year, wrapping seems to be never-ending in our house and I seem to be the only one that does it! Men always seem to take a back seat when it comes to Christmas! I brought rolls that are 4 metre long and come with 4 tags, these are priced at £3.50 each, Next do a 3 for 2 offer on selected gift wrap making the price a bit more reasonable. I brought Tatty teddy because my sister loves Tatty ted, a cute penguin design on silver paper and some Belle (Beauty & the Beast) gift wrap which I couldn’t resist for Daisy, it’s so nice to be able to buy pink things and Disney!

gift wrap

 

I’ve picked up the boys Christmas pyjamas which I ordered online with Next and I’ve also got Daisy a matching pair too. I can’t wait for Christmas Eve so they can be all snug and matching. I love Next pyjamas, we had some Christmas ones from Next last year but they are a bit on the small side now and Charlie managed to put a hole in his trouser knee!

I absolutely love these ones, they are really soft and look really comfy. Daisy’s got 9-12 months and these were priced at £10, Charlie’s got age 5-6 priced at £12 and Alfie’s got size 7-8 priced at £13.00. I also picked up my PJ’s today from Next but these are a Christmas present to me from my sister, I’ve got the pink cat print ones priced at £25, I just can’t wait to put these on. They have matching ones for your little ones that start from age 3, I really wish Next would design them to start from age 1 upwards so me and Daisy can be matching too.

 

Thanks for Reading

The Mann Clan

 

GoGo Squeez’s new range of fruit snacks and yogurt snacks (Advert)

We recently had the opportunity to test out and review a new range of fruit and yogurt snacks from GoGo Squeez’s new range.

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The boys were excited when we received a package through the post, they always get excited when we receive parcels, they just know a parcel always contains something interesting or exciting! When they discovered the items were edible they couldn’t wait to get stuck in! Both my boys are mad for snacks and just don’t stop eating, it was nice to fill the cupboard up with something new and different.

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We received 4 pouches of the following flavours to try out:

GoGo squeeZ Fruit Snacks: Apple, Apple-Strawberry and Apple-Mango

GoGo squeeZ Snacks: Strawberry flavour and Banana flavour

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My boys loved these snacks and rated them very highly, they are aimed at children between the age of 5 and 7.  The yogurt pouches won hands down over the fruit snack pouches, I think it was the texture of the fruit pouches that the boys didn’t like, they were more like a puree and these didn’t go down too well. The banana was the most popular yoghurt flavour and trumped the strawberry which I was quite surprised at!

My boys loved the ‘cool helicopter top’ on the packaging which I also thought was great as it was easy for them to open on their own as there was more room on the lid for them to get their whole hand around it to twist.  The first thing Charlie said was “Put one in my lunchbox mum” I will definitely be stocking up on more of the yogurt ones for the boys lunch boxes, they are just so convenient, easy to open for little hands and can just be disposed of straight into the bin so no messy yogurt spoons coming back in the lunch boxes and definitely no yogurt covered jumpers from Charlie! We will definitely be using them as an on the go snack too, it’s great that they don’t need to be refrigerated.

The new fruit snacks are made from 100% fruit and the yogurt snacks are a great source of calcium & vitamin D. They contain no artificial anything, no refrigeration needed and come with a built-in straw, they are the perfect squeezy snack for kids on-the-go, at school, or at home. Tasty, fun, mess free and easy – no nasties, no worries!

Try it, love it! Find out more at gogosqueez.co.uk

***This is a personal blog post. All thoughts and opinions are my own, I was gifted the above product to test in return for an honest review***

Autumn Primark Haul

I am SO impressed with Primark at the moment,  It’s one of my favourite places to shop, especially for baby clothes, you could say I went a bit crazy on my recent visit this week. I only went into my local Nottingham Primark for some mittens for Daisy. With Goose Fair on the approach I wanted to make sure she would be nice and warm.

I had some time to kill before work so decided to hit the shops, it was so quiet shopping early in the morning and was utter bliss, Primark was lovely and tidy, no clothes on the floor and no queuing to pay. I felt so overwhelmed with all items in the store as I wandered round not knowing where to start, I think I could have quite easily brought everything in sight.

The first item I picked up was a lovely cream knitted hat with matching mittens priced at a bargain £2.50, these will definitely keep Daisy warm through the winter months, well that’s if she keeps them on! I picked up a size 12-24 months, Daisy is 9 months old at the moment and I wanted to make sure these would fit her through the winter, I do find that you have to go bigger with Primark sizes, they can sometimes come up a bit small.

 

The next item I picked up was a pack of 3 sleep suits, Daisy is growing so fast and is almost out of her 6-9 month sleep suits. These were priced at £6.50 making each sleep suit around £2.17 which is an absolute bargain, they had so many lovely designs to choose from and I finally settled on the butterfly designs and spotty design.

Primark 1

Next up is a lovely little grey and plum spotted dress priced at £10 in size 12-18 months, this wasn’t too badly priced because the dress also comes with a pair of plum coloured tights. I know we’re out of the summer season but this will look lovely paired up with a vest top underneath and a little cardigan over the top. I love grey and also love anything spotty. A little girl’s got to have a few dresses in her wardrobe even if it is Autumn!

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I got really excited when I spotted Christmas themed clothes in the baby section, I’m a sucker for a Christmas jumper and this was definitely a must have. I liked it that much that I went back the next day to buy another one for my baby niece Violet, you’ve got to have matching jumpers at Christmas, I just need to buy James one and then we’re all sorted for Christmas jumpers. I’m on the look out now for Christmas pyjamas for the boys and for Daisy.

This was priced at £6.00 and is so lovely and soft, it’s more like a sweatshirt style jumper and will look lovely with a pair of jeans or leggings. I picked this up in a size 9-12 months as it’s a little on the big size but should fit come Christmas. Roll on December so we can get our festive jumpers out!Primark 2

The next item I picked up was a 3 piece set and is a cotton butterfly top, a beautiful blush pink and gold fleck knitted cardigan and denim leggings priced at £14.00 which isn’t bad on price when you are getting 3 items for your money. This is in a size 9-12 months.

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The final item I picked up is a lovely pink and grey knitted spotty jumper with a cute teddy design on the front priced at £6. This is in a size 9-12 months, we’ve had to turn up the sleeves with it being a little on the big size but is perfect for the winter months and looks lovely with leggings.

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Thanks for checking out this post!

Lot’s of love,

The Mann Clan

 

***This is a personal blog post and is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own***

September Competition Wins

I don’t really know what happened to September, it just came and went, I think it flew by because of me returning back to work after 11 months of maternity leave. Time flies when you’re having fun and in my case too much fun whilst on my maternity.  They do say “all good things must come to an end”. On the plus side (yes there is a plus side) we are a couple of days away from October which means we are that little bit closer to Christmas. Most people dread the ‘C’ word but I just love it and I love the cosy evenings that autumn brings, the heating on, curtains closed and the candles lit.

When I look at what I won throughout September, I’m actually quite surprised, I didn’t win an awful lot but I didn’t really get much comping done throughout August with the little ones being off from school and nursery, not much comping gets done when you’re trying to entertain a seven year old, a 4 year old and a baby.

My first win of September arrived on the 13th of September by courier unexpectedly! I was returning home from picking up Charlie from nursery and was expecting a parcel, I was awaiting a delivery from Mothercare with my new car seat that I’d ordered for Daisy but arrived home to 2 large boxes instead of 1. I always get excited when I get parcels, I’m always happy when I see the postman too!

This competition was featured in the August edition of Compers News and was an email entry competition, I love the Kids Comps section of the magazine, I especially love winning prizes for my 3 little ones, I try to put away as much as I can for Christmas and birthdays.

 

My next win came a few days later and was from a competition that ran on Facebook with a company called Richard Burbidge, it was a simple like and comment entry and won me a £20 Amazon voucher, I’m currently still waiting for this to arrive, this is definitely a prize I’ll be saving for Christmas, this will come in so handy when I start my Christmas shopping, I absolutely love Amazon and love my Prime membership, this was definitely money well spent.

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On the exact same day I won another Facebook competition, I don’t think I’ve ever won 2 competitions in one day so was over the moon. It wasn’t a big win but sometimes it’s the smaller wins that keep you going and some of these small wins are just as good as the big ones. Indie Bay Snacks contacted me via Facebook to notify me that I’d won their Freebie Friday competition, it was a simple like and comment entry where you had to comment letting them know which flavour you’d love to try from their range, I can’t wait for this win to arrive, I’m looking forward to trying out their products.

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My final win of September came in the form of an email, I was just going through my junk box clearing out all my junk emails when I came across an email with the subject line ‘Cheestrings & The Emoji Movie, my first thought was that it was going to be junk but to my surprise it was a winning email. I spotted this competition on a pack of Cheestrings I’d picked up for Alfie & Charlie’s packed lunch boxes. You can enter this one daily and just need to upload a photo of someone special who’s bursting with funny expressions, you need to create a fun image and to make your images funnier you can check out Cheestring packs for nutty noses, moustaches and more!

Below is Alfie and Charlie’s entry which won them an Emoji Movie Stickers Set.

Sept3

I’ve finally managed to find myself a box of Victoria biscuits with the Lapland promotion, I popped in to my local CO-OP to pick up some bits and bobs and got a bit excited when I spotted their Christmas food isle, this is a purchase necessary competition and instant win. Unfortunately I didn’t win one of the family adventure days but if you don’t win on the instant win you do bag yourself an entry into their main prize draw to win a holiday to Lapland.

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I’m going to end my September update by saying how impressed I am with all the freebies I’ve been receiving with my weekly online Asda grocery shop. Every week Asda have been sending me samples of products with my grocery shop, I’ve recently had Lenor fabric conditioner and Ariel wash powder samples which I enjoyed trying out. Below I’ve got samples of Lucozade orange to try, screen wipes and 5 packs of Dolmio cook in the oven sauces.

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I hope September’s been lucky for you

Thanks for reading

 

***This is a personal blog post and is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own***