Sunday, 2 December 2018

Great Christmas Gift Ideas From Tigerparrot

Christmas is just around the corner and so if you're yet to buy for the little people in your life then fear not, with these great gift ideas from Tigerparrot.com!

Tigerparrot features a wide range of high quality baby and children's products from Great Britain and around the world. Featuring well-known and respected brands as well as unique high-quality items from boutique shops, you'll be spoilt for choice! Here is a collection of some great gifts to consider this Christmas...

White Wooden Kitchen With Accessories
Your little one will have hours of fun with this sturdy and stylish kitchen by Molly and Friends which also comes with a great range of accessories including pots and pans, cups and saucers, food, salt and pepper shakers and an oven glove! Find one here!

white toy kitchen
Pretend Play Workbench with Tools And 25 Accessories
This Wooden Workbench from Jammtoys features a wooden saw, a variety of other tools, a blackboard and a pretend clock and is simply perfect for any curious little mind! It's great for imaginative play as well as hand/eye cooridination and will also help to develop their fine motor skills! Find one here!

wooden workbench

Football Backpack
I love this Football Backpack from Sportpax! It features a unique style and is practical too; great for storing those essential items when out and about! It's wipe clean, lightweight and features adjustable straps too! Find one here!
Carddies Christmas Card People- Colour and Play Set
All little ones enjoy being creative and so they will love colouring-in this set of card people which can then be added to a stand and played with! The cards are double sided so will provide plenty of entertainment this Christmas. Each set contains 12 people, 12 stands, a background scene and 12 colouring pencils too! Perfect for imaginary play and developing their creativity! Find some here!

Carddies
Personalised Children's Book- Behind the Magic Door
Personalised books make unique and treasured gifts for children and this one will be sure to delight them. Each book is personalised for their name which means if you're buying for siblings they will each receive a different story! Throughout the story, your child helps a variety of different characters who in turn, each gift a letter reward which at the end spells out your child's name! You can even chose the adventurer in the story so it resembles your child! 

Behind the Magic


*Collaborative Post
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Saturday, 1 December 2018

My #ElfTheMovie Pyjamas From New Look!

Is it even Christmas if you haven't snuggled up in your pyjamas and watched Elf? I think not! But did you know it's now been 15 years since the film was first released? 15 years! To celebrate, New Look have just released some fabulously festive Elf Pyjamas and I couldn't wait to try them on! 

The set consists of a short-sleeved, rounded neck t-shirt and tie waist joggers. The t-shirt has a print of Buddy with the caption 'OMG, it's Santa, I know him! I know him!', whilst the joggers have a festive print of holly, candy canes and stockings! Quite possibly the most Christmassy outfit I have ever worn! 



I practically live in pyjamas in the winter and these are honestly the comfiest ones I have ever worn. The joggers are made from 100% cotton and the t-shirt from 93% cotton, 7% Elastane. I think I might have to wear them all year round! 



For more information and to purchase your own set just visit New Look here!


*We were kindly sent these pyjamas in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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Friday, 30 November 2018

Creating a Christmas Wonderland

Can you remember celebrating Christmas as a child; the excitement and anticipation as you build up to the day?  I can still remember the tingle of magic on Christmas Eve knowing Father Christmas was busy preparing his reindeer and sleigh. I can also remember the sheer exhilaration of discovering he had been the next morning, finding a few crumbs where his mince pie had been. That’s what I want to create for my children for as long as I can. This year I’m going to create a magical wonderland for them and you can too. Whilst this might sound expensive, the aim is to keep the cost as low as possible. First and foremost, it’s the time spent together that counts and those are the memories that will one day be treasured. So here is my guide to creating a Christmas Wonderland…

When I think back to the Christmases of my childhood I can always remember the magic of Christmas lights, simply turning the tree lights on was completely enchanting. So whilst we will have our tree ones on, I will also grab a few extra packs and drape some over the mirrors and frames around the lounge. These can be found at many pound shops and I’ve also found colour-changing light up characters there too including penguins and snowmen so I am going to add some of these also. Instant magic! 


I'm also in love with my star shaped light which has been making us all feel very festive recently. On those dull winter days it creates a soft and glowing light in our lounge. 


Another thing I remember from Christmases past is the wonderful scents from the beautiful pine smell of our Christmas tree to the delicious smells of cinnamon, gingerbread and Christmas pudding! 


You might not have a real tree this year which is fine, you can still recreate that Christmassy scent. Try spraying some pine-cones with cinnamon scented oil which creates a beautiful warm aroma. You can also buy or make your own potpourri using cinnamon sticks, cloves, dried oranges and star anise. This is also a fun activity for you to do with your little ones. 


Do you remember making clove oranges at school? Your little ones will love helping with these!


Baking with children will also provide beautiful Christmas scents and a delicious treat for after. Why not try baking some gingerbread Christmas shapes? 


Another way to really add some excitement to the Christmas countdown is to play Christmas songs in the house. We have a cd that plays lots of fun Christmassy songs and we love having it on as we are pottering about during the day. It really adds to the festivities! 

Fast forward to Christmas Eve and this is where the real magic starts. Create your own magical reindeer dust to sprinkle in the garden using oats, edible glitter or cake sprinkles. Don’t forget to leave Father Christmas a mince pie and a whisky (apparently he’s quite partial to a gin too!) and leave Rudolph a carrot- you might just find he’s had a bite out of it in the morning!! You can leave some magical Santa footprints by creating a simple stencil and sprinkling some icing sugar over it- your children will be enchanted to discover some magical North Pole snow! 


So there you have it, a few ideas to create your very own home Christmas wonderland, helping to create some mesmerising life-long memories. Merry Christmas!!

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Monday, 26 November 2018

Sleepyhead- MAC Birmingham: A Review

I only recently discovered MAC (Midlands Arts Centre) and I can't quite believe I didn't stumble upon it sooner. MAC features a wide range of theatre performances, music, comedy, dance and art shows as well as films and free exhibitions. It's a modern, comfortable and accessible building which is certainly family friendly. It really is a gem of an attraction in Birmingham. We were invited to a performance of Little Angel Theatre's Sleepyhead which is a puppetry show for toddlers and young children and we were certainly in for a treat!



Sleepyhead is full to the brim of magic and silliness. My two year old giggled the whole way through which was just so lovely to witness! The story centres around Baby and his tired Dada who is desperately trying to get him to sleep (we've all been there!) Baby however, has other ideas! Every parent was chuckling along to Dada's frustrations, seeing their own 'please-go-to-sleep' struggles reflected right back! All the toddlers in the audience found the slapstick humour coupled with Baby's cheeky antics, hilarious! Watching my own little one laughing out loud, completely captivated by the performance is truly one of the highlights of my year!



Puppetry is at the heart of Little Angel Theatre Productions. The performances are magical and so lifelike that you really do forget you're watching puppets. The skilled performers are masters at creating tiny lifelike movements so that the puppets come to life before your eyes. 



If you get a chance to see Sleepyhead, which runs until the 2nd December at MAC, I can't recommend it enough! 

*Disclaimer: We were kindly invited to watch a perfomance of Sleepyhead at MAC for review purposes. All opinions are my own.



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Exploring Birmingham

If you've never been to Birmingham before, I wholeheartedly recommend a visit. There's a wide array of different and exciting restaurants, museums, shops, art galleries, theatres and much, much more! So if you're looking for an enjoyable and captivating day out, you'll be in for a treat! You won't see everything in one day but there are many hotels in Birmingham so you may even wish to consider making your stay a longer one. I spent time exploring the city to try and test some of the many wonderful attractions Birmingham has to offer! Firstly, I invited my mum to join me to find out what evening entertainment we could discover. Here's what we found... 

Birmingham's Frankfurt Christmas Market
No trip to Birmingham at this time of year is quite complete without a trip to the Frankfurt Christmas market. There are stalls featuring traditional gifts, great food, warming festive drinks as well as live music! When we arrived there was a fantastic atmosphere with many people enjoying a mug of mulled wine or a pint of Weissbeer while enjoying the sights and sounds. We spent a long time browsing the different gifts and food items on offer and we treated ourselves to a selection of chocolates! There are also different light displays, Christmas trees and even a beautiful carousel to enjoy!



After exploring the market, we had both worked up quite an appetite and so began to look for somewhere to eat. It was hard to choose as there were many different options but we both stumbled upon a Jamie's Italian. I'd never eaten in one of Jamie Oliver's restaurant's before but I always like the look of the Italian food he cooks so I was really excited to try it! 

Jamie's Italian Birmingham
The decor of the restaurant is modern and open plan and it's also really spacious in there. There are also lovely views of St Martin's Church and the Selfridges building so we were pleased to get a window seat. To start, we both shared some Gnocchi Fritti which came with a cheese fondant and parmesen cheese. So good! I decided to try the Zucca Cannelloni which contained roasted squash and buffalo ricotta and a delicious vegetable sauce. Mum had the Tagliatelle Carbonara. We both really enjoyed our meals! 



The next day, it was time to explore what was on offer during the daytime, and most importantly, with my toddler in tow! 
Our first stop was to Midlands Art Centre (MAC) to see a perfomance called Sleepyhead!

Midlands Art Centre (MAC)
MAC features a wide range of theatre performances, music, comedy, dance and art shows as well as films and free exhibitions. It's a modern, comfortable and accessible building which is certainly family friendly. Having lived just outside of Birmingham for many years now, and having visited Cannon Hill Park which it is located right beside, I can't quite believe I didn't stumble upon it sooner. It really is a gem of an attraction in Birmingham. We watched a performance of Sleepy Head which is a puppetry show for toddlers and young children, full to the brim of magic and silliness. My two year old giggled the whole way through which was just so lovely to witness! For more info on MAC, visit here.

After the perfomance, we then decided to get lunch. A quick look on Google told us there was a range of unique and high quality cafes, delicatessens and restaurants a couple of minutes away. We had a stroll down the high street and stumbled upon Sorrento Lounge in Moseley. It seemed like a quirky little restaurant (laiden with patterned cushions, interesting framed prints, displays of ceiling lamp shades- even a book exchange!)  so we decided to give it a try. My toddler was at ease straight away because there's a really relaxed atmosphere which put us at ease too! The food was good quality and tasty- I had a lovely halloumi burger and fries for my meal with a delicious salad. We will definitely visit here again! 



Have you recently visited Birmingham? Do you have any interesting attractions to recommend? I'd love to hear more! 



Disclaimer: The spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own
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Thursday, 22 November 2018

Little Diggers Christmas Grotto With Shenstone Garden Centre

Is there anything quite as magical as meeting Father Christmas? Well, how about watching your little ones meeting him?! In terms of that all-important tingly, magic that comes hand in hand with small children at Christmas, our recent visit to the Little Diggers Christmas grotto in Shenstone Garden Centre in Lichfield certainly didn't disappoint. 

When we arrived at the garden centre, the boys were excited to see all the Christmas decorations and particularly loved the giant polar bear at the entrance! 


Once inside we made our way to find Santa. As we moved through the store we came across a wooden hut beautifully decorated with a snowy theme. The boys were thrilled to spot Santa sitting inside! We were then greeted by one of Santa's helpers who couldn't have been lovelier to the boys. She asked the boys if they would like to chose a special seed which they then placed in a little pot along with a plant label with their names on. They were then shown towards a magical cupboard which they placed the pots inside. 



While they waited for the magic to do its work, it was time to have a seat next to Santa! Santa spent time with each of the boys asking them what they would like for Christmas. He didn't even flinch when my five year old specified his wish for a laminator (as you do!)- what a pro! My two year old was feeling a little shy at first but Santa put him straight at ease and soon he was chatting away. They were each issued with an age appropriate present too which they were both really excited about. 


Next up, it was time to open the magical cupboard! When they peeked inside they discovered their seeds had grown into little Christmas trees- what a lovely surprise! The boys were enthralled with this and were delighted with their trees. After saying their goodbyes to Santa and his helper and promising to leave him a mince pie, they headed out where they were able to decorate their trees with a variety of baubles, sparkly streamers and ribbons. This was a great activity which held their attention. 



We were also given the option to buy a photograph and we chose one which will make a lovely keepsake. 

We all loved the Little Diggers Christmas grotto experience; it offers something a little bit different from standard grotto experiences, capturing their attention as well as going one step further in creating some Christmas magic too! The addition of the Christmas trees as well as the gift also make it great value for money.  For more information and to book your Santa experience just click here!


Disclaimer: We were kindly offered a complimentary visit in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own. 
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Sunday, 18 November 2018

Unique Advent Calendars For 2018!

You won't have failed to have noticed the rise in alternative advent calendars in recent years, from beauty and stationary to pork scratchings and cheese! Whatever your taste, there's an advent calendar for everyone. Here is a pick of some of the best unique advent calendars for 2018. 

Yankee Candle Wreath Advent Calendar
This advent calendar is beautifully designed in shades of silver and gold and contains 24 scented tea lights and one glass tea light. Build up the magical excitement of Christmas with these wonderful festive scents! Find yours here.

Tea Advent Calendar from Victoria Mai Designs
I love this selection of delicious tea bags, each in a numbered quirky and and stylish paper pocket which would beautifully compliment any home this Christmas. They can be displayed using pegs and festive string which can be selected at the point of purchase. You can select your choice of tea or may prefer a mixed selection containing an array of different teas! A wonderful, unique advent calendar to enjoy each day in the lead up to Christmas and even on Christmas day itself! Find out more here.


The Boutique-y Gin Company Advent Calendar
Behind each of the 24 doors there is a different wax sealed dram, containing interesting and high quality gins. There are a wide array of different flavours and botanicals to discover in this exciting advent calendar. Each of the drams contains 30ml of gin which is equivalent to a single measure, so you get a decent sample to try each day. Find yours here!


12 Wines of Christmas Calendar 
After all the excitement of Christmas, unwind and relax with this fabulous 12 wines of Christmas Calendar from Drinks In Tube! Each window contains 12 tubes each containing 200ml of luxury wine! It's presented in a classy blue box with silver lettering and images too. The perfect way to complete the festive period! Find yours here!


Creating Your Own With Command Products! 
For a unique and personalised advent calendar, why not try creating your own, with the use of Command Products? This Advent Calendar Wall, created by Karine Kong from Bodie and Foe has been created by using small boxes, ribbon and Command Clear Decorating Clips from 3M!  Choose a wrapping paper to compliment the festive decor of your home and some treats to enclose in each box and count down to Christmas in style! 




*I was kindly sent some of these items in exchange for an honest review
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Saturday, 17 November 2018

The Ultimate 2018 Christmas Gift Guide For Adults

Christmas is definitely on it's way so if you're looking for some inspiration for unique gifts this year then look no further! 

The Spice Pioneer
The Spice Pioneer is a monthly spice subscription box which provides the spices necessary to create delicious and authentic dishes from around the world. The perfect gift for those that love cooking and enjoy tasting different and exciting meals. Each kit contains the spices needed to create the meals as well as instructions and a shopping list (for any additional ingredients needed)! Find out more here.



Indigo Chocolate Making Gift Kit
Delve into the luxurious world of natural chocolate with this unique gift set. You can make your own chocolate from 100% pure ingredients meaning the end result is both delicious and nutritious and what's more, they are both dairy and gluten free! The set also contains Brazil nuts and Goji berries. Find yours here!

Thames and Hudson Books 
Immerse yourself in the arts with any of the fantastic books from Thames and Hudson. I absolutely love Vincent's Portraits; a fascinating insight in Vincent Van Gogh's exceptional portraits. Constables Skies is a stunningly beautiful book displaying John Constable's paintings of the sky and is written by Mark Evans; a leading authority on the artist. There is a vast array of different books in all areas of visual creativity. Explore the range here.

Produced in Kent
Produced in Kent provides support to a range of Kent businesses in the food and drink sector. One of its aims is to encourage the support of local producers and businesses, which in turn provides and protects employment opportunities. It provides advice and guidance to it's members too. Just look at some of the fabulous products made from members of Produced in Kent:
These luxurious Chrismas caramels from Fudge Kitchen feature 12 delicious caramels in a range of beautiful flavours! And this set of artisan dressings and vinaigrettes from boroughbox.com would make a lovely gift! 




For those interested in visiting Kent and discovering all it has to offer then its well worth visiting Kent Food Trials and exploring the range of trail guides introducing you to the range of food and drink on offer from this great county!

Helen Russell Creations
You'll love the range of mugs from Helen Russell Creations. The cute and beautifully illustrated mugs are made from fine bone china and come with a gift box and a little story postcard telling you about the character. I absolutely love this Queen Bee Mug; as the only girl in a house full of boys this mug is very apt! 



Reese's and Hershey's Christmas Collection
For chocolate lovers everywhere, Reese's Christmas range of peanut butter and chocolate goodies will be sure to delight! How about a Reese's Snowman or Christmas tree to tempt that someone special? Or they'll just love their range of delicious selection boxes! The Hershey's range of chocolate treats will also make a wonderful gift; I love the Hershey's Cookie and Cream Sharing bag (it's up to you if you share it!) Find some here!

Stewert Garden Cozies Trio
With their knitted design and cool pastel colours, these plant pots would make a lovely gift for anyone that loves displaying plants in their home. The colours compliment each other and add a homely touch to any room. Find them here!

The Summerton Club
The Summerton Club is a subscription service where each month its members are sent a high quality, premium spirit. Members are introduced to rare and unique aged spirits which is the perfect way to experience ones they would not otherwise come across and ensuring a wonderful element of surprise with each delivery. With flexible subscription options and free delivery this is a gift to be enjoyed throughout the year! Find out more here.



And now for some stocking fillers....

Kit and Kin Products
Kit and Kin is a beautiful mother and baby range offering a range of natural, eco-friendly skin care products and sustainable nappies. The range was co-founded by Emma Bunton and contains the gentlest of ingredients, perfect for any expecting or new mum! I really love the body butter, it leaves your skin beautifully soft and smooth! Explore the range here.


Jasmin's Handarbeiten products
What could be more special than gifting someone with a gorgeous handmade, and made to order crocheted item? Check out the wonderful items from Jasmin's Handarbeiten and support a local business too! Each item is lovingly made-by-hand and bespoke just for you, with fast and friendly service too. I just love this cute and stylish owl hat! Why not visit Jasmin's page here?



Box of Favours
This beautifully designed box is full of favour cards, some filled in and some blank for you to create your own! It's a really unique and thoughtful gift to present to that special someone! There's even a mini contract to sign, promising to fulfill the favours! Find yours here. 


Novella Nostalgia Series
Comprising of five short stories, this series takes its inspiration from iconic films including Breakfast At Tiffany's and Brief Encounter, for example. The authors; Tony Drury and Oliver Richbell add a modern twist to the tales, bringing them to the 21st century in memorable and inspired ways!  The perfect way to relax in between festive celebrations! Find yours here!


Impulse Limited Addition Body Mists
Designed by Go Get Glitter, these body sprays have a fun and stylish packaging and smell amazing. Choose from Coconut Spritz and Glitter bomb; a gorgeous summery scent or Melted Candy and Unicorn dust with a magical mystical scent! A great stocking filler! Find them here!



The Cake Crew Cupcakes
In a range of different flavours including strawberry, salted caramel, red velvet and chocolate, to name just a few, these cupcakes look as good as they taste. They have recently launched in Ocado and Costco stores. Who wouldn't love to receive these beautifully crafted cakes this Christmas? Find out more here.



Colgate Pro-Clinical Pink Electric Toothbrush
Also available in white and black, this toothbrush is slim, powerful and lightweight. It has a two minute self timer and also reminds you to focus on a different area each time 30 seconds has passed. Perfect to pop into a stocking this year! Find one here!
Kalme Chameleon Concealer
This award-winning concealer actually matches the tone of your skin helping to calm and conceal redness and uneven skin tones. It also contains a mineral SPF20 that can be used on sensitive skin and will also soothe and protect! Not only that, it also contains Biolin which helps to repair and improve skin! The perfect stocking filler Find yours here!



Better You Magnesium Sleep Lotion
After all the excitement of the festive period, have a relaxing night's sleep with this relaxing and soothing lotion from Better You. The lavender and chamomile will soothe and quieten the mind enabling you to drift to sleep with ease. Find yours here.

MiniVino
Minivino are single serve wines, available in red, white and rose from an award winning winemaker from the vineyards of Italy. They each hold 187ml of wine and make perfect stocking fillers for adults. The glass free container is also resealable, reusable and recyclable! Find out more here.
Wishing you a wonderful Christmas! 


Disclaimer: I was a gifted some of these items in exchange for an honest review

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