4 Family Friendly Cruise Destinations

25.11.19

We first considered a cruise when we were planning our familymoon, all the way back in 2015. They are the perfect way to experience a selection of different destinations, as well as having many of the benefits of an all-inclusive holiday. As the Littles were still quite young back then though, we thought it would be best to wait until they were that little bit older. But actually having looked into cruises a little bit more, there are plenty of cruise ships and destinations that are perfect for children! In this post I'm going to share some of my top family-friendly cruise destinations, to hopefully give you some inspiration if you're considering a family cruise.


Mediterranean Cruise
A Mediterranean cruise has been top of my list for the longest time, stopping at destinations such as Italy, Greece, Malta and Croatia. What's great about these routes is that many of the ships can leave from Southampton, making travel as minimal as possible - perfect if you have children! Lianne has enjoyed a Mediterranean cruise to destinations such as Rome and Barcelona - "The children's activities are just amazing! Always something to keep them entertained no matter the weather. Also endless supply of snacks for them to chose from too".

Baltic Cruise
Keeping relatively close to home again, a Baltic cruise is also another fantastic family friendly cruise destination. A cruise around the Baltic Sea has plenty of history and beautiful scenery to enjoy, as well as plenty onboard to keep little ones (and grown ups) entertained. The cooler weather is also more suitable for families - no worrying about suncream, and much easier for exploring too! Kate was lucky enough to recently enjoy a Baltic cruise as a family - "We went to Norway last year and loved it. The children's club was fantastic - I was very anxious about leaving my daughter but she wanted to be in there constantly! We're looking forward to doing another one now our youngest is older and will be able to join her sister, so we can enjoy the other entertainment on the ship as grown ups".

Disney Cruise
Of course when you think of family friendly cruising, a Disney cruise comes straight to mind! You can actually enjoy a Disney cruise in a number of destinations, including the Caribbean, Europe, Canada, Mexico, and even Transatlantic! Whatever route you travel on though there's plenty to enjoy onboard. As well as stopping for excursions, there are character meet experiences, theatre style shows, fantastic pools and so much more. Adults can also enjoy dedicated floors, nightclubs and lounges.


Caribbean Cruise
If you don't mind travelling a little bit further, then a Caribbean cruise is another great choice. The beautiful weather means plenty of opportunity for beach days and water sports - ideal if you're travelling as a family with a range of ages. Older children can go snorkelling with turtles and other sea creatures, while younger ones can relax on the beach building sand castles and dipping their toes in the sea. Perfect right?

Have you been on a family cruise? Where did you go?
This is a collaborative post.

5 Family Friendly Holiday Destinations in the USA

22.11.19

As a family we love to travel and explore new and exciting places. Of course while the children are younger we haven't visited as many places as we would like, but that doesn't stop me from dreaming and planning! The USA is top of both mine and Jack's list of places to visit - we've already planned our road trip for once the littles have all grown up. But of course the USA is incredibly family-friendly too. So in the post I thought I would share 5 family-friendly travel destinations, that we would love to visit one day.


Florida
It's no secret that we are a family of Disney lovers, so Orlando in Florida is definitely top of our list. Most of my childhood holidays were spent in Walt Disney World, so to take my own children would be a dream (I've actually shared my WDW holiday bucket list recently). Orlando isn't just about Disney though. You also have other theme parks including Universal, Busch Gardens, Legoland, and Seaworld. And then there's the magical Kennedy Space Centre, beaches, wildlife reserves and so much more. 

Alaska
When you first think of visiting the USA you probably wouldn't think of Alaska. But the 49th state is not only incredibly beautiful, but full of character and adventure too. Depending on where you stay there are a number of activities you can book your family onto, or you can brave it and go solo - just remember to be prepared if you're travelling with young children. You can see wildlife such as bears, moose and reindeer in their natural habitats, and if your little ones love to explore then a hike in the mountains would be right up their street. If you're wanting to see more of the state, then why not book an Alaska Cruise for your trip. A perfect way to spot some of the world’s rarest wildlife, all from the safety of your ship!


California
After watching Katie's California vlogs over the years I have definitely added California to my list. Much like Alaska, there is so much to see in California that it would be difficult to fit it all into one trip. From snow-capped mountain ranges to beaches and of course Disneyland, there really is something for every age and interest. Yosemite National Park is a great area to visit if you're an adventure-loving family like us. You can camp, swim, hike and explore - all while taking in the beauty and wonder of the National Park. There is also San Diego Zoo (the largest zoo in the world!), which would be a perfect family-friendly day out. 

Hawaii
Ever since I was little Hawaii has been somewhere I've always wanted to visit. If you want your family to experience the traditional Hawaii, then Oahu is the best island to explore. Full of activities for the whole family, including scuba diving, snorkelling and surfing. And of course no holiday to Hawaii would be complete without experiencing a traditional Luau come the evening! If your family is more into exploring off the beaten track, then a visit to Maui would probably be better suited. With some of the best beaches in the world and the opportunity for rural getaways, it's definitely on my travel list!


Tennessee
Again another state you wouldn't originally think of, but Tennessee has so much to offer for families, including the Smoky Mountains, the Mississippi River and of course Nashville and Memphis. If you're an adventurous family then a trip to the National Park and surrounding areas, where you can enjoy horseback riding and river rafting, would suit you. You could also visit the iconic Dollywood while you're there too - a sure hit with little ones! Tennessee is also a great state to visit if your family is musical, as both Nashville and Memphis are must sees. My nan was a huge Elvis fan and visited Memphis many times, so I'd love to take my little ones to experience her passion one day.

What US states would you love to visit as a family?
This is a collaborative post.

What to Consider before Getting a Pet

We talked about getting a family pet for a long, long time, so when our kitten Belle came into our family back in May it was such a wonderful moment. She's quickly become part of our family, with her litter tray and food bowls becoming part of the furniture. There were a few things we didn't consider before getting a cat though, and one of those was how it would impact the flooring in our home. She's a little cat, but those claws mean business! So with that in mind, I thought I'd shared some things you should consider before buying new flooring when you have a pet.


Maintenance
An easy cleaning routine is something we all look for in flooring, whether you have a pet or not. Carpet isn’t the best choice when you have pets. They are traps for pet hair, so unless you have a specific pet-focused vacuum, you'll struggle to get it all up. Not to mention if your pet does decide to do it's business on your brand-new cream carpet, it'll be tricky to clean up (especially as carpets will soak up urine and trap the smell too).

With this in mind, I would recommend wood, laminate and vinyl flooring instead, as much more suitable options. All of these alternatives only require a quick sweep and a mop, which is so much easier to keep on top off. Laminate and Vinyl are also stain and water resistant, so are much easier for tackling any unexpected accidents too!

Durability
As pets will be running all over your flooring for many years, as well as your family and guests, you’ll need flooring that will cope with this and still look as good as new. Carpet does tend to show wear after a while, and as mentioned above can be a nightmare if your pet has any accident. Cats also have a tendency to scratch at things, a big no if you have carpet. This is why I would recommend laminate, vinyl and wood flooring instead.

Wood flooring is a worthy choice for pets, for if your pet’s claws do scratch the surface, it can be sanded down depending on thickness (although I would recommend keeping your pets claws trim to avoid any scratches). Vinyl and laminate on the other hand are scratch proof. They also present convincing realistic replicas of real wood and tile, meaning you can get their desirable look on a lower cheaper budget too.

Overall I would say stay away from carpet with pets if you’re looking to make your life as easy as possible. When it comes to the other three choices, it all depends on what is most important to you. If you have fallen for the beautiful charm of real wood, then be prepared to deal with the scratches if they do occur. However, if you’re all about practicality, then laminate and vinyl are the obvious choices.

This is a collaborative post.

The Siblings Project | November 2019

18.11.19


I absolutely love the photos we got of our three little Peachicks for this month's Siblings Project post. They are so natural and joyous - and were actually a breeze to capture for once too! Taken on one of our many woodland walks this month, I love that they really capture the beauty of Autumn too.

It's crazy to look back on November's Siblings Project post from last year, as they have all grown so so much since then. Lilah was just a little dot in her buggy unable to walk, and now she's able to run alongside the big two. Parker is now grown up and at school (although still able to fit into that puddle suit). And Indiana is just about to turn 6, smashing school, with almost 3 lost teeth and nearly as tall as me! The three of them are such a team now, playing and exploring together, and of course bickering between the three of them constantly too.



I have contemplated stopping sharing these Siblings Project posts on my blog from next year. With the three of them growing up (and running off in three different directions), it's becoming so much harder to take the photo, let alone find the time to sit and write up the post. Of course I will keep posting regular photos of them over on my Instagram, but I think I'll keep these posts to maybe a round up throughout the year instead.

Of course I will complete this year of photos, especially as December is such an exciting month with lots to capture! Indiana turns 6 in just over a week, we have all of the Christmas celebrations and then it's not long until little Lilah turns 2 either. I absolutely love this time of year, and I cannot wait to enjoy (nearly) every moment with this little trio of mine.


5 Family Friendly Holiday Destinations

17.11.19

With three young children, finding a holiday destination to suit our whole family can be tricky. It's got to have accommodation to fit 5 of us, cater for everyone, and of course have activities to entertain a variety of ages. Thankfully, over the years we've found a number of destinations that have been perfect for us as a family, in a variety of locations and on different budgets too. So in this post I thought I'd put together a post of 5 fantastic family holiday destinations, to hopefully give you some ideas too.


Majorca
We first visited Majorca when Indiana was just 6 months old (and our only child!). The flight is lovely and short, which is perfect for when you're travelling with young children. Plus the airport in Palma is lovely, making the usually not so fun flight hope, that little bit more enjoyable. We stayed in the Palma Nova area which is fantastic for families. There are plenty of beaches, a water park, crazy golf, and the cheesy but fun Katmandu theme park (which was voted Trip Advisor’s best amusement park in Majorca and second best in Spain overall).


Koh Samui, Thailand
A bit further afield, but somewhere I'd love to travel to is Thailand. There is so much do see and do in Koh Samui, which is why a stay at the Koh Samui Villas is a great family holiday destination. The best thing about the Villa consultants is that they can find the best villa for you and your family, based on your criteria and budget. Plus you can request items such as cots, highchairs, pool guards, and even babysitter services - perfect for when if want a special date night with your other half. The tropical Bo Phut beach is a great family-friendly area, with beaches, culture and plenty of local amenities and attractions - definitely a destination to keep in mind.

Dubai
Dubai is one of the top destinations on my family travel bucket list, and somewhere I hope to visit very soon! I have seen many other families visit over the years, and have been blown away by how much there is to do there for adults and children alike. Of course there are the well-known attractions such as the Aquarium at the Dubai Mall, the waterparks at Atlantis The Palm Resort and making your way to the top of the Burj Khalifa. But there's also so many other places to visit including - LEGOLAND Dubai, LEGOLAND Water Park, Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai, desert safaris, KidZania Dubai, and OliOli (Dubai's first interactive children's play museum).

Ibiza
If you told me a few years ago that Ibiza was a suitable place to visit as a family, I would have laughed. It's just for clubbing right? Wrong! Ibiza is actually a beautiful island which so much to offer - especially for families. The flight is short, and as the island isn't too big the transfers are usually quite short too. We stayed in a family friendly resort where there was plenty going on, but there's of course beaches, water sports and water parks, boat trips and all the yummy food to try too.


Paris, France
Of course I will quickly mention Disneyland Paris in this section, as it is an incredibly family friendly holiday destination. But Paris itself is actually a great short-break destination for families too! Easy to travel to by Eurostar, we actually visited with a 9 month old Indiana a few years ago, and were really impressed with the city. Everything is easily accessible by foot if you don't mind walking, and there's lots of parks and child friendly spots dotted throughout the city. We picnic'd in front of the Eiffel Tower, where there was plenty of entertainment for little ones (bubbles were everywhere, and are always a hit right?), and Luxembourg Gardens has so much to enjoy including a pond where you can sail boats, a marionette there and an old fashioned carousel!


There are so many other family friendly holiday destinations I could share. What would you add to my list?
This is a collaborative post.

Christmas Gift Guides for 6 Year Olds | Christmas 2019

16.11.19


The products featured in this post were sent for inclusion in this gift guide, however all opinions are honest and my own. This post also contains affiliate links.

I am excited to be sharing my third and final Christmas gift guide of 2019 today, this time featuring gifts for 6 year olds. Indiana has recently turned 6, so I thought I'd put together and share a collection of gifts that I know she would absolutely love and enjoy. And hopefully this gives you some inspiration for any 6 year olds you're shopping for this year!

Eat Sleep Doodle Butterfly Pencil Case


Indiana's favourite thing to do at the moment is colour and create (much like lots of her school friends), so I think this Doodle Butterfly pencil case from Eat Sleep Doodle will be the perfect gift. It comes with ten wash-out fabric pens that you can use to colour in the butterfly design (or create their own masterpiece on the other side). Once they're done they can use the pencil case to store all of their pencils and pens too. An extra special touch from Eat Sleep Doodle, is that you can get your wrapped in special colour-in Christmas wrapping paper (also available to buy separately too).

Zimpli Kids Products


I've mentioned Zimpli Kids products in my Christmas Gift Guide for 4 year olds, but they do such an extensive range of products they are perfect for 6 year olds too. The Gelli Spa is perfect for little girls or boy who love to be pampered, and I know the Emoji and Poop bath bombs will be a fun little stocking filler too. So much more than just slime!

So Magic DIY Wonder Magic Garden


As I mentioned above, Indiana loves being creative, so I think this Wonder Magic Garden from the So Magic! range will be fantastic. The kit is 100% DIY, where you can create your own growing solution, plant your own magical tree and then wait to watch it all grow! The kit also comes with extra accessories such as coloured sand, stones and of course slime, to make sure the magic garden looks the part. Tiny collectable characters are included too. The kit is aimed at children aged 8+, but as I know Indiana is incredibly sensible and will be supervised, I think this will be fine. Just make sure to check before you purchase though.

So Slime / Bomb Stocking Fillers


The So DIY range also have plenty of great stocking filler style toys available too. The Slime Shaker kits are a super fun and easy way to create slime, and each set comes with a collectable character too. The best part of these is that everything is included, you just simply add water to create your scented slime. The So Bomb range also have these fab single bath bombs kits, which are perfect to add to a stocking (or as a small gift for a close relative or friend).

JoJo Maman Bebe - Christmas Skittles Set


We love playing family games at Christmas, and this wooden Christmas Skittles Set from JoJo Maman Bebe is a lovely addition. Each of the 6 skittles is a fun Christmas character (including Father Christmas, Rudolph and a snowman), and they are beautifully made with study wood. I think Indie will love teaching the older two how to play the simple game.

Orchard Toys Magic Spelling Game


I've mentioned our love for Orchard Toys games in all of my gift guides, but they really are fantastic for the whole family. This Magic Spelling game is a bestseller, aimed at 5-7 year olds the aim of the game is to find the letters to spell a word with the included magic wand, before the time runs out. Once they've checked the spelling is correct they can collect an ingredient - the first player to collect all of theirs wins! It's such a great game to help with reading and spelling skills, especially as the word card features a 'rub to reveal' section to 'magically' check spellings.

Don't Rock the Boat Game


Another fun game that I know 6 year old Indiana will love is Don't Rock the Boat. The game comes with a pirate ship and 16 pirate penguins, and the aim is to balance as many penguins as possible without making the ship tip over! You've got to really think about your next move and be as careful as possible, which is really good for improving concentration and awareness too.

Sqeezamals


Squeezamals are super cute, super squishy and slow rising little friends, that I know would make perfect stocking fillers. There are 16 different characters to collect including a unicorn, dog, ladybird and sloth, and all of them have a sweet tropical scent. You can even add them to a keyring so that you can attach them to a school bag or book bag - how fun is that?

Djeco Charlotte Box Stationery Set


If your 6 year old loves being creative too, then this Charlotte Box Stationery Set from BrightMinds would be a great gift idea for Christmas. The pretty pink box comes full with notebooks, bookmarks, sticks, cards, envelopes, masking tape, a pencil and a rubber. All items come in lovely pastel girly colours and designs, and once used, the box would be perfect to store any creations.

New DVD Releases

DVDS make great gift choices for any occasion, but there are some fantastic new releases available from Universal Pictures this Christmas. We were sent The Grinch, The Secret Life of Pets Collection and Dora the Explorer - all films I think would be loved by 6 year olds (and me!).


I hope this has given you some inspiration for Christmas gifts for 6 year olds this year. Let me know what you're buying your little ones!

Walt Disney World Holiday Bucket List

15.11.19

Disney has always been a huge passion of mine, ever since I was little I have visited the parks, watched the films and known most of the words to every song. So now that I have three children of my own I love that I can share my passion with them, and watch them enjoy the experiences I had as a child.

Even though we only went to Disneyland Paris in June, I am already dreaming of when our next Disney trip would be. In the next few years I would love to start planning a very big trip for us, this time across the pond to Walt Disney World in Florida! I've had a good look around at places you can book your Walt Disney World tickets, and am always pricing up different dates and types of holidays. There are a number of experiences I would love for us to do while there as well, so I thought I'd share a few in this post.


Visit all 6 Disney Parks
Walt Disney World in Florida is made up of 4 theme parks, 2 water parks and Disney Springs (which is a hub of shops and restaurants). Of course a trip wouldn't be complete without visiting all 6, especially as all of them have something different to offer.

Watch Happily Ever After
I have watched SO many videos of other people watching Happily Ever After, and listened to soundtrack on loop, so to see it in person would be a dream. Illuminations (the evening firework show at Disneyland Paris) is also a highlight from both of our trips to DLP, so I know the littles would absolutely love it too. You can't beat fireworks can you?

Attend an Epcot Festival
Epcot has a few festival events that happen throughout the year, including Flower and Garden, Food and Wine and Festival of the Arts. Despite a number of holidays to WDW I've never actually been to any of them, so I'd love to visit during one of them (ideally Flower and Garden!). There's lots of extra things to see and enjoy, plus tasty food and drink to experience too. Winner right?


Eat ALL the Mickey Shaped Foods
This was on my DLP bucket list, but unfortunately their selection of Mickey shaped snacks is a bit disappointing compared to Orlando's. You can get waffles, ice creams, pretzels, beignets - you name it, it's Mickey shaped! I know the littles in particular would love the Mickey rice crispy treats, so those would be our first stop.

Stay on-site at a Walt Disney World Resort
I'm very lucky in that I've only ever stayed in Disney hotels when in Orlando, so I would want the same for our family trip too! There are so many fantastic resorts to choose from, including Disney's Art of Animation Resort and Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, and each have their own quirks and perks. I'd have to do a bit more research to find the perfect one for us as a family, but I think I'd be happy with any!


What would be on your Walt Disney World bucket list?
This is a collaborative post.

Christmas Gift Guide for 4 Year Olds | Christmas 2019

14.11.19


The products featured in this post were sent for inclusion in this gift guide, however all opinions are honest and my own. This post also contains affiliate links.

I am excited to be sharing my second Christmas gift guide of 2019 today, this time featuring gifts for 4 year olds. Parker has recently turned 4, so I thought I'd put together and share a collection of gifts that I know he would absolutely love and enjoy. And hopefully this gives you some inspiration for any little 4 year olds you're shopping for this year!

Xootz Mini Tri Scooter


Suitable from age 3, the Xootz Miniature Tri-Scooter is a perfect gift for 4 year olds. The 3 wheel design means it is easier for little legs to master, plus a lot more secure and stable. Plus it's a great way to teach your child how to steer as it has tilting turn action. It's a great first scooter to introduce to 4 year olds and comes in both blue and pink.

Zimpli Kids Slime Products


What four year olds isn't into slime and getting messy? These fab products from Zimpli Kids are absolutely perfect as they can give hours of fun play, but are also easy to clear away too. They have ranges from dinosaurs and unicorns to glitter, snow and a rainbow of colours.

Play Stuff Dough Set


John Adams Play Stuff sets are a fantastic gift idea for 4 year olds. The boxes not only contain the tubs of Play Stuff and tools, but the boxes themselves form part of play! You simply unfold the two sides to reveal the play boards (each side is different), and then once you're done you just fold it back up. This helps keep everything together as well as sparking little imaginations for imaginative play. This Pizza Pasta set contains everything your little one needs to have the perfect Italian feast.

Orchard Toys Rocket Game


Like I mentioned in my Gift Guide for 2 Year Olds, we are huge Orchard Toys games, so I couldn't not add one to this guide. This Rocket Game is very similar to Giraffe's in Scarves game that we have already (which is enjoyed by us all), but as Parker is space obsessed at the moment I thought it would be perfect! Everyone picks a launch pad ready to blast into space, where you then have to collect as many loop-the-loops as you can. These games are great for encouraging turn-taking and group play, as well as teaching numbers and counting is a lovely fun way.

Little Gibson Games and Puzzles


These Little Gibsons games and puzzles from Gibson Games are tailor-made for inquisitive pre-schoolers and beyond. The designs are bright, colourful and fun for little ones, and the 'You Are Awesome' puzzle for example, has a fantastic message too. These puzzles range from 24 - 48 pieces, so I think they'll be perfect for a 4 year old who is learning how to do a trickier puzzle. We were also sent a Superhero City Memory Game which is perfect for entertainment on the go, or a fun game at home.

Fuzzikins


Fuzzikins are super cute little animals that you can colour and design, and then wash and design all over again! This Pizzeria Craft and Play set also comes with a restaurant building, pizzas, stickers and of course the pens you need to create your own design. The fact that the animals are washable (you simply rinse under warm water and leave to dry) means the fun is endless, as your child can create new designs every time. There's so many different characters and sets to collect too.

Face Paintoos Magical Pack


Face Paintoos are super fun temporary face paint tattoos, that come in a whole range of different designs including the Magical, Pet and Wild packs. You don't need to be artistic at all to use them, as they are super easy to apply - you peel off the cover, place on the face, press the included damp sponge against the backing, then peel off. Easy! These are perfect for 4 year olds who want to get their faces painted but can't yet sit still long enough for it.

JoJo Maman Bebe - Wooden High Tea Set


If you're children are like mine and love playing restaurants and picnics, then this Wooden High Tea Set from JoJo Maman Bebe would be the perfect gift this Christmas. The box contains a beautiful 3 tier cake stand, complete with sandwiches, cakes and of course jam and cream for scones (which would you put on first?). Wooden toys really are that little bit more special, and I feel like they stand the test of time more than plastic toys.

Learning Resources Primary Science Lab Set


Since Parker started school he has been obsessed with science and experiments, so this Science Lab Set from BrightMinds is perfect for him! The set contains real toys, that have been created with little hands in mind, including lab style glasses, a magnifying glass and test tubes. There's also 10 activity cards that explain how to do simple experiments, perfect for 4 year olds. Such a fun way to introduce learning and science to young children.

I hope this has given you some inspiration for Christmas gifts for 4 year olds this year. Let me know what you're buying your little ones!

5 Beautiful Places to Visit in London

12.11.19

London is one the most popular tourist destinations in the entire world, and it's pretty easy to see why. With it's wealth of history and culture, bustling tourist spots and hidden gems, there's just so much to see and do in the city for any kind of traveller. In this post I'm going to share 5 of my favourite places to visit in and around London, to really get the most out of the beautiful city.


Enjoy the Sunset from Waterloo Bridge 
Everyone’s heard the famous Kinks song – but does a Waterloo Sunset still stack up in reality? The answer is of course, yes! If you take a stroll to the middle of the bridge in the evening, you’ll be treated to one of the most iconic views down the Thames. There really is something special about London at night, and this is such a lovely spot to enjoy it.

St Paul's Cathedral
Many of the latest additions to the London skyline epitomise modern splendour, with glass, concrete and steel stretching upwards. But few of these new buildings can come close to the beauty of St Paul’s Cathedral. Whether viewed from the inside or outside, it’s a sight to behold! But if you want enjoy a unique perspective on the surrounding city, make sure you make your way to the top of the building. You won't regret it.

St Pancras Station
If you're passing through King’s Cross, it’s easy to lose sight of just how amazing the station building is. Built mainly from red bricks, and with an enormous clock harkening back to a Victorian era, St Pancras Station is full of the possibilities of industrialisation and adventure. If you’re taking a train to (or out of) the city, make sure to take a moment to soak in your surroundings first!



The London Eye
A trip on the London Eye is a great way to enjoy a special view of the city (so long as the weather is on your side). On a clear day, you’ll be able to see as far as Windsor Castle on the far side of the city. And if you head up at night you’ll be treated to an entirely different spectacle - a must do for sure! London Eye tickets can be secured at discounted rates if you book in advance, so make sure to book before you travel.

Richmond Park
London isn’t just a sprawl of high rises and modernisation, even though it can feel that way sometimes. There are many open green spaces within the city limits, Richmond Park being amongst the best of these. Richmond is the largest Site of Special Scientific Interest in the city, and is packed with deer and green open spaces to explore. During November it’s rutting season, where male deer will be battling one another for the choicest mates. This creates some truly unmissable displays – but just remember you’ll need to keep a safe distance.

Where are your favourite places to visit in London?

This is a collaborative post

Christmas Gift Guide for 2 Year Olds | Christmas 2019


The products featured in this post were sent for inclusion in this gift guide, however all opinions are honest and my own. This post also contains affiliate links.

I am SO excited to start sharing my Christmas gift guides for 2019, starting today with my Christmas gift guide for 2 year olds. Lilah will be turning two just after the festive period, so I thought I'd put together and share a collection of gifts that I know she would absolutely love and enjoy. And hopefully this gives you some inspiration for any little 2 year olds you're shopping for this year!

Chicco Red Bullet Balance Bike

A balance bike is a great first bike to introduce little ones, as it helps them learn to balance on two wheels and gain confidence, before introducing pedals. The Chicco Red Bullet bike is suitable for children aged 2 - 5, as it features a height adjustable handlebar and saddle so it grow with your child. It's also made from super-light metal making it easy to take out and about - I could hook this onto the pram handle for trips to the park or if she got tired riding.



I absolutely love gifting books, and these personalised books from The Personalised Gift Shop are absolutely beautiful. You can pick between either the alphabet and numbers set or the shapes and colours set, and both come presented in these lovely gift boxes. The books are great for teaching little ones; making it much more fun with the addition of their name throughout the books. They are made of hardwearing material so they should stand the test of time against toddlers too.


Orchard Toys Number Street Puzzle

We are huge Orchard Toys fans in our house, but we actually don't own any of their puzzles yet! This Number Street puzzle is made up of 20 colourful chunky pieces, so they're easy for little hands to hold as well as hardwearing. It is suitable for ages 2-5 as there are different elements to enjoy as your child grows. Little ones can develop their hand-eye coordination by doing the puzzle, and then they can learn their numbers, counting and even animals through the pictures too.


JoJo Maman Bebe - Stacking Jungle Animals

These stacking animals from JoJo Maman Bebe would make a perfect stocking filler or small gift. The box has 11 beautifully painted wooden animals (including an elephant, tiger, giraffe and panda), that can be stacked on top of each other, or just simply used for imaginative play. They are a great size for little hands, plus a perfect size to pop into a changing bag to use when out and about!


WowWee Baby Shark Singing Doll

If like me, you haven't been able to escape the Baby Shark obsession, then this Baby Shark singing doll from WowWee would be the perfect gift! You can choose between Mummy, Daddy and Baby Shark, and they all sing 4 verses of the well loved song. What's extra fun about this doll is that the speed of the singing is determined by how fast (or slow) you open the sharks mouth. Baby Shark is super cuddly too, so even if you don't want to hear the song, he'll make a lovely snuggle companion.


Addo Woodlets Shape Sorter

You cannot beat a well-made wooden toy, so this Woodlets shape sorter from Addo would make a lovely gift this Christmas. Perfect for developing your little ones fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, it's a great way of teaching skills through play. I love that the shapes are different colours, which then match the colour around the correct hole on the cube, as it not only adds a touch of colour to the toy, but also makes colour recognition another skill they can learn too!


Baby Annabell Collection

Lilah, like a lot of little ones I know, is absolutely baby obsessed. So this Little Baby Fun Doll and Travel Cocoon Carrier from Baby Annabell, is going to be the perfect gift for her this Christmas! The 36cm doll is the perfect size for 2 year olds who are just starting to play with dolls, and features lifelike functions and sounds, as well as sleeping eyes when laid down. This doll also comes with a fabric nappy, cloth and milk bottle for really immersive imaginative play! As your toddler gets more confident with their play, you can introduce this lovely carrier so they can carry baby around just like you did! It is great for children of all sizes as it's adjustable and has a cushioned waist strap.


B. Toys Toulouse Lap Trec

This beautiful magnetic sketch board from BrightMinds is a great gift option for a 2 year old. No need to worry about them scribbling all over the wall / table, as they use the special magnetic pen (or one of the animal stampers) to make their creation instead. Then by simply sliding the green ladybird gently, the picture is gone and they can start all over again! The special addition on this B. Toys board is the bean bag cushion on the back, which makes it much more comfortable to place on your lap whilst drawing.


JoJo Maman Bebe - Fleur Personalised Push-Along Pram

If you are looking for a super special gift, then this Fleur push-along wooden pram is the perfect choice. Not only does it look beautiful with it's white frame and delicate detail, but you can also have the floral hood personalised with an embroidered name. How lovely is that? Of course it doesn't just look lovely - it's also smooth and sturdy to push, plus it's heavy enough to not tip over which can be a problem with flimsy plastic toy pushchairs.


I hope this has given you some inspiration for Christmas gifts for 2 year olds this year. Let me know what you're buying your little ones!

Is Winter the Best Time to get Married?

8.11.19

Getting engaged is such an incredibly exciting moment in your life. Prosecco will be popped, you’ll be congratulated by all of your friends and family, and showing off your beautiful new ring on your finger. But when do you start planning the big day? And when actually is the best time to get married?

A lot of people pick the date dependent on a special occasion - the engagement date, the date of your first date, etc. But a lot will pick their favourite time of year and then a date. If you are dead set against a long engagement, you will you have to think of how long it will take you to plan and prepare a wedding for the following year. Is waiting until the next one just that little bit too long? Plus there’s a much better chance that you can secure your dream venue faster if you book further in advance, or choose an off-peak date to get married.

There is something truly magical about a winter wedding. This collection - https://www.manorbythelake.co.uk/weddings/winter-wedding-collection/ (put together by Manor By the Lake) has so many beautiful, inspirational ideas. Not only is a winter wedding a very classy option, but it has the distinct advantage of having no weather pressure. Instead of scanning weather reports weeks in advance, and hoping right up until the day itself that the sun will make an appearance, you can relax, knowing that you have put every provision in place for the winter to do its worst.


You might be worried that there will be fewer options for flowers come the winter months but there are still many fabulous options. The deep reds will look very striking against a white dress, and there are options to include more creative choices in your bouquet. Pine cones, holly springs and even a sprinkling of 'snow' could make a bouquet that extra bit special!

There are some truly beautiful dresses out there for winter too. Of course if you're getting married in the colder months you might want to consider sleeves or extra accessories. However even if the dress you fall in love with is sheer and strapless, you can always accessorise with gorgeous fur stoles, or spangled shawls, long, white satin gloves and you could always wear your thermals underneath - no-one would ever know!

This blog post has some great tips on quashing those pre-wedding nerves. But overall, remember to plan it your way (and that includes holding it at whatever time of year you like). Come rain or shine, your wedding will be fine, and perfect for you.

This is a collaborative post.