One of my favourite things about Christmas is being able to indulge in nice foods whilst watching Christmas movies. It makes me so happy each year when the Christmas movie channels start and I can watch soppy festive films when the kids are not around. I also love watching all the popular family movies. There are so many of them and I think they really make the build up to Christmas so exciting. In no particular order, here are my Top Five!
On Saturday we headed over to Birmingham to visit The National Sea Life Centre for their Christmas experience to Meet Santa. We have been to National Sea Life Centre Birmingham a few times over the past few years but we have never been at Christmas before.When you arrive there are some lights and a tree near the entrance which are lovely, then you go ahead on your way around the centre.
Vision Direct, the UK’s largest online only retailer of contact lenses, glasses and eye care, is excited to release its Christmas campaign for 2016. Produced by Bespoke Film and Communications, Gizmo Saves Christmas plays on the familiar theme of festive neighbourhood rivalry as well as the age old dog vs. cat debate. They have chosen adorable characters to pull on the heartstrings of us viewers. A dog wearing glasses and a Christmas jumper is the cutest thing I have ever seen AND they have a cat! Cuddles the cat is a beautiful kitty, my kids will love her. I love the competitiveness between the two animals and if you haven't seen it already you MUST! I don't want to give too much away. I have embedded it below for you to watch yourselves.
The advert features Vision Direct’s brand mascot, Mr Gizmo the pug, as well as a new character, Cuddles the cat. It follows last year’s extremely successful Vision Direct Christmas ad, which amassed over one million views across Facebook and YouTube. You can watch the latest advert or play games, win prizes etc. on the advent calendar which starts on the 1st December.
Fans of Gizmo can also purchase the same glasses as he wears in the advert on the Vision Direct website. They have recently introduced their new range of prescription glasses, which are available from only £19.99 including lenses.
*This is a collaborative post
We have had a lovely year as ambassadors for Drayton Manor and last weekend we were invited along to the first day of Drayton Manors Magical Christmas. We were there bright and early ready for opening and got on the first train from Knapford Station to Tidmouth Hault where we travelled along the snowy track and arrived at Tidmouth Hault to find Father Christmas waiting for us! The kids got to say hello to him when we arrived and he handed each of them a letter and envelope along with some crayons and told them to bring it along with them when they visit him later that afternoon.
We then headed over to watch the reindeer be fed by the keepers who told us all about the three reindeer. The kids learnt loads of facts about them and Gracie found it really interesting. We then walked through the zoo to get to the CN Café where they were holding activities to create presents for the animals to be given to them later that day. Gracie and Zach worked together to create a present for the meerkats. They decorated an egg box with some wonderful colouring then filled it with chopped vegetables and mealworms. They then wrapped it in tissue paper and wrote a little message to them on top.
Next stop was The Polar Express 4D Experience in the 4D cinema. If you have seen The Polar Express then you know the story. This is just 15 minutes worth of the film which I thought would ruin it but they have done it so well and it really works. With shaky seats and squirts of water hitting you whilst watching in your 4D glasses. The movie makes you jump and catches you off guard a few times! Gracie and Zach thought it was hilarious. Elsie not so much. I would say to think twice if you have a very small child or a very nervous child. Elsie was ok but did have to sit on my lap after a while and there were a few small children taken out because they got upset.
We then spent a few hours enjoying the rides before heading to the Meerkat manor in the zoo to see them receive their gifts. The keeper through the parcels into the enclosure and it was great watching them work together to open the packages and the noises they made when they managed to get inside each one. All the kids loved watching them!
Then we were ready to visit the Castle of Dreams and see Father Christmas. The kids have waited all year to see inside the Castle of Dreams so were so excited! Father Christmas was great. He spoke to each of the children, except Elsie who had already fallen asleep from excitement! He gave them each a gift bag and let them talk to him for quite a while. It was nice to not feel rushed and he listened to them so attentively before posing for photos. We then carried on through the Castle of Dreams where there was face painting and toys for the kids to play with. It was really lovely and the decorations were really special.
We stayed and waited for the parade and fireworks. The parade started next to Sodor Airport and led to the lake for the start of the fireworks. Now I didn't have a good experience of the parade. The kids were really excited we were waiting early so we were right at the front. The beginning was really good then they started to move. All the characters walked off and everyone was expected to follow. By the time they stopped to start the next bit of the 'show' my kids were trying desperately to get to the side to get a glimpse of what was going on. Then they started moving again and Gracie and Zach were gone. I had Elsie in the pushchair and I couldn't see where they were. I was moving through the crowds but no one would let me past. Staff were trying to push me back while I was trying to explain I had lost two small children. One guy looked sympathetic but no one offered to help. We eventually found them but they were gone at least 5 whole minutes and luckily Gracie had thought to hold on to Zach's hand when she realised she had lost us. After that we decided to keep away from the parade and go and stand safely at the lake to wait for the fireworks. I think the parade sounds like a good idea but there is just not enough room and with so many small children it is not practical. If you take your kids do keep hold of them tightly or pick them up if you can.
Fireworks at Drayton Manor Magical Christmas #DraytonManor #DraytonManorPark #ThemePark #Christmas #MagicalChristmas #Fireworks #ukparentbloggers #ukdaysout #ambassador #draytonsmagicalchristmasA video posted by Carly Markham (@carlymarkham1) on
However, the fireworks were brilliant. It was a lovely display in festive colours. They weren't too noisy and there was plenty of room for everyone to see them lighting up over the lake. We all enjoyed the Fireworks. It was a lovely end to the day and despite the scare, the kids really enjoyed the Christmas experience.
One of the best gifts you can give a woman is time, time to relax, pamper themselves, read a good book or go and do something for themselves. Especially if that woman is a Mum. I know that I don't spend anywhere near enough time on myself. My time is spent looking after the kids, cleaning or working on my blog. In fact when I do get time to myself, I don't know what to do with it. I have put a guide together full of items or experiences I would love for myself or I would choose for the other women in my life. Many of these items would be great to make up a DIY personalised hamper.
Back before I was pregnant with Gracie, I used to love buying new outfits every week to go out and let my hair down over the weekend. I used to do so much shopping at Boohoo.com and bought so many beautiful dresses at such low prices compared to all my local high street stores. Well I haven't shopped their for a long while, but they have recently launched their own kid's clothing ranges. To celebrate the launch, they gave me £35 credit to buy whatever I wanted from the children's range.
I have a love/hate relationship with my garden. I would love to have one of those beautiful relaxing gardens that you can sit in and enjoy any time of year. Surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers and a nice supply of home grown fruits every summer. In reality, I have an overgrown garden which barely gets any sunlight meaning that most of my plants don't survive and I am lucky if I get one edible strawberry each summer.
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