Thursday, 2 February 2017

Highlands of Highworth eviivo Review

We accepted the challenge to review a Bed and Breakfast for eviivo and were thrilled to receive confirmation that we had Highlands of Highworth booked. It meant we were to stay at a place that appealed to me online  - I liked the decor - and we could visit the Cotswolds. I've wanted to visit Devon, Cornwall and the Cotswolds for decades.


We're converted

Ordinarily we'd be strictly hotel people and we've never ever stayed at a Bed and Breakfast as a couple or family (I have myself though with my Dad and his wife in Wales on the way back from Ireland, to break up the long boat and car journey). We stayed in a hotel this Christmas Day night just gone, but it was so awful and this Bed and Breakfast SO great, I think I may now be a complete convert to what eviivo affectionately calls the "independent sector".
The outside of Highlands of Highworth B and B and landlady Karin
The house is way bigger than it deceivingly looks above. It's like a tardis! What is undeniably huge though is the driveway in front which has 2 access points and I'd say parks quite a few cars off-road, so don't at all worry if you as a couple arrive separately. Also makes unpacking the car and popping out for something you've forgotten extremely convenient.

Arrival

We arrived late Friday night 27th January, as Daddy didn't want Aaron to miss football. We arrived at 21:30 and the landlady was very pleased we'd not only let her know our time of arrival but also that I'd texted to say we were running 30 minutes late. You receive a very warm welcome and this is only possible if you are honest and open about your expected time of arrival. They do have solutions if you arrive out of hours but it is ideal to meet the proud owner of this Bed and Breakfast, Karin, pictured above. Depending on the days you stay you may be lucky enough to meet her husband too, who sourced a high chair for us, to make breakfast comfortable for Lottie. It's there now should you need it too :-)
Lottie in Highlands of Highworth high chair

Our room

Straight away, Lottie and Aaron adored our room and they were both right at home. A quick look through the guestbook and you can see that all of the guests feel like this and they get many repeat bookings. In fact they have 100% Trip Advisor reviews and 82% occupancy with our stay being to celebrate them being "Simply the Guest Winners" in the prestigious eviivo Awards very recently. On the eviivo website Highlands has 100% in their reviews.
Highlands of Highworth awards Simply the Guest eviivo
I love that Lottie's PJs coordinated with the decor of the Purple Room which looks way nicer in real life than it does on their website. I got the PJs as one of her many birthday gifts as I am just exhausted trying to do up sleep suit poppers when all she wants to do is crawl, walk or wriggle away. Yes they are cute and much more the baby in a sleepsuit, so I did also get some new ones of those, but you can't beat the speed with which you can put these on :-) and they were only a fiver for a 2-pack in Asda. Thanks for the recommendation Mummy in a TuTu.
Lottie in the purple room at Highlands of Highworth
Lottie has very recently started walking so she was delighted with the metal bedframes on both our single and double bed, using them as a prop to pace up and down up and down the room. This kept her amused for quite some time. She was then very taken with the plentiful tea and coffee area, but here I couldn't take my eyes off her as I did not want her to smash a cup or saucer.
Tea coffee and hot chocolate facilities in the room at Highlands of Highworth
I made very good use of the hot chocolate and we really enjoyed the biscuits Aaron and I, especially as they were topped up for our second night. The icing on the cake was the bottles of water, which I was very grateful for. It's worth accepting the offer of having your room cleaned as all of this gets topped up. Yes it means you have to keep your room tidy ;-) but that makes packing to leave easier - but keep reading as boy is THAT a story!
Large family Purple Room at Highlands of Highworth
Our room felt big even though there wasn't a huge amount of floor space (due to double bed, single bed and travel cot) because it had windows on two walls and because the bathroom is huge. Off the room are THREE doors, one to a wardrobe, one to the bathroom and one, the entrance to the room. The wall of doors is actually quite coordinated and aesthetically pleasing if you know what I mean. 
Large family Purple Room at Highlands of Highworth
As you can see below we had a cloakroom row of hooks on the back of our bedroom door and I loved hanging all of our coats there - I know, simple pleasures! But it's calming to have a home for them and enjoy the room as clutter free as possible. We had a big TV and loved the fact it had children's channels that even worked late at night Friday. It took me till Saturday night to work out how to get the kids to sleep at a reasonable time but it involved a bath followed by lights out. Yeah those pesky lights but I'll know for our next break away. I discovered Friday night that even one desk lamp or just the glow of the TV kept them awake, so Saturday night Daddy stayed in the bathroom for a wee while whilst I dealt with lights out and little people.
Cloakroom hooks and large bathroom Highlands of Highworth Swindon
Speaking of the bath though, I would never normally trust the cleanliness of one away from home for my kids, but so clean is Highlands I felt more than comfortable making a bath part of their wind-down routine on Saturday night and it was so sweet. I had to do something, given the crazy late night of Friday (they slept after midnight out of pure excitement at being in a new place) and how grumpy it meant they both were at breakfast. So Saturday night I think I had them asleep quite soon after 8:30 p.m. Sunday morning they were then both in good form for breakfast and they needed the early night anyway after an amazing day spent in Avebury, a recommendation over breakfast from our landlady. The hubby happened to mention Stone Henge and she explained that Avebury was nearer and way better. Turned out it has the biggest stone circles in Europe and we were indeed very impressed with our day out.
Large bath purple room Highland of Highworth Swindon


Breakfast

It's best to discuss breakfast the night before, what time you would like it and whether you're a continental or English breakfast kind of person. Although I can heartily recommend both. The fresh fruit and yoghurt is delicious - I definitely should have eaten more of it. Karin uses only the best sausages - bloody lovely - and bacon, but as delicious as they were, they were eclipsed by the mushrooms which were more than yummy, literally to die for! A highlight for me though was the huge cafetiere of coffee I got each morning. I bought proper coffee on the way home but it wasn't nearly as nice. Clearly I need to get Kenco like Karin. The condiments on the table were all leading brands too. I became an absolute fan of the Lurpak butter, lashings of it on my toast each morning. With a greedy guzzler like me, she wouldn't make a profit. Speaking of profit, breakfast is now £7 per adult and I'd say well worth it too. The rooms though are cheap for the standard you get, so enjoy them whilst they still are as I'd told Karin she's selling herself short!
Continental and English breakfast at Highlands of Highworth
The ambience at breakfast was lovely, in fact so pleasant that I wanted to sit there all day chatting with Karin the proprietor. I could tell she is a kindred spirit. She's also my own Mum's twin in terms of housekeeping standards and height/build etc... So now I am praying my Mum comes over to the UK again on holiday (from Ireland) and that we find an excuse to go to Swindon again. Hope to see you again Karin :-)
Breakfast area at Highlands of Highworth Swindon
Karin took a break from cooking breakfast - pictured below - to spend some time with Lottie who we were trying to settle in front of the TV, out of pure desperation so we could eat our food while it was still warm.  Karin even fed her some of her Weetabix whilst I tried to enjoy my coffee and English Breakfast. Daddy and I were tag teaming so we could have a forkful each. This is all new to us, because she's started walking so recently and now doesn't settle as well in a highchair, like up until now she always has done.
Karin Landlady of Highlands of Highworth Swindon
Breakfast was definitely one of many highlights of our stay at Highlands of Highworth. The bread is homemade in a bread maker, so whilst you shower and dress you're already salivating. I must have had 5 slices each morning we were there, with Lurpak and jam.


It's Underpriced

Certainly for the standard I won't hesitate in saying this establishment is charging too little for what you get in return and I am so glad to find that a reviewer on Trip Advisor agrees with me:
“Green Room”5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 18 October 2016We stayed in the Green Room & all I can say is attention to detail and your comfort is beyond our expectations, it has all you need for extremely comfortable relax and chilling, en suite is very clean and again everything you need, we were greeted by the owner who is very nice, we opted for breakfast which is a small additional charge and honestly well worth it, my husband had the full English but I had warm baked croissants with what I'm sure tasted and looked like fresh fruit homemade preserve, your every need is most definitely catered for, I asked if there was an iron which the owner organised straight away, we loved our stay so much we are definitely going back for longer, our room had an amazing view of the lovely well kept garden with chickens roaming free and the tree had bird feeders which brought beautiful wild birds of all shapes and sizes, there are even binoculars to use if you so wish, Thank you for such an amazing stay at such a meagre fee, we would of paid double well worth it.
We were reviewing the Highlands of Highworth so our stay was complimentary but ordinarily breakfast is charged in addition to your room rate and the travel cot would be £10.

At first I thought Karin was being exceptionally warm, kind and helpful because I was reviewing as a blogger, but it only takes a quick glance at reviews and at the guestbook on site to see that she is consistently like this. I know it is taxing to give of yourself so freely and unconditionally so I hope the universe returns to her all of the goodwill she generates and more.

I also made a video Vlog of our stay and will also be making one of our day spent at Avebury. So here is a video tour of our wonderful accommodation in Highworth, Swindon


I will also be blogging about our wonderful time spent in Avebury on Saturday 28th January (picture below) but we didn't get to the Cotswolds on the Sunday, even though Karin diligently did a route map for us. Remember I said above that there was a story. Well Daddy asked Aaron to carry one of the bags to the car and it had a pot of satay sauce in it from a takeaway. Suffice to say Aaron left a trail behind him down the long carpeted staircase. Such a shame as I'd just finished packing and they'd had such a lovely time seeing the free range chickens in the garden, the same ones that lay the eggs for breakfast. So we quickly drove home instead which meant we got a food shop done and got all ready for school on Monday. I even managed to unpack straight away which is rare for me. Luckily Karin has a carpet cleaner and it didn't at all stain. Thank God for that.
Avebury our day out from Highlands of Highworth

Thursday, 26 January 2017

10 Things You Might Not Know About Raising a Boy

Are you expecting a baby boy any time soon?  Well, if you’ve never had a son before, or didn’t grow up with boys, you might be worried about what to expect. 
The good news is that it’s no harder to raise a boy than a girl, and in fact there are lots of wonderful things about raising a son! 

However, there are some things you might not know about raising a boy in particular... 

1. Gender stereotypes really are just stereotypes 

Everyone imagines that little girls are the ones who want to cuddle and be close to you, but many parents will confirm that it’s their sons who are the clingiest. Forget those gender stereotypes, and expect your little boys to be the ones who won’t leave your side in the playground. I can honestly testify to this. Aaron used to spend an hour on my knee at breakfast and same at night before bed, where I can already see Lottie is a lot more independent. So I'd actually say it's fulfilling a different stereotype which is "Mummy's boy and Daddy's girl". But I still get gazillions of cuddles from her.

A photo posted by Liska (@newmumonline) on

2. But do believe the stereotypes when it comes to toys... boys do love cars, or at least mine does - we have hundreds of the things

And boys also love guns. Even if you refuse to buy toy guns out of principle, they will make guns out of sticks, the TV remote, a banana, or just their finger. Don’t fret about this: it doesn’t mean they’re going to grow up to be particularly evil adult. Instead, it’s just the way that boys explore the world or act out the films they’ve seen. It’s role-play, and it’s just a bit of fun. We were those parents who refused to buy guns but then a really hot Summer came along and he wanted to play water pistols and so...... I ... let... him....eeeek!

But equally there are LOADS of boys who love to bush buggies and play with kitchens. So there's lots of examples of boys disproving stereotypes too. Those same boys who adore Ana and Elsa. Not really.... Aaron is a man's man type of boy. Very stereotypically a boy. BUT there's nothing he likes more than pushing his sister in her buggy. What's the worst that could happen?!? He''ll grow up to be a Dad ha ha! Caring has to be nurtured which is the same reason I let him cry when he needs to. None of that "you're a boy you don't cry!" - Daddy tries that approach and I tell him to stop!!!


3. Clothes shopping is actually really easy 

For the most part, boys aren’t terribly fussy about what they’re wearing. They’d rather get dressed so they can get on with the day than argue with you about which socks they’re going to wear. Errrrmmm coughs, Aaron. He will definitely tell you what socks he wants to wear. Just today I was talking to my friend who said her eldest boy would only wear Thomas and Friends t-shirts whereas her youngest ignores them all favouring Fireman Sam. 

Boys can be easier to dress and even easier to buy for. However, what you will find is that their clothing needs to be really well made. Boys are forever climbing on things, tackling each and covering their clothes in stains. So, invest in good quality clothing for everyday and, in particular, buy high quality outerwear too. Boys’ waterproofs need to be durable and washable and, if possible, contain pockets. After all, where else are they going to store those cereal bars and batteries and, er... bits of Lego? Don't believe that you can't be creative with boys due to the absence of ribbons and bows. My creativity came with Aaron in how I coordinated his clothes and I used to have SO much fun dressing him up. I chose bright colours over darks for those precious early years.


4. Boys are more likely to end up in A&E than girls 

Boys are more likely to end up in in Accident and Emergency than girls are, with boys accounting for more injuries for most injury types. In fact, 30% more! That’s probably due to the fact boys are so physical in the games they play, and the way they interact with each other... Hmmmm but girls can end up blue-lighted to hospital in an ambulance for different reasons. Think Lottie, think urinary tract infection with a bonkers temperature in the middle of the night. She had a full on "rigor" which terrified the daylights out of me!

5. Rough and tumble is pretty normal 

For some reason, boys seem to be innately ‘physical’ with each other. Whether they’re clamouring over each other, play fighting or wrestling, expect to find a balance between monitoring it to check it doesn’t get out of hand, while learning that it’s just what boys do. Oh my God this is Aaron with his mate after football every week. Me and the other boy's Mum now just chat and wait for them to get the inevitable out of their system. Sometimes I have to split them up so we don't miss our bus home.

6. Little boys aren’t great at aiming... 

If you’ve ever bemoaned how poor a grown man’s aim is in the bathroom, it won’t surprise you to learn that little boys are even worse at peeing neatly. For some reason, the laws of gravity and physics don’t seem to apply when boys use the bathroom, so be prepared to bleach the toilet seat regularly. Consider removing that bathroom rug near the toilet too, unless you want the hassle of replacing it over and over again... Hmmm this has never been an issue with Aaron and he's a neat eater too. Plus that thing where they pee over your shoulder when you're changing their nappy....?!?! In well over 2 years in nappies I think he did it ONCE. He's never pooed at night either and he's never pooed in the bath, whereas Lottie has already done both.

7. Boys tend to reach some milestones a little slower than girls 

There’s no need to worry if your son doesn’t say his first words or sentences for a while after your friends’ daughters have started speaking. There’s a normal range within which children meet certain language milestones, and it’s normal for boys to be on the later end of this scale. This isn't true of every child. Aaron was a talker. He had I think 20-30 words by the time he was 2 or younger. As for walking he walked a week after he turned 1 and Lottie has walked a week before turning 1, which is a negligible difference considering some kids walk at 14-18 months.


8. It’s perfectly normal for boys to want to wear girls’ clothing or do ‘girly’ things 

Many parents are surprised or even concerned to find that their sons want to wear dresses for a while, or play with Barbie dolls or do things we typically associate with girls. However, this is completely normal. Little boys are just as attracted to sparkly, pink or otherwise ‘feminine things’ for the same reasons that little girls are, and it’s rarely a sign that your son secretly wishes he was female. 

Aaron adores playing with Lottie and her toys and exploring things he hasn't before but in the main she plays with his old toys. 

He ALWAYS wants to push her in the buggy though as you can see below and that novelty shows NO signs of wearing off despite her now being a YEAR (where has that year gone?!?). Bless! 

But even if it is a girlie toy he has to explore all it has to offer before he will let he play with it by herself. 

I am beyond thrilled that despite a 5.5 years age gap they do get down on the floor and play together. A lot. Not getting him an xbox or playstation for Christmas means this will continue for a while too LOL! 


9. Bath time is invariably a battle 

For some reason, boys don’t like getting clean. Expect to have a hard job persuading them to go in the shower, and if they’re younger than that, brace yourself for lots of stalling at bath time. However, that might have something to do with the fact that bathing is a boring inconvenience that takes time away from playing. So, load the bath up with toys and bubbles, and you’ll probably find your boy is happy to jump in the tub after all... Aaron loved baths as a baby as they all do and loves them again now. He did go through this phase aged 4/5 but it was short-lived. He likes being clean again now :-)

10. And finally, boys can brush their teeth without the toothbrush getting wet ...yes! 

Really! Just like magic! And stranger still, there’s not a splash of water in the sink, and their breath will mysteriously still smell like dinner and not at all like minty toothpaste. Nahhhh my Aaron adores brushing his teeth and doesn't really ever tell fibs so he wouldn't be leaving the sink dry and pretending he'd brushed when he hadn't.

Do any of these things surprise you about little boys? Or, is there anything you’ve discovered since having a boy that you’d like to share!?

Don't fret about having a boy they're angels really:

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Our Immune System Boosting Parcel from Redoxon

A few weeks ago we got the chance to receive a BOX of Redoxon immune system boosting products but oh the irony I was too sick to do anything but just receive it, say "that's a beautiful box of goodies" and put it to one side. Literally. Could hardly lift a paperclip some days.
The timing could not have been more perfect as I have spent the last 10 weeks saying "my immune system is shot to pieces". See I've been sick on and off since October and we're now in December, hence the blog being slightly unloved too. Not a Christmas Gift Guide in sight which is such a shame as 2015, Xmas being that I was heavily pregnant I didn't do one then either. I really enjoyed spending 15 hours putting one together in 2014, but maybe next year.

Anyway, I now have my energy back so I am catching up with things. I've been doing Vlogmas even before my energy came back but I finally parked that after completing day 12 when I realised it was overtaking my life a lil!

So back to Redoxon. They sent me their products, but in addition I got Cocoa, an amazingly festive smelling candle, a mug, socks and a 2017 diary. Yesterday I finally cleared the dining table which is normally covered in bits and bobs and so as to reserve it for Christmas meals I plonked a Poundland paper tablecloth on it, amongst other things, I'd bought when I had hopes of doing a North Pole Party. I realised it'd be a nice backdrop for Redoxon photos so started to have a play. But first here is Aaron having the chewable gummies which children aged 4 to 8 have 2 of a day. He loves them, which is more than can be said for the Alive soft jell multivitamins that we have also tried...
Redoxon® Triple Action Gummies is a combination of high strength Vitamin C, D and Zinc to help your body’s natural defence system, designed for kids 4 and up.

The thing about Winter is that we get less Vitamin D and do we all get enough of it all year around anyway?!?!? I know Aaron and I go to the park A LOT so we do get a lot of daylight and fresh air but I know that's not the case for the average person and certainly wasn't for me when I was working. I literally had youthful skin for decades only because it never ever got any sun damage purely because I was SUCH a workaholic, gnoshing down a takeaway as I flew through London Liverpool Street Station after 8 o'clock at night. So back to the Vitamin D I was thrilled to see it not only in the above gummies but also in these:
Why use Redoxon® Triple Action? ·         Top up of vitamin D even where there is less sunlight. During the summer months, vitamin D is mainly formed in the skin through UV-B sunlight, and functions to help support the immune system. Latest figures show that in the UK, more than 20% of adults have low vitamin D levels in their blood [i]. Public Health England recently shared guidelines advising that people consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D to help support bones, teeth and muscles****. Redoxon® Triple Action tablets contain 10 micrograms of vitamin D.
·         Your body cannot store Vitamin C for any length of time. Sometimes you need extra help and Vitamin C helps you feel energised** when you need that additional support.
·         Your skin is the body’s first line of defence [ii]. Zinc can help maintain your skin***.

[i] Public Health England. 2014. National Diet and Nutrition Survey Results from Years 1, 2, 3 and 4 (combined) of the Rolling Programme (2008/2009 – 2011/2012). [Online]. [Accessed September 2016]. Available from:https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/310995/NDNS_Y1_to_4_UK_report.pdf
[ii] World Health Organization. 2011. Vitamin A supplementation and disease progression in HIV-infected adults. Online]. [Accessed September 2016]. Available from: http://www.who.int/elena/titles/bbc/vitamina_hiv_adults/en/


The tablets are really easy to dissolve in a glass of water and really tasty to drink. I was disappointed to read that they are not suitable for breastfeeding but as there is no definitive reason as to why, that I know of, I am still having one of them every now and again and do feel a boost from it. Read on, to discover more of my feelings on this.

I must say, as the Triple Action is vitamins C D and Zinc, I prefer their Redoxon Immune Support Every Day as pictured below.
I prefer it as it contains Vitamins B6 and B12 which I know us ladies can be prone to get low on. I'm reading in the ingredients though "Contains a source of phenylalanine." and I think I remember my pharmacist saying that P word as being something that has been proven to go across into breastmilk. I only know as I was trying to buy Lemsip and cough medicine when I was really rough, and I think that is what she told me to avoid. Well to be fair Redoxon do say avoid when breastfeeding, but I so want to use them to boost my immune system. Well Aaron loves the gummies and needs a boost too so they can be his and the Triple Action and Every Days can go to Daddy as he's had the flu too and sees way way less daylight than us. Plus he adores a good effervescent drink! Done a little research and although it crosses into the milk they haven't yet proven it safe or unsafe so I will be cautious but it is an amino acid than can naturally form in foods.

I love the package that Redoxon so kindly sent me, including a candle, a mug, beautiful divine socks, Cocoa and a 2017 diary. The diary is perfect for getting me back to health both in body and blog LOL and setting myself some goals.
For about 10 weeks, the same length of time I have been ill, Lottie can now get out of her bedside cot and come across into my bed so it is no longer safe to go downstairs meaning when I come up to bed with them I myself stay upstairs too as my baby monitor is sound activated and she can come across into my bed (and could fall out of bed) before I'd hear anything and the video screen would be activated. So hubby put the side back on the cot for me at the weekend and before now I hadn't let him as I know it's the end of an era, a baby era. But this weekend I could feel my energy coming back and knew I needed to be able to go downstairs with her safe behind bars LOL. Tonight funnily enough I am in bed writing this on the laptop so I haven't enjoyed that evening downstairs to myself tonight but there are plenty of evenings on the horizon, where thanks to Redoxon I can drink this Cocoa and in my lovely new RED mug too. I am a sucker for a lovely mug.
The hubby loves Cocoa so I can see him diving in whilst I put the kids to bed so it'll be a race for who gets to the red mug first I reckon.

Thanks Redoxon, I love the package and either hubby will have them to himself along with Aaron having the gummies or I may get to finish them as Lottie will be one soon and I don't know how much longer I will breastfeed for.  On Bonfire night my periods came back and I think that is part of my recent malaise somehow. I think I'm all over the place. I've had another one in December too. I'd loved not having them for 18 months. Somehow I think I have less milk, hence my monthlies returning. I don't know am I ready for our breastfeeding journey to end just yet though.... but maybe the right time will appear like it did when I suddenly felt okay for hubby to put the side back on the cot.

Anyway night night. I wish you health in 2017 and sooner. Consider Redoxon if your immune system needs a deep mid-Winter boost. Shortest day of the year today 21st December. I am writing this on Tuesday night but as it is after midnight I'm classing it as 21st. But yes, it's Winter Solstice and the shortest day of the year, so the evenings get longer from here on in, so things are certainly looking up. If I remember rightly I think we gain 15 minutes of daylight a week each evening. So by the end of January you should have noticed over an hour of extra daylight. Yay to that. Get a boost in now while you await that Vitamin D giving sunlight :-)




Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Aldi Ski Wear 2016 Affordable for the Whole Family

We received Ski Wear from Aldi a week or two ago and I have to say it's their best ski range yet and they know it too! Being that I am on my second flu, I didn't get chance to do this blog post but couldn't wait to cover the range in a haul video during my attempt at Vlogmas, so that I did below:
We received stuff quite literally for the whole family and I even have a few bits for my nieces.

It was wonderful Sunday when we spent a few hours at a UK German Christmas Market to be all wrapped up and enjoy the festivities without being cold. Aaron has never ever been a boy for hat, scarf and gloves and has got through most Winters without them. At a stretch the only thing you can get him in is gloves but even then it has to be cold, you won't find him wearing them on a mild Winter's day but you can tell he loves this range as he puts his scarf and hat on every morning, without being asked, before I pass him his jacket and you can see why. Look at the cuteness:
Jacket Boys Aldi £12.99 | Hat Fleece Lined £1.99 | Fleece Scarf £1.99 | Shoes model's own ;-)
I'm actually amazed as I thought Aaron had grown out of bright colours but he loves it and Daddy only has the colour black in his wardrobe but loves the look too. My Mum saw the jacket in her local Aldi and said she had NO IDEA it would look so good ON. I said Mum it's not as if I have styled it up with hat and scarf from elsewhere. No way! They ARE Aldi toooooooooooo. You can see in the pic that there is an extra cuff inside the wide one and this is brilliant for keeping any breeze out leaving you snug and can be stretched down the hands when gloves aren't close to hand. I love that these bright colours means my six year old looks six. Playing with Lottie has made him little and playful again which is great as at the beginning of the year he stopped watching Ben and Holly etc and was getting a bit too old and pre-teen tweenish for my liking. These colours show me my lil boy is still a little boy! I just adore this look! Oh and I can't go without mentioning how much of a difference the fleece lining in the hat makes. So much more cosy, comfy and warm! As you can see the scarf is a lovely length too, prioritising the NECK without all that flapping around business - like who needs that?!?! Especially when it would just invite Aaron to play with it if it was long! We really love the length of the jacket too.
I got a jacket, scarf and hat too and was only too happy to be all wrapped up Sunday too for our festive family day, where it was so handy to have Daddy with us to take this:
If you remember in the haul video I said I couldn't wait to wear the white hat whilst having a Caramel Latte and I did indeed get to do that, but alas at that moment Daddy was in a different shop and I just enjoyed it sans photography.

Although being at the shops in the city centre at this time of year on a Sunday sounds horrid it actually wasn't as we went late in the day, so this was where the sun was, below, as we arrived LOL. We got to Primark one hour before they closed and incidentally I have a Primark haul video too. Got some beautiful bits for Aaron and Lottie.
This slopey metal bar is as close to the slopes as I think we will get LOL.
You can get a proper view of my jacket here, unlike the dark pic above:
I was thrilled to get the hat you see above as the turquoise bit ties in beautifully with the jacket so I have that in addition to the cream one pictured before. The other hats I was sent are suitable for Aaron, Lottie and my nieces. I have to say again though how toasty and comfortable the fleece lining in the hats is. And to get this luxury in such an affordable range is a bonus. My hat is only £2.99 as opposed to Aaron's at £1.99. Amazing!

My jacket retails at a wonderful £19.99. I did however get wet arms in it the other day, so although it is shower proof I wouldn't say it is water proof. But does it rain on the slopes anyway? I always see the slopes as places that are dry and bright but perhaps with a dusting of snow (that you can brush off) which this jacket can more than cope with. It definitely copes with cold temperatures and a few years ago, three to be precise, I even tried Aldi's ski range in the Ice Bar in London which was fun! I got ski stuff from them last year too and still wear it all. The gloves, the jumper and the festive socks were/are all wonderful.
If you've been tuning into my Vlogmas videos you will know that the day I unpacked it all to do a Ski Wear haul video all Aaron and Lottie wanted to do was play IN the box. So much brilliant behind the scenes footage of them having a riot of a right ole fun time.

This is what Aldi has to say about the kids' ski range
Kids get a great deal with Aldi’s skiwearrange, with a full outfit for only £35.94**. This includes Children’s Ski Salopettes (£8.99) which are available in a choice of pink, blue and grey and Aldi’s Girls’/Boys’ Ski Jacket (£12.99) which has multiple pockets for convenience. In addition, Aldi’s Children’s Roll Neck Top (£2.99) has a built in moisture management system to keep them feeling comfortable throughout their skiing experience.
The ski wear is part of the special buys range (in the non-food aisle) and it's a case of "when it's gone it's gone!" but it's been instore since 27th November.
With Ski season just around the corner, everyone from first timers to pros need look no further than Aldi’s Specialbuys Ski Range, in stores and online from 27th November, and available to pre-order online from 24th NovemberThe range boasts an array of super ski essentials from cosy midlayers to snug winter boots, with a full adult outfit costing just £59.94*.
I was thrilled that Mums at school have bought things based on seeing Aaron and the lovely Mummy Daddy Me commented on my haul video:
I've just bought loads of ski clothes from Aldi for our upcoming trip! I didn't know they even did ski stuff until your haul so thanks so much xx
It's wonderful as a blogger to be able to spread the news about affordable ranges that provide value for money. It's phenomenal to have the range arrive in a box on your doorstep and Aldi I am very grateful. We shop in your supermarket every week and I've been known to do hauls of our food shops too ha ha!
If you are worried about the cost of alcohol this Christmas, then go to Aldi as a lot of theirs has won industry awards and I can vouch for their versions of Tia Maria and Baileys in particular.

Our shops aren't always as cheap as the one featured above. Link here to: a weekly shop that was £81 but I guess it depends what you're getting that particular week.

The girl's version of Aaron's jacket is actually available online.

Here you can see the full range of Aldi Ski Wear and it is clearly indicated if the item can be ordered online or is only available instore. Stores may only have limited stock left now if at all so be quick. I did my haul video very quickly to try and give people a chance to get instore whilst stock levels may have been higher. Subscribe to me on youtube here.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

We're Doing Vlogmas A Video A Day for Advent

So you'll have noticed I have let this ole bloggo slide a little. It's because the minute Summer left us I got sick. I have been sick for I'd say 8 weeks I think.... Won't go into that now.

But back to Vlogmas. I am a little bit crazy to be doing it with like no preparation and no pre-prepared videos I am totally making it up as I go along but on some level I am enjoying it and learning lots, in an on-the-job style way ho ho ho!

So, our first Vlogmas was VERY festive indeed and shares our trip to Hamleys and Westfield London to see each of their Santas. You can find out what we thought on Channel 4 Super Shoppers on Monday at 8 pm.

Our second Vlogmas is where it is finally 1st December and the advent calendars are out in force. We cover the school fayre, exceptional frost and Lottie has a play with her new Little Baby Bum plush toys which we are reviewing.

Our third vlogmas covers lunch with Daddy, Aaron receiving a certificate at school and a lovely trip to football at which my siblings have a wonderful evening together showing how strong their brother sister bond is

By the fourth Vlogmas (it's uploaded Sunday but recorded Saturday) I finally have my tree and mantelpiece done so it's all getting rather festive. During this video I pop into John Lewis to get an exchange on Aaron's Kindle Fire from Santa from LAST year and they thankfully did me a no quibble exchange for the same model. A few weeks ago it was hissing and smouldering while charging. I was in awe of the carol singers in there so they feature. I happened to catch the whole of Sing, so even uploaded that too as a separate video of its own, in addition to the festive footage in the vlog. Oh and I discovered whilst in John Lewis that they do a whole range of Portable North Pole merchandise, so watch the vlog if you want to see what that's like:

By the fifth Vlogmas I'm already having a day off from filming, so what happens is Sunday I uploaded Saturday, but come Monday I hadn't recorded anything Sunday, so ON Monday I filmed a Ski Wear Haul (thanks Aldi) and basically uploaded it THE SAME DAY.

But that means that on Monday, day 5, I was filming and uploading so day 6 includes some of the behind-the-scenes footage FROM the said same Ski Wear Haul but also looks behind the scenes at my Christmas decs at what is not done yet. You get to see us put our Nativity Scene together awww:

Day 7 is a DITL (day in the life) style video and features Aaron reading What I Love About Baby Jesus awww

Day 8 is the one I posted TODAY and features Aaron's first PNP (Portable North Pole) video of 2016. I paid £9.99 for the magical pass, but it just so happens that this first video I personalised may actually be the free one, so you could easily try it, no hassle, yourself. Today (remember this vlog was filmed yesterday) I personalised another video which *is* a premium one and it's five times as long and BEAUTIFUL. Features lots more photos and magical bits. Anyway, get started with this one. You can clearly see the wonderful effect it had on Aaron he was captivated

Bye for now, I hope you have time to catch up on our Vlogmas.

Liska, Lottie and Aaron 
xxx

Monday, 28 November 2016

Where Can I Eat on Christmas Day in London?

Christmas is a day of festive joy for everyone around the globe, but no one appreciates it more than those who’ve been slaving away in the kitchen, wrapping presents, and writing Christmas cards all season and are anxiously awaiting a return to normality!  Well, we’ve finally made it!  Leave the excess gift wrap on the floor and relax, because Christmas is our day, too!  Give yourself the ultimate gift by ordering takeaway on Christmas day from one of these great London locations.  They’re open, they deliver and they offer enough goodies to make all your little elves happy and leave your kitchen squeaky clean. Wow, I didn't even know you could get take out on Christmas Day how cool is that!?!??

Kish
9 Kilburn High Road, Maida Vale NW6 5SD

Ordering takeaway on Christmas day from Kish may become a new tradition in your home.  Their Persian fare offers the succulent meat and potato dishes you’ve come to expect from an extravagant Christmas dinner, while ingredients like lemon, parsley, mint and saffron add a fresh twist your taste buds are sure to appreciate after a season of biscuits and chocolate.

Tennessee Land Chicken and Ribs
81 Ballards Lane, Church End London N3 1XT

Tennessee Land’s Southern American cooking will transport you far from home, but not so far as to displease picky little ones or your stubborn uncle.  Their handpicked meats are slow cooked until tender, and they’ll have you eating yourself into a Christmas day food coma!  Don’t forget to add coleslaw and extra BBQ sauce!

The Hungry Buddha
4 Pinchin Street, London E1 1SA

Don’t wait for New Year’s to make your resolution to start eating healthily again!  Thai cuisine from The Hungry Buddha is guaranteed to leave you smiling like the Buddha himself, but without the belly!  They offer a variety of delicious salads and curries that are rich in spices and fresh flavours like papaya and coconut.  They’ll leave your family satisfied and feeling great!


El Patrino Pizza
173 Battersea High Street, Battersea London SW11 3JS

Ahh, nothing like a good old pizza to bring the family together and really appreciate what the holidays are all about.  El Patrino offers enough variety to keep the whole bunch happy and features a number of family deals, which include stocking stuffers like garlic bread or chicken wings.  If pizza is a bit too informal for such a festive day, they also deliver homemade pasta dishes like lasagne and spaghetti Bolognese.  Or you could just get both!  Go all out, it’s still the holidays!


Oriental Star
29 St. James’s Street, Walthamstow London E17 7PJ


The classic film, “A Christmas Story,” started the tradition of Chinese takeaway on Christmas day, and it’s stuck for good reason.  Going for a Chinese takeaway is a simple pleasure we forget amidst the many stresses of the holiday season, and enjoying your favorite stir-fry or satay is like seeing an old friend again.  Oriental Star has enough delectable options to bring smiles to the faces of your whole family and at prices that won’t hurt a post-holiday bank account!

Collaborative post