Top Social

A FAMILY LIFESTYLE BLOG

Our New Christmas Traditions

|
Christmas has to be my favourite time of year and I am definitely one of those people that love when Christmas decorations hit the shops and start listening to Christmas music in October. I love all the warm Christmas scents and indulging in the most wonderful treats. Most families have certain traditions that they need to do in order to get into the Christmas spirit and now that we are a family I think it's time we made our own. My daughter will be 18 months old on Christmas Day and obviously she won't fully understand what is going on but I know I will enjoy playing with her and her new toys. 


Christmas Eve Basket

I have seen so many people make up their crates, boxes and baskets for their little ones to enjoy on Christmas Eve, and so we have decided to put one together for our little lady. I think it will become on that she will love and hopefully something that we can all enjoy before Father Christmas comes and visits. I must admit, I really wish we had something like this to enjoy, as a child my parents would get us festive pyjamas and we would sit and watch a Christmas film. Was this a tradition that you and your family did?

Christmas Baking 

Who doesn't love to do a bit of Christmas baking? It was always something that I enjoyed doing with my sister and Dad, and of course mince pies were always the choice. So you could say that I am eager to get into the kitchen with the little lady seeing as we had so much fun making cupcakes a while ago. Festive baking is always so much fun and get every into the spirit of Christmas and so perhaps some Candy Cane Cookies, Shortbread or we may even attempt to make a Gingerbread House, however I do have a feeling that we will be take]ing a trip to a supermarket to get one of those ready made ones. 

Book Advent Calendar 

This is a tradition that I know my daughter would love, as she's becoming quite the book worm. Every night without fail we will read a story together, and she loves to sit on my knee and turn the pages while pointing out things in the story. However, she may be a little young to understand this tradition of a book calendar, but it's something we could look at doing in a couple of years. I will wrap 24 individual books for her to open each day and read with her at bedtime, I think it's such a great way to encourage children to read and beats a chocolate calendar. 

Milk, mince pies and carrots

Now milk and mince pies for Santa has been a favourite tradition for many years, and one tradition that will carry on for many years for everyone. This year I have seen lots of people making their own reindeer food with porridge and glitter to sprinkle outside their back soon, an idea I love, however I think a animal friendly version without glitter may be an option for us so that Rudolph and his reindeer will have even treat to go around everyone. 

A visit to see Father Christmas

Every year we had decided to take our daughter our for an adventure to go and see Father Christmas, last year we decided to take her to Baytree Winter Wonderland, it was such a lovely day, even if she was just six month old. We are hoping that this year when we take her Baytree Winter Wonderland that she will remember and enjoy seeing Father Christmas, I know that not all children like to sit on his knee but we will just have to wait and see. 

Christmas Crafts

Festive crafts? Oh we love to unleash some creativity and what better way to do that will some festive crafts, and this year we have decided to be creative and made our own greeting cards. We got some blank cards and envelopes, brown paint, stamps and got to work on these Reindeer Foot Print Greeting Cards. The little lady wasn't too keen on the coldness of the paint, but I managed to get them all done because she got too upset. 

Christmas Day Jumper/Outfit

This is a tradition that my husband and I have been doing since we got together. We would wake up, open our gifts and then put a very Christmassy outfit on and one we would like to continue now we are a family of three. Any excuse to dress her up in a cute, festive outfit. We are having our own Christmas morning and lunch but we are seeing family in the evening so she has to have the perfect outfit when seeing everyone.

Christmas Light Hunt

This will be added to our must do tradition list. I can always remember going on these Christmas light hunts when I was younger with my brother and my sister. My mum and dad would make us wrap up warm, pile us in the car and hit the road with us giving them directions and see who could spot some Christmas lights. Not everyone goes all out with the Christmas decorations as much anymore, but we will still try and find the loudest, most colourful and twinkly house we can find. 

A snuggle watching a festive film

Having a snuggle on the sofa whilst watching a festive film is the best tradition. Our favourite Christmas films have to be 'The Snowman', 'Santa Claus' and 'The Muppets Christmas Carol' with a hot chocolate, marshmallows and whipped cream - what more could you want? Mmmm

Christmas Pizza

Yes, well technically this isn't going to be a tradition that we will be doing as a family, because little lady isn't fond of pizza. Both my husband and I will be indulging on some Christmas pizza, legit the best festive pizza.  So we can enjoy some good pizza with a glass of wine while finishing any last minute wrapping.

Does your family have any Christmas traditions?

Explore The Adventure: Baytree Winter Wonderland Christmas Grotto

|
It's time for our annual visit to see Father Christmas and we are all very excited. The first time we took the little lady was when she was just six months old, and she was very little and probably won't even remember going. However the same can't be said for this year. Now that she is a little older she is beginning to understand the magic that comes with Christmas and this year we have taken her to Baytree Winter Wonderland Christmas Grotto which is a best-known Christmas grotto in the region. A visit to the Winter Wonderland, a ride on sleigh ride, a visit to Father Christmas, a gift and a small Christmas tree for only £9! What a great price. Accompanying adults and children are £1.50. 

 

This was the first year we took the little lady, my husband thought that it would be a good idea to actually put her in the manger. Thankfully, we went earlier in the year and the place was completely empty. However this year, a week before Christmas and there was a bit of a wait! Two hours! But it was well worth the wait. One of the first displays that we cam across was this huge teddy bear, which in the weird scary lighting was quite frightening. When she pressed the button he began to tell a story and that made me run away, I must admit it was rather strange. 



After a couple of hour we finally made it to the entrance of the Winter Wonderland where we were greeted by some very friendly elves and even got to have a ride on a magical sleigh that went around in a loop a couple of times. After our ride there were a few more displays to be seen from singing owls, elves making toys, reindeers, polar bears and snowmen. It was a very magical journey. 


After a two hour wait, a ride on a sleigh and a magical journey it was time to actually meet Father Christmas. Before actually meeting him, we were greeted by another friendly elf who asked our daughter her age and her name and then we went through. As this was her first time in meeting Father Christmas I was a little dubious about how she would react, but she turned around as if she wanted to be picked up but then she decided to hide under his seat. Father Christmas even said that this was the first time a child has ever sat under his chair, but she did eventfully sit on his knee. 


After have a chat with Father Christmas, she got a present and a Christmas tree. It was then that we discovered that there were real reindeer too, you could even feed them some carrots. It was a truly a magical day and if you ever get the chance to go to Baytree Winter Wonderland, you need to go, you will not be disappointed. 

Amelia's Christmas Eve Basket

|


Last Christmas my daughter was only 6 months old, it feels like only yesterday we were all gathered around her eagerly waiting for her to unwrap her gifts. This year she will be 18 months old and my husband and I are so excited. I hope she will understand more than she did last year and be able to open most of her gifts. We were so excited to take her to see Father Christmas this year and it was so lovely to see her face light up and see how magical Christmas is. I love Christmas, it's my favourite time of the year. I loved decorating our house, listening to Christmas songs, eat lots of naughty food and as much as I can manage and even Christmas shopping! I have some great memories as a child and would love for my daughter to have fond memories to look back on when she's a little older. 

Many families have their own traditions and now as a family we have to begin our own traditions so I have decided every year I will make up a basket full of goodies for Amelia to have on Christmas Eve to get her feeling Christmassy and we can sit around and watch films all day in our Christmas pyjamas. I have been prepared this year and we have her basket all ready and waiting for her. I cannot wait to see her face of Christmas Eve and from every year hear on out. A new tradition in the Combes household is commencing so here is what is in her Christmas Eve basket. 


Christmas Fleece Pyjamas | Frozen DVD | The Nativity Story | Peppa Pig - Christmas Show | Is it Christmas Book | Disney Frozen Elsa Doll| Candy Canes | Chocolate Coins | Christmas Plate | Hot chocolate sachet | 

Will you and your family be having a Christmas Eve basket?

The Best Christmas Breakfast

|
Christmas morning is often a time of family traditions. It usually involves getting up early to jump on everyone else's bed then opening your stocking and gifts, but other traditions can also be attending church, going for walk or visiting other relatives. But of course there is always the food...many families have a special Christmas morning breakfast. Traditionally in my family I would get up early, jump on my mum and dads bed, open stocking and gifts and then help cook a big grill up for everyone. But this year as we are having our first family Christmas in our new home we thought we would begin some new traditions with PANCAKES.


Get your Christmas off to the best start with these light and fluffy pancakes. I love these pancakes so much because you can add any topping from honey and Greek yoghurt, bacon and maple syrup, or chocolate chips. These pancakes are so versatile and what could be better than chocolate chips in your pancakes on Christmas morning!!! 

To make these, you will need:

3 large eggs
115g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
140ml milk 
A pinch of salt

METHOD 

Your first task is to try and separate the eggs in to different bowls. Add the plain flour, baking powder and milk to the bowl with the yolks and mix ingredients into a smooth thick batter. Whisk the whites with the salt until they form stiff peaks. You will need to bare in mind that if you are whisking by hand it will take a while, so a mixer or electric whisk would be great. Who wants a work out on Christmas? 


Fold the egg white mixture into the batter and then heat a non-stick pan on a medium heat, try not adjust the heat as you don't want to burn your Christmas pancakes.


Pour your batter into the heated pan and fry a few minutes until it looks golden brown and firm. It's during this step that you may want to add your ingredients whether it's blueberries, bacon or chocolate chips. Once your pancakes look firm, flip them and let them cook for a few minutes. 


What do you have for your breakfast on Christmas morning?

Reindeer Foot Print Greeting Cards

|
Christmas is just around the corner 8 days away to be exact and what better way to get your toddler even more excited about the big day than helping them create their own personalised greeting cards for their loved ones.


This year we decided to make a footprint reindeer and it was one of the most easiest projects Amelia and I have done together, as it simply involved painting her foot and pressing onto card. However if you have a mischievous toddler they will try to make it their mission to avoid you at all costs, leave brown footprints everywhere or even try to get their foot in their mouth. I found it easier once I strapped my mischievous Amelia in her high chair. 

To make these greeting cards, you'll need:

Child safety paint 
Wiggly eyes 
Red pom poms 
Black/Brown marker pen 
Stamps (optional) 


Firstly you will need to prepare your paint, if you have already made brown paint you can miss this step. If not, keep reading, all you'll need is red, blue and yellow child safety paint. You need to mix yellow and red to create a dark orange (it should be more a red than a yellow). Then mix in a small amount of blue with the orange until the colour begins to turn into a rich chocolate colour. 


So grab your brown paint and brush the paint on to your little ones foot - it may tickle them. Then simply press the painted foot onto a piece of card or paper, be sure to do one foot at a time and keep those baby wipes at the ready!!!



Once you have completed all the required reindeer prints, allow them to fully dry. Then it's time to make your reindeer prints come to life by adding wiggly eyes and a red pom pom nose. Draw on their antlers and if you want to can either stamp your greeting on the card or get your little one to write their greeting and you are done. You now have a personalised reindeer foot print greeting card! 

Our Daily Routine

|
Being a Mummy to a toddler can be hard and stressful at times, but I find having a good routine in place I feel that anything can be possible. Even when we get a time to sit down and catch a breath I will always try and make the most of those times. My daughter has been in her routine for quite some time now and I am sure that it will change as she grows but for now this is our family routine! 


7.00am: I normally wake up and will try to get ready before she wakes. I do like to get dressed, apply make-up and style my hair as it makes me feel more awake and refreshed so I can take on the day. Now I am not saying that we don't have days where we stay in pyjamas because we do and we love them.

7.30am: This is when the little lady normally wakes if I manage to get ready without making too much noise. If not she will just happily chat to herself until I finish getting ready before make her a morning drink.

8.00am: Breakfast time! We will always eat breakfast together as this is perfect time to bond with each other. I love that she loves to share her food with me whether it's toast, peaches or mashed up bananas. 

9.00am: After breakfast I will clean up while my daughter plays with the fridge magnets and then we will go upstairs to get her dressed for the day. Then I will make the beds, do some laundry and then begin the daily cleaning.

10.00am - 12.00pm: This is when I schedule any doctor appointments, classes, play dates or anything else than may need doing. I find that this is when Amelia is most active and has so much energy and I like to keep her entertained for as long as possible to ensure she's goes down for a nap. 

12.00pm: Lunchtime! Most afternoons we will eat at home but we do venture out sometimes. After lunch I will clean up whilst she plays with her toys before putting her down for her nap.

1.00pm - 3.00pm: Nap time! I will put my daughter down for a two hour nap but this all depends on her as it can vary. I will also use this time to take time out for me, drink tea, write blog posts, edit photographs or what I should be doing more of - exercise!

3.30pm: I don't really like my daughter sleeping past 4.00pm as this can interfere with her bedtime routine and we both will be out of sync for next day. Once I get her up I will give her a drink and a very small snack like raisins or grapes and let her watch some television.

4.30pm - 5.00pm: Dinnertime! We will wait for Daddy to get home before tucking into our dinner and we will sit down and eat together I think it's just so important for my daughter to have this during mealtimes.

6.00pm: Bathtime! Normally my husband will run her a bath while I tidy up after dinner, there is nothing more that I hate than a messy kitchen. I will clean her high chair and tidy her toys away ready for the evening with my husband. 

6.30pm: After a while in the bath playing lots of games I will then get getting her dried and dresses in her pjs. We will then have some cuddles and settle down to read a book together. Lady is obsessed with books and will always try and turn the pages.

7.30pm: Bedtime! My daughter will have her night time bottle and go straight to sleep without a peep. If she does struggle I will try and soothe her, sing her a lullaby and/or put her elephant night light until she lulls into her sleep.

8.00pm - 11.00pm: This is Mummy and Daddy time where we like to chill on the sofa watching our favourite programmes on television until my husband falls asleep. Some nights we may even share some chocolate with a cup of tea before going to bed together.

TBT | Baby foot and hand cast

|
It's a Thursday and I think it's time for another throwback. Last time we looked at our newborn photo shoot, and if you have a little one you should get one too. I want to tell you about the hand and foot cast that I had made for my husband for a special gift for Christmas. I wanted to get him a gift that would be personal, unique and something he wouldn't expect. After a lot of research I came across baby casting, what a unique gift this would be. If there are any pregnant ladies or parents with a new-born who are reading my blog post I would highly recommend having a cast done, something that you can cherish forever.




I had my daughter's hand and foot cast by Francis Mortin at 3D Castings and I cannot recommend this lady enough so please check out her website and her Facebook page out. I was so excited about getting her casting but it was so difficult to keep it under wraps from the husband. Turns out he figured it out anyway. Francis was so great with our daughter and she knew exactly how I wanted the castings. We were at her studio for an hour then we went home awaiting an email with photos of the finished casts. But unfortunately they didn't turn out the way we had both hoped so we arranged another appointment, free of charge. The second casts were amazing and we both were really pleased at how they turned out.

It was time to give my husband him his gift and he was so pleased, however he had worked out what we had been up to. It turns out my husband found a small piece of plaster under her finger nail. Even though he knew he was still happy and loved his gift, it's such a unique gift to get for someone. Francis did some beautiful work on the new-born casts of my daughter's hand and foot that we will cherish forever.

WICKED WEDNESDAY | #15 Cue the tantrum...

|
I hope you're having a good week and all your Christmas preparations are well under way its not too long until the big day. We have been well and truly into the festive spirit. As it's Wednesday it means that it's Wicked Wednesday time and we have a great one for you. My daughter has become quite obsessed with blocks and stacking, however she isn't fond of them when they decided to fall over. 

The Best Concealer, EVER!

|
There's nothing I like more that have a browse in boots or superdrug every now and again, I'm sure that I am not the only one. I love beauty products and adore makeup, I probably have too many products, but I still can't help buy more. I know that  I am not the only one. When it comes to beauty product most of us check reviews and recommendations. Ever since becoming a blogger, I have been pretty obsessed with so many beauty blog and Youtubers, and so I rely on their recommendations, A LOT! A little gem that is mentioned again and again the these beauty videos are the most amazing concealer, I'm pretty sure you have heard of this little gem too. 'Collection-Lasting Perfection Concealer'.


Considering so many bloggers swear by this product I thought I would give it a try and at £3.99, it's hardly going to break the bank. First impressions? Why am I only now using this concealer! Seriously! Pretty much ever since I brought this product I have not been able to stop using it! I do have to agree with many of the bloggers and Youtubers, it's like the holy grail of concealers.  It's fantastic for blemishes and it has helped me create the flawless look that so many of us want to achieve. Dark circles? Not any more with this little gem . It is such a good quality product which is very affordable, the only fault I can find is...only finding this out now. 

The Christmas Post

|
It's the first of December so it's official, we can all get excited about Christmas! I am one of those types of people that get so excited when shops dust off the baubles and get the decorations up, yes even if it's in September. 


As it's the first of December it also means the beginning of vlogmas and blogmas which I fell in love with last year but as I have started my own blog there are so many new blogs that I have found that will be taking part. Are you taking part in vlogmas or blogmas? If you are, leave a comment and I will come and check your channel or blog out. My husband and I are looking forward to Christmas this year. Our daughter will be a little older and we are kind of hoping that she will actually play with her toys instead of the boxes or try and eat the paper. But this year is very special as it's the first year as a family in our new home and we are actually attempting to cook our first Christmas dinner. Normally we would alternate each year and go to our parents house, however this year, there's none of that! Just the three of us and the dog!

Anyway as I said we are preparing for Christmas. So let's see how we got into the Christmas Spirit. We actually put up our tree and decorations in November!!!! However, as my husband works random shifts we got to do it early in the year and even got the little lady involved. As soon as my husband went in to the loft to get all the decorations out, our daughter was very intrigued. When my husband and I tackles the tree she was busy with tinsel and baubles getting into lots of of mischief. The little lady and I got bored quickly as my husband is very OCD when it comes to his tree, taking over 40 minutes to put the tree together without any form of decoration, lights or tinsel!!! Yes, I am not kidding! So after two and a half hours here's our tree...


Our daughter really enjoyed helping with the decoration and was fascinated with all the tinsel and twinkly lights and even managed to put the star on the tree with Daddy's help of course. We have decided that this type of photo is going to become a kind of tradition for us, you have to admit it's pretty cute. 


However minutes after my husband put her on the floor she was away with a candy cane I couldn't believe it. What a cheeky little toddler!!! So now I have to move all the candy canes up the tree because with her and dog! Little thieves. 


We also got matching stockings this year and I think that they are still available from Matalan, we got them for about £6 each but I would get yours quick as they are great value for money. I love these stockings are so big and soft, most stockings that are made available today are always too narrow and small, these are perfect.

Post Signature