A Homemade Christmas Eve Box with Hobbycraft

I make it no secret that I love Christmas.  A lot of my childhood memories are from Christmas time.  We had some great family traditions, and many of them I have chosen to adopt for my family.  However one new tradition I have brought in to our family is the Christmas Eve box.

Christmas Eve boxes seem to be the new thing to do nowadays and I love it.  You fill it with little bits for your little one, like new pyjamas for Christmas Eve night, a story for bedtime, maybe some chocolate coins or a little treat.  Basically a treat to really get them in the mood for Christmas Day!

When the team at Hobbycraft invited me to celebrate the opening of their new store in Farnborough by getting crafty.  I knew that I would love to make a Christmas Eve box.  I must say, this sort of thing is completely out of my comfort zone.  I’m not a very crafty person.  I love baking and cake decorating, but I’m not usually great with paints but I wanted something that was something new to me!

So here is what you will need:

  1. Use some masking tape to make a level line along your box to make sure it’s level and work out how much space you have for your letters. (I forgot to do this and ended up with a few wonky words, but it only adds to the homemade feel…!)
  2. Get your letter stencils and paints at the ready, lay the stencil with the letter you want above the line and paint within the stencil with your chosen colour.
  3. Gently lift the stencil away, I found that when I lifted it too quickly I ended up smudging the paint around the edges.
  4. Wipe down the stencil with a wipe or cloth to make sure you don’t smudge any unwanted paint on your box!
  5. Repeat for the rest of the letters (you may have to let the previous letter dry slightly before moving on depending on your letter spacing).  I also chose to paint some little stockings either side of the wording.
  6. Leave to dry.  Once it’s dry you can attach some festive embellishments using double sided sticky tape to make it extra special.  I chose to use some little wooden stars and gold bows.

The Hobbycraft blog has some really great ideas for festive crafts.  They’re always my go to store when we want to make something or bake something amazing!  The new Farnborough store is located at Horizon retail park, and is packed with plenty of crafting materials for all ages and abilities.  The staff in store all have a passion for arts and crafts so are always very helpful and able to guide you to just what you need.

This is a sponsored post with Hobbycraft, I was given the items to create my Christmas Eve box however all words and opinions are my own.


Wishlist for baby number two

When Oliver came along there were a few items I wanted to get, but we decided to go for cheaper alternatives or decided that it wasn’t essential enough to actually buy.  This time around I am definitely going to be purchasing a few of the items I wanted first time round but didn’t get and some things I didn’t want first time around that I now realise why everyone buys.  So I thought I would share these with you.

A Sleepyhead

I really wanted this when I had Oliver.  My best friend had offered to buy it as a present but I decided it was probably not worth the money so told her not to bother.  Since then all I have seen are amazing reviews of it, and I know the Sleepyhead Deluxe will be one of the top items on my must have list.  Plus they now have some beautiful designs on their Deluxe+ range and they even sell a toy arch which attaches so you can use it as a place for your baby to play as well as sleep.

A Snuzpod

We just bought a cheap crib from Mothercare last time around as I wasn’t sure whether it was worth the money for one of the bedside cribs.  Well I know now that they are definitely worth it!  Oliver grew out of the crib within a few months and as we wanted to keep him in our room we had to squeeze the cot bed in, which took up a lot of our available space.  A bedside crib like the SnuzPod is definitely the solution as they are a lot roomier and I have seen babies stay in them until well over 6 months.

An Electric Breastpump

Last time around I bought a manual one and it was such a faff using it that I rarely bothered.  My hand got sore and I just couldn’t be faffed.  This time I know that I will use an electric one, as I would like to be able to give the baby an expressed bottle of milk every now and then as needed, which is something Oliver refused to take.  I really like the look of the Medela Swing Electric Breast Pump , so I think that will be the one I will be looking into purchasing.

A White Noise Machine

I must say, I thought these were a bit gimmicky when I had Oliver.  However, he has always been a bit of a pain to get off to sleep.  I wonder whether something like Ewan the Dream Sheep would have helped us be able to settle him in his cot without the constant need for human contact (we are still struggling now!) and I am pretty sure I would part with the money for an easier bedtime!

What were (or are) the purchases you decided were worth it for your second (third, fourth..etc.) babies?

*this post contains affiliate links


A family meal at Giraffe

We were recently invited to the Guildford branch of Giraffe to see what we thought of their menu.  I have only ever been to Giraffe once before, when I was heavily pregnant with Oliver.  My baby brain has left me with very little memory of the experience, but I seem to remember whatever I had then was pretty yummy!

They invited us along, as currently kids eat free with every main meal purchased.  What a fab offer!  I love restaurants that offer this, as at this stage in Oliver’s life, he often doesn’t finish his meals.  When you’re at a restaurant the portions are aimed at the older child, so when he leaves 50-75% of his meal, I feel like I’ve probably wasted my money!  I know we could share our portions, but I usually order something that he wouldn’t eat, or something that is too spicy for a toddler.  My husband doesn’t share food (he’s basically Joey from Friends). 99% of the time he complains that the portions are too small so having to share some of it with Oliver will just result in him complaining even more!!

Anyway, back to the meal!  We arrived at 11:30am, we had booked a table, so it was all prepared with a highchair already in place, with a balloon attached for Oliver.  We were told they don’t serve lunch until 12 so we had the option to have breakfast or wait for lunch.  We chose to wait, so we had some drinks and Oliver had a little run about (up and down the stairs).  As it was quiet at that time, I didn’t feel too bad about him running around the area we were in and the staff were all really friendly and interacted with him really well.

When it came to choosing our meals, I was stuck.  I was tempted by the burger (this is my standard order at any restaurant) but also by the steak (another meal I love).  When our waitress came over, I said I couldn’t decide, she went through what I was deliberating over and then threw in some of her favourites from the menu.  I ended up ordering the Thai Duck Stir Fry, as it sounded absolutely delicious and she said it was always her favourite choice!  Stuart was planning on having a beef burger, but also ended up ordering the Rodeo Chicken on the waitresses recommendation!

For Oliver’s free meal he had Chicken Katsu Curry.  We chose this because Oliver loves rice, and quite often he will eat the rice rather than the meat.  He decided to prove us wrong and ate the whole chicken breast, and none of the rice!  So well done Giraffe, you must be doing something right!

Our meals were absolutely delicious.  The waitress told me when I ordered the stir fry that it’s the kind of meal that makes you feel full, but not too full.  She was right and I felt full enough, but with a little space for pudding.  Stuart really enjoyed his burger, it looked really nice as well.  For pudding we decided to both go for a sundae (Stuart went for the Rocky Road and I had the Eton Mess) and Oliver had Strawberry and Banana Lollipops.

Oliver really enjoyed his lollipops and Stuart’s sundae looked really good.  I was a little disappointed with mine, don’t get me wrong it was nice, but it was essentially just a sundae glass full of whipped cream with a few strawberries and a dash of crushed meringue added in.  For some reason I thought it had some ice cream in (that’ll teach me to read the description better) and I kind of wished I had chosen the Churros like I had originally planned to!

We had a really great lunch out at Giraffe, the staff were all really friendly and they were really geared up for children.  You could tell because the restaurant was full of families by the time we left!  We will definitely be returning again soon for another lovely family meal out.

Thank you to Giraffe for inviting us to enjoy a family lunch on them.  All words and opinions are my own.


We are expecting!

I’m sure if you have seen my social media and Youtube pages then you will have seen that we are expecting our second baby!  Oliver is going to be a big brother in May 2018!

You may have noticed I’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging, vlogging and social media front recently.  It’s because I have been struggling to keep this a secret (and my body hasn’t exactly tried either)! I thought that if I distanced myself I wouldn’t accidentally let it slip!  Thankfully now I can tell you all and no longer hide my little bump.

This time round I have been a lot more anxious during the early weeks.  When I was pregnant the first time around, I didn’t really think about the risks of miscarriage, but this time around it’s really played on my mind a lot more.  Thankfully we are now past the high risk time and our baby was very happily kicking when we had our scan, so I am feeling much more relaxed now!

It’s definitely been a lot harder this time around with a toddler in tow.  I remember when I was pregnant the first time around, I could sleep when I was tired.  This time around, Ive been feeling even more tired and the only time I can nap is when/if Oliver naps!  I was quite fortunate this time that I didn’t have any morning sickness.  I had constant nausea in the early weeks, but I think this was partially due to two different bugs I came down with.  And fortunately once I recovered from the bugs the nausea went away as well.

I am so excited to see how Oliver is as a big brother, we’re trying to teach him about the baby in mummy tummy now.  Every time we talk about the baby, he wanders off and gets his doll and cuddles it.  So at the moment it seems like he will be a very loving big brother!  Time will only tell!

So hopefully over the next few weeks and months I will giving you some pregnancy updates and sharing our journey to becoming a family of 4!

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