Staying Sane Over The Festive Period.

Christmas can bring out the stress in even the most placid of people if your not careful.

Filling days with lots of activities, buying loads of gifts that are unneeded or unappreciated. Going overboard on the Christmas dinner menu and not practicing any form of self care!

So I thought I would leave a list here to remind myself and any of you of what to do to keep away the stress a little over the next few exciting weeks.

  • Create a  Plan – This for me is most important. I have to have a plan for the whole of December if not I feel overwhelmed or double book things in already busy schedule.
  • Say No – You really don’t need to accept every invitation and if your schedule is already full say no!
  • Cut down – There is no point getting into debt to pay for Christmas if you cant afford it dont buy it! The kids may moan that they didn’t get some thing yes I’m not going to lie and say they wont care because if they are anything like mine they will. This year however I am focusing on a couple of main gifts and a few little gifts If they moan they dont have much they will just have to moan. I’m not getting into any more debt or cluttering up my home for fear my kids will be disappointed!  That good old rule of “Something you want, Something You Need, Something to wear, Something to read,” Is a good thing to stick to!
  • Take some me Time – During the chaotic times take a moment to breath and relax, Paint your nails, go for a coffee, a walk in the park, even a bath when the kids are in bed.
  • Vitamins – Stress can be exaggerated if there are vitamins lacking in your body so take a supplement each day  I take Wellwoman Max vitamins which contains a multi vitamin, omega, and calcium as well as that important vitamin D thats lacking this time of the year!
  • Don’t attempt new recipes on the day of your big meal or party. If you really want to try something new why not have a trial run before your big day? However dont go overboard with your menu. Its better to spend time eating with your family not stressing that you dinner isn’t going to plan.
  • Create a Menu – Dont just wing Chritmas lunch create a menu for yourself with timings of cooking and preparing on it Above I said dont go over the top but If your like me I love to entertain and I have 15 for dinner so i really do need to plan my menu in advance!
  • Dont turn to Alcohol – There is nothing worse than trying to entertain the in-laws (or worse your husbands ex wife. Yes I have my step sons mum for dinner this year – Long story but we do get on)  than trying to entertain them with a hangover. or getting so drunk you end up arguing. So sure enjoy a tipple or two but dont go overboard.
  • Get some air – Ive mentioned getting some me time but getting out in the fresh air is also a good way to take 5. Even if its as a family, Just wrap them up warm and take them for a walk. pick up some fresh veg or head to the woods. just get some air.

I think thats all for the moment. If you can think of any more please leave them in the comments below.

Enjoy the festive season everyone!

Nina x

Keeping memories safe with Portable North Pole.

**I just want to point out that this post is in no way sponsored and I paid for this book with my very own pennies.

I just love Christmas and the magic surrounding it. PNP just adds to the magic.**

Last month I attended the country living fair in London and I met up with the elves from PNP.

They were showcasing a few of the PNP products and gathering interest for a brand new product that isn’t fully going to launch until next year.

Now if you read this post from December 2017 you will know how much I love Portable North Pole. The magic it creates is tear jerking.

At the stand there was a book on the table.

As I opened the book a message from Father Christmas started to play.

I was totally sold there and then. I didn’t need any more persuading.

I know, I know I’m trying to cut down on Christmas, and the amount of gifts we just don’t need. But this is such a special little item. It’s brings me so much joy when I see the kids faces receiving their message from Father Christmas.

If something brings you joy it’s allowed right?

The book it’s self can store around 3- 5 videos depending on the size of the video. So you could use it for more than one child.

You upload to the book from your computer using a usb lead that comes with it. It also uses this to charge.

Along with the book comes a pass to access the PNP videos.

When I spoke to the PNP elves they said they had only made a limited amount this year to gage people’s interest. As such I can’t give you a link to buy these adorable books all I can do is tell you to watch this space for next year.*

If your anything like me and love the magic of Christmas. This has to be on your 2019 Christmas list!

Nina x

*You can however still purchase other Portable North Pole goodies from John Lewis and amazon.

Dear Santa, I would like……. Gift Guide for a 30+ year old!

Dear Santa,

I think I have been good this year! You know its hard being a mum to twins twice so please give me a little leeway.

Here is my list of things I would love to receive under my tree.

  • Magazine Subscription – I love magazines I often have a read during the little twins nap time! Currently on my wish list is Country Living Magazine, Top Sante, and simple things.
  • Bath Caddy  – I keep seeing those instagram posts where people are in the bath with their wooden caddy holding their book and glass of wine! I have to make do with balancing mine on the side at the moment but I’d love to have a caddy for  my cuppa.
  • Canon G7X Mark 2– I really love my canon but its so heavy and not really practical for every day vlogging. At the moment I’m loving vlogging again. capturing memories and sharing them with others. the community that those vlogs then create. I just love it.
  • Spa/ Swimming membership – I keep saying I need to get fit, I really do need to but I have lacked motivation. I love swimming and loved going to the spa for a swim a few times a week but its so hard to fit it in with having two sets of twins and trying to run a house as well as trying to build up my business!
  • Iwatch, – As above I need to get fit I know a watch doesn’t mean I will get fit but I work well with goals to work to. My IWatch has well and truly died So I would like to update it and start following the daily goals of filling in the rings and walking 10000steps.
  • Family Portrait– I would love to get a cartoon style portrait of our family I want a physical one to hang in our playroom.

I dont think thats too many things on my list however I am aware there  are some quite big things.

And they will help me to be good all thorough next year hopefully!

Thank you Santa

Nina x

What Makes A Great Christmas Advert?

I’ve seen my fair share of Christmas adverts. Some starting as far back as September.

But what makes a good Christmas Advert?

I normally vote for the ones that have a story, are memorable, the ones that’s scream Christmas.

Remember this one?

Or …

What if I say “the holidays are coming ,the holidays are coming….”

That advert has to be one of the most iconic Christmas adverts of all time.

But what is it that makes a good Chritmas advert?

Well for me

  • Children singing – One child is great but a whole school choir will get me every time.
  • Nostalgia – Anything where I can look back on memories gone by.
  • A story – If there is a story to the advert Im more likely to get engrossed.
  • Humour – A little bit of humour can really make an advert memorable.
  • Cuteness – Is there a cuddly creature or toy? Everybody say Ahhhhhh

Ive added some of my favourites in a playlist over on Your Tube.

The best ones  for me in 2018 have to be

Boots – I love it. It really gives me a tear every time I see it!

John Lewis – I’m not a massive Elton fan but seeing the child that receives his piano on chritmas day that piano makes his whole life. floods of tears here

And I cant leave out

Mum: Who are you playing in the school play?

Kid: The Plug

Mum The What???

I just love it!

I asked around  what other people class as their favorite Christmas adverts are and why.

Pink Pink Bear – The John Lewis advert where it fast forwards through time of a woman’s life. It came out when I was pregnant and it made me weep every time but it’s a beautiful advert and reminds me of sitting with my big bump and picturing the future. 

Wanderlust and Wet wipes – 2011 John Lewis advert.  Still makes me cry!

Mums The Nerd I loved The Snowman Love Story – John Lewis. It still makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Mrs Hible I loved the John Lewis story of the bear and the Hare. Lily Allen’s song along with the animation was just amazing.

Happy Mummy  John Lewis Man On The Moon – absolutely loved that one.

Sophies Nursery Mine is the Sainsburys one set in WW1 during theChristmas Day truce – so moving!

Ellamental Mama Boots 2018 which features a single mum. Something many companies overlook. As a single mum it’s lovely to see that bond shown loud and proud.

A Rose Tinted world The banned Iceland advert from this year. Important message about how we are wrecking the planet in our lust for palm oil.

Mamma Mummy Mum I love the Iron Bru snowman one, it never fails to make me laugh! And lets be honest, Christmas is all about putting a smile on people’s faces.

Life In The Mums Lane  Mine is a close contest between Sainsburys WW1 and John Lewis Hare & Bear. Both have a real story andChristmas spirit. Can I have both?

Christmas Playlist

What is your favourite Christmas advert of all time?

Nina x

Christmas With The Ex

When my husband “Chris” started a conversation the other week with “I know there are 14 for Christmas dinner…” I stopped him in his tracks and said I’ve already thought about it.

My step Sons mum has been quite poorly and she would normally be out on a Christmas Eve while we are having our big family Christmas dinner I thought how she might be home alone on Christmas Eve I thought about what if she came to us?

At one point we didn’t really get on You could say we hated each other. I mean she got together with my childhood crush when I was in full on crush mode. She knew that I had a thing about him and used to avoid us coming into contact with each other if at all possible.

When their marriage ended and I ended up with Chris we were like arch enemies however now we are a few years down the line we have become quite the modern blended family.

We often message each other with things about the boy, When I had my 2014 breakdown she understood and when she’s been poorly I’ve messaged to see how she is.

Ok were not best friends but like it or not we are family!

So I’ve invited her to come for Christmas Lunch – 1 more isn’t going to make much of a difference. Is it?

Some people may see our set up and think that its a little odd but if we can be friends then why not. As I’ve said we are family and we share the boy even if he is 18.

My parents are divorced and I tell you Its so much better now they speak and get on than it ever was when they would relay messages through me. Or when they would slag one another off all the time!

I just think there is enough sadness, and animosity in the world already why not have part of your family over for Christmas lunch even if that family is blended!

Nina X

December 2018 Simple Festive Bucket List!

December is only one week away. I often get to December without a plan for the month.

I often feel overwhelmed with events going off and then end up going to none.

I watch people’s December vlogs people like Zoella and I think how festive each day is.

This year though I’m simplifying The festive period a little. As much as I can with 4 kids

The best thing I’ve found is to create a bucket list of things I want to do.

My 2018 December Festive Bucket List

  • Attend a Christmas Market. – I’ve been to the Country Living Fair which was full of festive Decor, gifts, and food. But I mean I want to wrap up warm, smell the gluvine see the lights & sample those festive treats.
  • Take a Santa Train Trip. For the past few years our family have been to visit Santa on a steam train ride. It’s become a bit of a tradition I think this has to be on my festive bucket list.
  • Take part in Vlogmas. If you’ve not heard of vlogmas where have you been. It’s a video a day from December 1st to Christmas Day. I never seem to manage it but this year I’d love to tick it off the list.
  • Drink a Snowball or two. – I know Its a little old fashioned but there’s something about Christmas that makes me turn to the snowballs. – If you’ve not tried it you’ve not lived it’s advacat, lemonade, a touch of lime & a glacé cherry to garnish.
  • Garden Centre visit. I’ve already visited one garden centre to see their Christmas displays but would like a visit to another before the festive season is over.
  • Have my New year plans in order. – I get to the new year with a plan in my head but that’s as far as it gets. I’m never organised enough to start my plans.
  • Winter walks. There’s a lot to be said for donning a pair of wellies, a few layers and a woolly hat and getting out into the fresh air.
  • Donate. I’m decluttering at the moment and I’m donating what I can to our local charity shop however I also want to donate a box of foods to the local food bank. I’ve heard about the reverse advent calendars and thought it was such a good idea.
  • Christmas lights road trip. We love getting in the car in our pjs with a snack and a hot drink for a drive around looking at everyone’s lights.
  • Movie afternoon Shut the curtains, turn down the lights grab a duvet and sip hot chocolate in front of one of our fave Christmas movies.

If your looking for a festive things to do I hope this has given you a little bit of inspiration.

What’s on your bucket list? How do you spend the festive period?

There is loads of festive content coming up during December if this is your thing hit that follow button so you don’t miss out!

Nina x

Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año. A Lanzarote Christmas.

For the past few years as a family, we have headed over to Lanzarote during the festive period. Whether that be in the run-up to Christmas or during the holiday it’s self.

2013-12-09 19.43.54

We love Lanzarote and often think of it as our second home.

This in mind and coupled with our love of Christmas what better time to head to Lanzarote for some winter sun and festive excitement.

IMG_2660

The few times we went during the run-up to Christmas we visited the Christmas market in Puerto del Carmen.

Here I met a lady purely by coincidence that I had only ever spoke with on twitter. We ended up meeting her every time we went after that.

The past few year, however, we have gone for new year and the Spanish Christmas (día del Tres Reyes Magos or Three Kings Day)

We have stayed in various places for New Year down next to the beach in Playa Honda and further inland up in the hills in Tias

I have to say the first time we went for new year was one of the best.

We drove to a beachside cafe and had baileys & cake and discussed the past year.

We headed back to our villa and we’re all in our jammers by 8pm. The owners of the villa who lived upstairs were just heading out.

The twins were only 3. However, we made it to midnight and had our 12 grapes one at each gong of the clock.

IMG_9701

Then outside it felt like the whole island was erupting with fireworks.

As we were in the hills we could see for miles.

There were big displays little groups as well as local children and adults letting off firecrackers in the street.

It seemed to go on for at least an hour.

The next day as we were on our way out for the day. There were people just getting in from parties.

A few days later on the evening of the 5th, The island starts celebrations with street processions called Cabalgata de Reyes, where the three kings arrive on floats and throw sweets to the children. There are also other floats with popular characters on them!

When we have been for this we like to finish the evening with a hot chocolate, as it can feel quite chilly in the evening.

The next day 6th Jan is a fiesta day. shops are closed and families celebrate with a roscon cake, The three kings should have delivered gifts to the children, the gifts normally left in shoes outside the door. If you haven’t been good however they leave coal instead of a gift. You can actually buy sugar coal to give.

After lunch, local kids take their gifts to the park to play and show their friends.

It seems like such a social time!

I’d totally recommend a visit at this time of year.

Nina x