Christmas

Finding the magic this christmas with Portable North Pole

So I posted a couple of days ago about traditions, I did miss one of our most magical traditions out!

A video message from the big man himself – Father Christmas.

As a family, we are Christmas mad, how could we not be with 3 birthdays & a wedding anniversary all in December. So December for us is already pretty amazing.

Sometimes though we just need that extra little bit of magic.

We have used The Portable North Pole website since the Christmas twins were born.

Its such a magical experience to receive a video from Santa, I love to see the kids reactions when Santa knows their name and age.

Santas’ voice is so very warm and friendly. The videos are an amazing way to find the magic at Christmas.

There is now a PNP app for your Android or Apple phone and tablet.

This year they have a reaction Cam on the videos when you watch through the app and save the videos for years to come.

I should have had it on myself I was in tears watching the magic unfold!

Unfortunately, the quality of the video isn’t very good as Melody wanted to hold the phone herself.

It doesn’t ditract from the magic I feel when I play the video though.

I can’t wait to “receive’ some more videos from the big man.

There are loads to choose from including a birthday message. which we will definitely be using come the twins Birthday.

On the site, there are loads of videos to chose to receive as well as telephone calls!

Portable North Pole has a couple of free videos the rest you can access with a magic pass The magic pass gives you access to all the premium videos on the site and at only £9.99 I think its totally worth it. With the very special code at the bottom of this post, you can get 20% off your magic pass

To keep the Magic going, now in conjunction with John Lewis & Amazon, you can purchase PNP branded gifts and toys.

From Elves and reindeer to Puzzles and a good deed jar! Each gift includes a unique code to access a free Special unique video from the PNP site.

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I so love the Portable North Pole and the magic it creates for our family.

I do hope you get as much from it as we have gotten.

Nina x

Discount code for 20% off the PNP gold Pass

http://bit.ly/PNP7BLG20

This post is not sponsored however I did receive a gold pass in order to write the post!
Christmas

30 Reasons – December will pass you by in a flash!

Its already December and already I have missed a million things off my todo list already.

December is always so busy. We have three birthdays two on the same day (that’s what happens when you have twins!) An anniversary (ours – 8 years this year) As well as everything else that comes along this time of year!

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There is never enough time to fit everything in! I would love to simplify this time of year but with 4 children it’s hard!

Here are 30 reasons why December runs away with you

1. Take in Xmas dinner options form to school

2. wake up at 1am Shit move the elf.

3. Attend town lights switch on

4. Wrestle children who want to go on another ride.

5. Pay over the odds for a ride that lasts about a second.

6. Line up to visit Santa

7. Reassure kids that the Santa in front of them isn’t their school caretaker.

8. Learn lines with kids for school nativity/gang show.

9. Write Xmas cards

10. Sit with kids while they write Xmas cards

11. Take over from kids when they’ve had enough of writing Christmas cards

12. Realise you’ve not bought that elusive gift yet.

13. Search every store online only to see its out of stock.

14. Panic buy a turkey as it’s already Dec 5th and they may run out before the big day.

15. Realise you have a kids birthday party to organise before Xmas

16. Shit realise it’s hubbys birthday before that.

17. Panic buy a load of tat for hubby as feeling guilty you’ve not yet bought anything

18. Go back to planning kids party

19. Visit another Santa

20. Explain that the Santa they saw before was really just a helper. And this one is, in fact, the real one.

21. Get annoyed that no one was smiling in Santa pic. In fact, one child was picking their nose.

22. Get slightly tippsy with other mums at kids birthday party.

23. Omg, tidy up after kids party.

24. Get back on to Xmas day planning

25. Get the timings all wrong on Xmas dinner. Cold Brussels & lumpy mash again then?

26. Throw away your own body weight in gift wrap

27. Weep at how your family are amazing

28. Have a snooze

29. Have a bath with all of your new smellys

30. Get sad that it’s all over and pine for next year when you promise you will plan December better & not so rushed.

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Nina x

Christmas

It’ll be Lonely this Christmas.

In the news last week was an article that made me shed a tear or two.

It’s something that really pulls at my heart.

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It’s being lonely. It’s an awful feeling to be alone. At Christmas time it can be even worse. It can bring back memories of family members long gone, feelings of sadness that you no longer have that magic during the festive season.

The report says almost one million older people will be alone this Christmas.

I really hope that when I get to old age my family will still be around and will never let me feel lonely.

What can we do to help??

  • Volunteer to become a befriender with a charity like age.
  • Keep an eye out for elderly neighbours – Drop them some mince pies in on Xmas eve, or offer to pick up some shopping.
  • Say hello to someone in the street, ask how they are and listen to their response.
  • Make an extra meal and take it to someone you know are on their own.
  • Offer to do some household jobs like changing a bulb, or taking out the bin on bin day.
  • At this time of year why not offer to put up some decorations and take them down again at the end of the festive period.
  • Wrap them up a gift. A hamper could be a good idea if you don’t know them very well.

Whatever you do to help will not only benefit them but helping others can contribute to your own sense of wellbeing!

I’m personally going to wrap a couple of hampers for local people and deliver them with the kids.

I want to show them that it’s important not to forget people especially at this time of year.

 

Nina x

Places to volunteer

Age UK

Contact The Elderly 

Royal Voluntary Service 

 

 

Christmas

15 Christmas Traditions

At the weekend myself my friend and our big kids went to the cinema to see the new Disney Shorts film Olafs Frozen Adventure.

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Its a lovely little film centred around Christmas traditions. While I was watching it got me to thinking about different Christmas traditions.

We all have different traditions at Christmas.

Whether we live in the UK or overseas, Christmas is a great time to adopt a family tradition. They are what our kids will remember when they grow up. Sometimes it may be for good reasons sometimes It may be a tradition they can’t wait to finish when they have their own family!

Here are a few of the Spencer family traditions

  • One tradition in our house is the Elf on the Shelf. We currently have 2 One for each of the big twins. They come each December the first and leave on Christmas Eve leaving a Christmas Eve box for the family.
  • When I was a child we had an amazing garden centre with fabulous Christmas displays, unfortunately, its closed down now. However we now still go on a trip to a garden centre or two before Christmas.
  • We have our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. I love the fact that on Christmas day I don’t have to rush about in the kitchen making dinner I can just spend time with the kids opening their gifts!
  • As we have dinner on Xmas eve Chris (hubby) usually takes the kids to soft play for a couple of hours so that I can get on preparing dinner and setting the table.
  • After Christmas we normally jet off to Lanzarote, However this year we are staying put at home. When we do go we like to celebrate the Spanish Christmas on the 5th & 6th. This year is we will still be celebrating but we will be celebrating in the UK by having a party with family & friends.

Here are some traditions from fellow bloggers

  1. ‘We always have trifle for breakfast on Boxing Day. Mum could never finish making it in time for Xmas so it became our tradition’ Sinead –  Sinaed Latham 
  2. A buffet in my nans on Boxing Day – since she had a stroke we all bring a plate and get together. We have a big family so it’s always hard to get us all together. Jenna – Then there were threeWe have a loads.
  3. We buy a new decoration every year and always have a big buffet on Christmas Eve. Louise – Pink Pear Bear
  4. We go to our local church’s Christingle service on Christmas Eve. It’s really family friendly and absolutely magical – the candles, the carols, the anticipation. One of the best moments of Christmas for me.  – Naomi – The Organsed Life Project
  5. We have a walk along the beach, as soon as we’ve finished breakfast we head down to the beach for a family stroll. Pip – Pip Milburn
  6. It sounds silly, but Christmas Eve, we put brand new pajamas on, before eating a Chinese take away and watching a Christmas film of our (alternate years) choosing. Just before bed, we choose a present each to open. Our Christmas day is always about running round after everybody else (multiple parent households) so it’s our little slice of just ours. ❤️ Emmy – Misadventurous MummyWe ice biscuits on christmas eve to leave for Santa. Jamie – The Oliver’s Madhouse.
  7. We have my parents come over for Christmas lunch, which we cook. Then, in the evening, we go to theirs for tea. It helps share the load.  Pete – Household money Saving
  8. My parents come over for dinner, the boys have an early bath & open their Christmas Eve boxes. They then get in their new PJs (from the box), & we all watch a Christmas movie or read a Christmas story with them. Then when they’re in bed, we adults watch It’s “A Wonderful Life” (our fave movie!), have some treats &, when we’re sure the boys are fast asleep, we set up all the presents 😊 x Nina – Bird From An Egg
  9. 1st December box – including An Elf on the Shelf (to begin his antics) , xmas story book, advent calendars , 1 cans decoration for the tree 🎄🎁 ……OR Xmas eve box which has hot choccy, pjs, reindeer food, DVD.Also spotting NASA’s space station in the sky that looks like Father Christmas and his sleigh flying over on Xmas eve x  The Mad Madden’s

Leave a comment below let me know what your traditions are.

Do you share some of the above traditions?

Have you got an odd Christmas tradition that’s unique to your family?

Nina x 

Christmas, Precious Moments

10 Reasons – Why standing in the queue to have your photo took in front of the Coca-Cola Lorry will break you!

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  1. You will worry about the huge crowd
  2. The Huge crowd could mean possible terror incident.
  3. There will be people around you
  4. There will be people around you who are smoking and blowing it in your face.
  5. You will be told approx 100 times by your kids that it’s cold.
  6. The kids will demand a ballon about as many times as they have told you it’s cold.
  7. You will have to break up fights between your children.
  8. You will get to near the end of the queue and one child or yourself will decide they really need a wee and they will need it right now.
  9. The truck will not be as overwhelming as you thought it would be.
  10. It’s cold in November. And the trucks will be outside

Two Extra bonus reasons!

  1. Weep again when you realise you need a truck the size of the Coca-Cola lorry to transport your huge family.
  2. When you leave the queue and start to find somewhere to feed the babies. You realise that the very helpful Nanny Sue has taken the bottles out of the bag to clean them!

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  1. Though when you see the photos that the Coca-Cola Elves take you will shed a tear.
  2. Especially as it’s the first photo with all 7 of you in it!
  3. And when you hear the music you will shed another tear as that’s what you and your new husband walked back down the aisle to after you have said your vows.

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Christmas, Collaborations, review

Stocking filler ideas with The Sports direct £5 challenge. With BritMums.

The Countdown to Christmas is well and truly on the way with only 1 more paydays left beforehand I really do need to crack on with my shopping!

So when BritMums asked me to take on the £5 Christmas  Gift Challenge I Jumped at the chance.

Armed with a list of people who I need to buy for I set to and headed to the online Christmas gift guide!

There is much more than I thought Sports direct sold.

I loaded my basket with stocking fillers for my kids, along with a gift for a friend of mine who is often found taking selfies.

I hit checkout and was given 3 delivery options, the impatient part of me nearly hit next day delivery, however, I chose the cheaper option of standard it means my Items would still be delivered by the end of the week (3 – 5 working days) Sure enough, it arrived only 4 days later!


My Haul

First up I spotted this Selfie Booth kit for £5 reduced from £15

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I had just the friend in mind she is always taking selfies this will be fab for one of her stocking fillers! At £5 it such great value with a selfie stick included in the box which alone retail around the £5 mark. With it is a Bluetooth shutter and a range of props idea for a party photo booth.


With Christmas and two birthdays, fast approaching I’m on the lookout for inexpensive gifts for the kids When I saw these rolling art desks at £5.99 each (so a little over my budget) I had to get them.

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My big girl twin is a huge fan of frozen so this will be great for her and the Marvel one I’m sure my Big boy twin will love just as much. When they arrived they were much bigger than I expected and a lot more sturdy. I’m sure they will love these for their birthday! Well worth more than the £5.99 I paid for them.


This will be our new Twins 1st Christmas and they will only be 4 months old so they won’t really realise anything but I think they will need a few gifts from The big Man So these Fisher-Price Teething Rings at just £1 each are amazing value!

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Unfortunately, these are no longer on the Sports Direct website however they do have other amazing value gifts on there.


Finally, I bought this Raging Bull Rodeo game reduced from £10 to £5 

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At first glance, I thought it was great value for £5 however once I opened the box and tried to play with it, the bull didn’t seem to click into place properly so just spun around before any of the items were placed onto the saddle.


All in all, I think I did well on my challenge and there are loads other amazing gift ideas on the website!

 

#sdfiverchallenge Christmas Challenge, sponsored by Sportsdirect.com

All opinions are my own!

Nina x

Blogging, Christmas, Elf On The Shelf

December blog & YouTube Plans – Vlogmas 

Our elves have landed and there is flashing lights everywhere. Yes it’s December people. img_1776

So this month on the blog…

I want to tell you about a message from a special person.

I will be uploading an elf roundup towards the end of the month.

There is my regular post that first appeared on Meet Other Mums.

And I may stick in a couple more of I really need to tell you something.

However. It is December which means the festive busyness has begun.


Over on my YouTube channel I have started Vlogmas.

Uploads every night except Sunday up until Xmas Eve.

Mondays – Weekend Vlog

Tuesday – Friday DITL (day in the life)

Saturday – Sit-down Chatty vlogs.

So head on over to join us through December.

Check out day one here.

 

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12 Weeks Of Christmas, Blogging, Christmas, Collaborations, Days Out, Travel

12 Weeks to Christmas – Surviving The Christmas Market

Lincoln Christmas Market is one of the Biggest Christmas Markets in Europe. In just under two weeks I will be joining the 250,000 + visitors soaking up the festive feel.

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But heading to a festive market especially with anxiety can be a daunting prospect!

Here are a few things to help me survive my day out!

  • Travel – How am I going to get there? Make sure your not already stressed from taking a wrong turn or because your running late for a train. If its a big Christmas Market be aware that some roads may be closed
  • Parking – Is there a park and ride? DO you have change for the meter?
  • Clothing – Make sure you have suitable clothing & footwear. There will be alot of walking and you will no doubt have lots of bags to carry.You dont want to get to hot!
  • Have your Christmas list with you! That way you know who your buying for and roughly what you want to get
  • Get a shopping list too – Are there some things you would like to purchase on the day? A snow globe, some christmas potpourri maybe?
  • Stick to your budget! – If you have a budget for the day dont go over it! Do you really need another candle holder?
  • Make stops throughout the day for food & Drink – Don’t just fill up on samples and Glühwein Make sure you hydrate with water or a cuppa!

This is the first year I’ve been to the market since I was a child and I’m really looking forward to it!

Have you been? What stalls can you recommend I visit?

Don’t forget to head over to my YouTube Channel As I will Vlogged my trip to the market! So you will be able to see how I get on.

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I have set up a pinterest board for my 12 weeks of christmas posts.
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12 WEEKS OF CHRISTMAS SERIES

  1. 12 weeks of Christmas- Welcome
  2. 12 Weeks Of Chritsmas – Bucket List
  3. 12 Weeks Of Christmas – Days Out12 weeks of Christmas – Shopping List 
  4. 12 weeks of Christmas – Plan with me
  5. 12 Weeks Of Christmas – Advent Calendars 
  6. 12 Weeks Of Christmas – Elf On The Shelf 
12 Weeks Of Christmas, Christmas, Collaborations, Days Out, Travel

12 Weeks to Christmas – Advent Calendars

In just under 4 weeks it will be opening our advent calendars and this year I’m planning on getting away from the regular chocolate variety and opting for something different.

To help me make up my mind i have been looking at reviews from last year and looking for inspiration in the shops christmas departments.

Here are some of my favorites.

Kids 

Playmobile do a range of advent calendars Christmas themed as well as pirate theme and princesses for the girls.

Lego also have a great range from christmas themed to star wars So not just for the kids 😉

Other great non chocolate Calendars for kids.

Vtech toot-toot Ideal for toddlers.

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Play doh also have a couple one is the new Doh Vinci range of PlayDoh the other a regular PlayDoh with festive cutters.

Men

For the men there are some great calendars out there.

I saw this one in Debenhams the other day  it actually works well if you put everything together correctly that is!

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Or what about this from Uk tool Centre?

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Coffee Lover? what about this from Not On The High Street.

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Or this for Beer addicts  From Waitrose.shopping-3

To go with the beer what about a bag of pork scratchings.

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Ladies

There are so many advent Calendars this year that I would love!

This is the Yankee Candle one for this year  I already have this on order so you will be seeing it featured in my Vlogmas Daily vlogs on you Tube.

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Bomb cosmetics also have a great calendar a different product for each day in the run up to Christmas.

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There is this Charm bracelet Calendar from Meri Meri.

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Fellow Vlogger Tanya Burr also has her own advent calendar this year however its only a 12 day one so one beauty  for each of the 12 days of Christmas.

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Sanctuary Spa Also have this so by christmas you will be able to have your very own home spa!

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The one I am looking forward to opening each morning after the school run is this form The English Tea Company – A cuppa a day up till christmas.

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I’m so looking forward to the festive season and opening our advent calendars

I hope I have given you some ideas of the usual Chocolate alternatives.

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I have set up a pinterest board for my 12 weeks of christmas posts If you want to join in with this series why not join in with the weekly Link Up!

see-you-next-time-nina-1

12 WEEKS OF CHRISTMAS SERIES

  1. 12 weeks of Christmas- Welcome
  2. 12 Weeks Of Christmas – Bucket List
  3. 12 Weeks Of Christmas – Days Out
  4. 12 weeks of Christmas – Shopping List 
  5. 12 weeks of Christmas – Plan with me
12 Weeks Of Christmas, Christmas, Collaborations, Travel

12 Weeks to Christmas – Plan With Me

Tomorrow is Halloween and then it will be bonfire night that means christmas is next up on the calendar!

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We have a very busy December so I like to plan a head and I always start by filling in a diary of big days in December We have 2 birthdays, a wedding anniversary and Christmas day

Then I put down all the events we have planned

This year we have J & M’s birthday party, a christmas party we are hosting , a trip on a santa train, village lights switch on, xmas eve meal,

When all events are in I’m ready for writing up a gift list!

Writing down everyone we buy gifts for.

Next up are any menu plans for dinners or parties we are hosting.

We have our main Christmas dinner on christmas eve so I write-up a rough plan of what I’m cooking.

When food is taken care of I will go to pinterest and magazines and look for table decor ideas.

Also When I’m planning Christmas I write-up a plan of any household  jobs that need doing before the big day.

At the moment one job is to finish off the downstairs shower room. So paint and flooring are ordered and finishing it is on my agenda!

I also like to have a rough plan for Elf On The Shelf

This year I want to do something a bit different with Elf On The Shelf. More on this in a separate post!

Thats about it!

So lets get planning!

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I have set up a pinterest board for my 12 weeks of christmas posts If you want to join in with this series why not join in with the weekly Link Up!


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*items featured in this post can be found using my “Want Feed” Just follow the links and it will take you to the page full of Christmas Items.

12 WEEKS OF CHRISTMAS SERIES

  1. 12 weeks of Christmas- Welcome
  2. 12 Weeks Of Chritsmas – Bucket List
  3. 12 Weeks Of Christmas – Days Out
  4. 12 weeks of Christmas – Shopping List