Living Arrows #13 - It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

It feels like it was only last week when we were celebrating Noah's 5th Birthday and hosting his party and now we are on the countdown to Christmas! In fact, there's only 14 sleeps to go! Every year Noah seems to become more and more excited, he almost can't contain himself this year! Ava, on the other hand, doesn't understand what's happening yet being so young. However, that doesn't mean that she doesn't like to get involved with the festivities, and by festivities I mean, that she guts the Christmas tree every single day without fail and the chocolates on the tree? Gone in two days! It's all fun and games though because they are both in their element and that's what Christmas is all about.

Living Arrows

My Sunday Photo - 49/52


Babyblooms Personalised Bertie Bear & Christmas Stocking - Giveaway

This time last year we were sent the most beautiful gift to review, they were the personalised Bertie Bear and Christmas stocking set from Babyblooms, and you can read that review here. I was blown away when they arrived because the quality was out of this world, they were simply beautiful. I knew that they'd become a new tradition for the kids and that we'd bring them out every Christmas going forward. 365 days later and we love them just as much, if not more. The stockings were hung and the teddies were cuddled before we'd even started decorating the tree! 

The Personalised Bertie Bear & Christmas Stocking set is packaged in a beautiful gift box, which screams luxury before you've even opened it to see what's inside. The Christmas stockings come in three different colours, red, blue and pink and are handmade from a luxurious velvet fabric. These can be embroidered with a name (up to ten letters) of your choice and are the perfect size for little ones. With the stocking comes a beautiful little bear named Bertie. He wears an embossed white ribbon bow around his neck with a knitted jumper in the same colour as the stocking and with the same personalisation. He's so soft that even the biggest Scrooge wouldn't be able to resist a cuddle or two.

The personalised Bertie Bear and Christmas Stocking set costs £50.00 and is worth every single penny. It's such amazing quality and would make the most thoughtful gift for Christmas. How would you like to win a personalised Bertie Bear and Christmas Stocking set in your choice of colour and with the your name of choice? To enter all you need to do is use the Gleam form below. Good luck and don't forget to enter my other competitions.

Bertie Bear & Personalised Christmas Stocking worth £50.00

Terms & Conditions.         
1. There will be 1 winner who win the prize mentioned above.
2. Winners details sent to the PR to arrange the prize. 
3. Competition ends 17/12/18.
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only

Christmas Gift Guide - For Toddler & Baby

Last week, I published three gift guides, one for women, one for men, and one for children, all of which are with lots of different suggestions when it comes to gift giving this Christmas. My fourth and final gift guide of the year is for the little ones in our lives, our babies and toddlers. It contains everything from fun toys and puzzles, through to useful bibs and nappies. Enjoy!

Hape Tea Set for Two - £17.99 This set has everything kids need for teatime role-play fun. Children can put the wooden teabag into the teapot and imagine brewing up the perfect cuppa. The 2 cups and saucers help children to learn about sharing, while the tray, milk jug, and sugar bowl add to the role-play exploration. With pretty patterns and rounded designs, this wooden tea set if perfect for little hands and the high-quality wood makes this set a beautiful gift, durable enough to withstand years of play. Hape 101 Wonderful Beech Blocks - £12.99 This box of bricks is full of wooden cubes, cylinders, stacking arches to build bridges and balancing triangular blocks to create soaring rooftops. When children play with the Hape 101-Piece Wonderful Beech Blocks set, they can express their creativity, learn to recognise shapes and colours, and build a wooden world for their other toys to play in. Stacking and building help children to develop fine motor skills including dexterity, balance, hand-eye coordination and put and take skills and would make a great gift for Christmas. Both of these Hape sets suitable for children from 3 years of age are available to buy at Smyths.

New Sprouts Fresh Fruit Salad Set - £22.00
Suitable from 18 months old this Fresh Fruit Salad set from Learning Resources is bound to appeal to most youngsters. Not only is it a great role play toy it's also a fantastic way to encourage youngsters to use their imagination, vocabulary, coordination, and social skills. In the set, you'll find a watermelon serving bowl and spoon, two small bowls, three berry clusters, three strawberries, three slices of kiwi, and two pineapple rings. This is already wrapped up ready for Ava for Christmas!

Jungle Heads and Tails Game - £7.75
Orchard Toys are the best of the best when it comes to children's games and they cater for so many age ranges. The Jungle Heads and Tails game makes a perfect first game for little ones as it's suitable from 18 months. Not only is it fun, but it's designed to develop matching, memory and observation skills.

Vtech Teletubbies My 1st Tablet - £21.99
Youngsters can learn phonics, numbers, music and more with Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, and Po. The Vtech Teletubbies My 1st Tablet features 8 pretend apps which include a variety of fun learning activities and lots of songs and melodies. Suitable from 6 months old and a must-have for all Teletubbies fans. The Christmas Extravaganza Hotel - £10.99
Bear is ready for a calm, cosy Christmas. Frog is ready for a "tinsel-tastic" Christmas at the Extravaganza Hotel! Neither is ready for what happens next! I think books make great Christmas gifts for children and this 32-page story from Little Tiger Press is bound to be a favourite for children of most ages.

My Little Pony Rainbow Dash Illumi-Mate - £7.99

My Little Pony favourite Rainbow Dash is another fantastic colouring changing light from Spearmark. Powered by batteries they give off just thr right amount of light and change colour too. Just like the rest of the night lights in the range, it's portable and just the right size for children. With so many characters to collect these lights would make a fabulous little stocking filler this Christmas.

Evie Rag Doll
- £22.00
Babyblooms Evie rag doll makes a very special gift for any occasion as she brings with her the promise of a world full of imagination, fun and adventure. Traditionally designed with soft cotton clothing she makes the perfect first doll and favourite playtime friend. Beautifully packaged in one of our exclusive, illustrated gift boxes this is a wonderful gift for a new baby, toddler or child and makes a beautiful keepsake.

Kit & Kin Products - from £2.50
Kit & Kin, the award-winning eco-friendly mother & baby brand co-founded by Emma Bunton, offers an amazing range of natural skincare products and the cutest sustainable nappies. The ideal gifts for any new or expectant mothers! Kit & Kin skincare is certified natural by the COSMOS association, is hypoallergenic, and approved by dermatologists. Nappies might not seem like the most glamorous of gifts but these cute animal prints beg to differ! Not with the designs make you ‘cooo’, but more importantly, the nappy has been developed using sustainably sourced ingredients so you can rest assured you’re doing your bit to help the take care of the planet.

Bibetta Weaning Pack - £26.99
The new Bibetta Weaning set is perfect for little ones at any stage through their weaning journey. Easy to clean both in the washing machine and by hand, Bibetta Weaning Products are made from soft, stretchy neoprene making the bibs comfortable to wear, and 100% waterproof. Neoprene is a very durable fabric and we are confident that these products will last you for a long time to come! It contains a coordinating UltraBib, UltraBib with Sleeves and Placemat with pocket. Buying as a pack saves 20% against buying items individually.

aden + anais Mickey's 90th Dream Blanket - £59.95
aden + anais is celebrating the 90th anniversary of Mickey, the true original, with its first-ever metallic Disney collection featuring iconic artwork of the world’s most lovable mouse through the years. Made with four layers of 100% cotton muslin, this metallic dream blanket ensures playtime, cuddle time and bedtime are nothing less than dreamy. The generously-sized blanket is perfect for both newborns and toddlers. This metallic dream blanket is machine washable, but the precious fabric requires specific care instructions, so be sure to follow them carefully.
Emily Red Classic Shoes - £16.99 The Emily T-bar first occasion pram shoes have been crafted with premium quality soft leather and a slip-resistant rubber sole allowing your toddler to explore their environment with confidence. They are super soft and allow feet to move and develop as nature intended while providing protection for delicate feet. These pretty red leather shoes are perfect for Christmas parties, weddings, christenings or any special occasion. They have a soft leather insole and a cushioned ankle trim for added support. The single Velcro fastening means they are easy to get on wriggly feet. Shimmy Shoes come delivered in a lovely shoe box and make a perfect gift.
Johnson's Sleep Tight Gift Set - £11.99 How about giving the gift of sleep to an exhausted parent this year? Of course, it's not a given but this Johnsons Sleep Tight Gift Set contains everything you need to start establishing a relaxing night time routine. Included is a selection of Johnsons products, a book and a pair of cosy socks.
Would you consider any of these gifts for Christmas?

- We were sent these products for the purpose of this gift guide, however, all opinions are my own.

How To Get Your Home Ready For Christmas On A Budget

We all dream about having the perfect Christmas day. Snow falling outside, while all the family sits down in front of the fire, all toasty, happy and ready to finally get down to opening their presents! However, money can often feel like an obstacle when it comes to setting the scene for that idyllic Christmas day. How can you possibly create a Christmas scene to rival those in White Christmas when you are on such a tight budget? But not to worry! I'm on hand to give you some tips on how to get your home ready for the festive season without having to break the bank.

1. Plan in advance
Christmas can come early! In fact, the earlier you start planning for Christmas, the less stressful December will be for you and your family. Try to make a list of all of the tasks you need to complete in each room of the house and what items you will need for each one. By breaking the tasks down into an easy-to-read format, it should make decorating your home seem more manageable, and less like an impossible mountain that you must somehow overcome.

2. Set a budget
Make sure you actually have a budget when planning for Christmas! How many people do you have to buy for? How much will each of their presents cost? And after all the presents have been bought, how much will you have left over for decorations? Its very easy to get carried away with decorations at Christmas, so make sure you try to stick to your budget as best as you can.

3. Reuse your Christmas decorations
There’s no need to purchase a new set of Christmas decorations every year. If you have any decorations saved from previous years, ensure that you make the most of them! Also, when it comes to taking your decorations down again, make sure you store them safely and securely so that they can be reused for many years to come!

4. Make your own Christmas decorations
It’s sometimes easy to forget what Christmas is all about. Why not put your family in the Christmas spirit by getting everyone together to create your own Christmas decorations from scratch! This activity will encourage family bonding and foster your children’s creativity. It will also add a unique, personal touch that will warm your heart during the festive season.

5. Prepare and protect your home
Make sure that you properly safeguard your house from any problems that the harsh, cold weather might bring. The last surprise you want to wake up to on Christmas day is a leaky roof! Many 
roofing companies in the North East of England will be able to check your roof for any issues, so make sure you get in touch with a professional roofing contractor sooner rather than later.

- This is a collaborative post.