Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Christmas Stocking Filler Gifts

I know, I'm a bit late, you've probably got all your Christmas shopping done by now. But just in case you were stuck for some ideas I've put this list together of some fabulous Stocking fillers!

Girls Gifts

Claire's have a fabulous offer on at the moment where you can buy 3 items and get 3 items free! They make great stocking fillers.

Here's a few ideas I'd pick for my girls.

  1. Zowie Plus Lock Diary £8
  2. TY Beanie Boo Small Mac Mouse Toy £7
  3. Cut out Pink and Silver Glitter Heart Lip Gloss Set £5.50
  4. Kids Purple Fox Jewellery £5.50
  5. Disney Frozen Blue Crystal Jewellery set £6
  6. Black Cat Umbrella £10

Pokemon Fans

Pokemon is really popular again right now. Geek box have some great value gifts that any kid or adult fan would like.
  1. Pokemon plush key ring £4.99
  2. Pikachu Evolve Mug £7.99 (2 for £12)
  3. Pokemon Mega Maxi Poster 61cm x 91.5 cm £4.99
  4. Pokemon T-shirt £12.99
  5. Pokemon Ash Mug £7.99

Foodie Gifts

Always a favourite, lovely food items suitable for anyone. 

Personalised Gifts

I love personalised gifts, I've ordered a few for my family members and you can always find some fabulous offers at this time of the year too.
  1. Crystal frame with photo from £14.98
  2. Hanging ornaments from £3.98
  3. cardboard photo Jigsaw Puzzles from £4.98
  4. Magic Mugs from £4.98
  5. Photo Stone Slate from £9.98

I really hope you have enjoyed my gift list. All prices were correct at the time of posting this on my blog. Links are affiliate links but I've not been paid to bring you this gift guide.

    Monday, 5 December 2016

    Enchanted Christmas at Hatton

    We are big fans of Hatton Adventure World and have visited a few times now. We went to see Father Christmas back in 2014 and were thrilled to be able to visit again this year.

    Hatton's Enchanted Christmas Kingdom is open every weekend until Christmas and 19th - 23rd December, so there is still plenty of time to fit in a visit.

    As well as the fabulous grotto you can still visit the animals and play on the fairground rides as well as many of the other activities. If you get cold there is entertainment in the soft play area or fabulous shows in the family theatre.

    Also for Christmas there are some lovely Craft markets which are open until late with hot food and roasted chestnuts readily available.

    In fact you can be sure of a true Christmas Experience to remember at Hatton, it really is worth a visit.

    Hatton's Enchanted Christmas Kingdom Grotto

    A little Poem

    Three children wait, sitting patiently on sacks of reindeer food.
    They had to wait their turn so not to appear rude.

    Soon they would visit the reindeers at play,
    Which ones would they see today.
    Maybe Dancer, Prancer, Dasher or Vixen,
    Or it could be Cupid, Comet, Donner or Blitzen?

    Blitzen was their favourite by far, 
    He was the friendliest and loved a  stroke through the bar.

    To Dickensian time they were transported back
    on entering the grotto that was dark and black
    The house of Scrooge and Marley made them shrug,
    While Mum called out Bah humbug!

    Then although the photo is not clear,
    There was a shop full of beer,
    We believed that the point of it
    was to help parents get into the Christmas Spirit!

    Then from past to future they were transported
    To see some  shiny robot elf hybrid
    In the Christmas workshop making toys
    For all the nice girls and boys

    This glowing machine was making festive delights for everyone,
    Candy Canes, Stars and Gingerbread Men are now done.

    They viewed the flight path for Father Christmas' Sleigh, 
    It won't be long before he's on his way.

    Behind closed doors would you dare to believe
    Was a ton of gifts to be delivered on Christmas Eve.

    Back in the present they viewed some snowy scenes,
    This friendly elf was wrapped up warm it seems.
    It must be cold because around the bend.....

    ......They saw a waddle of penguins to friend.

    Then it was time to meet the big man himself.
    (No mention of the elf on the shelf)

    They were a little shy at first
    Then the Little Man Fit to burst
    Said "Are you the real Santa Claus?
    I think you are of course!"

    Then Father Christmas pulled out his Naughty or Nice book,
    He opened it up and for their names he did look
    If the children were found on the list called Nice
    Then they would get a lovely surprise

    They were found on the Nice list by the Big Man who
    Gave each child a golden key which unlocked a door to.... 

    The happy children chose their toys with ease
    And paid for them with their golden keys.

    We had a lovely experience and the kids were so excited. After visiting the grotto they went to let off some of their excitement in the park.

    When it got too cold we went into the arts and crafts tent to write letters to Father Christmas and make Christmas cards and decorations. The kids loved it in there and I was happy to get warm again and have a coffee and mince pie.

    The day was a big hit with the kids, they loved it all. We will definitely be looking forward to our next visit to Hatton Adventure World.

    Disclosure: we were sent tickets to visit Hatton's Enchanted Christmas Kingdom for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

    Saturday, 3 December 2016

    My Sunday Photo 3rd December 2016

    I've used a photo taken by my niece on her mobile for this weeks Sunday Photo. 

    I think the main thing that strikes me about my girls is the height difference. There is just under two years between them but Boo is average height, and Star at the age of 11 is already the size of an average adult female. I think she's going to be my tallest child yet, and I already have two that are taller than me. 


    Sunday Snap

    Friday, 2 December 2016

    Married - Word of the Week

    I missed Word of the Week last week as I was incredibly busy. In fact I missed a lot of things in the rush and excitement of getting married last weekend.

    So my word of the week this represents my first week as married.

    Things haven't changed that much, in fact I've spent most of the week recovering from the weekend. I'm now in the process of changing my name on everything, what a task! I even have to change the kid's birth certificates. 

    It was such a wonderful day. I was really worried that I wouldn't make it through but I did and with a big smile on my face. My lovely Sister-in-law helped me and the kids to get ready and I really don't think I'd have made it without her. 

    Everything went so well and I felt so very happy. I'm sure we have many happy years together to look forward to.

    So, on to this week...it's been fairly quiet as I've not been well. I caught a cold off my daughter Star and it's made all my other symptoms ten times worse. That's the problem when you have an auto-immune condition. Star has been pretty poorly too and didn't sleep very well for two days. Then we had her Melatonin prescription come through. This is the first time I've ever used anything medical to make my children sleep but after 11 years I think it was time. We are just trialling it for 30 days and I don't have great hopes as her problems are more in that she wakes really early and this drug just helps her to go to sleep quicker. 

    We've nearly finished this week now so I'm hoping that with the illness out of the way next week will be back to normal. I hope so because it's going to be a busy one...I need to get things in order for Christmas, and we have lots of exciting things to do in the coming weeks which I will be sharing with you.

    The Reading Residence

    Thursday, 1 December 2016

    Should You Prioritize Your Career Before Having Kids?

    Did you have a career before kids, or did you have kids first? Can either way work? I've been given an article to share about whether it's better to prioritize your career before having kids. I have my own opinions on the matter as I did things a little differently to the normal way. 


    A lot of women who want the best of a career they love and a family they adore might wonder if they should prioritize their career before they end up having kids. This is a valid question, after all, as raising a family while working full-time is no easy feat. Ultimately, to come to the right conclusion for you, you need to consider the pros and cons of both options.  

    The Benefits of Putting Your Career Before Your Kids

    The great thing about today’s society is the fact that women aren’t looked down upon if they decide to hold off on getting married and having children. You can totally focus on going to school and getting a great education in your 20s so you can set yourself up for a lifetime of success. So go ahead and get your bachelors, masters, and even your doctorate degree. If you want to work as a nurse, for example, you can certainly pursue your nurse practitioner doctorate degree from a school like Bradley University. Or if you want to enter the exciting world of business, you can get your MBA and become a leader at a company you’ll thrive in.
    In other words, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t pursue your higher education, even if your long-term plans are to settle down and start a family. So, go to school, date, get engaged, and get married if you want, but don’t have kids until your career is firmly established. Otherwise, you’ll end up having to hit the pause button on your career, and that could throw you off.

    The Benefits of Putting Kids Before Your Career

    Even though there are a lot of benefits associated with putting your career before your aspirations for becoming a mother, there are also plenty of women who end up getting married and having children before they have totally established their careers. And there are career women who take a break from their careers to raise their kids for a few years before returning to the workforce. There are even those women who don’t skip a beat because they take their maternity leave and then head right back to work, so having kids doesn’t even affect their career at all. So, this is definitely an option that you can pursue if you want to be sure that you’re going to start a family while you’re still in your 20s or very early 30s.

    Go Back to School

    Thanks to technology, you can now be a full-time mom and still work on advancing your education and your career. If you’re a nurse and you want to be an even better nurse when you return to work after having kids, for example, you can search for online doctoral nursing programs and get your degree from home. So, this is yet another option that will give you the best of both worlds.

    Ultimately, you don’t have to make any sacrifices. You can plan to have kids before your career or vice versa and still have it all.


    I don't think I'm a career minded person and I certainly went for family first. However, as I got older I craved for more education. I started my degree at the age of 27, I was already married with two small children. I studied with the Open University and did most of the work at home. I did have a few weeks away at a time for intensive study at university, I went to Cardiff twice and then Brighton.  My first intentions where to get a degree and go into teaching, then I found a passion for psychology and changed direction. In the end I decided against the careers of either teaching or psychology when I landed a really good job in an academic library. I loved it there and was happy with my choice. By this time my children were in Secondary School and I was a single mum. 

    So I managed to combine education with bringing up children and landed my ideal job as my children got older. It worked for me and these days it is an easy choice to make. 

    I did go on to have more children with a different partner so I suppose you could say I had a career after having kids and before having kids. 

    Another point you need to think of is fertility, it is much better for younger women than older. Once you hit your mid to late 30s it can become more difficult to conceive. 

    What do you think? Did you put your career first before starting a family, or visa versa? And can you have it all?

    Disclosure: This post contains links to other sites and content from another writer.
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