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  • InBrand Collaborations, Family

    Our Christmas Plans

    Three years ago we moved house in December and I swore that I would never ever do it again. But of course, we’ve just done it, again. So we’re now pretty much pre Christmas house moving PROS, right? Although I really do mean it when I say that we definitely will not be doing it again! Because of all the chaos that comes with moving house, I felt like we have sort of missed out on the build up and the excitement on the run up to Christmas. Which is usually my favourite part. I mean, we left it so late to get our tree that they had even reduced them to half price! It’s meant that I have been absolutely determined to make the most of our Christmas break this year by cramming in lots of festive activities.

    We already went Ice Skating in November. And we enjoyed our annual winter wonderland break to Center Parcs where we visited Father Christmas at the beginning of December. And since breaking up from work we have been shopping together for last minute gifts and for hot chocolates at our favourite garden centre. We spent Christmas day with Josh’s side of the family and boxing day with mine. And we hosted a little brunch for friends today too. I’ve eaten more Turkey in the last few days than I have all year, drunk bucks fizz with breakfast for three days in a row and I have discovered a new found love for mince pies. Isn’t festive food just the best?! Although I am pretty sure my jeans beg to differ!

    Tomorrow we are off for a family day out to the 02 to see Disney on Ice Passport To Adventure. Bella is suuuuper excited as she is totally Disney obsessed. I am sure she is going to absolutely love it. It features some of the characters from our favourites like the Lion King, Peter Pan and Frozen. It is on until the 30th with three showings each day. There are plenty of tickets still available here if you fancy going along too!

    We’re also planning to take a drive around the surrounding villages one evening this week to see all the Christmas lights. We try to do this every year and it’s something we all really enjoy. If we get a dry day between now and the New Year then I am sure we’ll visit one of our local National Trust properties too, wrapped up warm of course and armed with a flask of hot chocolate! I’m not sure I can face the sales this year. Not with two kids in tow anyway, so I’ll stick to browsing online instead!

    We are having a lovely Christmas break, which is much needed after moving house. There are no huge plans in place for New Years Eve this year due to Hugo still being so young. But I’m actually quite looking forward to having a quiet one! Especially as I know the chaos will resume shortly as soon as the house renovations start in the New Year!

    How has your Christmas been? What did you get up to?




    Harriet XO

    *We have been kindly gifted tickets to Disney On Ice in exchange for a mention in this post, although all words are of course my own*

  • InBrand Collaborations, Lifestyle

    Christmas Gift Ideas For Him

    For some reason I always leave shopping for my poor husband right until the last minute! Of course I do have a rough idea of what I would like to buy beforehand which does tend to help. I would say Josh is fairly easy to buy for luckily but I know that some men aren’t. I have rounded up a few of my favourite gift ideas for the men in your life in case you are in need of some last minute inspiration!


    Braun Multi Groomer

    Men seem to get overly enthusiastic when it comes to grooming products. My husband informs this one is pretty top spec and it’s currently on offer on Amazon and if your quick can be here in time for Christmas. Go go go!

    Abercrombie & Fitch Bobble Hat

    Everyone needs a bobble hat, even the men in your life! I love this Abercrombie & Fitch one.

    Haribo Mega Stars

    My husband is Haribo obsessed so he will definitely be receiving some of these in his stocking, just like every other year!

    Thermos Food Flask

    For busy men on the go, this food flask from Thermos is a lunchtime essential. It keeps food hot for seven hours or cold for up to twenty two!

    Flip Case for Iphone

    Josh swears by his one of these, it has space to keep your cards too which is always pretty handy.

    Unheated Propogator

    If the man in your life is a dab hand in the garden then this would make a fab gift.


    I bought these slippers for Josh about five years ago and he wore them until they literally fell apart. He loved them so much that he has asked for a new pair this year.

    Fitbit Charge

    If he’s into his fitness then a Fitbit will probably be on his Christmas wishlist. Everyone I know seems to have one these days and swears by them. This one even reminds you to move if you haven’t for a while, perfect if you work in an office sat down and struggle to get those steps in!

    Porcelain & Bamboo Cheese Board

    We love entertaining and have so many different serving platters/ plates which we use all the time. I love this gorgeous porcelain and bamboo cheese board from Procook.


    We regularly have smoothies or shakes for breakfast in our house which are perfect when your in a rush. This Nutriblitzer ensures you lock in all the goodness and don’t lose those healthy vitamins in the blitzing process.

    Personalised Keyring

    I’m a sucker for a personalised gift and I think this key ring is so lovely. The coins can be personalised with both the father and child’s year of birth which is such a sweet touch!

    Thanks for reading,
    Harriet XO

    *This is a collaborative post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are of course my own*

  • InBrand Collaborations, Family

    A Visit To The Christmas Village at INTU Lakeside

    A couple of weekends back we visited the Christmas village at INTU Lakeside in Essex. We had already been along to the opening of the ice skating rink one evening back in November which was lovely but sadly only for over fours. This time we went to check out the whole village and pay a visit to Father Christmas of course.

    When we arrived at our allocated slot time we were greeted by a friendly elf who gave Bella a token to use on one of the interactive games while we waited for our turn. Inside the grotto was very dark which made it quite tricky to take any decent photos sadly. We didn’t have to wait too long before it was our turn to meet the big guy in red. He was super friendly, as were all of his elves. He chatted to Bella about what she’d like for Christmas this year (she requested a baby, I told him I had this covered already and not to worry 😉 HA)

    Bella was given a lovely Playmobil set from Father Christmas which she was made up with and we had our photo taken by one of the elves before departing. I was a bit disappointed with our photo as the camera flash made us all look a bit shocked/unwell but alas I bought it anyway. The cost of the grotto is £6 per child which I think is definitely worth it as the presents were lovely and the photo was an extra £7.

    After we left the grotto Bella went on a couple of the rides which were fairly reasonable at about £2-3 each. One thing to note is that there is no card facilities in the Christmas village so it’s worth getting some cash out beforehand. Overall we had a lovely morning although in future I think I would try to go in the afternoon/evening to really get into the Christmas spirit as it was all a bit quiet when we were there mid morning. The Christmas village is open until the 1st January so if you’re local I would totally recommend popping along.

    Harriet XO

    *We were invited to visit the Santa’s grotto free of charge as part of our role with intuVIB although all opinions are of course my own*

  • InBrand Collaborations, Family

    A Festive Afternoon Tea at Wyevale Garden Centre 

    We were recently invited along to our local Wyevale garden centre for a festive afternoon tea with Father Christmas. I had seen lots of blogger friends rave about their experience so was really looking forward to going along ourselves.

    Our visit didn’t get off to a very good start sadly as when we arrived they had no record of my booking for some reason so therefore there was no table laid up for us which was a bit disappointing. We were asked to take a seat by one of of Father Christmas’s elves while they made up a table for us which seemed to take much longer than probably necessary.

    Bella was beginning to get restless but luckily once we were seated our food arrived fairly promptly. Josh and I got a three tiered cake stand full of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream & jam and a selection of mini cakes. Our afternoon tea was absolutely delicious, I honestly couldn’t fault it and we quickly forgot about our previous booking / seating issues. Bella had a children’s lunch bag which included a sandwich and a selection of snacks which she was very impressed with and thoroughly enjoyed tucking into.

    There was Christmas music playing in the background, lots of lovely festive decorations in the cafe and even Christmas crackers on the table, which Bella enjoyed pulling although she outright refused to wear one of the hats, despite my efforts of saying it was a crown like Queen Elsa’s! Also on the table there was some colouring & crayons which kept Bella amused in between eating. Alongside the colouring, there was a gingerbread biscuit, a tube of icing and some decorations on the table for the children to decorate the biscuit with, Bella really enjoyed doing this and it was probably one of her favourite parts of the whole experience.

    Whilst we were eating the big man himself made an appearance and took the time to come round to each table and speak to every child which was so lovely. Father Christmas then made his was over to his grotto and each family took it in turns to take the children up for photos with him and to choose a gift. I was super impressed with the selection or presents available, definitely the best I have seen so far. Bella chose a mermaid doll which she was absolutely made up with as her current favourite book is the singing mermaid.


    We left Wyvale with full tummies and a very happy three year old. Overall it was a lovely experience and one I will definitely do again next year! My only criticism would be that the lighting was very low which made taking nice photos for this post near to impossible, a bloggers worst nightmare 😉

    Harriet xo


    *We were kindly invited along by Wyvale for complimentary afternoon tea for the purpose of this post. All opinions are of course my own*

  • InBella, Brand Collaborations

    Christmas Gift Ideas For Little Ones

    For the second instalment of my festive gift ideas I’ve rounded up a few of my favourite Christmas gifts for little ones. There is a combination of things that Bella received for her birthday in November, things she will be opening on Christmas day herself and a couple of things that I would love to get her in the future. I hope this post gives you some ideas!





    Little Tikes Large Slide

    What child doesn’t love a slide? This fab little tikes one actually fold too for easy storage which is great if you don’t want to leave it out all winter, you can easily pop it away in the shed or garage. It comes in a few different colours but we have the pink one which Bella loves.

    V TECH Kidizoom Camera

    Bella is obsessed with taking photos on our phones so I think she would love this camera. I contemplated buying it for her this year but have decided to wait and get it for her next birthday as I think she will appreciate it a bit more then and be able to fully understand how it works.

    Leap Pad Platinum

    Bella loves to watch YouTube videos on our phones so we had contemplated getting her a tablet of some sort but we decided that we wanted her to have a tablet that was more educational so we have gone for the Leap Pad Platinum. There is a huge range of educational yet fun games and apps available as well as a safe, protected web browser which serves up a ton of kid-appropriate videos.

    Wooden Balance Bike

    The only thing Bella wanted for her birthday last month was a bike. She went on and on about it for months! This is the one she received for her birthday. It’s really well made but also super lightweight which is always a plus as it’s normally us parents carrying it back from the park!!

    Little Tikes 3 in 1 Activity Walker

    The perfect gift for a smaller child if they are’t yet walking. Bella adored her walker when she was learning to walk and I love how this one flashes as it moves.

    Little Tikes Cozy Coupe

    Bella received this for her birthday last year and she used it so much over the summer and I know it will be one of those toys that she will enjoy for many years to come.

    Thermos FUNtainer Hydration Bottle

    I have one of those children who is a nightmare when it comes to drinking enough fluids. I have to remind her constantly to have a drink. We have this for her stocking and I’m hoping it may encourage her to drink a bit more as I know she will love the pretty design. This bottle will keep drinks cold for 12 whole hours too which means it will be fab for days out over the summer.

    Cadburys Snowman

    Because every little one needs a bit of chocolate at Christmas!

    Puressentiel Rest & Relax Baby Balm

    Another one for smaller babes, this relaxing baby balm is made up of 5 different essential oils and is perfect for helping your baby to relax. It’s also supposed to help them sleep!

    Disney Princess Doll

    Bella is a huge Disney princess fan and she has been slowly collecting all of these dolls. She’ll be super pleased as she will be opening a couple of different ones this Christmas morning.

    Disney Princess Animators Collection

    I love these Disney princess figures and I know Bella will be over the moon with them.

    Fable Heart Crown

    I have swooned over the Fable Heart crowns for so long now! I have a little girl who just loves to dress up and I know she would adore one of these beautiful crowns.

    Wooden Train Set

    We got Bella a wooden train set similar to this one for her birthday and she spends ages playing with it most days. Sometimes you can’t go wrong with a classic wooden toy.

    The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home Book

     I love buying books for children and this one has fast become our all time favourite in our house. It’s such a lovely story that you personalise with the child’s name, it even shows a birds eye view of their house. This book would definitely make the perfect gift this Christmas.

    Thanks for reading,
    Harriet XO

    *This is a collaborative post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are of course my own*

  • InFamily

    Oh, Christmas Tree

    We have such a busy schedule most of the time that we decided weeks back that this would be the weekend we would set aside to go and choose our Christmas tree, decorate the house and just generally get ourselves into the festive spirit! We decided last minute to go with my sister, her husband and my new niece who’s only 5 weeks old to choose our trees and we ended up going for breakfast first with my Dad too.

    When I was younger we always had a fake tree but when I met Josh his family always had a real one and I was very quickly converted to real Christmas trees. You just can’t beat the smell of a real tree when you come downstairs on a chilly December morning. Since Bella was born we have bought our tree from the same local farm shop so we headed back there for the third year in a row (how is this her THIRD christmas already!?.. Sob). I think subconsciously I insist we always go there for sentimental reasons. It’s sort of become a little tradition of ours I suppose.

    After we chose our tree we headed home for the afternoon to decorate it whilst listening to some classic cheesy christmas songs on Youtube and we even cracked open the tub of christmas chocolates which was definitely the highlight for Bella 😉

    Here’s a few of my favourite snaps from our first festive family day of the season!




    Christmas Lights Romper | Hatley – Similar here












    I hope everyone else enjoyed the first weekend of December as much as I did and are now feeling nice and festive!

    Thanks for reading
    Harriet xo