On the First Day of Christmas: Christmas Activities to keep the Kids Occupied




Thanks for hopping over from oh little on sweet

Christmas time is a magical time for children and theirs always lots of activities on offer to keep them busy. This includes days out and crafts to make at home.

This year I have already took my girls to see father Christmas twice, the first time I took them to the Merry hill Lights switch on. Their was lots of activities for the children to take part in. There Christmas grotto was also on, I took them last year and I was very impressed so I decided i would take them again.

This grotto is quite different to ones i have been to before, the first room we were taken to was the elf school. Here two of the elves did some singing and dancing with the children and even taught them some elfish which is the language spoken by the elves. After they have finished in the elf school they were given a graduation certificate and a hat. we where then led to santa’s log cabin where he spoke with my girls and asked them what they wanted for christmas, they then chose a gift from the toyshop. All this cost just £6.00 and was well worth the money.



Most shopping centres have grottos, some better then others but are there so the children have something to do on the dreaded shopping days.

Birmingham also offer various activites for children and adults including the Frankfurt Christmas markets.

There are also lots of crafting workshops taking place in Birmingham and all the events and times can be found here  .

As well as trips out their are lots of ideas on the internet, these include crafts that can be made in the comfort of your own home that will also keep the kids occupied as well as make great gifts for your loved ones at christmas.

Here a few links to some sites I have found that are quite useful

These Sites are great to use especially when the kids brake up from school for the Christmas Holidays. If your children are like mine and get bored very easily then these can be a life saver.

I also try to some Baking at Christmas and its great to get those little hands involved. Biscuits and cakes also make great gifts for loved ones or even teachers.

The BBC Good food Website have a great Variety of festive bakes, So if you have some young chefs at home then have a look.

If you want to really push the boat out at Christmas Theme Parks such as Drayton Manor and Twin lakes have some superb Christmas themed days.

Last Christmas Eve we visited the Twin Lakes Winter Wonderland. Twin Lakes is an outdoor Adventure Park with lots of play grounds, and Attractions. Their Winter Wonderland is the best I have experienced. Its fairly priced and lots of activities are included in the price.

When we went the Winter Wonderland was Quite big and was complete with fake snow, animated polar bears and penguins and even a train that took you around the wonderland to Santa’s log cabin. After the children saw Santa they were given a voucher to choose a good quality gift from the toy shop.

The nicest part about going Christmas eve was My girls got the chance to wave Santa off before he began his journey to deliver presents. the night ended with a firework display over the car park.

So as you can see there are lots of Activities you can do at home or out and about that will help parents survive the Christmas period.

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For more Ideas On Keeping the Kids busy this Christmas Then Take a look at  ladybug home 


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Christmas At the House Of Fraser




On Tuesay I was lucky enough to get the chance to visit the House of Fraser Christmas Grotto before it was opened to the public.

I went with my fiance Andy and my two girls. The Grotto has been built by the staff at the store and money raised will be sent to the Help Harry Help others Charity.

Help Harry Help Others is a charity that was set up by Harrys mother in memory of her son who had a brain tumor. While battling cancer harry decided he would try and raise money by making bracelets and selling them. Sadly Harry lost his battle in 2011 but his family are keeping his charitable sprit alive by raising money in his name. 

The Grotto is located on the fifth floor of the store. When the doors opened I could already see that we were about to walk into magical wonderland.

We were greeted by one of Santa’s elves, we then went into a waiting area where there was an area where the children could relax and watch a Christmas film while they waited for santa. There were also colouring books layer out so the children had something to keep them busy.







It was now time for us to go and see the big man himself, so we made our way into the main part of the grotto.

There were rooms that were set out to look like different rooms. These included Santa’s reading room and Santa’s dining room.

It was lit up which created a magical atmosphere.



There was also Santa’s reindeer on show as well as his sleigh.

After walking round the magical wonderland we then went in and saw father Christmas.  He was a very jolly father Christmas and he spoke to my children for 5 minutes before asking them what they would like for Christmas.

One of the elves then took a photo of my girls with father Christmas. They were then handed a wrapped present and we said our goodbyes.

The presents were of a good quality and they made my children very happy.

When we left Santa’s log cabin we made our way to the photography shop to pick up our photo.

Photos are very reasonably priced to and for a photo in a folder it costs just £7.00.

Entry fee for the grotto is £5.00 per person. The grotto will be open from 11am-6pm Monday to Friday, 10am-6pm on Saturdays and 11am-5pm on Sundays. The grotto will be open for extra hours as it gets closer to Christmas. It will be open from 9am-6pm on Saturday, 19thDecember, 10am-6pm from Monday, 21st December to Wednesday, 23rd December and 9am-6pm on Christmas Eve.Tickets can be purchased from any of the Homewear and Childrenswear till points in store.

Remeber this Grotto is not only a magical place but it is also raising money for a very good cause.

So if your looking for a magical winter wonderland to take the children this Christmas go to the House of Fraser. You won’t be disappointed

Merry Hill’s Christmas Grotto and Elf School

I Can’t believe It’s that time of the year but it’s Christmas in just over a month and the Christmas Grotto is back.

On Saturday Merry Hill shopping Center in Brierley hill had Their Christmas Light switch on event, so I decided I would Brave the insane amount of traffic and take my girls to take part in the provided activities and also to the santa parade.

When I arrived i did have to wait in traffic for around 20 minutes but once I got to the multistorey car park I found a space within 5 mins so I didn’t think that was too bad.

When we got into the center we went straight to the stage area to watch freeradio’s presenters jo and sparky entertain the crowd. They held a competition called carryonaoke, the rules of this competition was to finish a song when the music stopped.  The prizes up for grabs were vouchers to spend in merry hill ranging from £10 to the grand prize of a £100.

My girls were starting to get bored and we had half an hour to wait for the santa parade, so we decided to have a look around the shops.

My eldest daughter who is 5 is already a fashionista and loves to choose her own clothes, so we went into River Island and looked at their kids range.

River Island has a beautiful range of kids clothes although some of them can be a little bit too adult like. Chloe found a few things in there she loved but she fell in love with a brown suede body warmer with a fake fur collar. For more information and to purchase items from the kids range visit there website.


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A Different kind of Party


My two girls were invited to a party at Dudley zoo.

I was unaware that they did birthday party’s so I was excited to what was on offer.

When we arrived we were escorted to the park train that took us up to the castle, where the party rooms are.

The party rooms are situated in the castle grounds.

There were two rooms, one room for party games and activities and another room where the children will sit down and have lunch.

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When we arrived at the party room, the two party hosts introduced themselves.

The main host was a man and he asked the children  what there favourite animals were and if they knew the sounds they make.

After a brief chat it was time to meet and greet the animals.

The animal that was brought out was a snake.  He spoke about the snake and told the children some facts about the way the live.

They then had an opportunity to touch and feel the snake.


The next animal was a lizard. The host spoke about the lizard and asked the children questions.


The next animal was a rat, but as I don’t like rats I decided to wait outside until it was back safely in his cage.

The last animal was a chinchilla and it was the favourite of the day.


It was now time for you party games.

The first game was pass the parrot which is exactly like pass the parcel.

Each child won a prize that they could choose themselves.20151004_115356_017

The next game was a find game. There were 10 different animal pictures stuck around both rooms. The children had to find them and write the name of the animal next to the number.

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It was now time to sit and have lunch. Each child was given a box with a sandwich, crisps, chocolate, jelly and and drink.


After the lunch the party hosts escorted us to the face painter. Each child was able to choose there own design and there were a lot of styles to choose from.

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We were then left to look around the Zoo and see the animals.

Dudley zoo is home to many species of animal including sea lions and monkeys.

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There are also a few playgrounds around the park so there’s lots to do to keep the kids occupied.

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The Birthday parties at Dudley zoo is definitely something different and it is actually not to expensive.

So if you want to book a party that will impress your guests and make the Birthday girl/boys day special then you should book a party here.

More information, prices and how to book can be found here.

Cravendale Milk Challenge

This post is entry for Britmums #MilkDrinkersMilk  Linky Challenge, Sponsored by Cravendale.

I received some Vouchers to purchase a 2 litre bottle of Cravendale milk. When the vouchers arrived I went to Morrison’s and purchased My milk.

I decided to buy a whole milk for my children, My youngest daughter isn’t a fan of milk and I have tried many variety’s of milk in the hope she would drink it, but she just would not give in and refused to even try it.

That same night I made both my girls a glass of milk at bed time, and I waited for my daughter to turn her nose up but to my surprise she took a sip. She then told me that the milk was delicious.  I was shocked as I have tried so hard to get her to drink milk. She then went on to finish the while cup.

I decided to try the milk myself to see what the difference was, Cravendale milk is very creamy which made it quite pleasant to drink. I am so happy that I have found a milk drink that she actually enjoys.

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My eldest Daughter on the other hand really likes milk. She has cereal every morning but never finishes the milk at the end. When I used the Cravendale milk on her cereal the next morning she finished her cereal and drank the milk, she then asked what milk I used to make her breakfast, she told me that this milk tasted different and in her own words ” This milk is very yummy, I like this milk better, can you buy it again”.

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I also purchased the Semi Skimmed milk for myself and my finance, I noticed that this milk made my normal boring coffee into a creamy taste sensation.

I honestly thought that all milk was the same but Cravendale has proven me wrong.

This milk is now going to be apart of my shopping list and will be the only milk I use.

For more information on this milk go to there website.


This entry was posted on November 8, 2015. 1 Comment

Nailcote Hall


Me and my other half were invited to his friend’s wedding at Nailcote hall. Kids weren’t invited so we decided we would take advantage and have a night to ourselves. We booked a room at the premier Inn which was just up the road from the hall.

When we arrived at the hall I could quickly tell that this place was going to beautiful. There is a reception area with adjoining bar so we decided we would get a drink before the ceremony started.

it was time to go and take our seats ready for the ceremony. This took place in a separate building from the bar area. The room was quite spacious and there was a staircase that we walked down to take our seats.

This created the perfect setting for the bride to make a grand entrance.

Taken from the Nailcote hall website

Photo Taken from the Nailcote hall website

There was a man playing a piano in the Background which added a touch of class.

After the all the vows were said and the documents were signed it was time for the photos. As with all weddings this can take quite a while, so the bride and groom hired a magician to keep the guests occupied. The Magician was amazing and did some tricks that you would see on dynamo. The Magician can be found on the Slightly unusual Website.

After all the photos were done it was time to move to the reception venue which was in a Marquee situated by the Bar area of the hall.

The Marquee was very big and Decorated in a very grand style. There was a lit dance floor and little led lights on the ceiling.

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The piano was put onto the dance floor and the pianist played a variety of genres while we sat down to eat our three course meal.

The three course meal was also very nice and was provided by the Nailcote chefs.

To start we had a mozzarella and onion tart with side salad, Then  the main came out which was a chicken breast stuffed with apricot and sage mouse, with dauphinose potatoes , roasted parsnip and carrots. To finish we were brought a chocolate brownie with orange ice cream which I have to say was heaven on a plate. As we where eating this delicious food the waiters brought round red wine, white wine and rose .

After the meal it was time for the evening’s entertainment to begin. This was hosted by a DJ and a disco.

Half way into the night a buffet was brought out, this consisted of Fried fish, chicken wings, Pizza, Wraps, Spring rolls, and chips.

Overall it was one of the nicest weddings I have been to and was very elegant and grand.

Nailcote Hall Caters for weddings as well as parties and conferences.

All the information and how to book can be found here.

A Review: Instanatural Hair Elixir



INSTANATURAL kindly sent me this beautiful hair treatment to put to the test.  It arrived when expected and the bottle is a good size and will last for a while.

The directions are clearly printed on the bottle and also the box.
There are a couple of ways that you can use this, you can add it to your hair before washing , it can also be left on over night and it can be used to get rid of flyaways and to add shine to your finished style.

I have naturally curly hair which tends to frizz so I decided I would wash my hair then add the Elixir afterwards.  I used around 7 pumps and massaged it in to every strand of hair. I then left it overnight. 

The first thing I noticed was the oil wasn’t at all greasy. Unlike other hair oils I have used, this one doesn’t leave that sticky residue on your hands.

There isn’t a strong scent to the oil, but a subtle aroma is left on the hair which is quite pleasant. 

I woke up the next morning and my hair was in tight curls with no frizz in sight. I washed it off and my hair was left soft and silky.

Due to me having naturally curly hair it knots up very easily, but after using this oil my brush glided through my hair with ease.

This product really worked wonders on my problematic hair and will be something I add to my hair care routine.

If you have frizzy and unruly hair like me then you should give this a go.

Get yours today from Amazon.