Kids, no matter what age, can be so tricky to buy for. I do agree that the older they get, the more difficult it is to buy for. Both my girls, aged 10 (nearly) and 7 have both said they don't want any toys this year, which of course makes it a lot harder to buy for. However, this year, I've gathered up a fair few different toys and gifts for kids from a young age to around 7+ years. Hopefully, you will be able to find something your child will like or something that will be a great gift for another little one.

Do you know a child who loves crafts? This Butterfly Crossbody Bag from Eat Sleep Doodle is a great gift for kids that love to be creative. Eat Sleep Doodle do other products too, from pillowcases, pencil cases and much more. Each item comes with a pack of colouring felt tips, and for the Christmas period, their products can be wrapped in their recyclable colour-in sheets, which means there's no need to wrap - bonus!

Talking about crafts, this personalised wooden unicorn box from giftpup would be perfect for storing some stationary. If not stationary, the kids can store absolutely anything from jewellery, toys, secret notes - anything at all! It's got a safe lock in the front, and its print is high quality. Choose any name to make it that extra personal and special.

This super cute pink glitz bow necklace from Anna Lou of London's Pop Collection would be a lovely gift for any child who loves pink, bows and that extra glitz. An idea for this kind of gift is to gift it as part of a small hamper, or in a jewellery box with a few extra other pieces.

You can buy enough reusable drink bottles, this very durable bottle from Klean Kanteen will last a long time! Their limited bottle with the Llamacorn print is just the cutest, and I know it's going to be loved by the child I gift it too. They make all kinds different designs, for adults too!

I've never built a Gingerbread House with the kids before, but this is the year! This Gingerbread House Kit from Biscuiteers. Biscuiteers bake some delicious luxury hand-iced biscuits. There's a lot of attention to detail on their biscuits and this DIY Gingerbread House Kit is going to go down a treat with my little ones.

Seeing as we're in the subject of snacks/food, this OXO 4 piece feeding set from Oxo Tot would be a great gift to anyone who has a toddler who is starting to wean. Oxo products are always high quality products and another great thing to know about this set is the plate grows with the child. But is a great product during the weaning stage.

Going to the older child, do you have a child that's interested in reading books? Reading up facts and finding out new things? The Guiness World of Record book will be a huge winner! It's not only loved by kids, but is also loved by families too. A great addition for the book shelf.

Back to the younger kids again now, thisLeapfrog Scoop and Learn Ice Cream Cart is just the best toy. If you follow me on Instagram you'll know that I've raved about this certain toy since we received it to review a few months ago. Not only does it help your child's learning and development, but your child will also have tonnes of fun with it. It's a toy I can definitley recommend and will be played with many times. You can read my review for this product here.

If you're looking for something that will keep your child busy and also learn some great development skills, this School Starter Tool Kit would be a great stocking filler addition. It's filled with 33 A6 laminated flashcards that are made for you and your child to sit together and go through the cards with eachother to help the little one prepare themselves to start school. My Busy Bots also have various other products available on their website too.

* I was gifted these products in return to be featured in this gift guide. All words are my own.
As the years go by, families grow and grow, which means buying a gift for each person in a family can be quite expensive. That's when buying one gift for the whole family comes in great. But it can be quite difficult to find the right gift for the whole family, especially if there are kids in the family too. I've gathered up another Christmas gift guide that will give you gift ideas for families, hopefully it will help!

Games, you can't get enough board games and especially at Christmas time board games are a great gift for families. Cool Stuff have a large range of different games for the whole family, but this Friends Monopoly game will be a hugely popular game for those Friends fans this year. Bring the Friends quotes and memories into play, I'm sure whoever plays will have a good laugh reading the Friends related chance cards and remembering all their classic sayings.

Chocolates are always a great gift for families at Christmas time. But why not go a bit different from your usual selection boxes and buy some beautiful gift sets from Chocolate and Love. Lots of delicious tasting chocolate flavours and they come in some beautiful wrapping, which means you won't need to wrap - saves you one less job at this busy time of year.

Why not get all personal by gifting a personalised photo canvas for a special family this year? You can't go wrong with a photo canvas, personalised gifts are always appreciated and loved by people. Your Surprise have a great range of different sized canvases, not only that, but of high quality too.

Another personalised gift for a family could be from Life in Squares. Choose a range of photos to add in a stunning high quality frame or why not go for a acrylic, MDF, Image blocks or more. This is a gift that will surely be loved and would look beautiful on the wall in a family home.

Family calendars, you can never go wrong. This Vintage Disney Poster calendar will be a huge hit for most families, especially if they love Disney. This calendar is from Danilo, who have a large range of different stationery from diaries, calendars and a few other bits too. But this particular Vintage Disney Poster calendar features 12 vintage images of the most loved and favourite vintage Disney films.

If you're still unsure on a gift, why not order an activity day, a weekend away, spa day or something else from the huge range of choices at Red Letter Days. At reasonable prices too, there's bound to be something on there that someone or a family would love. It's great also that the person you gift it too can choose their dates and times to suit them around work or life.

Hope this gift guide has helped you find something for someone this Christmas.

I would also like to thank every single brand mentioned in this gift guide for providing the products in return for the feature in this guide. All images, words and opinions are my own.

December is just around the corner and what's better than binging on some very festive films throughout the month! Nothing beats cosying up on the sofa, under the blanket, with the fire on. I've watched many festive films and my favourites are; Elf, The Polar Express and The Grinch. But on today's post, I've gathered 31 festive films for you to watch through the festive period.

1. The Nightmare Before Christmas ☐
2. Home Alone ☐
3. Home Alone 2 ☐
4. Fred Claus ☐
5 The Polar Express ☐
6. The Grinch ☐
7. The Santa Clause ☐
8. Love Actually ☐
9. A Christmas Carol ☐
10. Mickey's Christmas Carol ☐
11. Die Hard ☐
12. Santa Clause 2
13. ELF ☐
14. The Muppet Christmas Carol ☐
15. Miracle On 34th Street ☐
16. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause ☐
17. Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas ☐
18. I'll Be Home For Christmas ☐
19. Jack Frost ☐
20. Santa Clause Is Coming To Town ☐
21. Snow ☐
22. Santa Buddies ☐
23. The Holiday ☐
24. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer ☐
25. Christmas Carol ☐
26. The Nativity ☐
27. The Christmas Chronicles ☐
28. Arthur Christmas ☐
29. Scrooged ☐
30. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation ☐ 
31. Father Christmas ☐

Why not print this out and tick them as you go.

My youngest, Freddie, is 3 and a half years old now and he has one amazing (and wild) imagination. He's at the age where he loves to play with toys, role play and especially loves it when his sisters plays toys with him too. He's only got a small bedroom, but we've tried our best to get the best storage which stores quite a few of his toys. Most his toys are cars and all kinds of other different vehicles, from lorries, fire engines - you name it, he's probably got it.

When he received the Melissa & Doug Around The Town Road Rug to try out, he was over the moon. The first thing I was happy with was the size. Its dimensions are 11 x 11 x 103cm, which I personally think is the ideal size. It also rolls up, which is good for storing away as it doesn't take too much space. Another bonus is that it has a skid-proof backing which is great, especially if you have wooden floors like us.

The car mat is very colourful with lots of loop roads, bridge, school, shop and much more. 4 colourful wooden cars come with the rug, as you can see pictured in this post. Freddie loved parking the cars into the numbered parking spaces. This is great learning the little ones to count and learning numbers too.

Overall, this rug is great for little ones. It's recommended for 36+ months, and Freddie is 3 and half years old, and he absolutely loves it. I love that it's colourful, the wooden cars come with it and how easy it is to store away too. Also, it's stain resistant and machine washable too.

We were kindly gifted this item in return for an honest review.
All images, words and opinions are our own.
Hatchimals were huge last year, and I'm sure you can just imagine the excitement for the kids this year as they have now introduced the first-ever re-hatchable Hatchimal egg: Hatchimals WOW! This most adorable Llalacorn is part unicorn and part llama - and is honestly the most adorable thing you will see. Llalacorn is full of surprises - especially that it wakes up in one of 10 surprise moods every time you re-hatch the egg.

When hatching the egg, that only takes 5 minutes, you need to give Llalacorn a little help to hatch by tilting the egg back and forth, and when you see the rainbow eyes, then your very own Llalacorn is ready to hatch its egg. Llalacorn will grow taller, and the egg top will fall off - the girls were laughing and amazed at the same time.

I personally think it's great that you can re-hatch the Hatchimal egg, it makes it extra fun for the kids and not only that, its the largest Hatchimal egg so far! Another great addition is, it's the first Hatchimal to express emotions through movement. It's also the first to express emotions through movement, and you will be surprised when Llalacorn magically grows up 32 inches tall - it's amazing. The kids were absolutely amazed.

If you touch and hold Llalacorn's belly and one toe it will start singing and it will sing and dance higher when you touch its forehead. The kids have had tonnes of fun with their Llalacorn Hatchimal. It will react with loud noises and can grow up to 32 inches tall - the kids (and myself) were amazed when she grew the first time. I love interactive toys and especially those ones that have so many different interactions, such as this Hatchimal WOW. With over 250 sounds and reactions, it's just full of surprises!

Once Llalacorn is hatched you can play, feed and cuddle her. She's super fluffy and so soft. When you cuddle her, she will go to her normal small size, and when there's some music playing, she will grow taller and start singing too. She sure is full of surprises and bound to make any child laugh and have fun. Each Hatchimals WOW have their own unique personality and also, which colour eyes will yours have? Pink or Purple? You'll find out once you hatch your very own Hatchimal WOW!

Hatchimals WOW are available at Smyths Toys

- We were kindly gifted this item in return for an honest review.
All words, images and opinions are my own.

Freddie is coming up to 3 and half years old, and oh my, he is growing in different ways, every single day. He amazes me at the things he learns to do, and there is always something new he learns every day, whether it's something big or something small. Something he loves are toys that are bright and make noises, this is where Charlie The Lion Xylophone has come in great.

Charlie, The Lion Xylophone, is a wooden xylophone that has lots of bright colours, which I love. It also features Charlie the Lion's face at the top. As well as the wooden xylophone, a songbook that features five nursery rhymes and two wooden drumsticks are included too. The xylophone is great quality wood and will definitely be a big win for any child who loves bright colours and making great sounds and music.

The Xylophone is great for developing skills such as hand-eye coordination. Not only that, but it's a great way for your little one to learn colours and different sounds too. Freddie loves to name the colours on the xylophone and loves to make the sound of Charlie the Lion (he's good at it too!)

We were kindly gifted this item in return for an honest review.
All words, images and opinions are my own.

Buying a car, new or used, is a big moment. It’s an investment, and you want to be confident it’s going to reward you over the coming years. Buying a brand new car guarantees you that nobody will have put any miles on the clock or done any damage to the car. Buying a used car, you could be the second, third or even fourth owner of the car. Because of this, you might already have an idea of what a used car will look like; faded paintwork, chipped wheels, a sparse interior from an early 2000’s car. But if you haven’t looked recently, you’d be amazed at the used cars coming onto the market each day.

Thanks to the overall quality of cars improving so much over the last ten years, even your entry-level models from cheap car brands come with some nice features and modern designs and styles. Because the overall quality of cars has improved, the luxury features which were only available on top of the line models have filtered down throughout manufacturers ranges. This, along with other reasons, now enables you to buy a used car which can transport you from one point to another in luxury, without having to break the bank on a new car.

Along with the cars throughout manufacturers ranges becoming more luxurious, there is one key factor which allows you to buy a used luxury car for significantly less than it would cost new, depreciation. This is the financial effect of an item losing its value over time due to it being used.

Cars are one of, if not, the best examples of depreciation in our society today. It’s estimated that new cars will lose between 15-35% of their original value in the first year of their life, with this figure rising to 40-60% after just three years. While some cars do hold their value well, overall you can find some really fantastic deals on luxury cars thanks to depreciation.

Because of depreciation, some luxury car owners will sell their new car after the first year in order to avoid losing more of its value if they were to keep it. This means there are some great deals to be found on luxury cars which are still comparatively new.

It goes without saying that if you find a deal which seems too good to be true, there are likely other factors involved, and you should do some serious research to find out why the price is so low.

Another reason luxury cars can now be bought used for lower prices is thanks to competition. The internet has revolutionised the way cars are bought and sold. It now allows a seller in London to reach buyers in Edinburgh simply by uploading photos to the internet. While used car dealerships still remain a really important element of the buying and selling of cars, even they have been forced to move online to display their products.

Because there are now so many options available online, prices for used cars are continually being updated to keep them competitive and appealing to prospective buyers. Thanks to this, along with the vast number of options buyers can choose from, it puts you in a strong position when you come to negotiate on price, even for luxury cars.

Overall, spending time researching your options and finding out what used luxury cars are on the market is the first place to start when looking for a good deal. That being said, there are definitely some great options available.

This post was written in collaboration with I&K Motors, why not check out their website here where you can currently find luxury cars such as an S Line Black Edition Audi A4 or A-Class Mercedes-Benz for sale.

collaborative post

If you've been a reader of my blog over the years, you will probably know that my eldest absolutely adores horses. She's always loved drawing pictures of them and even reading about them, especially seeing them on our walks too. When she had the chance to make one of her drawings into a real life toy, she was over the moon. She chose the horse drawing with a colourful tail, and since receiving her, she has adored her ever since.

I am working on a campaign with Petplan Equine who are an insurance company that help horse owners find the right insurance policy. They understand that horse owners have specific needs when it comes to finding the right insurance to help keep their horse happy and healthy. They offer a 12-month policy, as well as Covered for Life® policies, so you will be able to find the right insurance policy for you and your horse. Another great thing to know is that Petplan also work with other charities that help rehome animals, in fact, they work with more than 1200 charities and have done since 1994. They have also raised over £7 million with the Petplan Charitable Trust that helps animals have a better and healthier life.

I guess from a child's view seeing one of their drawings become a toy is just amazing. I found it amazing, and the attention to each detail was great. Ever since Mia received her horse toy, she has been sleeping with it during the night and taking it out and about to show family too. She absolutely adores her.

As Mia's growing older, she'll be 10 in a few weeks, she's lost a lot of interest in playing with toys like she did a bit ago. But she still loves her cuddly toys, in fact, her bed is full of them. But they're not any old random toys, each and every single one of them mean something to her - which is why she loves them. So for her dream horse toy to be a part of her cuddly toy collection, proves she absolutely adores her.

This campaign is in collaboration with Petplan Equine. All thoughts are my own.

Christmas 2018 is probably the Christmas time I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Every year I get so excited for Christmas. When Summer is officially over, I am then on the countdown for Christmas. I love getting the tree out, the decorations up on the wall, setting up the Christmas lights and I also love organising all the Christmas presents for family and friends too. It's always been my favourite time of year.

Our usual Christmas is spending the day at home with the kids, as a family. Opening presents, visiting my partner's aunty and uncle, before his parents come over, then we just relax for the day. Of course, we have a delicious Sunday lunch too. Although Christmas Day itself is amazing, I always look forward to Boxing Day.

Boxing Day is a day where we as a family head off to my Nain and Taid's house and the whole family is there. There are lots of gift openings and lots of food on a buffet. We normally have some music, play games, have a little drink and just talk away the whole day. But, last Boxing Day will probably be the day I will cherish forever.

It was the last Christmas we spent as a full family together, as my Nain sadly passed away August this year.

My Nain was like me, loved Christmas. She always went overboard with her Christmas lights, tinsels and decorations. In fact, she gave me one of her tinsel Christmas trees a few years ago, I've put it up every year, and I love it. She always looked forward to Christmas, and loved the boxing day's we all had together, she really did cherish family time.

Last boxing day, we did our usual, chilled in the morning, before getting ready to head off out and spend the day in my Nain and Taid's. I was really nervous this time around because I had a gift for my Nain and Taid that meant a lot. It was a canvas photo drawn by someone who merged about 5 photographs together. I went for my Nain and Taid in the middle, their late-parents beside them both and then all the great-grandchildren along the front.

I remember ordering the canvas, and I was so nervous but excited to give it to them. I told my partner that it felt the right time to order a gift like that. A photo of their parents with all the younger children in the family. My Nain and Taid were speechless when they opened their gift. I filmed it, and I am so glad I did, I keep looking back at the video and just seeing their faces is priceless.

The photo now sits nicely on their wall in their dining room, the room you come into as you enter the house.

As always, my Nain brought out lots of different gift bags for us all, and we opened up all of our presents. The kids always loved opening their gifts there, theirs were full of new pyjamas, new clothes, toys, books and stationery.

Afterwards, it was buffet time. From then on it was a very chilled out afternoon. We had a few drinks and played a game called 'Speech Breaker'. If you've never played it before, I can definitely recommend it. The afternoon and evening were full of smiles and laughter.

Although my Nain is not around to celebrate Christmas with us this year, I know she will always be looking down on us and celebrating along with us from up there. This year I have some beautiful personalised baubles that have a photo of my beautiful Nain inside. I knew I wanted to find something simple, nice and special, and I personally think these are just perfect.

- This post is in collaboration with YourSurprise. No payment was involved with this collaboration. We were kindly gifted some items mentioned in this post. However, all image, opinions and words are entirely our own.

This post is linked up with Keep Calm and Carry On Sunday
As your family grows and your kids need more space for themselves, you may find that your house
starts to feel cramped. It’s tough when your family outgrows your home and you’re all living on top
of one another because it feels like you don’t have a space where you can really relax. The clutter
starts to take over and before you know it, your house doesn’t feel like a home anymore, so you need
to make some changes. The most obvious thing to do is to move to a bigger place, but that isn’t always
ideal. If the house is close to school and work, and you like the area, you might not want to move away.
But you need to find that extra space, so what do you do? You can have the best of both worlds if you
build an extension on your home. You don’t need to move but you can add the extra rooms that you
need. However, building an extension is no easy task and if you don’t plan properly, there are a lot of
things that could go wrong. If you think that an extension is the right choice for your family, here are a
few tips to help you get it right. 

Decide What The Extension Is For 

It’s important that you have a clear idea of what the extension is for before you start building it. You
can’t just decide that you need more space, that’s too vague. Do you need a new bedroom for one
of the kids, maybe another living area, or maybe a bigger kitchen and a second bathroom? You need
to decide what the extension is for before you do anything else, and make sure that you plan for the
future. For example, if you have a few kids that are near to that age where they will want their own
space, maybe consider building two extra bedrooms instead of one. If you plan for the future, you
only need to do the work once, but if you don’t, you’ll find yourself in the same position a few years
down the line. 

Find The Right Architect 

Once you have decided what kind of extension you want, you need an architect to design it. It’s
important that you find the right architect, which means finding people that have experience designing
buildings in the style that you want. There’s no sense hiring somebody that specializes in modern,
minimalist design if you want a traditional feel. That’s why it’s important that you meet with different
architectural practices and see some examples of their previous work. Finding the right people to
design your new extension is vital because the design is the foundation of everything else. 

Be Accurate With Your Budget 

Building an extension is so expensive, and if you don’t budget accurately, you may run out of money
halfway through. But so many people miss out a lot of small expenses, like fixtures and fittings, that
quickly add up. People also forget to include extra money in the budget to account for mistakes or
unexpected problems, which are going to happen. Make sure that you have a solid budget in place
before you do anything else. 

As long as you take your time during the planning stages and follow these important rules, you can
extend your home without any major disasters. 

Collaborative post.

Scotland is a place I have always wanted to visit and is currently on my bucket list of things to do and places to visit. For many years it's been a goal to go and visit and travel all around. I personally think it will be a great experience, something to remember. Something that catches my eye with Scotland are the views - they are just amazing. I have seen many videos and many photos, and they're all just breathtaking. 

Not only is Scotland a popular choice for some travelling due to its beautiful sceneries, but Scotland also have some tricky and super busy roads in its local towns. If you drive a car, it's always so important to make sure you keep on top of your car tyres. Car tyres are often neglected as not many people think to check them, but it's essential that you do, especially by keeping an eye on the tread depth. If your tyre tread depth is below the minimum 1.6mm then it's illegal and you could face penalties. It's dangerous to drive your car with car treads below the legal tread depth. 

It's important wherever you travel that you know where to get new tyres from if they are needed. You can buy tyres in Dundee from Fife Autocentre, and the authenticity of the tyre fitter is also essential. Choosing the wrong place for tyres always has its consequences and will only cause trouble later down the line. So it's always good to go to the right place, to begin with. 

Keeping an eye on your car tyres also keeps you safe and will help your car perform to the optimum level. So, whether you are travelling around the country, going for a long ride for the day, or just popping to your local town, always be sure to check your car tyres regularly.

This is a collaborative post. 

When your little ones start getting old enough to crawl, grab hold of furniture and eventually walk, they will begin to enjoy spending time outside in the garden finally. Having a small area that’s abundant with wildlife is great to stimulate children’s minds and get them interested in the outdoors. Finding a balance between child-friendly and sophisticated design can be quite tricky, but with a bit of planning, you can easily create a space that cultivates a balance between the two.


Having a child-friendly garden doesn’t necessarily mean you have to install a set of swings; however, a bit of compromise will be necessary for kids to enjoy the space. If you’re reluctant to install a full metal-frame swings-set, then a tyre swing could be a cute addition, provided the tree is structurally sound.

If you are happy to invest in larger, more space-consuming features, then you have a number of options to choose from, depending on space:

·         Football goals: You could even get collapsable versions if you’re unwilling to compromise on the condition of your lawn.
·         A treehouse: You don’t even really need a tree for these anymore, a small house on stilts could suffice.
·         Playsets and games: These could be permanently anchored to the ground, or these could be taken indoors when playtime is over.

A wildlife pond

The wildlife ponds of our youth don’t always bring back attractive memories. Usually sectioned off and surrounded by grass, these murky ponds were host to plenty of fish and creepy crawlies. The truth is, any pond you put in your garden is going to be a wildlife pond. You don’t always have to sacrifice appearances for a pond that’s full of pond-dipping fodder. Frogs, newts, and insects will naturally make their way to your pond over time. You can, of course, arrange with a friend who happens to have a pond to pinch some of their wildlife to get your small ecosystem going!

To keep the water relatively clear, the best approach to take is to invest in a filter. These can be found at websites such as Water-garden.co.uk and are ideal for getting your pond water see-through enough to spot what’s inside.

Wooden decking

If you have particularly energetic children, then you may be worried about bumps and bruises occurring as a result of falling over during games and running around. If the idea of stone paving makes you wince, then wood could provide a softer alternative. Of course, it’s hard to beat grass when it comes to soft surfaces. Bear in mind with gravel that toddlers and smaller children have a tendency to put small items in their mouth; gravel could fall into this hazard.

Creating a child-friendly garden is all about compromise. You may have to sacrifice some of your personal style preferences in the short term, but they will soon grow out of their desire for trampolines, games of footie, and tendency to dig up your prized flowers.

Copyright © Life as MumCREATED BY ThemeShine