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Christmas

Nothing says Christmas quite like a festive hamper. They make great gifts for friends and family who, for one reason or another, deserve an extra special treat this year.  My friends at Prezzybox heard that we loved a good Christmas hamper, and they asked if we would take a look at their Personalised Festive Food & Drink Hamper to see what we thought. After taking a quick peek at the Christmas hamper online, I couldn’t wait to accept.  Their Christmas hamper looked like it ticked a lot of boxes and

Are you looking for places to visit Father Christmas in Nottinghamshire? If that is the case this is a great list to visit Santa near me.  Going to Santa’s Grotto is one of my favourite Christmas traditions and I find it’s a lovely way to keep the festive magic alive.  So if you want the best Santa experience you are going to find exactly what you are looking for in the list below. Where To See Santa in Nottinghamshire Santa Specials with the Great Central Railway Great Central Railway’s “Santa”

Drayton Manor’s Magical Christmas is back for 2018 and it’s the perfect day out for the festive season. We took Indie, 6 years old, and Brook, 4 years old, back to Drayton Manor Park after a 2 year break. I’m really not sure why we left it so long as it’s always been one of our favourite days out in the East Midlands. Indie and Brook were beyond excited about their day out before they even got through the turnstiles. There was a lot of singing, dancing and running and

We have been putting together our plans for things to do in Nottingham for Christmas and we soon realised there are lots of events to keep kids busy for the festive holidays.  We love this time of year and find that going to Christmas events form a huge part of our family traditions.  We have hand picked the best Christmas activities just for you to make sure you have a magical time during the season. If you are looking for great Christmas days out and festive activities near Nottingham we’ve got you

Did you catch the post about my husband getting me a One4All gift card for Christmas?  It was literally the best gift he could have given me and he set me the challenge of buying the ultimate Christmas outfit.  Because I had a preloaded One4All card, I wasn’t tempted to spend the money on the kids or day to day activities, but I was able to get myself some lovely new clothes, shoes and bags for Christmas. It got me thinking about what the perfect Christmas outfit is to me. 

Hello lovely readers.  Thanks for stopping by.  I need some inspiration and I’m hoping you can help me?  My husband is amazing by all accounts but I’m struggling to come up with a gift or gesture that will show him just how much I appreciate him this Christmas. He really goes above and beyond for our family.  He works super hard and is literally amazing with the girls.  He also steps in and takes care of Brook and Indie when I have to jet off for work.  Having this kind

How close is Christmas now folks?  It is literally around the corner, so we thought we had better get some of our Christmas traditions ticked of the list before we ran out of time.  This year we added something new to the agenda, hoping that the girls would enjoy it. We had been invited to the National Ice Centre to check out their new family friendly skating arrangements, and when I told the girls they were going on the ice, they were so excited.  Indie told me she hadn’t done

Hello lovely readers.  Thanks so much for stopping by, especially at such a busy time of year.  I thought I’d share with you my top tips for feeling gorgeous and prepared for the festive party season today.  For many of us the Christmas parties and events are well under way and getting ready for these can give us a much needed boost at this time of year.  When it’s dark and cold outside, a little bit of Christmas sparkle can go a very long way to lifting our spirits. Get

My husband literally despairs at this time of year.  While he loves Christmas, when it comes to shopping and present ideas he doesn’t really know where to start.  I gave up on receiving wonderful surprise gifts years ago and started giving him gift ideas to take some of the stress out of it for him.  Whilst this worked to a point, he still finds Christmas shopping difficult and time consuming. I was just talking about how I’m the chief runner at Christmas time, and I find coming up with gift

Hello lovely readers.  Well, December is in full swing now and the big day is only 3 weeks away.  Where has the year gone, hey?  I’m not going to lie, I’ve been looking forward to Christmas for months.  I think having young children at home makes it an incredibly special and memorable time of year and the girls are beyond exited already. The lovely Lou from With Love From Lou shared a Christmas Tag post just last week, and I really enjoyed reading it.  She was kind enough to tag me

With Christmas only around the corner, you might be on the hunt for fun and exciting things for the whole family to enjoy as we enter the festive period. With so many options on the run-up to the Christmas holiday, you might find it difficult to choose just one! To give you some inspiration to keep you and the kids busy this Christmas, here is just a short list to make sure you create some great Christmas memories this year. Visit the Christmas Markets Every year the UK embraces its

Amazon has been dominating the list of online retailers for a few years now so there’s no doubt it’s going to be the first choice for buying gift and gadgets this Christmas.  We use Amazon regularly to buy presents and essential items for the family throughout the year so I’m getting pretty familiar with their products and offers. As I know many of you will be looking to Amazon to complete your Christmas shopping, I’ve pulled together some of the best gift ideas and gadgets from the website to help

Some years I really put off thinking about Christmas, and then others I’m literally looking forward to the festive season from September.  This year is one of those years where I have literally wanted to fast forward through autumn and get straight to decorating the Christmas tree and getting the fairy lights out.  I’m not the only one like this am I? Before you think I’m really odd, hear me out on this one.  There’s something that really lifts my spirits about Christmas.  When the nights are dark and the

The festive season will be with us before we know it so it seemed the perfect time to share my top tips for planning the best Christmas.  It can be one of the busiest times of year for lots of people, and if you already have a lot on with work and family life, planning Christmas can soon become very overwhelming. In the run up to Christmas I’ve been thinking a lot about how to fit everything in around work and family. No one wants Christmas to feel rushed and

Have you ever had breakfast with Santa?  It’s not something we had done until very recently, but I think it’s about to become one of our family Christmas traditions.  Wyevale Garden Centres invited us to join them and Santa for some festive fun at their Leicester branch one Saturday morning this December.  The girls were so excited at the thought of having breakfast with Santa, that they put on their favourite costumes for the occasion. You have to dress up for Santa, don’t you? We were greeted by Santa’s elves,

Christmas is such a special time of year, and one that I start looking forward to as soon as the clocks go back if I’m honest. I love all the tinsel and sparkle that goes with the festive season and most of all I enjoy our family time together. This year, I’m looking forward to it even more as my eldest son is coming home from university to spend the holidays with us.  His little sisters are literally going to pop with excitement when they see him! He will have

What things do you do get you into the Christmas spirit?  We are definitely starting to feel very festive here at Zena’s Suitcase as we have already started on some of the Christmas traditions.  There’s been a few old ones, and some new ones that have crept in that I think are here to stay. We started our winter celebrations with a Christmas holiday.  This was a new adventure for us, but I think it’s going to become a regular occurrence.  We ventured to some new cities and explored the

I’m delighted to announce that I’m collaborating with TKMAXX to bring you their very first National Christmas Sock Day on 6th December.  It’s time the Christmas sock had it’s day, and was worn with pride to help raise awareness and funds for Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens.  Lets face it, the Christmas Jumper is so last year isn’t it? 😉 TKMAXX are selling some totally awesome Christmas socks to show their support to beat children’s cancers, and want you, your family and friends to get in on the act.  Lets rock

In November, we were lucky enough to be invited to Bluestone National Park Resort in Pembrokeshire to join them for the winter season.  Perhaps I should say, we were invited to the Kingdom Of The Elves as Bluestone takes on a whole different persona in the winter, and some very special visitors play host to the guests that are staying there.  The elves, along with Santa Claus, take up residence at Bluestone, turning it into a magical festive bonanza of Christmas fun and activities, for the whole family to enjoy. The two

Christmas jumpers aren’t just for children!  They should be a family affair.  They can cheer up even the grumpiest of Daddy’s and melt all that bah humbug away quicker than you can say Scrooge.  Winter can be cold, dark and quite depressing at times so I am all for embracing the Christmas cheer for as long as possible.  It cheers me up at a time of year that could take a real turn for the worst if it didn’t feature some sparkle and silliness. Matalan Christmas Jumpers When Matalan got

Did you know there was a Playmobil Advent Calendar?  We certainly didn’t until we received the Dress Up Party Playmobil Advent Calendar to review as part of our role as a #PLAYMOBILPlayologist.  What we also didn’t know is there is a whole range of exciting non chocolate advent calendars in the range suitable for boys and girls, no matter what they love. There are Christmas themed advent calendars, Fire Rescue Operation, Pirates or Farm related sets to choose from so if you are looking for something a bit different for your child this

For those of you not already in the know, Doc McStuffins is a six year old girl who ‘fixes’ toys, with a little help from her stuffed animal friends, Stuffy, Hallie, Lambie and Chilly. This year, Doc has been transported to McStuffinsville to become the Chief Resident of the Toy Hospital, where she and her toy friends will help toys from all over the world! Doc McStuffins Toy Hospital Bag Set The girls love dottie Doc McStuffins and were recently sent the new Doc McStuffins Hospital Bag set to play with and

Christmas is literally only just around the corner, and if you haven’t bought any gifts yet, you’d better get cracking.  Don’t worry though, Zena’s Suitcase is here to help you out and save you trawling the web for hours or dealing with hoards of Christmas shoppers.  You knew I wouldn’t leave you hanging, right? Mums deserve to get a lovely present, that has been well thought out and says ‘you’re the best Mum ever’ all over it.  Don’t worry, we won’t tell her that someone else took care of the

Lapland UK: This week we went on a very special road trip to visit the most magical of all Christmas destinations.  We set off from Nottingham in search of Lapland UK to find Santa and his  Christmas elves.  We were given a destination of the Enchanted Forest.  Fortunately, sat nav had heard of it. It was going to be our biggest and most exciting mission this Christmas.

I was so looking forward to the Christmas break, having family time and eating too many chocolates then the nursery Christmas newsletter arrived and it all came flooding back. The truth about Christmas with a toddler is that nursery is closed for a week and a half. Oh no!  What were we going to do.  Playgroups cease to exist, toddler groups come to a standstill and the number of places you can take a feisty 2 and 3/4 year old dwindle rapidly.

My baby is 7 month’s old.  It is flying by and she is growing and changing so fast.  She’s so happy and laid back and gets smiles and comments wherever she goes. She is a pleasure to be around, and we all love her so very much.  Some members of the family however are still coming to terms with their jealousy, but love is there too, fortunately. She isn’t a text book baby though, and we are facing some challenges in the weaning stakes and her sleeping pattern is deteriorating,

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