Spreading Christmas Cheer with Marks & Spencer

Spreading Christmas Cheer with Marks & Spencer

I was recently contacted by the lovely people at Marks & Spencer asking if I would like to get involved with their Christmas activities! Much like my post a few weeks back with Thorntons, I was kindly gifted something which I could then pass on to someone special. In this case, I was gifted a £20 voucher to spend on someone who I felt really deserved it. There was no question of who I was going to choose – Steve knew who I was choosing before I told him! 

Many of you probably know Shona from freshbeautyxox and you probably know she has undergone major spinal surgery recently. I thought some gifts from M&S would perk her up a little and Steve suggested some comfy clothes! I didn’t know exactly what I was going to get until I walked in but I was handed a 20% off voucher outside my local M&S store which made the experience even better as I could now buy her more!

Now that Shona’s received her presents, I can show you! I picked her up some lovely pure cotton pyjamas (link – currently £10 down to £7) and a gorgeous purple dressing gown which is oh so soft! I can’t find this online but it cost me £15 – with the 20% voucher, the two came to £20 exactly which I thought was perfect.

It was incredibly kind of M&S to spread the Christmas Cheer in this way – Shona really liked them and its something that is really suitable for right now – she needs to be comfortable whilst she recovers! I really enjoyed browsing round the shop to see what Christmas items they had on offer and they reaffirmed what I believed to be – if you want quality but at affordable prices, Marks & Spencer is the place to go!

Have you bought anything from Marks & Spencer this Christmas?

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I was kindly compensated with a £20 voucher to help with this post.

Jack meets Santa

Jack meets Santa

As I did when I was little, Jack met Santa the other day! Not only that but he met him TWICE! We were lucky enough to be taken out for breakfast by Steve’s parents at our local Hungry Horse restaurant – they were doing an offer of breakfast at £5 a head and children got to meet Santa. Later on that day we also had the annual sleigh come round our area with Santa on, waving at all the children! It was so magical!

Jack really enjoyed his breakfast – he had sausage, baked beans and toast. I had a breakfast burrito – it was so good, I am still thinking about it two days later! After we were all fed and watered, it was time for Jack to meet Santa Claus..

Sadly, Jack was a little scared at first; obviously this is a fairly new experience for him and he didn’t trust Santa one bit – he grabbed his presents and ran! He then decided to stand at the door to the grotto, waving and smiling at Santa – it seems he only liked him at a distance. There was no way he was sitting on Santa’s lap, however! We tried one last ditch attempt at getting a nice picture, this time with me…
EPIC FAIL.
After all this, Jack was very excitable so we put him down for a nap when we got home! At 4pm, we heard the sounds that meant the sleigh was coming and made our way outside…
Jack loved watching the sleigh from a distance! My camera decided to mess about whilst we were outside and all my pictures of the sleigh seem to have been swallowed up, although Steve managed to save some of the pictures of Jack that I took!
There is something so magical about Christmas with children – the sheer innocence and glee makes all the stress in the run up more than worthwhile.

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Love Christmas Ltd | My Christmas Tree

Love Christmas Ltd | My Christmas Tree

You may recall me recently holding a giveaway for Love Christmas Ltd. Well, the lovely people over at Love Christmas Ltd kindly offered me a christmas tree to review too! 

Whilst I would love a huge Christmas tree in our house, unfortunately I can neither afford one this year nor fit it in really. Next year we hope to be in a bigger house so a big tree will be number one on the Christmas shopping list, however this year we have settled for something smaller. We chose the gorgeous 2ft prelit Christmas tree with gold decoration. It is big enough for Jack to hang his decorations off but doesn’t take up a lot of space which is fantastic. As Jack gets bigger and bigger, we find space more of an issue than ever before and this is practical and meets our needs well.

The quality of this tree is absolutely perfect – I cannot fault it at all! Whilst this is our main tree this year, hopefully next year we can still bring it out alongside a bigger tree. If you’re looking for a little tree for your house, I’d totally recommend checking out Love Christmas – you won’t regret it.

This tree normally retails at £17.95 but is currently on sale at £12.95 – what a fab offer!

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Post contains PR samples

Budgeting For Christmas

Budgeting For Christmas
As a young family with not much money to spare, we budget as much as we possibly can. Of course, we don’t deny ourselves the odd treat but when you have a toddler, owe some money to family and friends and are trying to save for all manner of things (wedding, house, another child), it really is up to us to stretch our money as far as it will go.

Since my redundancy, I have slowly been setting up as a freelance writer and Steve has just been offered (and taken) a promotion at work. Whilst this means there will be more income, this doesn’t mean we won’t stick to our budget. With Jack’s birthday and Christmas coming up, we are allowing our budget to increase slightly to cover these costs but it doesn’t mean we won’t be seeking out great deals.

The main money worry for me at Christmas isn’t the presents, if I’m perfectly honest. Everyone I generally buy for would be happy with something small, it’s my choice to buy them something bigger. However, the one thing that I will never scrimp on is Christmas Dinner. Whilst I don’t go to the extremes as some and spend an absolute fortune on it and whilst I do try and get as much for my money as possible, Christmas Dinner has to be perfect – especially as we may be cooking for both sets of parents this year as well!

I usually stick to the supermarkets when it comes to my meat as they have good prices. However, I can’t always guarantee good quality and I have recently been looking at a variety of online butchers for our Christmas meat this year. We normally have turkey but a few members of the family aren’t big fans so we are deciding between chicken and duck – the prices between which differ amazingly!

By far the best I have found so far for quality and price has to be Country Valley Foods. The prices between meats doesn’t vary by too much and they are all very affordable. They offer a great range of products and I’ve even spotted a possible Christmas present for someone amongst them all! I’m even tempted to have a Hog Roast at my wedding as they offer Hog Roast Hire – something both sides of the family will be chuffed about.

I’m definitely going to be visiting the site again in the run up to the holidays – they may have just sorted Christmas for me!

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This is a sponsored post.

Christmas Gift Guide {1}

Christmas Gift Guide {1}
This gift guide has been in the works for a month and a half now – but I didn’t get round to posting until now…shocking, right? Sorry for the shoddy collage too, I just couldn’t get the pictures to fit right!
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[1] The MUA Artiste Collection eyeshadow palette {link} – A gorgeous go-to palette & just £6! Who wouldn’t love this? Plus, you can get this palette for free right now on muastore.co.uk if you spend over £6 on other products! Well worth it! (Yes, I indulged…)

[2] The Paris In A Bottle Collectibles Charm Bracelets {link} – Just £7 and you are able to design your own! I am all for independent jewellery designers and Paris In A Bottle are no exception.

[3] The Santa’s Elves Christmas stocking {link} – I received one of these for review, the Retro Toys stocking – which Steve absolutely adored! There were so many things from when we were young & he loved reliving his childhood with them! Definitely worth checking out if you’re struggling to buy for someone!

[4] aMuse Fashions A Rose Is A Rose earrings {link} – How pretty are these? Perfect for any lady in your life, for the bargain price of £10!

[5] The Great British Bake Off: Learn To Bake book {link} – Who didn’t love GBBO? I think this is the perfect addition to any kitchen & is currently just £6.99 on The Book People!

[6] This is where I offer my apologies to my lovely namesake Bex from Musings From The Pigeons Nest – it took me so long to get this post up that she has shut up shop for Christmas. However, her shop is suitable for presents all year round so be sure to keep an eye out for some great products very soon!

What are you hoping to receive this Christmas?