• Christmas and New Year,  Giveaway

    Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate – win a Lindt Chocolate Bear advent calendar

    Say what you like about all the different types of advent calendar out there, but I think chocolate ones are the best. None of these gin advent calendars, or beauty boxes for me. Chocolate first thing on a morning brightens up my December. If you feel the same, WOW FreeStuff has a competition to win a £10 Lindt Chocolate Bear advent Calendar of your own! Read on to find out more! Chocolate advent calendars Obviously traditional advent calendars were pieces of card, with the story of Christmas told in small sections behind each door. Or reusable fabric calendars with a small gift in each pocket. The idea of an advent…

  • Christmas and New Year

    Christmas with a 2 year old – lots of squeals and tantrums

    So Christmas 2017 is over. I’m back in work and there’s only New Year left to tackle now before all the goals and fresh starts begin. I have high hopes for 2018 but thats for another post. Today I want to talk about Christmas with a 2 year old. If you have older kids this might sound familiar. If younger, then you may like to know what’s in store. Our Christmas celebrations started on Wednesday 20th December when we braved Manchester Christmas Markets with Spike. This wasn’t as horrific as it could have been and was mostly a lovely day. I was off work on the Friday and decided to…

  • Christmas and New Year

    A manic Christmas Eve – Our traditions the day before the big day!

    Christmas Eve was always mental in my house growing up. It was the storm before the calm rather than the other way round! Our family owned and managed a corner shop in a small village and Christmas Day was the only day we were shut. You might think that it sounds like a quiet little business to have. You would be wrong. There were papers to deliver, stock to order, deli food to make and staff to manage. My parents worked 20 hour days. And Christmas Eve was one of the busiest days of the year – mainly catering for the one little thing that the people of the village…

  • Christmas and New Year,  Discussions,  Gift Guides

    My Christmas Wishlist – A last minute gift guide for mummy or daddy

    With so many of us putting so much effort into our kids’ Christmas presents in the last month, it’s easy to forget about our partners. We want the perfect Christmas, but with just over a week to go, you better have remembered your loved one! I have really struggled this year with knowing what I want from friends and family. My mind has been full of making Christmas dinner for the family and ensuring Spike’s Christmas runs smoothly. When it came to her I was sorted a fair few weeks ago. Yet I know T still hasn’t managed to get me much! I thought I’d share a few ideas in…

  • Christmas Dinner table places with caption Tackling Christmas Dinner for the first time How to avoid disaster
    Christmas and New Year

    Tackling Christmas dinner for the first time – how to avoid dinner disasters

    This year we’re staying at home for Christmas. It’s the first year, since we got together almost 9 years ago, that we’re staying home. At first I would spend Christmas with my family and T his, then we started spending it together, but at his mums. We’d then go visit mine on Boxing Day. But I always said that as soon as we had kids together I wanted Christmas Day to be our thing. One of the main reasons that we had spent Christmas at T’s mums in years gone by is because of L. He spends Christmas morning at his mums then Christmas Day with us. So it was…

  • blogtober17,  Christmas and New Year

    It’s beginning to look a lot like… – Christmas at Bents Garden Centre 

    So last week I was invited along to Bents Garden Centre to sample the fantastic range of food on offer in the Winter Food Market. And I must say… wow! There was bratwursts ahoy, complete with a vegan version for people to enjoy. Pulled pork and pulled mushrooms with the spiciest pork scratchings  you can ever imagine. Waffles and crepes with every topping you could ask for. And a great selection of drinks, including the beautiful white hot chocolate that I may have sampled with marshmallows! Food glorious food I honestly though I was at a warmer mini version of the Manchester Christmas markets. The atmosphere was great, there was…

  • spike-Christmas-Wardrobe1-readaraptor-hatchling
    Christmas and New Year

    Spike’s Christmas Wardrobe

    Better late than never… Last Christmas when Spike was teeny tiny, I dressed her up in all sorts for her Christmas wardrobe. I embraced the elf outfits and Santa bodysuits and basically abused her for photos that she’d look cute in. I tried that again this year but the adorable yet hideous outfits were all either too frilly or too small! Instead we made do with fun, funky Christmas themed tops, and the occasional legging or two! Most of this years Christmas Wardrobe came from the boys section – you’ll be shocked to learn! There were too many frills and too many non Christmas-y stuff in the girls section for my…

  • Christmas and New Year

    My big quiz of the year 

    I’ve been tagged by Kelly from Nature Mum Blog… to answer some questions about 2016 and my hopes for 2017. What was your highlight of 2016? I think going to Blackpool Zoo with my partner and Spike was the highlight. I loved watching her experience all the animals, many she had never seen before.  Name one thing you are likely to remember about 2016 if asked in five years time? My career change and the experiences I had when I tried to return to work after maternity leave, working 2 part time jobs and landing my dream job.  Sum up 2016 in one word. Tiring.  Name one pearl of wisdom from…

  • Reflections_on_the_year_gone_by_2016_readaraptor_hatchling
    Christmas and New Year

    Reflections

    For many 2016 has seemed like an awful year. There have been so many celebrity deaths (not going to lie, the only one I really cared about was my beloved Snape, RIP Alan Rickman) and disasters in the form of Brexit and the American Election result. I am not a fan of Brexit though to be honest as we’re saving for a house and it might mean house prices fall in 2 years time it might work in my favour. And don’t get me started on Trump…. For the Hatchling household personally 2016 hasn’t been bad. There have been serious ups and downs from being screwed after my maternity leave…

  • Overwhelmed_By_Christmas_Presents_readaraptor_hatchling
    Christmas and New Year

    And its over…

    Christmas 2016 is done! Spike had loads of fun, loves every gift and Santa needs a change of address notice if the car on the way back from my parents was anything to go by! It was hectic but it was amazing and I had so much fun too. The festivities began on Christmas Eve when we went to Spike’s Grandma’s to watch her cousins open their gifts. Spike was given a few teddies there and got a Makka Pakka toy from her Auntie Sam. She loved that and the giant teddy bear the most! Christmas Day was amazing. She was so good! She got a little overwhelmed by the…