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Presents Under a Palm Tree!

I love having Christmas at home, we buy our tree, visit a Santa, see lots of friends and eat lots of food but I have always wondered what it would be like having Christmas abroad and I do think I would like to try it one year, I bet it would be brilliant. Imagine it being hot enough to go on the beach on Christmas Day!

The people at Destination2 have asked what we think Christmas abroad might be like, we had lots of fun imagining what we might expect. I would love to go to Ras Al Khaimah which is one of the seven Emirates in the UAE. My Mum went there before I was born and she has always wanted to go back for a holiday with us.

We think that Christmas would be the perfect time to go, it would be much warmer than here but it wouldn’t be too hot that you couldn’t do lots of things. I think we would be able to buy all the presents we need easily- they have a huge shopping mall which would be a good place to start and then we could visit the souk and try out our bargaining techniques to get a good deal on the rest.

I have been reading about Ras Al Khaimah and I think that would make Christmas a great time to visit, it sounds like it would be a really nice atmosphere. You could visit one of the Churches if you wanted to or you could go to the tree lighting or carol services put on at many of the hotels.

If you go at the right time you could even pop across to Abu Dhabi for Winterfest and see all the excitement going on there- I think that might be a bit like going to Winter Wonderland with Ice Skating and shows and rides.

I wonder what it would be like with so much sand at Christmas? I can’t imagine going in the sea on Christmas Day but perhaps we could build a sandman instead of a snowman! We could use shells for the buttons and eyes and seaweed for his scarf!

Lottie and I think that Santa’s reindeer might not be used to the heat so perhaps they get a rest when he gets there and he lets the camels take over pulling the sleigh. I wonder if one can do it all on their own or if he would need a whole lot of them- my Mum went to a camel farm and she said it was a bit smelly but I suppose Santa might be used to that with his reindeer!

Father Christmas dashing over the palm trees with his red nose camel!

 

We would really like it if the Palm Trees were all decorated with tinsel, lights and baubles and if the presents were left underneath them!

I don’t know what food they would eat in Ras Al Khaimah for Christmas dinner, I know you can get all sorts of things like you do in the UK but I would love to imagine it was a huge feast with a long table full of delicious foods and that it would last a really long time with lots of yummy desserts.

I know exactly what present I would like if I visited Ras Al Khaimah for Christmas- I would LOVE to go on one of the desert safaris in an open top jeep, it looks amazing. My Mum said it was brilliant and terrifying at the same time. I would send her on a camel ride which she has done twice before and said ‘never again’ about!!

I think it would be great fun to go abroad for Christmas and would love to do that one year. We had lots of fun looking at the Destination2 website  and imaging where we would choose!

Lottie wanted me to draw her a palm tree to decorate!

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This was a sponsored post written for Destination2

 

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Kids Clothes Shopping with Outfit at MK1

Luke’s Shopping Trip…

I am not really that keen on clothes shopping and normally try and just get my Mum to buy me things I know I will like but when Outfit at MK1 in Milton Keynes asked us to come and check out their kids range I thought I would give clothes shopping another try!

We went over to the MK 1 Shopping Park on Saturday and headed across to Outfit. I hadn’t realised they did kids clothes until now but their range is really good. Lottie and I both found plenty of things we liked and had fun deciding what we thought was best for each other. We finally narrowed it down to the things we wanted to try on and headed for the changing rooms.

Normally this is the bit I really hate about having to try on clothes but the changing rooms at Outfit were good, there was plenty of them and they big with proper doors that locked so you could try things on in peace.

I tried on quite a few things and liked them all, including a pair of jeans that were different to the ones I normally buy- they were skinny jeans and they were actually really comfortable  which I was surprised at. I didn’t need any jeans at the moment but when I do my Mum is going to take me back there.

In the end I decided to go for a brilliant Christmas jumper- it’s perfect for me as it isn’t too fussy and it is a hoody so I liked the style, a pack of two t-shirts that I liked and that my Mum agreed were a bargain and a shirt that is really soft and comfortable but smart enough to keep my parents happy over Christmas.

I might still not be the biggest fan of clothes shopping but I know I will be happy to go back to Outfit next time I need to get new clothes as there was plenty I liked and they all fit really well…. Lottie on the other hand will probably be asking to go back tomorrow!

Lottie’s Shopping Trip…

I love shopping for clothes and trying them on to see what I like. I found lots of things in Outfit that I really liked and got to try on lots and lots of things!

I think I tried on four dresses, two pairs of trousers, two jumpers and three tops! I loved everything but we decided to choose the things I liked the most. I was stuck on the dresses because I really liked a lot of them but choose a black velvet-feel sparkly long sleeve one because I haven’t got any other like it and it will be really pretty for our school disco- I think it will be very sparkly when I dance!

 

I picked a pair of sparkly leggings too because they were so nice and the t-shirt that I liked best of all.

I also wanted a Christmas jumper like Luke and I couldn’t decide which one but in the end I picked a polar bear one because it was so warm and soft- I love it and made Luke wear his with me when we went shopping for Christmas decorations the other day!

I would like to go back to Outfit soon as there was a flowery dress that I really liked and there was some accessories that I would like to get too.

We also got a cute robot T-shirt for our little brother (he loves robots!) and they had lots of other things for little toddlers that were really sweet.

A note from our Mum

We were really impressed with the Kids range at Outfit, it was fashionable and appealing to children but still practical, age appropriate, well fitting and comfortable for them- what more can you ask for?!

At the time of shopping several of the items also had 30% discount on them making our shopping a real bargain but even without this the clothes were well priced and competitive to other children’s clothing retailers.

I have only washed everything once but it has all come out fine and I have high hopes that the clothes will wash well as they seem to be good quality.

We will be heading back to Outfit at MK1 Shopping Park soon- there was a good selection for all three of the age brackets of our children, toddler through to ten, as well a great selection of hair accessories and bags, making it quite straightforward to get everything we need quickly and easily in one go.

They even have a Costa in store at MK1 so you can treat yourself to a well earned coffee once you have kitted the kids out!

 

 

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post with Outfit and MK1 Shopping Park but all thoughts and opinions are our own and Lottie is counting down to when she can next wear her new Christmas jumper again!

 

 

 

 

 

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Scalextric BTCC Touring Car Battle Review

If you haven’t ever raced on a Scalextric track then you are missing out! No matter how old you are you will love it.

I was so excited to be sent the BTCC Touring Car Battle Scalextric set to test. I couldn’t wait to get started! As soon as my little brother went to bed we cleared a space in our dining room and set it up so my Dad and I could have a race (or three!) before bedtime. I soon got the hang of it and was able to find a pace that I could go fast at but that I had stopped crashing the cars off the track at and I was quickly giving my Dad a proper race!

The racing was brilliant, you can start at the amount of laps you want to do and the counter clicks down as you go- I lapped my Dad loads of times! If you want to do a shorter race you can do much less but I like doing long races!

The track comes with two cars and these are amazing copies of Jack Goff and Gordon Shedden’s BTCC cars- you can also buy extra cars to use too which I really like the idea of doing. The cars are really realistic and I enjoyed taking a turn at driving them both.

My friend came round to play with it the other day and we set it up by ourselves- it was easy to do without any grown up help as each piece has a letter printed on the back and it clips together easily. My Mum said it is much easier to build than the one her brother had when they were young.  We liked that is had 4 different race track setups that we could choose from. My friend also took a little while to realise you need to start slow and steady and then build up your speed if you don’t want to go flying off the track but we soon were able to have a good race. We did manage to knock a spoiler off one of the cars during a crash but it clipped back on again easily which was a relief!

I have really enjoyed playing with the BTCC Touring Car Battle Scalextric and think it is going to get plenty of use. I can’t wait until after my birthday party when my friends are coming back to my house for a tournament!

I think this would make a great Christmas gift for BTCC fans, Scalextric fans or just competitive people! I do think it’s a bit tricky for younger children as they might crash a bit much but think anyone over 6 or 7 would love it, including grown ups!

 

 

Disclaimer: We were gifted this Scalextric set for review purposes but all thoughts are my own

 

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Lottie Loves…Dance Gear Made to Measure Range

By Lottie age 6

I was sent a beautiful dress to wear for ballet. It was the Child’s Romantic Tutu from Dance Gear.

I wore it to ballet last week and it is lovely. When I put it on it is very comfortable and I feel like a princess! It is brilliant for twirling in.

My ballet teacher thinks it is really beautiful and some of the other Mummy’s asked my Mummy where we got it from.

I hope I am allowed to wear my dress for our Christmas show….I would like to wear it everyday!

A Note from Mummy:

Once we eventually narrowed down the long list to decide which item we would like to see from the extensive range and provided Lottie’s measurements the dress arrived very quickly. The sizing is perfect and Lottie absolutely loves it.

The whole range is full of amazing dancewear for both children and adults- there are choices of 80 designs with over 80 different fabrics, colours and patterns. You can even go for a combination of different colours on some of the layered items which makes a really unusual and special outfit. The range is reasonably priced, it is certainly in line with what you would expect to pay and the quality is excellent. All the dancewear from the Dance Gear Made to Measure range is made to order in the UK and because of their experience within the dance industry the people at Dance Gear know how important it is to get the orders made and delivered as quickly as possible.

Lottie is thrilled with her tutu and we would have no hesitation in recommending anyone looking for dance clothing to take a look at Dance Gear Made to Measure range.

 

 

Disclaimer: This was a collaborative post for which we received product to review but all thoughts are our own.

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Toddler Christmas Wishlist- Gift Ideas for Two and Three Year Olds

Now we have written our recommendations for Christmas ideas for children our own age we started thinking about things we thought my little brother might like from Father Christmas (and that we wouldn’t mind helping him play with!)

Teach and Tag Movi – This toy gets toddlers moving and following instructions and as our little brother loves to dance and play games then we think he would love this.

Lightning McQueen Remote Control Cars – I think this looks quite good and would be happy to teach my brother to play with it!

 

Sea Patroller– We have a huge Paw Patrol fan in our house and think this would go well with the Paw Patroller he already has.

My First Drone– Another toy that I think looks quite cool and I wouldn’t mind teaching my brother how to use! He might be a little bit young for this but I am sure he would learn quickly.

My First Scalextric– My brother loves watching my BTCC Scalextric and really wants to be allowed to join in so I think he would love playing this!

Waffle Blocks– We have an old set of these that were my Mum’s when she was small and my brother loves those so we think he would enjoy the new version with the Steam Train set.

Playmobil– we have got lots of Playmobil already as we have all enjoyed it but everytime an advert comes on the television for any of the sets my brother says ‘Please, Please, me!’ so we are sure he would like almost anything from the range. While he is only little we think the vehicles are better for him rather than the sets with lots of little pieces, he really likes playing with our police car and fire engine at the moment as he likes anything which has sirens and flashing lights.

Toddlebike2- Sam has been testing one of these out and loves it- he is currently whizzing around our dinner room on it! We will be doing a review on it soon (and maybe even a competition to win one!) but we would already recommend this for anyone looking for a toddler gift. If you were looking to order one in time for Christmas you could use code BLOG17 to enjoy 10% discount at http://www.toddlebike.co.uk/shop/

We hope that’s given you some great ideas for 2 and 3 year olds, if you are stuck for ideas for older children then make sure you check out my suggestions for 9 year olds and Lottie’s for 6 year olds. Keep an eye out as we will soon be sharing our stocking filler recommendations!

 

 

Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links which if you use when making a purchase would mean we would receive a small amount of commission

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Lottie’s Christmas Recommendations- Gift ideas for 6 year olds!

Luke and I have been writing down ideas of things we think children our age will love. These are my ideas for 6 year olds, I think they all look brilliant and I hope Father Christmas might bring me one of them!

Sylvannian Families Starry Point Lighthouse– This looks like so much fun. I like that it lights up and projects on your bedroom ceiling.

Jakks toys Chocolate Egg Surprise Maker– I think this looks yummy!

Aquabeads Disney Princess Set– I love my Aquabeads sets and think other 6 year olds will too

Vtech Secret Safe Diary– This looks really good, I like the idea of a secret password

 

Hatchimals Surprise– I think Hatchimals are really cute!

 

Lottie Dolls – I love my Muddy Puddles Lottie doll and would love another one, She has a great name! I REALLY like the idea of the tent too!

LEGO Friends Snow Ski Resort Ice Rink – I like playing with LEGO and like trying to build it when Luke doesn’t try and do it all for me!

Luvabella Doll– Luke says she is creepy but I like the Luvabella doll, I like that she talks to you and I really like the idea of scaring my brother with her!

Silver Cross Pioneer 5 in 1 Dolls Pram– This looks beautiful, I would love to push my babies around in one of these. I think they would be lovely and cosy!

 

Rainbow Heart Care Bear- I love these! My Mummy always wanted a Care Bear when she was little so she could always share it with me!

I hope that gives you lots of ideas! Luke has a list for bigger children and we are doing one for our little brother too so you can look at those if you want some more ideas.

Lottie x

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Luke’s Christmas Recommendations- Gift Ideas for 9 year olds

Like most children at this time of year I am starting to get excited about Christmas (and my birthday!) and I have been looking at the toys to see what I would love to get this year. I have seen tons of great things and decided I would make a list of the my top toy recommendations for 9 year olds this Christmas. I would love to receive one of these things from this list- they all look awesome!

BTCC Touring Car Battle Scalextric– I am actually lucky enough to already have this set and it is amazing, I am going to be reviewing it in full soon but I can definitely say it is a top present for any BTCC fan old or young this Christmas!

 

LEGO Ninjago Lightning Jet– This looks awesome, it comes with 6 mini figures as well which is loads and means you can set up a really good game even if you don’t have lots of other Ninjago LEGO

BB-8 The Last Jedi Set  -I think this would be brilliant to build and would love to add it to my collection.

 

Nerf N-Strike Elite AccuStrike RaptorStrike – This would definitely give me a headstart in any every shot counts battle!

Sky Viper Stunt Drone I haven’t flown a drone before but think this looks excellent!

 

BB-9E App Controlled Droid– This is really expensive but I think it would be great for any huge Star Wars fan, it looks awesome. It is controlled by smart technology and I think you could have loads of fun with it.

LEGO Boost Coding Robot- I have started going to coding club and I really like it and I love LEGO so this is a brilliant toy to combine both, I think this would be a great present for children my age, it gives them something to learn and something to play with.

 

Base Ace- I love my Base Ace 3D play platform and have been slowly adding expansion kits and other accessories. It can be played with either way round depending on what you want to use the platform for. It is compatible with LEGO mini figures and bricks and I have often had LEGO Star Wars battles with my friends with it, I would definitely recommend this as a more unusual present for kids who love LEGO.

Battleships Game– I taught my Mum to play Battleships when we were on holiday the other week, I couldn’t believe she had never played it before! I would really like my own game of this so I will be putting it on my Christmas list!

 

Nintendo Switch- My friend has one of these and I really like playing on it. They are very expensive but I can still hope!

l hope that’s given you some good ideas for gifts for children around my age. My sister and brother will be doing a list of recommendations for younger children and we will also have another post with ideas for smaller presents and stocking fillers so if you are struggling to know what to buy then make sure you watch out for those!

 

Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links which if you use when making a purchase would mean we would receive a small amount of commission

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Stepping into the Future- Our visit to Futuroscope in France

We recently got back from a brilliant holiday to France over half term. We had taken loads of books and activities to do as we expected most places to be closed as it is now off season, but we found out that although some of our normal favourite places are closed there is still loads to do.

Our favourite place that we visited during the holiday was the amazing Park of Futuroscope. They are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year and I can’t believe we haven’t been before- it was awesome!

The park is very modern and funky- along with the unusual buildings there are sculptures and artwork all around which you could spend ages looking at by themselves. It is also quite a peaceful place with lots of water, grass and trees. There are huge bean bags everywhere so you can sit and watch the world go by and massive garden chairs to climb up on and get settled onto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is so much to do it was difficult to know where to start. Luckily the maps and programmes detailed the times of all the shows and rides and whether they were continuous or just at specific times, these were available in English and German as well as French. If you are still struggling to know where to start you can visit a robot who will help you plan your day!

It would be very easy to spend two or three days at Futuroscope- you certainly wouldn’t get bored and one day isn’t long enough if you are hoping to do everything but you can still have a really good time if you only have a day there- we would just recommend making sure you knew exactly what you wanted to do and getting there as early as possible so you can squeeze as much in as possible.

We decided that we would concentrate mostly on the rides and pick  a couple of shows we really wanted to see as that would let us get the most done during our visit. We were lucky enough that we had all received Premium Passes and whilst these are 20 Euros a person extra they made a huge difference as they meant that you were allowed fast track access once to each of the main attractions and we would definitely recommend getting one of these if you were only going for a day as it meant you didn’t need to spend too much time queuing.

We went on lots of different rides – I won’t spoil it by telling you all of them but they were all different and some of them were really mad- one you sat on these funny seats and then realised you were in what was basically a public toilet before you shot off! In another you started by feeling like you were boarding an airplane before you got to the main part of the ride and took off. My absolute favourite though was the shortest ride but it was brilliant fun and as soon as I came off it I wanted to go back on! It was Dances with Robots and you can see from the clip below how much fun it is.

My sister was just a bit too small for Dances with Robots and she was jealous as she really wanted to go on it- she’ll have to grow for next time! There is three settings so you don’t have to go upside down if you don’t want but I think that’s the fun part. My brother and sister liked the fact that they could go and watch the ride from a viewing platform- my sister said it was like being at a disco. We haven’t been able to get the song from it out of our heads ever since!

We went to the Ice Age show, this was a 4D showing on a special Ice Age film with plenty of special effects. We also went to the Drone Academy Show which was brilliant- it was so clever what they had managed to do with the drones and bits of it were quite funny. I loved this one as I have wanted to fly a drone for ages. We had headsets that could translate the shows into English but to be honest with both of the ones that we saw it didn’t matter if you spoke brilliant French or not because you could still understand what was happening.

One of my favourite things we did during the day was visit Futur L’Expo which was an exhibition of things of the future- we planned to just pop in for ten minutes to have a look and ended up staying for over an hour, there was so much to do. The was an interactive fridge that gave you recipes, a tablet that you could use to control a robot, screens where you could be shown dressed up and waving a magic wand whist just as yourself and a 3D printer. The robot had a screen on it so you could drive off and see people and then talk to each other from the other side of the room, controlling it was really fun. The 3D printer was so clever- you could design things on the laptop and see how they would work and if you wanted to could even make and buy a 3D model of your own head!

 

We could have even gone to a night-time show too but because we had my toddler brother with us we decided we would be better to leave that until he was a bit older. We ran out of time a bit as there was plenty of other things we could have done but like I said I think next time we will go for two days. If we had longer then my Mum would have liked to have seen the magic show which we were recommended and I would have liked to go on the boats and use the water guns as well as see some of the other shows and go on the rides again.

There were loads of places to eat at Futuroscope– we did find the queues very long for food but had been told the buffet restaurant (La Table D’Arthur) was quick so when we go again we will try there, otherwise there are plenty of places you can eat a picnic if you didn’t want to loose any time. There was also lots of gifts shops so you could buy all the usual things like pens and mugs, some things specific to the Park like their characters and then they also sold more unusual gifts like science and space toys and activities so it was nice to have lots of different things to choose from.

We did find that my little brother was too young for a lot of it and whilst there was plenty for him to see and lots of play areas he could play in with plenty of space for him to run around he was a bit sad he couldn’t go on the rides (he really liked the racing cars and fire engines) so we would recommend it as being best for children over 5. Lottie wasn’t tall enough for quite everything but she did manage to do nearly all of it.

 

We would definitely recommend Futuroscope to anyone looking for an adventure, If you can go for at least two days then that would be best but if not then plan your visit well, get there as early as possible and plan to stay until late and as I said it is well worth getting a Premium Pass if you can. Lottie and I can’t wait to go again next year- I wish we had something like Futuroscope in the UK.

 

 

Disclaimer: We were lucky enough to receive complimentary passes to Futuroscope but all thought are our own

 

 

 

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Children’s Gifts and Books from Two Little Boys

If you follow us on social media you might have already seen how much Lottie loves her ‘I am going to be a princess and this is my plan’ notebook so we were very happy to be sent some of their other products to review.

We are going on holiday over half term so the ‘I Can Spot’ books are going to come in useful for the journey. They have lovely pictures in them for children to spot. They are good because you can do them with someone else or on your own so they can keep you busy in the car. Some of the things are easy like animals and some are more difficult because they are very specific like ‘a lady carrying a brown handbag’ so whilst they are suitable for my toddler brother because they have nice clear pictures they are also still interesting enough for children Lottie’s age. Hopefully these will keep them busy during our long journey!

We also received Volume One of the Children’s Coffee Table Book This is amazing, I really like it. The pictures are so nice- they are all different things from around the world and are so interesting to look at. On the opposite side to the photos is a page with some information about each for the pictures, I have really enjoyed reading these pieces and have learnt some new things. I never would have thought to buy a coffee table book and I was surprised by how much I liked it. I think I will go back to it time and time again. This would make a lovely present for children age 8 plus.

We have loved everything we have seen from Two Little Boys, they do some great things for children and lots of nice stationary and gifts for adults, we would all recommend the things we have had from them and will definitely be using them for presents for other people.

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Half Term Fun and a chance to win with Flip Out Trampoline Park, London E6

My cousin is really lucky- she has a Flip Out Trampoline Park near to where she lives in East London- it’s quite a long way from us but it looks great and we are hoping to go there when we visit her.

We have been reading about Flip Out, in London E6 because they are letting us run a competition for our readers  to win themselves a session! They aim to deliver massive amount of healthy, awesome fun which sounds good to me! They have huge trampolines, stunt box zones and a DJ but it’s more than just trampolines (although there is three floors of them to get started with!)

They also have twelve warrior climbing walls, I love climbing and these look awesome.  You can dual on battle beams and dive into the foam pits or test out the 30 foot slide. There is even a 100m caving system and a Ninja Warrior Course! This is definitely not your average trampoline park!

 

 

 

 

 

If we lived nearer to here I think I would be asking to go to Flip Out all the time. There’s loads of different sessions to suit everyone- Family Time, Toddler Time, Students and even an After Dark Friday Party.

Flip Out have 65 outlets over 7 different countries so if you can’t get to London over the half term then it is worth taking a look to see if there is another near you but Flip Out in E6 looks like it will be worth a bit of a journey to keep the whole family entertained over half term. My Mum thinks it might even wear us out!

If you would like the chance to win for you and a friend to visit the amazing Flip Out Park in E6 then enter our fab competition below. Flip Out will even give the winners a Polar Krush Ice Drink each to cool down with after all that bouncing too!

 

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