Our Christmas Gift Guide

Christmas is slowly creeping closer, and for once I am excited to say that we’ve basically finished our Christmas shopping!
In honour of this monumental feat I’m putting together my gift Christmas gift guide for 2018!

Before we start off, I think it’s important to say that you should always try and shop local if you can, it supports the independent shops where ever you may be and can also cut down on your carbon footprint of anything you might buy.

This is a list of things we’ll be getting our daughters this Christmas. We put a lot of thought into what they might enjoy. All told we’ve spent around £180 on the girls (we’ve most of that being split across the grandparents and funded by sellering stuff during a clear out).

Wooden Animals

Unsurprisingly we are big fans of wooden toys, and this includes wooden animals. While there are lots of great brands out there, our girls are small so we currently favour Lanka Kade. These animals are chunky, and extremely solid meaning they are far from fragile. While these animals are available in bright child friendly coloura, we actually prefer their natural non-painted styles. There is something beautiful about the simplistic natural style. We actually purchased two reindeer for this years present and they differ due to the colour of the wood used which adds to there charm. 

Ned

I love Ned, the little wooden robot-person made by Rudi and Bear is just adorable! If you follow the eco-friendly parenting accounts Instagram then no doubt you’ve seen this charming guy. I’d been petitioning Sadie for a Ned for a while, and now we’ve got two coming this Christmas (admittedly one is for me). This characterful toy is perfect for home or throwing in your bag as a travelling toy. 

Wobble Board

A wobble board is a large curved piece of wood that your child can rock on, climb over, or over wise play with. They are the perfect thing for open play. There are many brands out there but we went for a Creatimber as it was perfect for our price range. They come in a range of styles, decorations and colours but ultimately they all do the same thing. The Creatimber board is capable of holding up to 330kg so this toy is sure to last. 

      Tuff Tray

        These large trays are the perfect thing for small world and messy play.  Available in a wide range of colours from most online retailers, you can find all kinds of interesting inserts from maps, educational pictures or mirrors. 

        Dealing with my “dad-bod” – 1 week in

        If I’m honest this week has not gone as well as I’d hoped. With Gracie, Mogs, and Sadie being under the weather at different points we’ve settled for quick food, and often chocolate or biscuits too.

        Despite the failing to manage my diet and am still pushing to keep my steps per day at a decent number, and even managed to lose a tiny amount of weight. 

        I knew Christmas would be a difficult time to try and do anything like this so I hope just to manage my weight for the time being and really kick this into gear next month.

        Alva Christmas Nappies

        So here we are in the middle of November and I would like some recognition for the willpower it has taken me not to have put up the Christmas tree already!

        I have however purchased my beautiful girls the latest Alva Nappy bundle offered by Fill Your Pants, and it is absolutely gorgeous.

        I’m always a sucker for these bundles but this one was a “must have”. I cannot wait to see Gracie and Margot in them.

        For a review of Alva nappies look here. 

        JoJo Maman Bebe Pocket Dinosaur Review

        We’ve recently been buying up plenty of wooden toys. After seeing how much Gracie loved her other wooden animals that we’d picked up, I was excited to get the Pocket Dinosaur set for her.

        This box cost us £15.00 from a high street shop. The box contains 18 pieces, 12 dinosaurs (6 pairs), 4 trees, and 2 volcanoes. While the box states that the toys are suitable from 18 months, Gracie is enjoying them at 13 months, and the size and quality of these toys are equal to that of other toys that are suitable for her age.

        The 12 dinosaurs are in bright colours that Gracie found really attractive. She loved that there were two of every dinosaur, in two different colours. This gave her the opportunity to pair them together, both by shape, and with other dinosaurs in the same colour pallet. The trees and volcanoes have also found use outside of the set as a part of other small world play.

        These are not the first wooden dinosaur toys that we’ve picked up, originally finding a couple of Le Toy Van dinosaurs while shopping in Glastonbury, and these compare extremely well. While the Le Toy Van dinos are certainly of a higher quality, this is directly tied to a higher price.

        Ultimately the Pocket Dinosaur pack provided a large number of good quality toys that are perfect for those who prefer wooden toys, or small world play, and while not my favorite brand wooden toys, they are great for smaller hands. 

        Dealing with my “dad-bod” 

        I still vividly remember what it was like when I was 18. I could eat as much fast food as I liked without damaging my flat stomach. I was never what you’d call small, but I wasn’t overweight by any stretch of the imagination.

        And now here we are over a decade later with two beautiful daughters and 20 to 30kg more on my belly. It is so easy to gain weight when you’ve got little ones, convenience food is exactly that. By 7pm I’m often so worn out that a quick dinner and a bag of chocolate is all I can manage.

        I’d managed to lose a lot of weight before Gracie was born getting my BMI into overweight rather than obese but I’ve let things slip a little since then. 

        My overall goal is to get down to 70-odd kilos (I’m starting at 110kg) which should put me into my ideal BMI zone, however my first target is to get my BMI down under 30 which will take me out of obese.

        I am hoping to manage a large part of this through controlling my diet better. Sadie and I are currently doing as much walking as we can to help her rebuild her stamina after Margot, so through monitoring my diet more effectively I should be able to shift some of the weight. 

        Two under two: One Month In

        Here’s the thing, I expected this to be so much more difficult than it is at the moment. I remember what it was like with Gracie, how tired I was, how I was just making up things as I went along. This time around I sort of knew what I was doing, and if I’m honest I was already exhausted…

        One month in and we’re beginning to find our rhythm as a family. Gracie has started to sleep through the night which is a small blessing. Unfortunately Margot’s had a chest infection for the last two weeks but she’s been toughing through it like a trooper. Everyone compliments us about how we don’t look like sleepless zombies, so we must be doing something right. 

        One of the things that’s made me really happy is getting Margot into Gracie’s old clothes, it’s wonderful to see these beautiful items getting a second wear, and I feel less awkward about purchasing new clothes knowing it’ll get two babies worth of usage.

        As Christmas approaches I look forward to enjoying the season with both my girls. 

        Busy life & baby Margot 

        So it’s been a while since we’ve posted on here. Life pretty much went off the rails recently and we just haven’t had the time or the energy to post. But that is all about to change, as we’re finding our rhythm as a family with our latest addition, baby Margot.


        This beautiful girl was born on the 10th of October and has been doing her best to rob Mummy and Daddy of their sleep. 

        That’s all we have to say at the moment but we’ll be back to posting regularly soon.