What's In Darcy's Christmas Stocking 2019*

Do you ever struggle with what to put in a stocking over Christmas? The difficult decision of not wanting to go over the top, but also wanting to gift something that will be enjoyed?


Darcy has turned very girlie recently, and has strong opinions about everything. I am not over stuffing her stocking as she also gets a Christmas Eve box, so everything is cheap and cheerful. Of course I will adding the usual to the stocking as well.. socks, candy canes and of course an orange. I love watching her open her stocking on Christmas morning.

You know when you go into Primark for some socks and you come out with everything but socks? I was spoilt for choice for stocking fillers. It can be hard sometimes to find age appropriate. Darcy loves Disney and Primark have loads of Disney theme things including this perfume which was only £3 and the cute penguin lip balm was a quid.

The fluffy cat key ring is from Home Bargains and will be put her school book bag, and the tree pen is from one of my favourite shops Flying Tiger and was also £1.

After LOL Suprise dolls, Darcy is obsessed with JoJo Siwa. Obviously I had to get her a
JoJo Siwa x Hair Secretz brush*, it's not just cute looking. It has storage for hair clips inside the brush and dual sided bristles, one side to detangle the other to smooth and style.
The detangling side has three different heights of bristle which allow the brush to glide through hair in seconds.
JoJo Brushes available from B&M Stores nationwide and at Amazon for £7.99

Zoo imagination biscuits* are not only gluten and lactose-free, they are the perfect snack for between breakfast and Christmas dinner. You can find Zoo Imagination at Tesco for £1.79.

I hope you find something on this list helpful in your search for stocking fillers. Do you put similar things in yours? Or what other things do you put in your Christmas stockings? I always love hearing stocking filler ideas.

Hippity Hop Review

One thing that Darcy and I loved to do, is go to the theatre. I think it is important that families make time to see a show from time to time as it allows you to have quality time as well as help children to be creative, learn to communication and to be imaginative. So when Darcy and I had received a invite to review Hippity Hop at the Artsdepot I jumped at the chance. 

Photo credit Suzi Corker
Photo credit Suzi Corker

Photo credit Suzi Corker

Before the Hippity Hop starts you are greeted by the performers themselves, and everyone gets a colourful cap to wear. Just don't wear your cap back to front or your child will end up giving you the evils, apparently it is not cool to wear it that way and who am i to argue with a four years old.

The production focuses around a pram containing a baby who had rolled away from the its Mummy. Whilst travelling around colourful Hippity Hop town calling on various shopkeepers to see if they have seen the baby's missing mum.

Hippity Hop is different to other productions, there is puppetry, rapping and singing. It is a sensory delight full of colour, scent and sound. Which makes it perfect for children with autism.

Darcy and I favourite was The Soundman, I watched her really lose herself in the music and she has informed me that she wants all her friends to go and see it.

The production is aimed for 2 - 5 years old, but I feel it is perfect for all ages. We absolutely adored the production and would definitely see it again. I urge you all to do the same!

Hippity Hop is at the Artsdepot until the 31st December 2018, before going on tour in the New Year to The Burton Taylor Studio, Oxford (12-13 January), Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester (15-16 January), Gulbenkian, Canterbury (23-27 January), Theatr Clwyd, Mold (29 January – 2 February), Stratford Circus Arts Centre, London (8-9 February) and Southbank Centre, London (13-17 February)

Last Minute Party Planning Ideas*

Ah, hosting the Christmas party. It's your turn and suddenly you need to come up with a theme, a guest list, a menu, the entertainment, the decorations--all at the busiest time of the year. But never fear because believe it or not, you are only a click or a phone call away from getting teverything you need for your party. It'll kick your party up a notch or two and make it hassle free for you all in one go. You ready?

First off, you need to decide where to host your party. As it is last minute, hosting the party in your home maybe be the best idea. Get some friends or family members to help you set up, put those valuabes and breakables some where safe, move some furtinure around for space and decorate to room to your theme. You canget the kids involves by making paper chains, it will also keep them busy. So you can get on with other things without being intrupted.

If you do not fancy hosting at home you could looking into hiring one of many party houses. They perfect for gathering groups of friends, family or colleagues, corporate events, special occasions or as stag do venues.

For a work christmas party, see if you can use a board room for a few hours. If not many resturants have rooms you can hire or you can look into hiring out a area in a pub. Many places will have a christmas set menu which will suit every dietary needs.

You'll need entertainment and depending on your guest list (young, old, mix, coworkers, family, etc) as it's a Christmas party you're creating so why not invite the jolly old elf, Santa, himself? You've got fun right in the palm of your hand when you rent out a performer for your special day.

For children parties, keep it simple! Kids love parties foods, party time can often mean an excuse for overloading kids with sweet treats! But do you really want a bunch of sugar-fuelled kids running around your house?! The trick to serving healthy party food is to make it look as appealing as possible to the kids. Buffet food such as; String Cheese Snowmen and christmas pudding cake pops are so simple to make.

For office parties, a great thing to do is to make funny awards up, either in the form of made trophies or just certificates that you have printed off the computer. These can be for anything from 'first to arrive at the office each day', 'the one who always makes the coffee', 'the one who never late for work', 'the one who always wears a quirky tie', etc. and is a great way to 'award' coworkers for their silly habits. All in good fun of course.

So those few a few last minute christmas party ideas to help you get started, I hope you found them useful. Do you have any parties ideas you would like to share with me?

The ultimate Christmas gift guide for everyone on your list — all for under £50

Christmas is so close! But don't freak out I GOTCHU! Here is a gift guide for LITERALLY anyone... For Her, Him and the kids! I have some expensive things and I have some cheap things. These are all things that I generally like or have used, so they are Leighanne approved.

So what are we waiting for, let's start the Bump and Beyond ultimate Christmas  gift guide 2018

For Her

Gin has become a favoruite tipple to a lot of people, including myself lately. I am always on the hunt for some new favours to try. This Gin & Tonic Infusion Set* is perfect as it livens up the classic G & T or even create your own personalised gin infusions.

Add a personal touch with a bottle of personalised Prosecco* it is a perfect way to mark a special occassion.

We are all trying to be more environmental friendly, one way we can do this is by reducing the amount of plastic we use. A Chilly's Reusable Bottle*, is not only gorgeous  and res usable it is lightweight and insulated enough to keep the contents cold for up to 24 hours or hot for up to 12 hours.

A goal setting planner which everyone needs, Deluxe Law of Attraction Life Planner is perfect for the woman in your life. This planner helps set priorities (daily, weekly, monthly), there’s a monthly as well as a weekly overview.  The rose gold finish with the subtle engravings at the front and back is gorgeous and gives the planner a luxurious feel.

For the kids

From LOL Dolls to Num Noms, kids just love collectiable toys. A new one on the market is Party Pop Tennies, which is currently on offer at Argos. Pull, twist, and pop six Surprise Poppers to discover stylish dolls and fun accessories! For ages 4 years and over.

Do you remember last year when the Fingerlings were sold out everywhere! This year they are back with Fingerlings Hugs. Kiss them, swing them, or throw them in the air for different reactions. Fingerlings can also repeat what you say in a funny voice, For ages 2 years and over.

The cry babies, cry real water and make realistic baby noises. Give them their dummy and a cuddle to stop them from crying. For ages 18 months and over.

You cannot go wrong with a Leap Frog toy, The Learn and Groove Music Player is a child-friendly portable music player pre-loaded with 20 upbeat songs to encourage children to move as they learn.

The Untamed Raptor Dino is part of the Fingerling family. They react to sound, motion, and touch, and roar hiss and chomp to scare off your enemies.

The PJ Masks Stretch Catboy is Super Strong! Super Stretchy Fun! Grab hold and stretch Catboy's arms, legs and torso! Release and Catboy returns back to his normal size and shape. You can even tie him in knots! Not suitable for children under 3 years old

For Him 

What do you buy the man who has everything? A star of course!  With the Name a star gift set* You receive detailed info to help you track down your star with a telescope, and an official certificate proving that it has been registered.

The Spice Kitchen: Flavorful Recipes from Around the World is an excellent cookbook. Just perfect for adventurous home cooks interested in ethnic cooking

A Nintendo Switch is the perfect present for all the family, and now that Fortnite Battle Pass Season 6 is now available on the switch. It will make the perfect present for the man in your life.

Drones are at the top of plenty of wish lists this year, and if you want to take aerial photos or just get airborne, this Hawkin’s Bazaar drone is cheap and cheerful and should gives hours of fun.

Are Your Windows Ready for Winter?*

It only seems like yesterday, that we will moaning about how hot it wass. Cracking open all our windows and sitting in front of the fan. Now the weather has most definitely changed and it is time to keep our homes nice and toasty over the winter period.

Don’t wait till temperatures drop to weather proof your windows – use these helpful, cheap tips to keep your home warm. If your windows have seen better days, it is time to invest in some brand new Upc windows to not only keep your home warm but also safe over the winter period.

Clear sills and moving parts of dirt and debris. Debris like dirt or leaves can get caught in window sills and moving parts of windows or doors. Clean these areas with a dry brush to create a tighter seal and enhance window and door performance.

Make a DIY draft stopper
Common places for drafts to enter your home include; underneath doors and around windows. Making a draft stopper is rather easy. Al you need to do it make a tube with fabric and stuffed it with dried rice, padding or even old pieces of clothing. You can place these on any drafty windowsill in your home to help keep heat in and cold air out

Insulate your windows using plastic wrap
Window film creates an insulating barrier between the interior of your home and your windows. Kits typically include plastic shrink film that you apply to the indoor window frame using double-sided sticky tape. Simply heat the film with a hair dryer to shrink it and remove wrinkles. 

Hang thermal curtains
Insulated curtains are designed to effectively block the cold outside air from seeping inside your home. It is also a way to add some must needed colour and drama to your home.

Get Your Garden Ready For Winter*

Winter may not seem like the time to think about your garden. But take advantage of this break from the growing season to catch up on tasks that were put off during the rest of the year. Whether it’s protecting plants from severe cold, decorating the front garden for Christmas, or planning for next year, there’s plenty to keep you busy while you dream of spring.

Pack away your tools 
Leaving your tools out over the winter without protection they will more than likely be rusty and need replacing.

Remove weeds
There are weeds that thrive through the changing seasons; so you need to make sure you keep on top of them over the winter. Find yourself a good herbicide or if you want to do remove them naturally. White wine vingear is perfect for spot treating weeds. 

Clear out compost bins
Now is the ideal time to clear out last year's compost and use it around the garden, making room for this year’s waste. If your compost isn't quite ready, turn it to improve decomposition, and create a new heap next to it for fresh organic matter. You can never have too much compost.

Plant your spring-flowering bulbs
Winter is the perfect time to plant daffodils, crocus,  hyacinths and tulips. Make sure you plant them before there is too much snow and frost. To give yout flowers the best chance for survival by nestling bulbs about six inches deep in the soil.

And if all end fails hire yourself a gardener. Some may deem a professional gardener as simply an unnecessary luxury. However a garden is a big game player when selling your home, so think of it as an investment if you can afford it.

Moving Home Hacks | Tips Everyone needs to know !*

I cannot believe it has been a year since Darcy and I moved into our home, time really does fly. Today I thought I would I share with you some tricks and tips that helped our move be as stress free as possible.

Cut handles into boxes Get a knife or a pair of scissors and carefully cut slits into the sides of the box, fold the cardboard up inside and do the same on the other side. The handles will help make lifting the boxes so much easier.

Label your boxes, There's nothing worse than trying to look for something and not knowing where it is. You don't want to be opening box after box looking for a can opener. Also, consider placing the things that you use daily into separate boxes, that way you will have an easy access at them when you are into your new home and you won’t have to guess in what box they are.

Hire a Removal Company, do you really want to be carrying boxes all day long? As frugal as I am, I knew hiring a removal company would be the best option for me. Thankfully there are companies out there like getamover, where you can get lots of moving quotes, then pick the company which suits all your needs. 

Keep your clothes together bunch your clothes together into a bin liner, pull the liner over the clothes and tie up. This will keep your clothes and hangers organised and easy to pack away in your new home.

Don't get locked out of your home Twist an elastic band over a lock, this will prevent you from getting locked out. 

What handy tips do you have to make moving stress free?

5 Quick tips and tricks to save on winter heating and energy costs*

Winter is truly here, keeping our homes warm is crucial. And with energy prices remaining high, it’s now more important than ever to think about cheap and efficiency ways to keep your home warm and to make sure you’re not paying more than you have to on your energy bills.

Today I am sharing with you some easy and cheap ways to save yourself some money and keep your home a little warmer without spending a lot of money.

Watch out for drafts
Common places for drafts to enter your home include; underneath doors and around windows. Invest in a door draft stopper, simply place the insulator against the bottom of your door or window and it will stop the cold air coming through. For windows tape along the edges of the window panes as this can prevent those pesky drafts from making the room feel cold.

Close your curtains
Although natural sunlight is a great and free way to keep your home warm during the day. As soon as the sun sets, it is a good idea to close your curtains to stop heat being lost.

Move furniture away from radiators
Keeping radiators free from obstructions is one of the best ways to make sure that the heat travels across the room as much as possible.  

Replace your boiler
As your boiler gets older it becomes inefficient and often unreliable leading to more breakdowns and increased energy use. That means the cost of using your boiler will increase over time. There are lots of advantages when it comes to new central Heating Boilers. One being they are safer than older central heating systems and will not leak carbon monoxide, which is one of the biggest threats with older boilers.

Put a rug down
Wooden floor boards and tiled floors can directly make you feel cold when you walk on them. A rug not only can make a room look good, it can act as a heat trap.

Those are some quick tips and tricks to save money on winter and energy costs. But do remember that while there are many ways to help save money on heating costs, not every way will be applicable to your home.

Do you have any energy saving tips?

5 Frugal Holiday Tips | How To Save More Money This Christmas Season

Create a budget before buying any gifts.  By creating a Christmas budget you’ll be able to determine, on paper, how much you want to spend before actually spending a penny. It’s important to have a plan for your money so it doesn’t control you. Take a few minutes to determine who you need to buy, what you want to get, and how much you want to spend.

Don’t be afraid of DIY Christmas gifts. There are some great DIY gift ideas on Pintest that you can make. You might even have everything for a great gift at your house and it won’t cost you anything

Get together with friends and do a Secret Santa. This is something which I have been doing with my friends for years. Let’s be honest, gift buying can get overwhelming and expensive, Secret Santa experience help relieve some of the stress and financial burden of exchanging gifts esepcially if you have a lot of friends and family.

Shop Online. You can find amazing deals online by using voucher codes and promotional discounts.  Always search on Google for a voucher code before checking out to make sure you’re getting the lowest price.  Another great way to shop smart is by going to Poundland, Home Bargains and other discount stores.  If you’re willing to go earlier in the holiday season you can find some great items for a fraction of the cost as other retailers. And do not forget to use cash back sites such as Quidco and TopCashBack.

Know When to Stop When your list is finished and you’ve checked it twice, it’s time to stop shopping. Know when you’re finished, and avoid taking a trip to the shops “just to see what they have” – this can lead to making poorly planned purchases and blowing your budget.

Do you have a Christmas budget? How do you save money during the Christmas season?