The Christmas season is a time when families enjoy many different traditions and mine is no different. We love the big build up to Christmas and enjoy all the preparation involved. This year I have done a lot of my shopping locally in Ealing, as I have found that I have been able to fit it around my work schedule and the school run. I was delighted when I heard that Cath Kidston would be opening a new store in Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre, just in time for Christmas! The new store is next door to Wasabi and opposite to Marks and Spencer. I was there on the day the new store opened and couldn’t wait to start my Christmas shopping!

In our house we like to open a couple of presents on Christmas Eve. I think that way you can enjoy a few small gifts the night before. On Christmas Day it can be a bit over whelming for children (and adults!) as there is so much going on.

I often like to buy some new nightwear for Christmas Eve. I couldn’t resist getting us matching PJ’s (we did it last year too). The Christmas cushions are a great way to make your bedroom or lounge look more festive!

Ladies snowman brushed flannel long PJ set – £55.00

Kids snowman PJ set – £25.00

Polar bear sack – £12.00

Polar bear cushion – £12.00

Snowman cushion – £12.00

We always have a stockings for both children as well as adults! I enjoy choosing the stocking fillers and like to include smaller more personal items. This year Cath Kidston have a lovely range of smaller gifts which are perfect stocking fillers. These are the items I decided upon:

Pets party 6 pack pencils – £4.50

Ballerina kids diary – £6.00

Junior metallic clasp purse – £8.00

Lucky rose kids two pack hair bows – £5.50

I always like to have a relaxed breakfast on Christmas Day, usually smoked salmon and scrambled eggs is on the menu. Cath Kidston does some lovely china wear and there is nothing like making a pot of tea and relaxing on Christmas morning while watching the children unwrapping their presents!

Alphabet mugs – £7.50

Pets party teapot – £28.00

I always enjoy choosing a special outfit for my Daughter for Christmas day. I absolutely love this floral print dress. I think it makes an adorable Christmas day outfit if you wanted an alternative to a Christmas print or jumper.

Northcote flower dropped waist dress – £26.00

Junior medium double zip rucksack – £28.00

Hankie Rose fairy rag doll – £18.00

What traditions do you have in your family for Christmas? Let me know in the comments, I would love to know!

This is a collaborative post.

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Here in Ealing we are so lucky to have Watermans Arts Centre right on our doorstep. The Centre houses an independent cinema, theatre and art gallery. The Christmas programme is in full swing and top of the bill is The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.  It is the perfect performance to take your children to this Christmas. The show is based on the original book by ETA Hoffmann, which was published in Germany in 1816. Winter Walker the theatre production company have brought the story to life with their clever use of puppets, enchanting music, dance and a beautiful set.

The performance runs for 50 minutes and is just the right length of time for younger children . It is recommended for children 3+ years. My 5 year old absolutely loved it and sat completed enthralled for the whole time. The story was easy to follow and the cast really engaged with the audience.


After the show there was plenty going on in the foyer. The cast were available for photographs, plus there is currently a wall mural in the foyer by Scott Walker. Pens are provided so that children can colour in the art work, my little one absolutely loved it! Small gifts and toys were also available to purchase.

How to get to Watermans

It is a short distance from Ealing and well served by public transport, plus there is also on site parking (the first hours parking is free). Alternatively you can take the number 65 bus from Ealing Broadway or the centre is just a short walk from Kew Bridge or Brentford Train Stations.

Eating & Drinking

Watermans have the Guru Café open daily from 10am serving coffee and snacks, plus it is a licensed bar too. The Guru Tandoori Kitchen is a great place to relax afterwards for a meal.

The Nutcracker and The Mouse King is running from now until the 30th December 2017. Tickets can be purchased via the Watermans website.

Don’t forget to follow Watermans on social media to get regular updates on their programmes. The Spring 2018 programme is out now. Featuring the best in family theatre with some great shows coming up for February Half Term. Including John Hegley and Noggin the Nog. You can book for these shows now via the website.

I received complimentary tickets to the production in return for a review. All opinions are my own and are a honest reflection of the performance I saw.

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One of the things I absolutely love about Christmas is the opportunity to put together some special outfits for my Daughter. There are so many great high street brands to choose from and with a bit of imagination you can create a look that won’t look out of place on the pages of a magazine.

I decided to focus on three different looks. All the outfits are available to purchase from shops that you will find at Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre 

H&M – A Winters Walk

For my first outfit, I wanted to create something that could be worn on a crisp Winter’s day for a walk in the park. I absolutely love this outfit as it has a nordic feel to it, plus the dress has a really cute vintage look.

All items are available to purchase from H&M (except for the boots which are from Step2wo – Sabrina Glitter Boot in Wine £40.60)

Fleece Lined Hat in Natural White – £7.99

Patterned Dress – £9.99

Faux Fur Gilett in Light Pink – £14.99

Father Christmas Charm Necklace – £2.99

Monsoon – Party Ready!

My second outfit is the perfect party dress. In my opinion a little girl can never wear too much sparkle! Monsoon has always been my go to for special outfits. This season they didn’t disappoint and as ever have some beautiful partywear and accessories.

All above items are available to purchase from Monsoon

Claudia Wire Rose Hairband – £7.90

Principessa Dress – £55.00

Glitter Spot Tights – £8.00

2 Part Embellished Star Shoes – £17.50

Big Bow Mini Bag – £9.00

Marks & Spencer – The Night Before Christmas!

My final outfit is perfect for a cosy night at home relaxing. Marks and Spencer always have a great selection of children’s nightwear, so I was spoilt for choice when I went to have a browse. There is also an excellent choice in their boys nightwear too and some of the PJ’s could in my opinion be unisex.

I also couldn’t resist buying a Paddington Bear (I was lucky to get the bear, as it was a very popular item and soon became sold out!) and a story book “Paddington & The Christmas Visitor”.


All above items are available to purchase from Marks and Spencer

3 pack Cotton Christmas PJ’s with stretch  – £27.00

Paddington Bear – £12.00 (currently out of stock)

Book Paddington & The Christmas Visitor – £3.00 (£2.00 of every book sound will be donated to the NSPCC Childlike). The book is suitable for ages 3-5 years.

“With Love From Ealing” Christmas Cards – set of 6, £12.00 (20% of sales goes to funding breast cancer research) stocked in various Ealing gift shops or buy online via Charlotte Berridge Studio


This is a collaborative post with Ealing Broadway Centre.

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My family and I have been going to Winter Wonderland every year since it first opened in 2007. Over the years it has become a place that we always visit, as the build up to Christmas begins. It started off 10 years ago as an ice rink in Hyde Park with a selection of Christmas markets. It has grown over the years to become a destination to visit and I know many families who have made their visit part of their holiday traditions.

Winter Wonderland is open every day (expect Christmas Day) from 10am to 10pm until the 1st January 2018. Admission is free and is a short walk from the following underground stations: Green Park (this has step free access useful to know if you have a pushchair), Paddington, Victoria, Hyde Park Corner and Knightsbridge. I usually avoid getting off at Marble Arch as this can be a very busy station.

This year there is so much more to do! It is definitely worth picking up one of the free maps available, as the site it’s self is now a lot bigger. Or alternately why not get familiar with what is available before you go via the website, that way you can plan which attractions you really want to visit. The Winter Wonderland website also has a handy feature where they have suggestions for various days and evenings out. Perfect if you are going with children or alternatively for a romantic date night!

There are so many amazing rides to try out. Remember you will need to purchase tokens which are available to buy from the various token booths on site. Make sure you use up all the ones you have brought, as they are only valid on the day of purchase. Each token costs £1.00, so to give you an idea of the cost children’s rides start at £2.00, with other rides starting at £3.00. With some of the children’s rides you will need to accompany your child, so do factor in that too.

There are a number of pre-bookable attractions including: The Ice Rink, The Magical Ice Kingdom, Cinderella On Ice, Bar Hütte, Zippos Christmas Circus, Cirque Beserk, Bar Ice and the Sooty Show. It is worth booking these shows as soon as you can, that way you can get the times and dates you want. My top tip would be make sure you allow extra time to get to the right part of The Winter Wonderland. As if you are attending a show, it will depend on which entrance you enter at, as it can be fair walk with little ones in tow!

This year we went to the Sooty Christmas Show and I am not sure who enjoyed it more? Myself or my Daughter! I think it goes back to the fact that when I was a child Sooty and Sweep were very popular and I remember going to see them (yes I am a child of the 1970’s!), so at that time Matthew Corbett was the puppeteer. The show this time hosted by Richard Cadell. It was very much the simple slap stick humour that I remember from my childhood. There was plenty of water pistol action and silly jokes. My Daughter couldn’t stop laughing and neither could I!

I would throughly recommend this show to families with children from toddlers up to around 6 years old. The show lasts approximately 45 minutes, so a really good length of time for children of this age group. An adult ticket is priced at £8.50 and a child ticket is £5.00. Children of 2 and under if they are not taking up a seat will not need a ticket.

We also went to Zippos Christmas Circus, which was an excellent family experience. Incorporating all the fun of the circus, from comedy with clown like characters to acts that perform acrobatics to escapism. Again a really managable length for young children the show lasted approximately 45 minutes. Ticket prices vary according to if it is peak or off peak times.

My Daughter particularly loved the dancing snow bears, courtesy of Britain’s Got Talent finalist Vadik and the Bears.

You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to eating and drinking at the Winter Wonderland. There are so many options to choose from including plenty of indoor areas for when it get’s chilly. I particularly loved the atmosphere in the Bavarian village. You just can’t go wrong with a hotdog and a mulled wine to get you in the festive spirit!

We are planning another visit in-between Christmas and New Year, as there are still lots more things we would like to experience!

I received complimentary tickets to the shows and some rides in return for a review. All opinions are my own and are a honest reflection of my recent visit.


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