Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Baby's First Christmas Gift Ideas

Looking for some last minute gift ideas for a Baby's first Christmas?  BabyBlooms have beautifully bound fairy-tale books (personalisable), hampers and clothing for both boys and girls. Some really cute gift ideas to help make baby's first Christmas extra special.


A baby's first Christmas is a special moment and this gorgeous, long sleeved 100% cotton t-shirt, embroidered with the wording 'My first Christmas' and a festive teddy bear is a great baby Christmas present.


A 100% cotton pull over baby bib in white with the wording 'My First Christmas' embroidered on the front in red thread.


A fabulous, fine bone china Christmas bauble, hand decorated with a beautifully detailed Christmas tree and teddy bears illustration from artist Amanda Bradley.


Celebrate a baby's first Christmas with this luxury gift from Babyblooms.  This set contains our much loved personalised festive Bertie Bear, a 'My First Christmas' bauble and a breakfast set containing a plate, bowl, mug and egg cup all hand decorated and beautifully packaged in illustrated boxes with festive tissue paper and ribbon.


Personalised Classic Fairytale Book; This beautifully illustrated A4 book, filled with 12 classic fairytales is bound in a purple silk, hardback cover embossed with gold lettering. Babybloom's personalisation service means that the child's name will be displayed on the front cover and will also feature within every other illustration throughout the book. 

Saturday, 19 December 2015

University Games - Seagull Splat

With Seagull Splat from University Games

Seagull is flying happily around…. splat…. what is that on the ground? Seagull Splat is the mischievous and hilarious children’s game that will have kids screaming with laughter. Are you lucky enough to dodge the poop? You may end up pooped out if you aren’t!

The object of the game is to be the last player to keep one of his/her Character beach towels. It’s easy to play – each player chooses a colour and places the beach towels in front of them. Simply fill up the bird with the seagull foam solution and place the bird and spinner in the middle of the table. The first player spins the spinner to indicate on which colour beach towel he / she may poop.

Take the seagull and fly over to the beach towels of the player with the colour indicated on the spinner and squeeze the tail once. If the bird poops, the player has to put away the pooped-on character. If the bird does not poop, the player is lucky and his/her characters are saved for this round. Play continues until there is only one player with beach towels remaining. This player is the winner!

With an advanced version for seasoned poopers, Seagull Splat is set to be a family favourite this Christmas. Available from Toys ‘R’ Us and Argos.
Big thumbs up from The Syders. We think this game is great fun, a great Christmas gift.

Age 4+ years. For 2-4 players. RRP £19.99

Friday, 11 December 2015

Top Tips To Get Ready For Christmas Eve

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…

….We wish! All mums know the reality; convincing over-excited children to get some sleep before the big day, wrapping presents late into the night and stressing over last minute food preparations.

This year, make sure you are prepared for Christmas Eve by pre-empting any of the classic problems, so you can tuck yourself in with the confidence that it is going to be a joyful day ahead.

To help you out, we have put together the following festive forget-me-nots, for a Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

For the un-expected guest?
Whether it’s you brother who has just announced his bringing his new girlfriend to Christmas day lunch or your Auntie deciding to pop by on a whim, at Christmas we extend goodwill to all mankind and welcome all guests no matter how unexpected they are! To help ensure you are the hostess-with-the-mostess Lloyds Pharmacy have got last minute gifts wrapped up! Who wouldn’t like this Baylis & Harding jojoba, silk & almond oil gown set, you can find in your local high street branch for £19.99.

For energy support as you wrap more presents than Santa’s Elves
Perfect for those who jam-pack their Christmas Eve, Emergen-C offers a double hit of energy release and immunity support in handy fast dissolving, wallet-sized sachets. Packing 1000mg of Vitamin C to support the immune system’s normal function and 6 B vitamins for energy release Emergenc-C costs £4.99 for a pack of 8 and is available from Boots stores nationwide. For further information visit http://www.emergenc.com.

 For that moment you see the ‘Batteries not included’ label
It’s 11 O’clock on the night before Christmas and as you prepare the stockings you realize that must have toy MUST have batteries and you are all out! Avoid the hunt for the nearest open convenience store on Christmas morning and be sure to stock up in advance this year.

For those sticky moments
If you have left the present wrapping to the last minute, the last thing you want to do is run around the house, looking for something sticky to substitute when you run out of tape! Make sure you buy a fresh roll in advance, so you don’t end up in a sticky situation.

 For Santa
Make sure you stay clear of Santa’s naughty list by leaving out a mince pie. If Santa happens to be Gluten free he might like to try Lovemore’s Gluten Free Mince Pies. Available at Holland & Barrett for £2.89 for a pack of 4 these mouth-watering pies are a delicious festive treat. Made with shortcrust pastry and deep-filled mincemeat they contain no artificial colors or flavor.

For a silent night
If the excitement of the festive period has made the kid’s bedtime a nightmare before Christmas and the stress of preparing for the big day means you can’t switch off, why not try an essential oil? Sweet and floral with a medium strength initial aroma, soothing essential oils have been found to be very beneficial for supporting relaxation. Add a couple of drops to your pre-bedtime bath such as Lavender Pure Essential Oil £11.39, available from Holland & Barrett Stores and online http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/

For when the hard work is done
After all the hard work is done and you’re ready to unwind be sure to treat yourself for your hard work with a Midnight Mud Mask such as Dr. Organic Dead Sea Mineral Bio-Plasma Mud Mask,Organic Dead Sea Mineral salt and Dead Sea Mud have a long history of skin purifying and health promoting properties, so in combination with a blend of bioactive, natural and organic extracts, such as Kaolin, Plankton Extract and Algae Extract, this face mask penetrates deep into the pores, effectively removing excess oil and impurities, whilst stimulating new cell regeneration. Great for helping your skin to feel festively fresh. £7.99 from Holland & Barrett

Thursday, 10 December 2015

How To Make Snowman Soup

Every year I make snowman soup. I give them to family, friends and neighbors and they are always warmly received. In fact they have become one of our family Christmas traditions and the kids look forward to them year after year.

What You Need:
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Candy Canes
  • Curling Ribbon
  • Snowman Soup labels (available from Ebay or download for free here)
  • Cellophane Cone Bags (available from Ebay)


  1. Scoop required amount of hot chocolate to make one drink into a cone bag. Seal the bag with ribbon and trim the top of the bag.
  2. Drop the hot chocolate cone into another cone bag.
  3. Layer with marshmallows, then chocolate chips.
  4. Seal the bag with curling ribbon.
  5. Stick a candy cane onto the cone.
  6. Add labels and ribbons to decorate.
  7. To serve make your hot chocolate, stir with your candy cane, spray some squirty cream on top, add marshmallows and chocolate chips. 
  8. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Living Room Makeover - Retro Style

I'm totally crazy about the TV show Madmen. I'd even go as far as admitting that I'm slightly obsessed with the shows retro style and I have been really keen to bring some of that 1960's vibe into my own home, starting with my living room.

I decided to give my living room a makeover in time for Christmas to add some color and coziness ready for entertaining family and guests over the festive period. The room before was predominantly black and mocha and as someone who loves bright colors I was desperate to add some 'wow' to the decor. 

I made a start by picking a wallpaper that is an exact replica of one featured in Madmen, a groovy orange and brown patterned paper. It is extremely vibrant so I was careful to only paper one wall, so as not to overpower the room.

For winter warmth I purchased lots of cushions and throws. I added lamps, candles, twinkly fairy lights and down lighters to give a chilled out, cosy atmosphere. Chunky solid wood furniture gives the room a rustic feel and retro accessories give an authentic 1960's look. We are lucky enough to have an open fire and when it's lit it is fantastically toasty. My favorite addition to the room is a large framed 1960's print that I picked up second hand, I love it. I love the stag trend at the moment so I have a few on my mantle, including a glittery one, perfectly festive.

The room before the makeover was cold and unloved, the decor boring. Now, my room is warm and inviting. The bright orange instantly made us feel cosy. 

What Do You Think? Do You Think It Looks Cosy?

Monday, 30 November 2015

Christmas Gift Guide For Men

Men are often quite difficult to buy for, and I do struggle every year for new ideas to buy the men in my life. Hardy Amies and Dickies Store have some great stocking fillers, fashion must haves and accessories for Christmas Gift for men of all ages to suit a range of budgets.

Top Five Hardy Amies Gifts:
  • Monogram Socks £15.00
  • D.R Harris Arlington Cologne 100ml £32.00
  • Men's Society Moustache Kit Pocket Sized Tin £18.00
  • Roll Neck Jumper Merino Wool £150.00
  • Textured Scarf Wool Jacquard £120.00

Top Five Dickies Gifts:
  • Vintage Print iPad Case £7.00
  • Trinity Dealer Boot £54.95
  • Multi Cushion Crew Socks £9.95
  • Portland Shirt £29.95
  • Tiber Safety Trainers £59.95
We love the Tiber Safety Trainers, they are great for work or the garden. They are comfortable and hard wearing. Perfect for the busy, active man in your life. My Hubby always has a garden project on the go and these are fab for keeping his feet safe and dry.

They contain no metal, but maintain all the safety features of heavier steel safety footwear. The toe-cap and midsole both contain composite safety features for all round penetration and impact resistance. With a lightweight mesh and microfibre upper and a lightweight EVA/rubber outsole, ensuring these will not wear you down throughout the working day.

  • Composite toe-cap.
  • Non-Metallic anti-penetration sole.
  • Water resistant upper.
  • Padded collar and tongue.
  • Lightweight EVA/rubber outsole.
  • Shock absorbent heel.
  • Antistatic properties. 
  • Oil resistant sole.
  • Mesh and Microfibre.

*We were provided with a pair of Tiber safety boots free of charge for the purpose of this review. Our thoughts and opinions are our own and unbiased.

An East of England Co-op Christmas

As you know last week we tried some delicious sourced locally Christmas treats from the Co-op including a sparkling rose from Shawsgate Vineyard that won East Anglian wine of the year 2015 and this week I just wanted to share with you a few more locally sourced products that you could try over the festive period. 

In my local co-op we have lots of locally produced Christmas products stocked, things like chutney, jams, honey, mince pies, chocolate, tea, christmas spiced juice, cakes, hot chocolate, meat pies, wine, ale, cider plus much more. 

During the summer I tried a gorgeous cherry wine that I bought from the Co-op and while I was shopping this weekend I spotted a strawberry wine from the same winery (Broadlands), and let me tell you it is delicious. The Riverbank Bakery in Norfolk have a lovely chocolate, raisin and cherry cake on offer. It has a real christmas cake taste and is great for those who don't really like a traditional christmas cake. We also tried a spiced apple juice made for co-op in Suffolk and it is lovely. We even have locally produced tea, which surprised me as I have never seen it before.

The Co-op has a full range of treats that are sourced locally. Why not pop in and have a look.

*We were provided with Co-op vouchers for the purpose of this post. Our thoughts and opinions are entirely our own.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Camp Bestival Announce Theme For 2016!

As an interstellar treat, Camp Bestival have a very special Christmas offer. As well as entry to the most cosmic Camp Bestival ever, anyone who orders their Camp Bestival tickets before Friday 11th December will receive a jolly festive and exclusive Outer Space Camp Bestival Christmas card. If you’ve already got your Camp Bestival 2016 tickets but would like the Christmas card, never fear, sign up here and they will send you one! Numbers are limited so grab this splendid Yuletide offering while you can.
And, as Christmas draws ever nearer, don’t forget to get involved with the legendary Camp Bestival Advent Calendar kicking off on the 1st December! A veritable feast of Christmastime joy, Camp Bestival’s Advent calendar will feature a truck-load of festive fun from a host of CB faves, including wondrous prizes, fantastic activity sheets, crazy carols and seasonal stories galore!
Ticket Info:
Camp Bestival 2016 Weekend Tickets are on sale now via: Ticketline / 0844 888 4410
Camp Bestival 2016 Weekend Ticket Prices:
Adult Weekend Ticket - £197.50*
Student Weekend Ticket - £185*
Age 13 to 17 Weekend Ticket - £118*
Age 10 to 12 Weekend Ticket - £93*
Age 5 to 9 Weekend Ticket - £45*
Age 4 & Under Weekend Ticket - £15*
Babes In Arms (1 & Under) - FREE (but ticket required)*
All tickets include camping from Thursday or Friday.
*NB: please refer to the Camp Bestival Ticket Terms & Conditions

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

#Win With The Infacol Challenge

The Infacol Challenge asks users to navigate their way through two infant colic related games. The first is the tricky dropper challenge, which tasks players to use the dropper to hit 9 targets 
The second game is a frantic bubble buster game, where users must tap the bubbles in the virtual baby’s tummy before the timer is up. Only those who complete the challenge in the set time will have a chance of winning.
Prizes include the Phil & Teds Ultimate Baby Bundle, worth well over £700 and £100s worth of Venture Studio vouchers. 

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Save Christmas And #Win with Sudocrem

Beat the Nappy Rash Gremlins to WIN
 hundreds of prizes this Christmas!

The Nappy Rash Gremlins are coming and it is up to Sudocrem fans to #SaveChristmas, in return for some spectacular prizes! 

In a mobile friendly, fun game, users have to tackle the Nappy Rash Gremlins who are coming to ruin Christmas. Parachuting from the sky, the Gremlins are looking to get down chimneys and put a stop to the Christmas spirit. 

Prizes include Amazon Kindle Fires and Amazon vouchers, plus prizes from Miffy, Milton, Aquabeads and many, many more. There are also thousands of exclusive discount vouchers to be won throughout the game. 

So what are you waiting for? 
Break those parachutes to save the day and earn prizes! 

To find out what’s in the nappy, all entrants have to do is: 

  1. Find Sudocrem on Facebook here and “Like” the page 
  2. Click on the ‘Save Christmas’ app 
  3. Beat the Nappy Rash Gremlins and avoid the presents to earn points 
  4. If a user scores 40 points in the 60 second time limit, users will have the chance to win an instant prize 
  5. Entrants can play every day and earn extra goes too!
Competition Ends: 11.59pm 31st December 2015.

Monday, 23 November 2015

A Sourced Locally Christmas With East of England Co-op

As you probably know I am a big fan of locally sourced products. I love to try new products produced by people who live in my area, and supporting farmers, brewers and bakers who live down the road is important because it also supports our local economy. Luckily for me my closest supermarket is an East of England Co-op so I can pop in when ever I like and pick up some of their sourced locally produce. They have lots on offer at the moment, especially some yummy Christmas stock. 

Shawsgate Vineyard - The 2010/11 vintage sparkling rose is made from the Acolon grape. The effervescence has a refreshing and uplifting effect on the palate and it offers a great sense of occasion as a welcome with canapés. It also goes well with pasta and salad, rice and chicken or even a roast. You may also be interested to know that the 2010 equivalent of this sparkling rosé scooped East Anglia’s Top Sparkling Wine of the Year Award.

Woodfordes Brewery - Tinsel Toes Christmas Ale - Renowned for its first commercial bitter, Wherry, Woodforde’s Brewery has been brewing beer for over 30 years. Smooth and well-balanced, this full-flavoured brew is a fusion of roast malts, spice and fruit.

Hadleigh Maid Christmas Mallow Whirls - Hadleigh Maid is home to the UK’s smallest chocolate factory and has a reputation for creating delicious handmade chocolate delights. Sold exclusively in Est of England Co-op Stores, these are a customer favourite and even outsell Mars bars week after week. A big favorite of The Syders, we purchased these last Christmas too and thoroughly enjoyed them.

Leggs Bakery Mince Pies - The reputation of Leggs Bakery’s mince pies is becoming almost legendary across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. Leggs mince pieces epitomise the taste of Christmas, so it’s best to stock up early. We sold 120,000 of these amazing handmade mince pies and we’re sure we’ll sell more this year.

All available from your local East of England Co-op and will be available from the first week of December. They are all delicious for Christmas treats for the family over the festive period or why not put together a sourced locally Christmas hamper as a gift for family and friends. 

*We were sent a selection of sourced locally products free of charge for the purpose of this post. All opinions are honest and own own.

Friday, 20 November 2015

#Win A Bratz Study Abroad Doll

Cloe, Yasmin, Jade, Sasha and Raya have been overseas to learn more about the world. Cloe is in China, Raya is in Mexico, Yasmin is visiting Brazil, Jade is travelling across Russia and Sasha is ravelling to the UK.

The besties love their new homes and they’ve got the shoes, the clothes and the fabulous accessories to prove it.  They’ve even got luggage stickers to make sure their new stylish wardrobes don’t get lost when they fly back home!

Will you go for rainbow Raya with her colourful Spanish outfits, flowing golden hair and amazing embroidered jeans? Perhaps you prefer Cloe with her gorgeous red kimono, cute bags and Ying Yang pocket book? Maybe Jade and her quirky printed trousers are more your style? She’s kitted out with an extravagant furry hat to make a statement on her trip. Not forgetting Yasmin and her stunning shades, tropical vibe and pineapple handbag #SoCute.

Bratz is available now at all good retailers, including Argos, Asda, Debenhams, Smyths, Tesco, The Entertainer and Toys R Us. www.bratz.com

Win a Bratz Study Abroad Doll
(random doll selection)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Natural Balance Foods - Trek Energy Bar Review

We do enjoy a good, wholesome energy bar here at The Syders. They are great for an afternoon energy boost before dinner, to slip in your pocket while out walking or to add to your lunchbox for work. When Papa Syder is working a long shift he takes one of these Trek energy bars (from Natural Balance Foods) to work with him and he tells me that they keep him fired up all day. He loves them and every morning he slips one into his coat pocket. 

Trek energy bars are full of goodness and packed with fruits and nuts plus 9 - 10g of protein guaranteed to keep you going all day. They are also Gluten, Wheat and Diary free, and made with no artificial ingredients. We tried the cocoa chaos, peanut power, berry burst and banana blast and they were all yummy, and extremely filling. Priced at £16.99 for a case of 16 x 55g bars. We think they are good value for money because they are a decent sized bar unlike a lot of other energy bars on the market. Big thumbs up from us!

*We were sent a case of 16 x 55g bars Trek energy bars for the purpose of this review. Our thoughts and opinions are entirely our own.


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