Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas!!


Sending you all lots of love this Christmas - may your day be full of family, good food, and lots of treats! 

Merry Christmas one and all! 

Mrs B

xxx

Thursday, 24 December 2015

What's in Bert's Christmas Stocking? (2015)


This year I thought it would be fun to share with you the contents of Bert's Christmas stocking - this is the first year I've really done him a proper stocking full of gifts, we did separate bigger presents last year, as I found stocking fillers for a one year old a bit tricky. 

This year however, as I mooched around the shops, and browsed online I found lots of lovely little things that I knew Bert would love and I'm really pleased with the contents I've put together - I can't wait to see his little face tomorrow morning when he rifles through it all. 

I thought I'd write a list of the contents and then share some pictures with you as well, I hope this might inspire some of your stocking contents next Christmas - Bert is 2 years and 4 months exactly, and I confidently know that he'll love the things we've chosen for him. 

-3 DVDs (Jungle Book, Brother Bear 2, Wreck it Ralph)
-a pot of yellow play dough
-3 giant pavement chalks
-a toy cow figure
-a wibbly frog toy
-Wooly & Tig 'Feelings' picture playing card set
-a DK 'First Facts - Dinosaurs' book 
-a set of knights and horses
-a set of Cloud Babies mini puzzle books
-a pair of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles boxer shorts
-a Spiderman pants and vest set
-a set of 5 dinosaur pants
-a Father Christmas and Reindeer itty-bitty cuddly toy
-a set of glow in the dark mini dinosaur figures

I'm pretty chuffed with his stocking fillers this year - hopefully we'll have a very happy two year old on our hands this Christmas morning!

I do love all things nautical - I'm pretty fond of a Breton stripe or two, so this gorgeous little nautical Freya Rabbit is a real favourite of mine, I know Bert will just love her too! Thanks to Sylvanian for sending her to us in time for Christmas. 

We are always excited to add a new family to our Sylvanian collection, and we thought this family of Polar Bears was perfect for the festive season! 

All ready for Bert to have a rummage! Exciting...

I feel pleased that I've managed to include a good combination of different things in this years stocking: from practical items such as pants for the coming months of potty training fun, to activities for a rainy day such a Play Dough and playing cards, adding some great new titles to his ever-growing DVD collection, some brilliant little figures (his favourite type of toy), a lovely book I know he'll love along with a few festive items too. I'll throw in a bag of chocolate coins, and a tangerine at the last minute (both Christmas stocking traditions on my family) and 'Bob's your uncle' one complete Christmas stocking for my cheeky little toddler. 

I want to add that not all of the contents of this years stocking are brand new - Christmas stockings really don't need to be expensive, you can pick great little items up from charity shops, markets, car boot sales etc over the course of the year, and a couple of items were kindly gifted to us by friends who had been given duplicates of various bits and bobs. The cuddly festive Santa and reindeer toys were prizes that my hubby won in a blog giveaway - entering regular competitions is a great way to accrue presents and stocking fillers over the course of the year. I'll probably even start having a peek in the January sales for any little items that might be good in his stocking for next year - I do love a bargain. 

I'd love to know what you've popped in your kids stockings this year, do let me know!

Merry Christmas to you all - I hope you've enjoyed a super-festive Christmas Eve and are all organised and ready for the big day tomorrow! 

We're spending today with Liam's side of the family, and then heading off to visit my side over the rest of Christmas, tonight I plan to enjoy a warm mince pie, maybe a naughty small glass of red wine and put my feet up!

My work here is done. 

Mrs B

xxx
Thanks to Sylvanian Families for sending us the new Polar Bear family, and the special edition Freya Chocolate to include in Bert's stocking this year. 

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

WIN £150 Tesco Gift Card...

I thought I'd bring you a nice little giveaway today which could help out hugely in the New Year when our bank accounts are looking just a little bit empty...

Bargain Fox is a FAB discount codes website, offering brilliant codes for all sorts of shops on the High Street and online, and this Christmas they are giving away a £150 Tesco voucher to one lucky winner, all you need to do is enter via the Gleam app below...

Win £ 150 TESCO Gift Card


As if Tesco didn't already offer enough bargains, Bargain Fox have implemented TESCO promotiononal codes that can save you even more money

You're welcome! 

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE! 

Mrs B

xxx

The competition ends January 20th 11:59pm and a winner will be chosen at random and contacted by Bargain Fox to claim their prize. (Sponsored post)

Friday, 18 December 2015

How many calories do you think you'll consume on Christmas Day?

The fabulous breakfast porridge brand MOMA has conducted a survey of 1400 people across the UK asking...


It's an interesting question - and one that fascinates me!

Anyone who reads my blog regularly or follows me over on Instagram will know that I'm food-mad. Not only do I really love eating it in all its guises from health food to cakes and chocolate, I also love to cook, create recipes, test recipes and just generally experiment and evolve my skills in the kitchen.



Since embarking on my weight loss journey I have become something of a calorie aficionado: counting calories every single day for two and a half years does that to a girl! So I'm pretty clued up and realistic about the calorie content of foods and drink, and also know what my average daily calorie intake is and what it needs to be to lose/maintain/gain weight.

I spent the majority of my first year of weight loss eating just 1200 calories per day, after a year I upped this to 1500 a day, as I was happy to lose the rest of my weight at a slower rate. By the end of my weight loss journey I was eating around 1700 calories per day to maintain my weight of 10 stone 8lbs.

Since falling pregnant with Baby Bishop #2 I've been struggling a huge amount with nausea, to the point of needing to be medicated - and because of that my eating habits have been all over the place - I've been craving dry, salty, carb-heavy foods, which aren't usually a part of my diet as regularly as they have been these past weeks. A few weeks ago the thought of eating a vegetable was making me heave - thankfully, I seem to be moving out of that phase just in time for Christmas, and although the nausea is still rearing its mean old head, I am feeling a lot more myself, and my eating habits are getting more balanced and nutritious.

Christmastime is another ball game when it comes to consumption though - and for my family, on Christmas Day especially there are just no rules when it comes to food and drink.

Champagne or Bucks Fizz for breakfast? Sure.

Chocolate before you've even gotten out of bed? Why not. 

A full Turkey dinner followed by three helpings of dessert? Knock yourself out.

Being so full you can barely move, but managing a mince pie and some chocolate once the Downton Abbey Christmas special starts...yes, that's pretty much us on Christmas Day.


Christmas Dinner with my lovely in laws last year - tucking in happily! Calories? What Calories?


My Christmas-Dinner Cake (a fun take on carrot cake) from last Christmas - I MAY have eaten two huge chunks of this on Boxing Day, as well as half the buffet table! ;-)

If you can't throw all calorie-caution to the wind on Christmas Day, then when can you? That's what I say! Christmas for me is definitely a time to enjoy treats guilt-free, and to just deal sensibly with any gained poundage in the New Year.

I was pleased to read that I'm not alone in my Christmastime greed - the results of the MOMA survey showed that the majority of both men and women expect to consume 3,000 to 3,499 calories on Christmas Day!!

HA! Brilliant - I'm taking this as licence to double my usual daily food consumption on Christmas Day knowing that I'm in good company. Especially as ALL THE ALCOHOL is out of the equation this year - boo!!

Through my weight loss journey I've learnt not to bury my head in the sand when it comes to what I consume, so I will still try and count my calories as best I can over Christmas - so that I can still see and be realistic about just HOW BAD I've been. I will be WAY over my calorie target during the Christmas break, but that is fine, as I will work hard in the New Year to make amends, and will just enjoy the glutton while it lasts. 

The important change for me in terms of Christmas eating is that I no longer make Christmastime the start of a slippery slope back into overeating in definitely. I decide on a specific time-scale for my Christmas glutton (usually Christmas Eve to New Years Day) and then jump back on the healthy/balanced wagon after that.

What are your Christmas eating-habits like?

Do you exorcise moderation all-year round and then have a blow out at Christmas? 

Or are you much more restrained and sensible? I'd love to know!

Happy Christmas Eating Everyone!

Mrs B

xxx

Wrendale launches their Instagram account...

Today I wanted to share with you a very quick post about one of my favourite brands: Wrendale Designs


This gorgeous family business all stemmed from artist Hannah Dale and her incredible ability to paint animals - her pieces capture a variety of animals at their most playful. There is something so enchanting about the movement and energy she manages to portray in her work, and as soon as I saw her first hare pictures I was completely captivated. 

Although her designs were originally only available printed onto greetings cards, the business has now expanded to include a collaboration with ceramic producer Portmerion, and fabulous tinware, stationary, and gift wrap as well as frames and prints. They also have some very exciting new ranges launching in the New Year (but Shhh, I didn't tell you that!)

I've followed Hannah's business since she first started selling her cards, and I'm now the proud owner of many of her beautiful pieces, including some of the tinware collection (tea/coffee/sugar canisters, biscuit tin, cracker tin) as well as her first ever children's book: Mr Hare's Big Secret, which is a favourite in our house. 

Hannah's first children's book - one of Bert's favourites! I even bought a second copy to give my little nephew as a gift, as I loved the book so much! 

My tea/coffee/sugar canisters...cuteness overload. 

Cutest biscuit tin ever! I love the attention to detail on Wrendale products - even the inside of the tin is beautiful! 

I truly love all of my Wrendale products and I am always excited about the prospect of adding new things to my collection. I follow them over on their Twitter and Facebook pages, which is a great way to keep up to date with their news and new releases and now I'm pleased to say they have also launched an Instagram account...


Instagram is such a visual platform I think it really is the perfect platform for Wrendale to showcase their beautiful designs, latest news, and run little competitions and giveaways. As a Social Media Consultant in my day job it is always reassuring to me when you see brands making positive steps in developing their online presence through the use of social media, it is an amazing marketing tool if used correctly and I'm sure their new account will be wildly popular. 

So, if like me, you're a fellow Instagrammer and a fan of Wrendale's work then head over to @wrendaledesigns and give them a follow, if you're quick you might even get a chance to enter their recent greetings cards giveaway which ends later today!

@wrendaledesigns on Instagram 

I always have a super-long Wrendale wish-list and at the moment I'm lusting after their

-apron
-oven gloves
-tea towels
-placemats/coasters for my kitchen-diner

As well as my all-time favourite image from Hannah - her Highland Cow, especially in this fabulous print called 'Accessorise'. 

Image source: Coach House Art

What are your favourite items/images from Wrendale? I'd love to know. 

Mrs B

xxx

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Walking in a Winter Wanderland...

Last Saturday Liam, Bert and I headed out for a festive evening in Bedford's 'Black Tom/Primeministers' area. 

I love this specific area of Bedford not just for it's awesome cake-spot 'Fancy' which does the most amazing Christmas stollen, and for the friendliest pub you could ask to have a drink in The Burnaby Arms, but mainly because of its incredible community - who regularly come together to make awesome things happen in our wonderful town.

There are a handful of mega-fantabulous women all based in the Black-Tom area who make this greatness happen - namely Emily Finney, Katrina Allen, Erica Roffe and Janet Lehain - once you know these ladies, you know Bedford as far as I'm concerned. Their drive and passion makes really great things happen in our town - and I try hard to support their efforts whenever I can. 

One of the things I adore about Bedford is its incredible community: networks of amazing people who work really hard to make sure that brilliant things happen in our great town. I hope I am becoming part of that tribe, and my work with the WI and my lovely friend Liz certainly made me feel on-the-map in terms of my place within Bedford culture. 

Last weekend's festivities came in the form of a wonderful social initiative window-trail aptly named 'Winter Wanderland' arranged by the fabulous Emily and Kat. The idea being that the residents of Black-Tom were offered the chance to sign up and submit a decorated window display in their home for the people of Bedford to enjoy as part of a trail on foot. 



We arrived at Black Tom after a good 40 minute walk from our house - as my regular readers will know, I pretty much walk everywhere and always try to get out on foot as much as possible, it's a brilliant excuse to get some air and plenty of exercise. We were super excited about what was to come as we'd never been to anything like this before. 

Kat handed us a map of all the houses taking part on arrival and we headed straight to my friend Janet's house to start the walking trail. Her window was fabulous, her family were swelling with pride at what they had created, and we even got to purchase a delicious bag of homemade pistachio fudge to fuel us around the trail. 

Janet's brilliant window! 

We were delighted to see so many houses had taken part and we spent over an hour and a half working our way through the roads to see the stunning displays - what a lot of work everyone put in to making our experience as trail-walkers just marvellous. 

I wanted to share with you the pictures I took on the night - to encourage you to make this happen in your own hometown next Christmas - it was a beautiful way to feel festive, come together as a community, be creative and a really healthy way to spend an evening (minus the fudge!). 

You can find out more information about creating a Winter Wanderland in your own town here

So here we go, my little gallery from the Bedford Winter Wanderland 2015...enjoy lovely people and I hope this post leaves you feeling super-festive! 

BEDFORD BLACK-TOM WINTER WANDERLAND 2015





















These really are just the highlights, so many people took part and there was so much to see - I loved seeing the diversity in people's designs and creativity - aren't the people of the Black Tom area just a wonderful bunch? 

Bert absolutely loved discovering all the amazing displays, lights and so on as we pushed him round in his buggy. He was so well behaved, and totally adorable saying "wow mummy, look!" when he saw a window that particularly grabbed his attention. Towards the end of the trail we saw this window, and Bert's reaction was adorable... 

"Wow Mummy, look, cat window sleeping curtains!" 

He absolutely loved this "display" - haha it just goes to show that it's the little things that kids appreciate! Our cute little cat lover was chuffed to bits with this window. :-)

Huge thanks to Kat and Emily for organising such a great event - I can't wait to visit again next year, and hopefully see even more residents taking part! 

Does your community come together to make awesome things like this happen? I'd love to hear about it. 

Mrs B

xxx

Monday, 30 November 2015

Our Crafty Advent Wooden House...


Well, it is officially "Christmas Time" at Chez Bishop - the tree is up, all the festive decorations are adorning the house, the Christmas china is washed and ready to use, the wreath is hung, the Yankee Candles are burning, and this year we even have a beautiful bespoke wooden advent calendar full of goodies just waiting for Bert to discover...!

It's no secret that I'm completely in love with Christmas-time and all it brings - the sights, the smells, the twinkling lights, the precious time with family, lovely gifts, glasses of steaming mulled wine and delicious treats.

If you don't LOVE Christmas then I'm afraid we probably can't be friends! Ha!

This year, the build up to December has been pretty tough for me personally. Not only is this the first year I'm having to juggle looking after busy Bert full time with working from home and organising Christmas, but I'm also battling some pretty horrendous pregnancy-nausea, which I've had from about week 7 until now (week 13) and it's still going strong! I'm feeling pretty dreadful from lunchtime onwards every day, especially in the evenings and it's knocking me for six...I'm tired and drained, only wanting to eat salty, carb-y rubbish and most of November has seen me wanting to hibernate completely. I'm now taking some medication prescribed by my GP which is helping a little, so at least that's something. The light reprieve has at least seen me tackle 90% of the Christmas shopping (online I hasten to add!) so at least that's something...I'm starting to feel more organised for the festive season now and now that the gift shopping is pretty much done I'm really starting to look forward to what's to come.

Yesterday saw us grab the festive boxes from the loft and adorn the house with all the twinkly Christmas goodies - my sister and brother came up from Surrey for the day to visit, and it was lovely to all pop the decorations up together and then head out for a lovely family lunch. Good times.

Usually, we opt for a chocolate advent calendar for Bert - he loves his choc choc and I have the fondest memories of opening my own chocolate advent as a child. In fact, I giggle as I remember that one year my twin sister ate all of her chocolates on Dec 1 and just closed the perforated windows hoping my mum wouldn't notice, haha! The past two years we've stuck with the chocolate calendar tradition for Bert, but this year I was sent a rather splendid wooden house advent calendar from Hobbycraft and set a challenge of decorating and filling it with £25 to spend in store. Challenge accepted!


Plain wooden advent house awaiting its decoration and filling...

I love me a crafty challenge, and have always loved the idea of re-usable advents - so this seemed like the perfect project for me. 

I had plenty of ideas about how I wanted to decorate my plain wooden house - you won't be surprised to know that my plan involved metallics (especially copper!), birds and twinkly lights (natch!).

Liam, Bert and I headed along to Hobbycraft with our £25 budget and managed to pick up everything we needed to create and fill our advent house. Here's the list of what we managed to pick up for £25.

-copper spray paint
-gold metallic acrylic paint
-paint brushes
-wooden advent number set
-PVA glue
-clip on robins x3
-LED battery operated fairy lights
-chocolate coins
-mini dinosaur figure set
-micro cars set

I couldn't wait to get crafting on the house, and so I made the most of it when my sister came to stay back in October - she amused Bert for me while I got my craft on!

Firstly, I spray painted the main body of the wooden house with the copper spray paint. I did two coats so that it was particularly bold, shiny and glossy.


Painting wooden numbers gold. 

Next I painted all 25 of the wooden numbers by hand with the gold paint, followed by the door handles, roof and chimney. A pretty fiddly job, but one I enjoyed nonetheless. Once dry, I clipped the robins onto the roof and chimney, and attached the lights to the roof and battery pack behind the house using good old fashioned blu-tack. 


Clip on Robins to add some final detail....

The whole thing was a fairly simple process, not too messy and I'm rather chuffed with the results. I love craft projects that are achievable and yet still satisfying. It is unrealistic for me to aim to build a wooden advent house from scratch - but decorating and personalising a ready-built one is the perfect middle ground. Especially for busy working parents. So, here we go, the finished advent house in all it's glory - Hopefully it looks festive without being gaudy, Christmasy without being too traditional, and has that 'handmade/I did it myself' charm...

Nestled below our Christmas tree - our metallic advent house.

All that was left to do was fill the house with the goodies I'd picked up in Hobbycraft - a rather seductive mix of Bert's favourite things: chocolate, dinosaurs and cars! I love the fact that this calendar can grow and change with Bert, and each year I can find something relevant and suitable for his current age/interest to fill it with (as well as chocolate coins, you never grow too old for them, right?)


Bert having a peek at his new advent house...patience is a virtue! 

I've been explaining to Bert the process of opening a door on the house each day until Christmas Day and I think he's understanding the concept. He seems pretty excited to open a door tomorrow & I can't wait to see his little face! For now, it's resting under our Christmas tree looking all sparkly and seductive! How long will it be until I find all the doors open & chocolate coin wrappers all over the living room? Hehe. 


Cars, dinosaurs and chocolate money - what more could any two year old boy want in his advent calendar?

Do you have a re-usable advent? Or are you chocolate calendar connoisseurs? Do you burn an advent candle? Or perhaps you have a beautiful old fashioned cardboard calendar with just images behind each door?

I have to admit Liam and I couldn't survive without our annual Hotel Chocolat advent calendar - this year we have the truffles for 2 calendar, kindly gifted to us from my lovely sister - thanks Jojo! Yum, yum! And in pure Miss Trunchball style, Hotel Chocolat is FAR TOO GOOD for Children, so I'm afraid we won't be sharing any with the Bertster - he's got his chocolate coins & they will just have to do. Ha!

Happy December for tomorrow folks! Exciting festive times ahead...

Mrs B

xxx

This crafty project is in association with Ocean Finance who sent the wooden advent house along with a £25 Hobbycraft voucher in exchange for this post.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Sylvanian Families Christmas Roundup


I am a "Friend of Sylvanian Families" Blogger and for those of you who read my blog regularly you will know I've always been a huge fan of these timeless toys. You can read all about our own growing collection of Sylvanians here: they live in our Victorian-style dolls house, which I have to admit is one of my most treasured possessions. 

I get a huge sense of pleasure seeing Bert play with toys that I enjoyed during my own childhood, there is something in that loop - the it-never-gets-old-ness of the Sylvanian collections that make them really endearing to me. I love that they are gender-neutral they aren't pink and frilly for girls and blue and masculine for boys - they are just beautiful families, homes and imaginative play sets for all genders and ages. Heck, I still love playing with them and I'm going to be 30 next year! 

Today, I thought I'd give you some Christmas shopping inspiration in the form of a little roundup of my favourite Sylvanian products available to buy this Christmas. 

It is basically my Sylvanian Families wish list! Haha! 

Trust me when I say that adding some Sylvanian toys to the Christmas morning pile is a sure-fire way to spread the joy this Christmas... 

Sylvanian Families Christmas Round-up


1. Christmas Set RRP £19.99

Because any serious Sylvanian collector needs to decorate their Sylvanian home for Christmas, right?



" ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, just one creature was stirring, and it wasn't a mouse! This cute Christmas set comes with Freya Chocolate Rabbit, wearing her special Santa-style dress and Christmas ear-hat. Complete with all the Christmas trimmings, it includes a star-topped tree and cute matching sparkly decorations in a variety of shapes from snowflakes to booties. And of course, there are gifts included too – a selection of wrapped parcels to put under the tree and a mini Cosy Cottage, bunny and car. Brimming with Christmas spirit, this pack includes festive cards and room decorations! Snow is the best present a Sylvanian can get at Christmas time, and so this heart-warming set has a snowbunny for the garden – and a wreath for the front door too! Deck the halls with Sylvanian Families with this Christmas Set."
2. Chocolate Rabbit Baby RRP £4.99

We already own the Chocolate Rabbit Family and I plan to buy this adorable Chocolate Rabbit Baby to add to our collection when our new little bundle comes along in the summer. I think it will be a cute way for Bert to understand adding a new little person to our family. 


Crรจme the Chocolate Rabbit Baby

"Crรจme loves the Pain au Chocolat her dad makes - she'll often greet the other Sylvanians with chocolate around her mouth. She's good friends with the birds in the garden, and shares her buns with them."


3. Chocolate Rabbit Grandparents *NEW* RRP £13.99

I adore these two gorgeous new additions to the Sylvanian Families collection. Bert is especially close to his grandparents so I know he'd especially love to have these little figures to add to his Chocolate Rabbit family! 

"Rhys is the captain of the Seaside Cruiser, and lives at the Sea Breeze Cape. He travelled to many different places on the cruiser when he was young. He gives tours of famous places around the Sea Breeze Cape, and tells lots of good stories to the visitors. Patricia lives at the Sea Breeze Cape and her hobby is snorkelling. She often gives parties on the cruiser. Her husband Rhys gave her a special handmade pearl necklace that she wears everyday."


4. Adventure Treasure Ship *NEW* RRP £16.99

We love all things nautical in The Bishop household and so of course we adore this treasure ship - we'd love for our Sylvanian Families to set sail sail across the Sylvanian sea in this spectacular ship. 


"Whether your Sylvanians want to go on a treasure hunt, or sail the Sylvanian seas, this little vessel is the way for them to navigate the big blue ocean! Conveniently located on the Adventure Island, this playground lets your Sylvanians use their imaginations to play pretend Explorers! From costumes to a viewing deck, this adorable themed playground has great games for all ages! Including a slide, swing and climbing net, plus some hidden treasure to hunt.

Includes over 20 pieces."


5. Cosy Cottage Starter Home RRP £24.99 

This beautiful little cottage is the perfect first foray into Sylvanian property. Incredible value for money - for those just starting their Sylvanian collection this would make the most wonderful first home for your beloved Sylvanians. 


"The Cosy Cottage is the perfect choice for those starting out with Sylvanian Families. With its red roof and beige brick style exterior, this quaint two floor cottage includes a ladder to connect the upstairs and downstairs. As well as coming complete with Freya Chocolate Rabbit Girl and a selection of starter furniture, the set also comes with smaller accessories such as frying plan, fork, dish and omelette. The kitchen furniture includes a kitchen table, bench, two chairs, a coffee table plus a kitchen unit containing an oven and sink, and bedroom furniture such as a bed, mattress and some pretty floral bedding. The panel that divides the two floors is detachable, and doubles as an additional garden area."

6. Cedar Terrace Townhouse RRP £44.99

This beautiful three-floored townhouse is a fantastic budget-friendly option for those who want to jump up a rung on the Sylvanian property ladder! 



"Cedar Terrace is townhouse style property with three floors. The backless layout allows easy access to the various rooms. With a traditional living room space on the ground floor, a large room on the middle floor and a converted loft- style space at the top of the house, there’s plenty of room for Sylvanian Families furniture in this product. As with Cosy Cottage and Beechwood Hall, this property comes with a makeshift reversible floor panel. Simply flipping over one of the floor dividers can create an extra garden space. Cedar Terrace also comes with two ladders to help your Sylvanians hop between floors."

7. Grand Hotel RRP £139.99 

The Sylvanian property that dreams are made of! No expense spared for this budget-bursting but oh-so-amazing property. I want it badly. I can't even pretend that it's for Bert. It would be mine...all mine!! 



"The Grand Hotel's impressive faรงade opens out to reveal nine rooms, a working chandelier and more than 25 accessories. Everything is included to help you create the feel of a smart busy, hotel lobby, including a reception desk, bell, a wall cabinet with 4 bedroom keys, a suitcase trolley, and 3 charming suitcases. This product comes with a dozen window boxes, plus white balustrades and pretty topiaries for both the roof garden and the first floor balcony - which add the finishing touches to this prestigious Sylvanian Families house. Without a doubt, the Grand Hotel is the standout property in the Sylvanian Families range."

8. Log Cabin RRP £39.99

The perfect winter retreat - how cute is this cosy log cabin? 




"In Sylvania, the Log Cabin is everyone's favourite holiday hideaway. It boasts all the essential bits 'n' bobs you need for a relaxed getaway in the woods. The steps to the cabin can be transformed into a hot tub, and there are 2 hammocks for absolute luxury and relaxation. Your Sylvanians can even climb up to the roof terrace using the ladder and marvel at the beauty surrounding them. If your Sylvanians are looking for a luxury break and some peace and quiet, then this could be just the place for them to get some quality rest and recuperation. Whether they want to sit on the porch with some fruit tea, or dip their paws into the hot tub, this is the perfect hutch for Sylvanians looking to catch up on some zzzs and spend some quality family time together."

9. Bluebell Seven Seater Car RRP £24.99 

Bert is a huge fan of transport toys such as cars, trucks, trains etc and he especially loves imaginative play - so this car would be the perfect addition to his Sylvanian collection - he'd love ferrying his families around in this awesome seven seater car. 


"The Bluebell Seven Seater is a classic Sylvanian car, which comes in smart navy blue. With 2 detachable seats, and 3 child seats included, this is the car for you if you’ve got a large brood to look after. As well as plenty of space inside, this car also comes with a book to stop the little ones from getting restless, and a map to make sure you they don’t get lost! As an added bonus the kitchen furniture from the Cosy Cottage Starter Home can be placed inside the Bluebell Seven Seater to turn it into a camping car!"

10. Washing Machine Set RRP £5.99 

We are lucky to enough to have an amazing wooden dolls house at home fully equipped with rooms and rooms full of stunning furniture for our Sylvanians to enjoy - but our house is fairly old fashioned (Victorian) and so isn't that domesticated. We are missing a washing machine, and all of our Sylvanians are starting to get a bit whiffy! What a cute little addition this would make to our house, and it's a really great price so it would be perfect to pop into Bert's stocking this year. Perhaps not the most exciting toy for a toddler, but I want him to grow up into a very domesticated young man - so he needs to learn to do the chores as well as the fun stuff! 



"Sylvanians have to do their chores too, and this lovely Washing Machine Set is the perfect way to make sure your Sylvanians clothes are spring fresh. Included is a vintage-style washing machine with a turquoise door, as well as a woven-style plastic laundry basket, a shelf unit for storage, and finally a bottle of detergent to get things clean as can be, this is an ideal set if you want your Sylvanians to keep their togs squeaky clean. There's even some softener to make the clothes kind and gentle on delicate Sylvanian fur! The set also comes with 2 towels in rosehip pink and buttercup yellow. Laundry has never been so adorable!"

---------------------------------------------------------

Well, there you have it - my top 10 Sylvanian Families products for this Christmas. I hope I've given you some pause for thought and inspired you to introduce Sylvanian to your family this year if you haven't already. 

I'd love to hear all about your own collections so do leave a comment and let me know what you already own and what's on your wish list! 

Happy Christmas shopping lovely people!

Mrs B

xxx