Saturday 29 November 2014

Bromley Christmas Event - Christmas Fair at St Georges Primary School

St George's Primary School on Tylney Road has a lovely Christmas Fair on Saturday (6th)
Father Christmas himself will be there - you can book a time slot at the reception on the way in and I have to say, last year the Grotto was lovely, Father Christmas and his helpers made my children so happy and the gift was perfect - looking forward to going along again this year - I'll be heading for the crafts first!

There's an area for children only where they can go and buy or make a gift for parents.

Lots of stalls, gifts and games to take part in.

Treasure hunt: We’ve got an exciting new treasure hunt for the children this year. It will cost £1.50 to participate and all those who complete the treasure hunt get an exciting prize which they can collect at the Lucky Dip stall.

Santa Claus bookings: Santa Claus will be paying us a visit on the 6th and this year, to avoid queues, we will be introducing a booking system so that you have a dedicated time reserved per child, to visit Santa. Bookings will be taken at the fair in reception area from 11-11:30 and thereafter at the entrance to the Santa Grotto. The cost will be £2 per child.

New crafts: We’ve got some exciting crafts in place this year, including: *Christmas card making *gingerbread man decorating * making reindeer food *decorating ornaments

Raffle prizes: Be sure to get your raffle tickets this year to be in with a chance to win prizes including: *an iPad mini *his and hers hampers *children’s hampers *pamper hamper *Thames Clippers Family Roamer tickets *2 cinema tickets *Voucher for Pink Garlic restaurant *Voucher for Fired Up pottery.

Emma in Bromley xx

Thursday 27 November 2014

Christmas and the Argos Wishlist App

Hands up who used to circle things in the Argos catalogue or cut things out and stick them on paper in the run up to Christmas? 
Argos Wishlist AppIt's something I remember doing as a child - it was one of those exciting pre Christmas things - picking out what you wanted! The Argos catalogue was always the one that had everything in it when I was little - I remember spending what felt like hours carefully browsing and circling or cutting out the things I wanted to ask Father Christmas for - as a child it felt like hours but now I'm a parent I realise that it was probably only a few minutes ha ha - probably that moment to short for my mum to have a full hot cuppa! 

I kept meaning to pick up a copy of the Argos catalogue for my children to enjoy the fun of picking out things - but I have to say I either forgot to collect one or I simply didn't have enough hands to carry one - they're pretty packed now! 

My children at 3 and 5 are a bit young to sit at the computer and browse unaided (this might partly be down to me not wanting to share my mac though!)

So when I was asked to review the new Argos Wishlist App, I was intrigued to say the least! This is so much fun, I don't know who the brains are behind it but it's exactly a digital modern paperless version of the old cutting and sticking. - if I were to guess, I'd say a parent (and 80's child) has had input into this app!

A parent sets up the App first -(you need answer a very simple maths sum to enter the parent area, mine was 5-2)  you can select a spend limit so you can set how much each item can cost - it's a slider you can adjust - for example set so it only shows items up to £100 - it'll go all the from £1 to £570 per item.

You can also set how many items can be added to the list from 1 up to 30 items 
Argos Wishlist App

You set your email addy so when your child sends the list to Father Christmas - it goes to your email address instead ;)

You can add more than one child too so everyone can have a go - i'm not sure if there's a limit but we added 6 lists without any problems.

Your little one selects one of the cute little Argos monster helpers to guide them through the list. 

At the top of the app is a scrolling carousel for your child to select the category - my children had no problems at all recognising the branding logos - all are categorised and there's loads - Lego, marvel, spiderman, baby annabel, spiderman, nerf, my little pony, star wars,  frozen, duplo, crafts, board games etc there's a lot! I didn't even need to show my children how to use this, they both instinctively new to scroll with their finger. 
Argos Wishlist App

Your child simply clicks on the photo of a toy they like which enlarges it and some toys have a few images, if it's the one they want,  click the green add button to include it in the gift list.
Argos Wishlist App

Once your child has added items, they can tap on their helper to take them to the gift list - they can add stars rating their number 1 gift etc, they can draw or write notes using the little pencil and when they are ready, they can post the list to the North Pole by clicking on a little envelope - all the little helpers wave the letter off :)

Argos Wishlist App

It's a great app for the kids to play with and give you hints and ideas - the version you recieve via email is exactly as your little person created it - when I first opened the Wishlist email on my iphone and clicked on an item it just took me to the Argos mobile home page and not the actual product - but then I noticed if I scrolled down just a little bit - the emailed copy actually very cleverly shows you all the items on the list with a link directly to the product, it's name and the price! You can forward the email on to other family members too. 

Argos Wishlist App

My little people enjoyed playing with this app - I think a lot of what they clicked they didn't quite understand - such as lots of disney infinity figures - they don't know what these really are or what they do but just think they are toy figures. There were a lot of comments about how they've seen "this and that" on the TV and some things they've added that they already have but it was good fun for them - it has actually left me with some interesting ideas and hints and confirmed some of my suspicions about their preferences :)

A little while after playing with the app, both my children found ways of making up their own games based on what they had seen - my little girl kept pretending to be one of the monster helpers and my little boy kept doodling wishlists on his magnetic drawing pad!

We tried it on both my iPad mini and iphone and it was a hit for us - much more than I expected if I'm honest! 

Emma in Bromley xx

disclaimer - I was invited by Argos to review the new app and as a thank you gift, I received a reusable shopping bag with a small toy and a pair of ear phones.

The Snowman and the Snowdog Finger Puppet Book

Hello - I'm reviewing The Snowman and The Snowdog Finger Puppet Book as part of the 12 days of Christmas with the Snowman and the Snowdog blog tour.

12 days of Christmas with the Snowman and the Snowdog blog tour - Snowdog Puppet Book

"A boy built a Snowdog, and the Snowdog came to life! Wiggle your finger to play with Billy and his friends in this adorable and playful finger-puppet book. Featuring beautiful artwork from the animation, The Snowman and The Snowdog, this is a brilliantly fun book children will treasure. For children aged 3 and over"

The Snowman and The Snowdog Finger Puppet Book Review - Emma in Bromley

We love this book, my children are 3 and 5 and both really get caught up with the Snowdog moving and being "real" on every page, both children like to pat his head, kiss him and cuddle him!

The Snowman Puppet Book

The book is a really thick good quality board book and the puppet is well made and seems to be relatively durable - my two lovely little people have certainly put it through the paces and it survived! The little Snowdog has such sweet attention to details, even his ears and nose are accurate.

The puppet area seems to be a one size fits all because it's worked for both little people and both grown ups too!

The text is simple and short so my 5 year old is able to read the book alone, as well as it being something we read together. 

The Snowman has been a part of my life since I was a toddler so I'm glad he's still very much loved and the tale has grown to include Snowdog too - it's certainly the seeds of a family Christmas tradition in our house :)

The Snowman and the Snowdog Puppet Book

Available now with a RRP of £7.99 based on characters created by Raymond Briggs.

Wiggle your finger to make the snowdog come to life!

Snowman Enterprises Ltd is delighted to announce a whole host of gorgeously festive new gifts in The Snowman and The Snowdog range. From the cutest cuddly Snowdog soft toy to a selection of delicious chocolates from Thorntons, there is something for every member of the family to enjoy

This blog post is part of the 12 days of Christmas with the Snowman and the Snowdog blog tour - follow the hash tag #SnowmanSnowdog the next stop on the blog tour is tomorrow at please pop by and see one of the other The Snowman and The Snowdog items :-)

Emma in Bromley xx

Disclaimer - I was sent a copy of the book for the sole purpose of reviewing it and taking part in the blog tour.

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Bromley Christmas Event 2014 - Chislehurst and Sidcup Christmas Market

Bromley 2014 Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School Shopping Experience and Christmas Fayre

Chis and Sid present their annual shopping experience and Christmas Fayre. We have 45 external small business's and home crafters attending, along with the schools own stalls. Come and grab that bespoke present before the shopping madness!

6th and 7th December 2014 
12- 3pm
Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School, Hurst Road, Sidcup, DA15 9AG

Free Entry 

Monday 24 November 2014

Christmas Recipe - Jolly Snowmen Cakes


Jolly Snowman Cake Recipe - Christmas Food

Cooking time for cake: 2hrs
Decorating time: 30 mins - 1 hr
Makes: 10 

Fruit mix:
  • 150g of natural colour Glace cherries, washed and halved 
  • 120g of sultanas    
  • 180g of raisins
  • 180g currants
  • 50g mixed peel
  • 100g molasses sugar
  • 90g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon of Dr. Oetker Madagascan Vanilla extract    
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg              
  • Pinch of ground cloves  
  • 1/4 teaspoon of mixed spice      
  • 100g of salted butter    
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten     
  • 100 ml of brandy
  • Plus more brandy to feed

For the snowmen cakes:

Jolly Snowman Cake Recipe - Christmas Food
  1. For the rich fruit mix preheat oven to 140°C (275°F gas mark 1) and grease and line a 6 inch square tin with baking parchment. Melt the butter and sugar together on a gentle heat until combined then leave to cool
  2. Place the fruit and peel in a large bowl and mix together. Stir in the melted butter and sugar then add the beaten eggs, vanilla extract and brandy. Stir to make a wet mix
  3. Using a spoon, mix the spices into the flour, then tip the flour into the wet mix and stir together until combined
  4. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 1 hour then turn the heat down to 125°C (250°F) and bake for a further 50 mins. Pierce cake with a knife and it will come out clean if cooked. Pop back in the oven for a further 10 mins if needed. Once baked, take out of the oven and skewer holes through the cake . Pour over another 60ml of brandy to soak into the cake.  Leave to cool in the tin
  5. Once cooled, remove from tin,  wrap in baking parchment and foil and store for at least a week before using. It will keep for up to 6 months
  6. To make the snowmen cakes balls, roughly break up the fruitcake. Take approx. 80g for the large balls, and squeeze together to compact into a chunk. Then roll between your palms to make circular balls. For the smaller balls take approx. 35g of fruitcake and do the same. Place all balls on a cake board and place in the freezer to firm up
  7. Melt a little apricot jam and brush over the balls to make them sticky with a pastry brush
  8. Roll out the marzipan to a thickness of no more than 5mm. Cut into pieces large enough to completely cover the large cake balls. Lay a marzipan piece over the top of each ball and press around the sides then roll the ball in your palms until smooth. Repeat with the rest of all the balls. Leave to dry overnight.
  9. When ready to cover in icing, brush the balls with a little brandy or cooled boiled water. Repeat step 8 using the
    Dr. Oetker White Regal-Ice. Leave to dry overnight or for a few hours before commencing any decorating
  10. To decorate the snowmen cakes take some white designer icing and squeeze a little on top of each large ball to aid the head sticking. Now place the small balls on top of the large one
  11. Dust your surface with icing sugar then roll out red and green regal ice to make 2  long strips.  Use a sharp knife to cut a thin piece of regal ice, about 12cms in length and 1.5 cm width to make the scarf. Using a little white designer icing, squeeze some around the neck area and down onto the body, so you can wrap the scarves around the snowman.
  12. For the hats, roll out half of the black regal icing to 5mm thick.  Use a small round cutter about 4cms to create the rim of the hat. Attach to the head with a dab of designer icing or honey. Roll out the rest of the black regal ice into a sausage 2cm thick and cut into chunks 2cms high. Using your fingers, narrow off the bottom and shape into a hat shape. Stick to the hat rim by using a dab of designer icing or honey.
  13. For the eyes, mouth and buttons pipe little blobs of Black Gel colour or use a paintbrush.   You can also use this to paint on the arms
  14. Finally make the carrot by mixing a small amount of the red and yellow regal ice together to make orange. Shape small cones with your fingers and attach in between the eyes and mouth by dabbing a tiny bit of white designer icing. For the final frosty finish, spray Dr. Oetker silver shimmer spray across the snowman

Emma in Bromley xx

Jolly Snowman Cake Recipe - Christmas Food

Disclaimer - This recipe was sent to me to share with you from Dr. Oetker, I have not received any monies to post this, it was my choice to share this (I think they look adorable!) , I have a long standing relationship with the brand who often send me products to try.

Sunday 23 November 2014

Christmas 2014 Special Offer - Little Tikes Pirate Ship Ride On Toy

This Little Tikes Pirate Ship looks like a lot  of fun! It has a sound effects button and the seat lifts up to reveal the captain! 
On offer at £24.99 until 24.11.14 normally £35 

Little Tikes Ride On Pirate Ship
Emma in Bromley xx

Saturday 22 November 2014

Bromley Christmas Event 2014 - Hayes Christmas Market

Bromley Christmas event 2014 - Hayes Christmas market
A Christmas market to buy original gifts from a wide variety of artisans. This is not a school fair. Our stall holders are from local businesses.

Hayes School, West Common Road, Hayes, BR2 7DB

Emma in Bromley xx

Friday 21 November 2014

Bromley Christmas Event 2014 - Chatterton Village Christmas Fayre

Bromley Chatterton Village Christmas Fayre 2014
The 2nd Annual Chatterton Village Christmas Fayre is where Christmas Starts in Chatterton Road. Shop Owners and Restaurants stay open late to give you a taste of Christmas. We invite a number of local Charities such as The Rotary Club, The Round Table, Bromley Lions, The Guides and Scouts and Local Churches to help us with sideshows and craft tables (many free of charge) and the local school choir will be singing festive songs.

Friday 28th November 2014 6pm to 9pm

Chatterton Village, Chatterton Road, Bromley, BR2 9QW

Emma in Bromley xx

Thursday 20 November 2014

Christmas 2014 Shopping Offer - Lego Storage Boxes

I just love these Lego storage boxes shaped like bricks that all stack together!

The large lego head is on my personal wish list ;)

There's lots to choose from, in all colours and sizes from the large heads (bigger than a human head) right down to lunch boxes! 

On offer until 24.11.14 

Lego Storage Boxes on Offer
Lego Storage Boxes on Offer
Lego Storage Boxes on Offer

Lego Storage Boxes on Offer

Emma in Bromley xx

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Bromley Christmas Event 2014 - Christmas on Royal Parade, Chislehurst

Chislehurst Christmas Fair 2014 Heidi Butterfill Stella and DotChislehurst Christmas Market - Christmas on Royal Parade, Sunday 23rd November 2014 12pm to 5pm

Heidi is one of my lovely friends so please say "Hello" if you go :-)

Emma in Bromley xx 

Bromley Christmas Event 2014 - Christmas Folklore Walk with Mince Pies, High Elms.

Christmas folklore walk with mince pies

    High Elms Country Park - Bromley Christmas 2014
  • Date: 21 Dec 2014
  • Location: High Elms Country Park, Shire Lane, Orpington, BR6 7JH
  • Time: 10:30 - 12:30
  • Cost: 6.15 (concessions £3.50)
Learn about the connections between nature and folklore at this time of year.
Enjoy a winter walk and then back to BEECHE for a mince pie! 
Families are welcome.
Meet in the main car park, High Elms Country Park.
To book a place, please  contact us. You may also pay on the day but places cannot be guaranteed.
Event organiser: Bromley Council 
Telephone: 01689 860571

Emma in Bromley xx

Tuesday 18 November 2014

Gotta Love a Spiderman Helmet

Spiderman Helmet £21.99There's a lot in the news about kids not playing outside anymore and being stuck indoors on computer games - thing is, I'm not sure I agree - I think for most children there is a good balance between the two - you only have to go on a school run or a local park to see lots of children on scooters, skates, bikes and skateboards - I'm surprised by how many children seem to have one of each of those outdoor play toys!
It's important to wear a helmet and there are lots of fun helmets on the market but you've gotta love one with a Spiderman actually sat on the top! Spiderman Helmet
Suitable for children age 1-9 usually £35 on offer at £21.99 until 19.11.14

Emma in Bromley xx

Monday 17 November 2014

Christmas Gift Guide 2014 Part 1

I'm getting really excited about Christmas this year (it'll be the first one in our forever home) and I've been working on my Christmas gift guides since July!!! 
Emma in Bromley Christmas 2014 Gift Guide
I had a really exciting few days whilst the little ones were in school and preschool (I literally get two mornings a week to do this and absolutely everything else!) so it took a while but I basically put up a tree and got the room looking all merry and festive to take my photos! I wanted to do things a bit differently than last year :)

There's going to be lots of exciting Christmas blog posts so please make sure you are following and check back for more! In the mean time, grab a cuppa and be inspired with my 2014 Gift Guide Part 1 (if you missed it, check out my Joules Gift Guide!)
Emma in Bromley Christmas 2014 Gift Guide The Works Jigsaws

In an age where digital gaming is rife, it's refreshing to see how much children of all ages enjoy jigsaws - my two have always had them from even before being a year old and I learnt my jigsaw parenting lesson the hard way - make sure you keep them out of reach of children otherwise it can take two small people precisely 3 seconds to empty 14 jigsaw boxes onto the floor - it will take you 3 weeks to sort them all. I absolutely love the wonderful jigsaw collection The Eorks currently have - there's a handy stocking size tiny Mr Men jigsaw that comes in a sweet little tin, I've chosen a spiderman jigsaw book which is a very clever concise story book with jigsaw pages to complete - this is also a perfect gift for a little one to give to their best friend.
I'm loving the 9 in 1 Scooby Doo jigsaw box,   and the Mr Men puzzle that comes in a bag has a side to colour in yourself too! My children love the "underpants" stories by Claire Freedman so I was over the moon to discover the Dinosaurs Love Underpants Jigsaw and Book set - all are available from The Works

Emma in Bromley Christmas 2014 Gift Guide Zuru My Magical Mermaid

My Magical Mermaid from Zuru is an absolute darling! She comes with weight rings, place them on her head and she will swim on her back and place them on her tail and she swims upright, but she's ohh so clever, if you forget to lift her out of the water, she switches off to save her batteries! This one is called Pearl and her arms can move, she comes complete with weight rings and spare batteries.

Emma in Bromley Christmas Git Guide 2014 Pirate Robo Fish

Robo fish by Zuru have a special pirate edition, there are 6 brilliant pirate versions of the classic Robo fish available to collect and he looks great swimming around - he's really quick and works the second you place him in water. He comes with spare batteries too and you need to lift him out of the water when you have finished playing to conserve his batteries. 

Emma in Bromley Christmas Gift Guide 2014 Zoomer Zuppie Spot

Zoomer Zuppies by Spin Master are adorable interactive puppies - they have sweet little expressions through their LED lights and play lots of games, they have poseable legs and roller ball feet - zuppies move manually so the roller feet makes them very easy to move about and they will interact with their bigger Zoomer dog friends! This little Zuppie is called Spot! 

Emma in Bromley Christmas 2014 Gift Guide Flutterbye Deluxe Light up Fairy
Emma in Bromley Christmas 2014 Gift Guide Flutterbye Deluxe Light up Fairy

Spin Master's Flutterbye Deluxe Light up Fairy is amazing! She's so much fun! Her charging base will launch her into flying mode from the touch of a button and she will follow your hand as she flies along - she has a strip of lights on one of her skirt panels so you get a beautiful light display as she flies - ohhh how I wish I had one of these back in the 80's and yup! I had a lot of fun playing with this toy - for review purposes of course! She doesn't come with batteries so make sure you stock up! 

Emma in Bromley Christmas Gift Guide 2014 Novelty Christmas Jumpers from Next
Emma in Bromley Christmas Gift Guide 2014 Novelty Christmas Jumpers from Next

This year, all of us will be having some sort of Christmas jumper day/event to go to and you just can't beat a brilliant Christmas jumper! We have one each for the whole family all from Next - and they all come with a super handy gift tag attached! I have a snuggly grey snowman jumper which as sparkly sequin snow flakes, Blake loooooves gingerbread men and I love this gingerbread man jumper complete with lots of arm detail too! Maegan has a darling little penguin couple all cozy and warm with pretty little embellishments and Hubby - well he's into his motorbikes so it had to be Father Christmas on a motorbike - complete with fly away scarf!

Emma in Bromley Christmas Gift Guide 2014 My Studio Girl

My Studio Girl do a wonderful collection of crafts and I just love this adorable dolly with cat onesie! You get a ready made dolly and you need to sew her onesie (handy pre punched stitch holes) and attach her hair - she comes with everything you need including a plastic needle.

Emma in Bromley Christmas Gift Guide 2014 Aspace Pick n Mix Jewellery

We love the Pick n Mix jewellery making set from Aspace which comes with a 16 page book full of ideas and everything you need from pre cut felt shapes to fasteners and earring finals - suitable for ages 8up - Aspace do amazing childrens furniture and have a lovely gift and stocking fillers area this year.

Emma in Bromley Christmas 2014 Gift Guide Dont Rock The Boat

Don't Rock The Boat from university games is a brilliant balancing game of skill with little penguin pirates that I reviewed before and would recommend to anyone age 5 up 

Emma in Bromley Christmas 2014 Terra Rossa dipping oil

Terra Rossa Dipping Oil set, comes with two beautifully painted bowls, infused luxury extra virgin olive oil and herbs in a hessian bag. With a story steeped in history, this is perfect for any foodie - a choice of flavours are available.

Emma in Bromley Christmas Gift Guide 2014 Seedball

These little gift tins from SeedBall are a great idea and fun way to get some wild flowers in your garden, the tins contain seeds in small clay,compost and chili powder (protection from predators!) balls which you can scatter wherever you'd like some flowers to grow. They're a lovely idea and my children enjoyed (very much!) scattering around our garden! Perfect for the young and the old!

Emma in Bromley Christmas 2014 Thrift and Prudence

Thrift and Prudence is the creative genius of a fellow Bromley mum, who hand makes unique gifts such as these lovely vintage vehicle frames, comic book butterflies and map and comic covered dinosaurs. The website isn't quite ready so please contact to place an order 

Hobbycraft pom pom kit, christmas stocking kit,

Hobbycraft have everything you need to make your own stocking and I'm looking forward to whipping up a beaut with the help of Blake and Maegan - we've got lots of pom poms and big sleigh bells, glitter glue and ribbon at the ready! and a Pom Pom rudolph kit!

Emma in Bromley Christmas 2014 Christmas Books for Children

Books for children are always a great gift - I don't think any child could ever have too many books and I like to try and do something different with books - we do an alternative advent calendar where we have a different book each day to unwrap and read to set us in the mood for the festivities! 
David Walliams book set from the Works

Baby Lit Books Frankenstein Wizard of Oz Jungle Book

Baby Lit Jungle Book set comes with a lovely animals primer book and all the main characters to build so you can play along too - a very special gift.

Baby Lit Frankenstien is a brilliant board book primer introduction to anatomy.

Baby Lit Wizard of Oz colours book is just sweet - the illustrations are simply lovely and the book is very colourful - we also have Baby Lit Dracula and Moby Dick and I love these books! Perfect board books for little people.

Little Bumpkins Personalised Gift Sacks

What better to pop all the gifts in that one of these stag present sacks with a majestic scandinavian print and finished with a hand made wooden gift tag with your child's name and finished with perfect detailing such as a sleigh bell and a little felt heart on the draw string final. I fell in love with these sacks as soon as they arrived and I know they will be used for many future years to come - from Little Bumpkins - Personalised Sacks

Hanging Lantern trees and houses christmas decorations

The Hanging Lantern Company have these lovely little decorations which arrive flat so you can build them (all scored and simple to do - literally a case of folding and tucking in flaps), we love the trees and the little houses - My 3 year old is mesmerised by the house, she thinks its perfect for christmas elves and fairies. I popped an LED tealight inside mine and they come in a variety of festive colours and sizes, the smaller tree is actually a favour box and the red tree - well theres a 6 Foot tall version at Kew Gardens (Wakehurst Place) how brilliant is that! I can't wait to see these on the table for Christmas Brunch which I'm hosting for about 9 adults and 5 children but probably more!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Read Part 2 here

Emma in Bromley xx

Disclaimer: Some of these items have been sent to me for the sole purpose of reviewing them, some specifically for this post, some I've featured in the past, some items are my very own personal christmas shopping which I just wanted to share, some are loan items which I've returned and some brands have sent me lovely thank you gifts for including them. I haven't received any money for this blog post.