Discovering the Magic of Christmas at Lapland UK

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Two years ago we were invited to visit LaplandUK, and it was hands down one of the most magical days of my life. I've always been a huge Christmas fan - my whole family are - and it just brought the whole thing to life for me, and seeing my son utterly entranced by it all was just amazing. I've been asked by a lot of people since that trip, "Is Lapland UK worth the money?". With prices starting at around £70, it's definitely an expensive day out for a family. But I think it speaks for itself that less than two years later, I booked and paid for our return visit. I sorted the tickets when the booking window for ...

A Visit to Waddesdon Manor’s Christmas Carnival

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If you're a regular reader of Hot Pink Wellingtons, you'll know I love a good National Trust property. Waddesdon Manor has been on my wishlist for a visit for ages, but is a fair drive for us, so apart from one Tuesday a few years ago where we turned up to find it closed (top tip - visit Wed-Sun!), it's not made it to the top of our list. But when Waddesdon got in touch to tell me all about their Christmas Carnival, I knew it would be a wonderful time of year to finally make that visit. Waddesdon's Christmas Carnival is open until 2nd January, and it's absolutely crammed with festive activities. The house is all decorated for Christmas, there ...

Getting Started with Our Home Renovation plans

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We've been in our home for 5 years now and I still love it. It's in the perfect location for us - close to the London Waterloo train line for John's commute to London - and it's the Victorian house that I love the look of so much. I love the bay window at the front, I love the red bricks, and we've worked really hard to put traditional features back into the house, like sash windows, and the glazed front door. But we've known since we first moved in that the layout didn't really work for us, and as the years have gone on and our two boys have come along, it's become more and more of a problem. On ...

When This Lazy Mum Got Cleaning!

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Hands up, I've never been a cleaner. I struggle to keep things tidy, and it's fair to say that having children has been the nail in the coffin of cleanliness in our house. When the whole Mrs Hinch and her #HinchArmy thing started doing the rounds, I just didn't see the appeal, and saw myself far more aligned with Mrs Hunch - surely everyone has a clean clothes basket that they take their clothes from, rather than putting them straight away? We would tend to have a whole weekend once a month where we would tackle the tidying and do more of a deep clean, but it's pretty depressing when you get to Sunday evening and realise that you've not left the ...

It Might Not Be That Bad After All…

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It's fair to say that I've had my doubts and misgivings about how ready Max was for school. He's always seemed young for his age, and I was concerned that the emphasis on reading and writing would turn him off of learning full stop. If it was up to me, I think I'd have kept him home with me forever! But something changed my mind last week. It was a tiny moment in the grand scheme of things. I've been making a big effort to give Max some short one-to-one time where he gets to choose the activity. He chose a Lego set, which we'd built together once before, and I noticed back then just how much direction Max needed to keep ...

The Truth About 3 Years of Blogging

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Gosh, somewhere along the line my 3 year blog anniversary arrived, and I was so busy I didn't even notice! It seems hard to imagine a time now when I didn't write this blog, it's become such a huge part of my life - my third baby. It's been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, so I thought I'd take some time to reflect a little on it all.   A Record of our Family Memories I started Hot Pink Wellingtons as a way to better document our family life, and while I think that remains the core of my blog, it's become so much more. It's brought us opportunities as a family that have been absolutely wonderful and that would never have ...

Transforming Your Child’s Play {with Brio Smart Tech}

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This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Brio and Mumsnet For a long time now we've been huge fans of Brio in our house. It's one of those classic childhood toys that appeal perfectly to children and adults alike. I know there's nothing my husband loves more than creating a hugely complex train track around the ground floor of our whole house, and my son, Max, loves nothing better than playing with it all once it's built. My youngest, Ben, also likes to get in on the action, destroying the train track, much to his brother's disgust! But I'm sure in no time he'll be joining in properly with it all and we'll have a whole family of Brio fans.     We ...

I’m not cut out for life as a school mum!

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It's fair to say that I spent the last year burying my head in the sand about Max starting school. I've made no secret of the fact that I would happily have kept him home with me for much longer, and that I didn't really feel he was ready. My little boy just wasn't grown up enough to be heading off to school 5 days a week! Over the summer, I put so much effort into making sure that Max was ready. I read all those lists of things that your child should be able to do before starting school, and we worked on each thing slowly. Can use cutlery? Check. Can recognise their own name? Check. Can wipe their bottom? ...

Make Space For Play {With The Great Little Trading Company}

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When Max was little, I remember saying that we wouldn't let toys overtake our living room. Sadly we don't have a spare room in our house to turn into a playroom, and I was determined that our living room would stay an adult space, with toys tidied away in the evening. But, as I'm sure happens to us all, slowly the toys started to invade our house. First there was the jumperoo, then the toy cars, then the collection of Toy Story toys. And then Ben, our second child, came along and somewhere along the line we lost all sight of our adult space, just sweeping all the toys to one side once bedtime came along. The Great Little Trading Company ...

A Visit To Wrest Park

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Wrest Park has been on my wish list for a visit for ages, but it's that little bit too far from us to make it an easy trip. Plus it's English Heritage and we don't have membership, which makes it a somewhat pricey day out. But we've recently got a new car and we're no longer limited by mileage like we were in our previous lease car, so last weekend we headed off to Wrest Park to see what it had to offer.     Wrest Park is a Grade I listed House located in Silsoe, Bedfordshire, surrounded by acres of beautiful grounds. Most of the house was closed to the public during our visit, as there was a wedding fair on, but ...