Christmas Gift Ideas for Toddlers!

I feel so rushed this year for Christmas! It’s just go, go, go all the time, and I’ve been squeezing in Christmas shopping here and there. One person I love buying for though, is Harry. At almost 20 months old, he’s at the age where he’s into all the fun toys and I’ve really enjoyed thinking about what he will love for this first ‘proper’ Christmas.

These are just a few of the things I think Harry will love this Christmas:

V Tech Toot Toot Parking Tower

For his first birthday, we got him the Toot Toot Drivers Garage, and eight months later he is still loving it so much. However, it doesn’t have many ramps for the cars to shoot up and down, which is why this Parking Tower is an ideal addition to the garage. It sings songs, has a huge spiral track and sliding ramp, 6  interactive Smart Point locations for the Toot Toot vehicles and is attachable to his current garage.  Pretty confident this toy will be a hit with Harry!

Cath Kidston Melamine Beaker Plate Mug

Harry can feed himself pretty well now. He enjoys the independence of it all, and copying what we do. So I thought he would enjoy having his own ‘big boy’ Plate,  Mug,  and Cup  from Cath Kidston. This ‘Cowboy’ range is so cute and I know how hard wearing this little set will be.

Baroo Urban Fox Cot Bed Duvet Set Kiddies Kingdom

Not the most traditional of Christmas presents but Harry recently got a duvet and pillow for his cot. He’s loving snuggling into the pillow and chatting to the dinosaurs on his current duvet cover. He will love the little foxes on this Urban Fox set from Kiddies Kingdom. 100% cotton and really soft, it will go perfectly with his blue bedroom.

Intergalactic Journey Home Personalised Book Lost My Name

Intergalactic Journey Home Personalised Book Lost My Name

This personalised book from Lost My Name  absolutely beautiful. Excellent quality and completely personalized with Harry’s name throughout, with his address and satellite images of his home city towards the end! He might be slightly on the young side for this book, but he has recently started saying his own name and is gaining a real sense of self at the moment. I know he will love this book for years to come and be so excited when he realises it is all about him!

Chad Valley Doctors Set

Harry  has had his fair share of trips to the doctors in his time. He has to take inhalers and the usual cold medicines and he is NOT the easiest patient sometimes! We thought this little doctors set might help him overcome his fear of the doctors and reluctance to take his medicine! He loves any sort of role play toy, so this should hopefully interest him and help his understanding.

Christmas Itty Bittys from Hallmark

These soft, cuddly bean bag toys are perfect stocking fillers and the Santa and Rudolph editions will make lovely little Christmas decorations for Harry. He is just starting to understand what Christmas is all about and these will help him as he works it all out.

I hope you and your little ones have a great Christmas!

Love, Laurel

Review: A new bedtime story for Harry – The Weatherbies!

A key part of Harry’s bedtime routine are his books. He likes to read 2 or 3 of them, twice!  He loves books with flaps and textures, bright colours and rhyming stories. We were recently asked to review a new childrens’s book – The Weatherbies!

bedtime story
The Weatherbies series was created by Maghera based mum and childminder Yvonne Fleming. The first book in the series is based on ‘Sammy Sun’ – just one of Yvonne’s ‘weather based’ characters. Yvonne developed the books and characters whilst telling her own sons bedtime stories. She illustrated the characters herself after creating them from simple doodles as she played with her children. From here, Sammy Sun, Colin Cloud, Flo Snow, Harry Hail and six more characters were born. Yvonne plans to release a collection of 12 books based on the adventures of each character.

weatherbies yvonne fleming

When our copy of the book arrived, Harry was immediately drawn to it. It is extremely bright and easy for him to hold. The story is happy and positive and most importantly, it rhymes! The book is now safely added to our collection and will be chosen by Harry regularly I’m sure. I also have one to give away. If you think your 2-5 year old would fancy a read, tag me on Twitter @laurelloves85 and use the hashtag #weatherbies.
The book is aimed toward 2-5 year olds, and the series is currently in the early stages of television production. You can also buy a copy, here.

bedtime book toddler

Love, Laurel

Review: An Italian treat at Il Gusto Ristorante, Belfast

Last week I attended the bloggers event at the newly opened Il Gusto Ristorante, Belfast. Situated on the Lisburn Road, Il Gusto is a cosy, warm and perfectly compact Italian restaurant. I loved the modern yet cozy interiors – lots of pine, mirrors and  gorgeous brushed green leather seating.

il gusto ristorante lisburn road belfast

The menu offers a selection of authentic Italian fayre with homemade pizza and pasta, as well as a great selection of fish and meat dishes. To start I went for the Chicken and Bacon Caesar Salad, which was lovely, but my friend chose the meatballs and they were amazing! Unbelievably tasty and not in any way fatty like some meatballs can be.

chicken bacon caesar salad

For our main course my friend and I both chose the Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Ravioli. This was a huge hit and I could have eaten it twice! The pasta was perfectly cooked and the filling was tasty and moreish. The tomato sauce in which the ravioli was served was delicious; extremely light, fresh and rich all at the same time. I would love to know the recipe but I’d say it’s a closely guarded secret by the Italian chef at Il Gusto.

sweet potato and pumpkin ravioli

Dessert time arrived and I chose one of my favourites – Tiramisu. Topped with pistachios (another favourite of mine) covering layers of mascarpone cream, coffee and chocolate it was up there with the best I’ve tasted and I enjoyed every bite.

pistachio tiramisu

The portion sizes weren’t huge so I easily ate the three courses without feeling completely stuffed – or maybe I am just greedy! However with the menu priced so reasonably you could afford to try three courses without breaking the bank.

I highly recommend you try out this cozy and authentic Italian eaterie – you won’t be disappointed. Thank you Il Gusto for a great evening.

Love, Laurel


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