Christmas

PUCKER UP with GREGGS THIS CHRISTMAS | SKINT MOMMA

Merry Kiss-Mas!!

This morning as I was lying in bed, I heard a knock at the door. Shortly afterwards, my husband appeared in front of me holding a box…

Inside was a sweet (and savoury) little surprise!!

So it turns out that Greggs has launched two limited edition flavoured lip balms just in time for Christmas and are giving them away in 9 cities across the UK.


The festive bake flavour is inspired by the taste  of chicken breast, sage & onion stuffing and sweetcure bacon in a creamy sage and cranberry sauce.

The sweet mince pie flavour is based on Greggs’ deliciously crumbly short crust pastry filled with sweet mincemeat, which is made with vine fruits, Bramley apple and candied orange and lemon peel.

They are both surprisingly lovely, although the sweet mince pie flavour is my favourite! If you don’t believe me, why don’t you head over to Greggs and try them for yourself!

Greggs is giving away a total of 5000 lip balms at selected shops across the country on Monday 19th December from 10am until supplies run out, so make sure you get there first, stores include:

  • Belfast – Donegall Square West, BT1 6JH
  • Birmingham – High Street, B4 7SL
  • Cardiff – Queen Street, CF10 2BW
  • Glasgow – Buchanan Street, G1 2LW
  • Leeds – Central Arcade, LS1 6DX
  • Liverpool – Wall Street, L1 8BU
  • London – The Strand, WC2R 1JA
  • Manchester – Deansgate, M3 2AY
  • Newcastle – Northumberland Street, NE1 7DE

As well as the Festive Bake, Greggs’ savoury Christmas menu also includes a Christmas Toastie, Turkey & Honey Roast Ham Baguette, Turkey, Bacon & Cranberry Roll and Christmas Lunch Soup.

Greggs’ sweet treats for Christmas include a Christmas Pudding Biscuit, Christmas Tree Biscuit, Christmas Muffin, Christmas Ring Bun and Sweet Mince Pies.

To view the full Greggs menu, or to find your nearest shop, visit Greggs website!

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My Top 5 Christmas Movies of All Time | Skint Momma

top 5 christmas movies

What could be better on a cold Winter’s evening than snuggling up on the sofa, fire blazing, wrapped in a huge blanket, sporting the thickest thermal socks you own and cradling a giant mug of hot chocolate on a cold Winter’s evening…except a great Christmas movie!

Well, all of these things combined, would be just about my idea of the perfect evening!

I put together a list of my TOP 5 favourite Christmas films for you, if you are looking for some movie inspiration for your family night in, look no further!

 

In no particular order…

 

1. ELF (2003)

elf 

I LOVE Will Ferrell. This is, hands down, the funniest Christmas movie ever. There are just the right amount of hilarious innuendoes that only the grown ups will understand, and yet it still feels innocent enough for the kiddies to enjoy.

 

2. SANTA CLAUS THE MOVIE (1985)

santa-claus-movie

A true classic. This film will always have a special place in my heart. It is such a fantastic Christmas film. The North Pole scenes seemed so realistic to me as a child. My mum was able to convince me that it was in fact a documentary showing the REAL Santa, in his REAL workshop, going about his REAL LIFE! I believed her for a long…long…time…

 

3. DIE HARD (1988)

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All the best films (and people…) are products of the 80’s!

I am ashamed to say that I only watched this film for the first time last year. I couldn’t understand how it could be considered a ‘Christmas movie’- but it totally is!

It is the ultimate, alternative, action-packed, edge of your seat, nail biting Christmas movie.

I loved it. My brother had to tell me to shut up countless times during the film, while I shouted “OH MY GOD. NO. HOLY SH*T. AAAAAHHH”… Fantastic. Watch it.

 

4. RISE OF THE GUARDIANS (2012)

rise of the guardians 

Another fantastic ‘kids’ film. A little alternative to the usual Christmas films. This one focuses on all the ‘guardians’- Santa, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny etc…

It has a story line that is centred around getting children to ‘believe’, I just love the magic of it…and also the fact that Santa is portrayed as a tough, burly, tattooed, Russian man with a hard exterior and a heart of gold (…is it just me or is there something about him?!)

Hilarious.

 

5. HOME ALONE (1990)

home alone 

It’s not Christmas until you have watched Home Alone at least twice.

Packed full of laughs, a little fear, and some questionable parenting, this is a much loved Christmas movie for all of us!

It requires no explanation, I am yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love it!

 

What is YOUR favourite Christmas movie??

 

Skint Momma xx

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The FREE Christmas Gift Guide | Skint Momma

I started to think about writing this post a few weeks ago.

This was initially intended to be a ‘Christmas Gift Guide for Mums’. I had started to do a little bit of ‘crowd sourcing’, asking my local mums’ group, “What do you really want for Christmas?”.

I had expected to receive answers full of the most sought after gifts of the season; gift sets, a nice hand bag, a good coat, new perfume…that sort of thing!

Instead, what I was flooded with, was something different entirely!

Some joked and said they wanted “more sleep”, some said they would LOVE some IOUs for the promise of a babysitter for just a few hours break.

Some said they just wanted a friend to come round and share a bottle of wine with them.

I started to think about all of the amazing people in my life, the people I have had the gift of meeting this year, and the people who have touched my heart in a way that I can’t describe.

This got me thinking some more, why do we spend so much money at Christmas, when the most valuable thing we could give to somebody could actually be our time?

Time to listen, time to talk, time to cry, shout and laugh…

I thought, this want for the gift of ‘time’, isn’t exclusive to just other mothers like me.

There are billions of people in this world, and just a small speck of them are our own friends and family.

Is time really such a difficult gift to give?

Could we not spare an hour a week visiting a friend in need, helping a stressed out relative or a keeping lonely neighbour company?

If every one of us gave one hour of our time to another person, to simply be there for them; offer to go to the shop for them if they can’t go themselves, or just to sit with them and hold their hand…do you know how much true joy we could bring to the ones we care for this Christmas?

Time is so precious, eventually it runs out, sometimes we are blessed with more time than others.

Why not stop and think this Christmas, what could you DO to bring true joy to somebody you care about?

Money is just an object. Time is precious. Don’t waste it.

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Skint Momma xx

 

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EASY CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE | FOR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN

the-easy-christmas-gift-guide-for-special-needschildren

Whether you are a parent, relative or close friend of a child with special needs, it can be difficult to know exactly what to get them for Christmas.

Bombarded with loud, bright and overwhelming toy adverts on a daily basis, our SEN kids don’t always want the typical ‘mainstream’ gifts that you might want to buy for them.

Knowing what my own daughter enjoys playing with – empty boxes, stickers, sensory items, things to build or stack, I decided to ask the always fabulous parents from the ASD Support Group NI on Facebook what they think their own children would love to receive this Christmas.

While it seems most other Christmas Gift Guides will typically have a handy list from 1 – 10 (or so) of the most sought after items this year, buying for a special needs child isn’t always as simple as that.

I want to start with some of the advice the parents gave me on buying for their children…

  • Don’t be afraid to ask parents what their child would really like for Christmas. All of our SEN kids are so different. Often people will gift an age appropriate toy and a lot of the time that isn’t something that our children will actually be able to use.
  • Some children with special needs really don’t like surprises. Often it is easier to follow their rules, allow them to tell you exactly what it is they would like (within good reason of course) to avoid unnecessary anxiety, stress and upset at a time of year that is meant to be joyful.

These were some of the gift ideas that were suggested…

  1. Sensory toys can make a great gift for a SEN child, as odd as this one sounds, a Sensory Body Sock would be something my daughter would love more than she loves chocolate (thats a LOT).
  2. Fidget toys are fantastic for little & big sensory seekers alike. providing a calm and relaxing experience.
  3. Building toys like Lego and Duplo are great for exploring hands and an eye for detail.
  4. Some ASD kids love animals, a LOT. My daughter is one of them. Animal toys are a lovely gift. Playing with animal toys was one of the first things that encouraged my daughter to start talking, so you never know how helpful this gift could be.
  5. Puzzle games, are also brilliant for creative kids, and can help them learn too
  6. Practical items like hat, scarf and glove sets can be a really great gift too (check with parent first encase there are sensory issues), I know my own daughter just loves wearing hats.
  7. Gender neutral clothes for older aspie girls may also be more appreciated than something big, pink and frilly
  8. Art and craft supplies like the Mister Maker Doodle Drawer Craft kit  are fantastic to keeping hands occupied and letting creativity flow.
  9. A messy, gooey, fun gift for a sensory seeker- try Gelli Baff, it turns your bath water into a jelly-like texture. Even I think I would like that one!
  10. Lastly, for more sensory toy ideas, have a look on Pinterest.  Also, for specifically for sensory and special needs items try sites like Learning Space, Spacekraft and Rompa for loads more ideas.

I hope this helped to give you some gift ideas for a special needs child this Christmas. Remember, not all SEN children are the same, no two are alike and if you just aren’t sure, don’t be afraid to ask!

Merry Christmas

Skint Momma xx

 

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