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  1. When you’ve got children that are still enchanted by the magic of Christmas, then few short weeks leading up to the big day can be tough. And it’s not all about the toys! Many kids have already started to ask for the big Christmas experience. Meeting Santa, travelling to Lapland, and eating lots of chocolate yule log. Then there’s the advent calendar, the twelve-foot tree, and all the lights that will illuminate the planet from your own home.

     

    When the kids finish school, there will only be a few days before the 25th to worry about. But by then, parents need to be ready. Try to get everything prepared and purchased in advance. You’re less likely to have to battle your way through the mayhem of last minute shoppers. And the kids are less likely to become over-excited by all the last minute promotions the stores will put on!

     

    An easy Christmas for some would involve very little of the hard work that inevitably occurs for us mums. If you work, you may already be having to book up your Christmas parties for the office. It’s always nice to have someone else do all the cooking, catering and cleaning up. Why not see if you can book a Christmas meal for the family too? If you’re travelling to be with family, this may be the easiest option for you.

     

     

    Thanks to Flickr for the pic

     

    It can be difficult to juggle the cooking for a house full of family and guests. Vegetarian cooking is often thought to be easier. But it takes just as much preparation and attention to detail as other meals. Of course, it can be wonderful to see everyone and let the kids lap up all the attention from their favourite relatives. If you’re lucky enough to have people that like to help with the cleaning up, then it can turn into a really great event.

     

    Of course, it is every parent’s dream to provide the most memorable and awe-inspiring Christmas for their kids. Many choose to take their holiday so they can enjoy a winter break with a Christmas theme for the kids. The trouble is, this can be incredibly expensive. And it’s almost impossible to gauge how your children will react. If they’re absolutely terrified of the jolly Santa or the reindeer, it can be a pretty heartbreaking Christmas.

     

    Most of us have to budget for Christmas each year. The cost of lights, decorations, food, and gifts can really hurt your wallet. It’s so hard to say no to your kids sometimes. And even Santa can’t give them everything! In the warmer months, it’s easy to engage them in garden activities like football, or tending to the patio garden. At the end of December, chances are the weather will be awful, so indoor activities may be best.

     

    We all want the Christmas break to be a wonderful couple of weeks for the kids. It’s not always easy, and sometimes it can be almost impossible to satisfy the little ones. Whether you cook at home or choose the Christmas party approach, make sure you have a little fun yourself too!

     

  2. The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    The Eden Project Review

    Our family day out at The Eden Project, Cornwall, and my favourite photos

    In July we returned to The Eden Project in Cornwall for our second visit.  We’d been before when Bella was only a dinky one year old, so three years on we noticed how the biomes had really changed and the rainforest one in particular seemed to have boomed!  I’d really recommend The Eden Project as a family day out.  It’s perhaps more beneficial for older children as they will learn so much, but our littles (1 and 4) still had a great time exploring all the plants and enjoying delicious food in the cafes - Reuben even had his very first green juice all to himself!

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    The Eden Project is where a china clay pit once stood.  Or rather, lay or whatever the word is as it was dug into the ground rather than standing on the ground!  The pictures remind me of a quarry; dug out land with rocks exposed over a huge amount of space.  No greenery in sight, just ruined land.  The idea of The Eden Project began on napkins in a pub by a chap called Tim Smit.  He had an idea to showcase the world’s most magnificent plants and needed a very big space. 

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out 

    Once funding was secured, the big build began in 2000.  The entire project is made with being environmentally friendly in mind and incredibly, they even made their own soil for the entire place!  Some of the plants were bought in, but many were grown from seed on site.  The rainforest biome became home to over 1000 plants from across the globe.  The Eden Project proudly opened to the public on March 17th 2001 and by June already had over 1 million visitors – really quite something.

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    I was really excited to return for a second time and was not disappointed.  As we visited during the summer holidays they had an extra exhibition… dinosaurs!  This was an unexpected surprise and the exhibition was quite remarkable.  The best costumes I’ve ever seen for dinosaurs – Bella was quite literally terrified!  She had to confirm the dinosaurs weren’t real with us several times!  If you check out my Lylia Rose Instagram, you’ll find a video of a dinosaur walking around!

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    It’s an amazing experience to be able to see pineapples and bananas growing in the rainforest biome!  Who knew pineapples grew up from the ground?  I’m sure they’re meant to grow on trees like coconuts?!  Other favourites of mine were seeing the rubber trees, palm trees and cocoa trees.   This year I was excited to see a baobab smoothie bar as I’ve told of my love for baobab many times in this blog.  We also say the remnants of the titans which had amazingly all flowered in May (click here to see).  These mighty (and stinky) flowers grow for a whopping 10 years before flowering and die 48 hours after bloom.  They look like something prehistoric.  I can just imagine dinosaurs walking around them!

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    Can you see the pineapple?

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    Spot the bananas!

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    Who knew wellie boots were so ancient!

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    New baobab smoothie bar!  Yum!

    The second and smaller biome is the Mediterranean biome.  With a more familiar European feel, it reminds me of holidays to the Greek Islands, South of France and even Lanzarote with its white painted walls, citrus and olive trees.  It certainly makes me want to jump on a plane and show Ben these beautiful places!  Being quite a cactus fan, I loved the aloe vera plants; really huge and again quite a prehistoric feel to them. 

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    One of my favourite parts of any day out is meal times!  We were lucky to enjoy both lunch and dinner at The Eden Project and both were equally fantastic.  There are plenty of vegetarian options and loads of scrumptious looking healthy foods with many ingredients grown on site!  This type of food is right up my street.  I enjoyed a veggie kebab, every mouthful just delicious.  For dinner we ate in the big hall on long benched tables.  I chose some sort of veggie tart with salad and potatoes.  The quality of the food is so good.  I made lots of satisfied mmmmmm noises the whole way through.  I also recommend the juice bar next to the Mediterranean biome entrance.  There’s a bit of a wait as they only have one juicing machine, but it’s so worth it.  I chose two green smoothies for us all to share.  Reuben even had some (his first drink other than milk and water so far) and loved it!

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    I’d highly recommend a trip to The Eden Project.  I look forward to returning again.  The tickets do seem a little steep, I think we paid £25 per adult and both children were free as so young.  The tickets last for one year though so you can return any time.  Plus, it’s a charity so you’re supporting a great cause & educational project.

    Have you been to the ‘eighth wonder of the world’?

     The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out