Lapland UK Review

Last week, two letters arrived for my little ones from Father Christmas, inviting my children to Lapland UK to help him and his elves get all the toys ready for Christmas. To say that they were excited, would be an understatement. In the run up to our trip to Lapland, I have never known my kids to be so well behaved, it was like magic! E would help her little brother to get dressed in the mornings ( and this has NEVER happened before), they doing as they were told and E even told me not to wear make- up because I was far prettier with out it..... it was obvious they were on their best behaviour in case Father Christmas' elves were watching!! 

Lapland UK is based in Ascot, we drive this way quite often and it usually takes us around 45 mins from Chelsea but we got stuck in a huge traffic jam so we were cutting it fine. Our tour was booked in at 3.30 and we arrived at the car park at 3.25. We bolted over to the elf-check in, just as our tour was due to start and there was a queue in front of us. Fortunately, the 4pm tour wasn't totally booked up so the kind elf at the check in moved us up to the next slot so we didn't miss out on anything. 

In hindsight, I would say, make sure to arrive at least 20 mins before your tour is due to start. That way you would have plenty of time to make your way from car park, which is rather large, to the elf check-in. There is a cafe at the check-in and elves on hand to entertain the small folk so you won't be at a loose end if you arrive early.

The children were given, elf passports with stamps to fill in throughout the tour, it also contained words to the songs that the elves would sing later on. 

Whilst we waited for our tour, the children were entertained by a funny little elf called 'Porter' whose suitcase kept falling open to reveal presents, giant acorns and all sorts of bits and bobs. All the kids kept helping her pack her suitcase  only for it all to fall out again, they found it hilarious. 

The tour began with a short interactive play where we met two elves called Sage and Eeko. The play fun and yet informative, with a story explaining where elves come from and then teaching children the importance of caring for our environment. The elves then helped the children open up the doors to Lapland and we caught our first glimpse of the magic that awaited us. Tiny little elf cottages dusted with snow, nestled within Narnia-esque woodlands, I can imagine that as a child I would really have believed that we had been magically transported to a far away land. 

Our first stop was the toy workshop, Santa's good list is super long this year so the elves needed some extra help to get all the toys ready. 

The children helped the elves make a stuffed reindeer toy, which reminded me of 'build-a bear' and they also helped construct a teddy bear made from wooden blocks.

At the end they had to take the finished products back to the elves. I was a little concerned that we'd have a bit of a struggle handing back the toys but, miraculously there was no trouble.

Next we moved on to Mother Christmas' kitchen. The children sat and listened to magical stories told by Mrs Christmas and then they were asked to decorate gingerbread men.

We were then shown to the elf village where we had an hour and a half to entertain ourselves. The village is an adorable little square with christmassy shops and places to eat, all built around an ice rink which you are free to use for as long as you wish during your visit. We skated for a while and then explored the village, there were elves strolling chatting to the children and also very well behaved husky dogs. We found the elf post office and went in to write and post our Christmas letters to Santa. 

What truly amazed me is how the 'elves' are constantly in character. At one point I crept off to buy some Christmas pressies and I passed some of the elves chatting together.  I don't think they saw me and there wasn't really anyone around, yet they still kept in character! This authenticity is a theme that runs throughout Lapland UK and that's really what sets it apart from any other Christmas experience.

Our time at the elf village was up and finally it was our turn to meet the big guy himself. We set off on a path that took us through a winter wonderland, we even came across Santa's sleigh and some of his reindeer.  

We arrived at a little cabin, deep in the forest. We were greeted by an elf called Compass who told us that he was in charge of preparing the routes for Santa to take on Christmas eve. His desk was full of maps, globes and all sorts of fascinating equipment. He asked us to sit and wait our turn to meet Father Christmas.

After a short wait, a chatty elf named Bubbles came and showed us to Santa.

Father Christmas himself was brilliant and very patient with the children, who had so much to tell him! When I booked our tickets I was asked to give them some hints about things that the children had been up to which Father Christmas worked very convincingly in to the conversation, they were so excited that he knew what they had been up to! He checked his good list to see if they were on there and miraculously ( for Rufio especially) they were indeed. So Father Christmas asked us if they were allowed a small gift before Christmas and he gave them two soft and cuddly husky dogs.

I really can't describe to you how magical they whole day was, as we left my daughter said to me that it was the best day out that we have ever done as a family.
Yes, the tickets are eyewateringly expensive but when you break down all the activities through out the day then the price starts to make a bit more sense. I would find it easier to justify the cost if I thought of it as a theatre trip, craft, ice skating, family adventure day all rolled in to one, and on top of that you get to meet Father Christmas too.
The overall level of thought and care that has gone in to creating Lapland UK is just immense, with incredible attention paid to even the smallest details, making it a truly believable and magical experience.

If you do one thing with your children this Christmas then make it a trip to Lapland UK!



Autumn/ Winter Style

For the first time this year, it really feels like Autumn today. On Monday we took the children 'trick or treating' around The Boltons and it was warm enough to walk around without a coat on but not today! Its the beginning of November and there is a distinct chill in the air and the perfect opportunity for me to share my favourite pieces with you from Kaleidoscope's AW16 collection:

My standout piece from the collection, has to be this faux fur jacket. It's just so versatile and easy to wear. It a great way to dress up an outfit but works equally as well for the school run. I love to wear it mixed with jeans, a denim shirt and trainers! Be warned, it attracts a lot of attention!

I'm loving the zip detail on this polo neck, open up the zips for a cold shoulder effect ( in more ways than one!)

This birkin-esque Italian leather grab bag is so buttery soft and just beautiful. It's a bit of a Mary Poppins bag too because it holds literally everything.

Oh and the jeans, love the jeans! They come in different leg lengths too, why doesn't everyone do this?

What I like about Kaleidoscope is the fantastic quality, investment pieces with out the high price tag. You're going to fall in love with this collection, www.kaleidoscope.co.uk


Finding a Good Plastic Surgeon

If you have decided to go down the route of having plastic surgery, this article is for you. Finding a good surgeon is very important, which is why I decided to focus on how to do so.

The right qualifications
Naturally, you do not want someone operating on you who are not properly qualified. Fortunately, finding a highly qualified plastic surgeon, in the UK, is not difficult. There are several medical associations that you can use to help you in your search. They all have websites, and maintain databases of qualified surgeons.
Look for the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) or the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS). In addition, the General Medical Council also maintains a specialist register for plastic surgeons. The leading plastic surgeon Gary L Ross is a member of all of these associations, so expect to see his name appear a lot, during your search.

The right experience
It is also important to look for a surgeon that has plenty of experience. Ideally, you want to find someone that has done the procedure you want done hundreds of times before. Therefore, if you are want breast enhancement or reduction surgery it makes sense to use the Association of Breast Surgeons (ABS) website to help you in your search.

Someone you can communicate with
Once you have narrowed down your options, and found a qualified and experienced surgeon you need to make an appointment. Before you visit the clinic, take the time to work out exactly what you want done. The clearer you are about what you want to achieve, the easier it will be for you to explain it properly.
If you do not feel comfortable while talking to your potential surgeon, it is usually best to continue your search. You are looking for someone that you feel listens to you, and clearly understands what you want.
A good surgeon will take the time to sit down with you and go through all of the options. He or she will be honest about what can be achieved, and explain the different procedures to you. They will explain the risks as well as the benefits, and give you a breakdown of the costs.

Practical considerations
When deciding which surgeon to use, you also need to think about practicalities. For example, how you will get to and from the clinic for the operation, and checkups. Opting to have plastic surgery done abroad is fine in theory, but if there were complications getting further treatment is likely to prove difficult.

Without a doubt, plastic surgery is not something you should rush into. It is important to bear in mind that the changes that will be made to your body are, for the most part, permanent. Of course, some of the procedures can be reversed, but this will be costly, and mean that you will have to undergo another operation. Therefore, it is wiser to take your time, do your research, find a good surgeon and be careful when deciding which procedure to have done.
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