My Mother is a Christmas Elf by Chantelle Joy Otto ~ Book Review

Star rating: *****

I’m a self-confessed Christmas-holic! I start my Christmas shopping as early as I feel I can get away with and try my best to take as much time off from my day job over the holiday season. The opportunity to review a book written by a fellow Christmas nut was too good to pass up and I’m delighted to have shared a piece of author, Chantelle Joy Otto’s childhood and festive memories through this endearing story.

With an over-excited four year old son who dreams of nothing but Santa at the moment, it’s a great fit for his age group and also for early readers. The pictures are simple, full of life and of course – Christmassy! The story is simple, beautifully effective and tells the tale of the author’s childhood festivities which were humble yet always magical with thanks to her special mother whom the book is written about.

The story works on many levels as it’s a wonderful Christmas story for youngsters and teaches the more savvy children the lesson of less being more. It also doesn’t hurt for us adults to be reminded that not everybody’s Christmas might be as privileged as our childhood Christmases were. However, although it becomes clear that the family rely upon donations in order for Santa to do his job, it’s not a subject that’s dwelt upon with melancholy undertones. It’s simply a stitch in the tapestry of the author’s memories.

I think the idea of mum being a Christmas Elf is a fantastic idea and the book helps us readers remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Read it, enjoy it and share it with your children and their friends, it’ll warm the heart of even the less festive of you! It might also put you in a Christmassy mood!

Do you want to get hold of a copy? Here’s your chance to buy or download the book and kick-start the festivities!

 

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Buckt ~ Review

Have you explored your City and its surrounding areas recently? Are you aware of all it has to offer? As I discovered when I signed up to Buckt, when my family and I plan a day or evening out, we’re only just scratching the surface of what Birmingham has to offer.

Why Buckt?

Buckt is an innovative new company who offer a fantastic option to subscribe on a monthly basis to receive vouchers. These vouchers come complete with a code which enable you to participate in lots of different and fun activities in the area you live in. There’s a good selection to choose from, and the best thing is that your booklet of fun comes in a box, hand-delivered to your door each month.

How Much Does It Cost?

£25 for a duo box (just £12.50 each) or £17 for an individual box. When you see the 5 mystery activities available to go out and do locally, you’ll clock just how much you’re saving by subscribing to Buckt.

What Are the Activities on Offer?

Here at Entertainment Views we’ve received three of these little boxes of wonder from Buckt so far this year and the activities we’ve been offered include:

  • Go Karting at Full Throttle Raceway
  • Museum of the Jewellery Quarter – Birmingham Museums Trust
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • Laser Tag – Laser Quest Birmingham
  • ‘The Ward’ – Walsall Scare Maze
  • Improv Class with Box of Frogs
  • A choice of three Ice Hockey Matches – Coventry Blaze
  • Board Game Night at Northfield Arts Forum
  • The Jungle Hut – The Jungle Ranger Wild Experience
Are They Worth It?

Absolutely yes! So far we’ve tried the Donkey Sanctuary and the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter and we can’t wait to try everything else in our Buckt boxes!

Christmas Gift Guide

Are you looking for an alternative Christmas Gift? This year Entertainment Views have compiled a Christmas Gift Guide jam packed full of Entertainment goodness and we highly recommend a subscription to Buckt as a brilliant festive gift idea! Why not give the gift of mystery activities and fun? *

To find out more about Buckt and to subscribe, click the link and take a look: Buckt

 

*For our full published gift guide check back soon!

Brick Live! ~ NEC, Birmingham

Lego has been a firm favourite of mine since I was 4 or 5 years old, probably – although it wasn’t entirely clear who loved building with the popular blocks more – me or my dad! With a son now aged 4 (almost 5 years old) who is already interested in the many movies Lego have released and has jumped headlong into building Lego houses, Brick Live! seemed like the ideal opportunity to fuel the passion and be a big kid myself, not that I need an excuse…

The NEC played host to the event and it’s taken place over four days 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th November.  We attended on the opening day and the highlights of the day were plentiful. It’s the perfect family day out and a fantastic indoor event to take the kids to during half term holidays too.

Here are a few of the features we loved:

Lego Statues

The giant Lego statues were more of a fascination for me than my youngster, however he was particularly taken with the witch, given that we have just celebrated Halloween she was a draw for his eager eyes! I personally adored the Mystical Creatures feature and thought the Cyclops in particular was inspired. It only goes to show that the builds you can make with Lego bricks are limitless.

Have a go….

Lego pits were situated all over the hall and they were in regular use by all of the small guests who thought nothing or launching themselves in to the bricks (even though all of us parents know what it’s like to accidentally step on an offending piece of Lego!!). Duplo was available too for the less dexterous and little fingered enthusiast as well as larger rubber bricks which were fun for all. The more seasoned builders could avail themselves of the various stations situated around the venue and leave their makes out for all to see. There were some amazing quick makes to be seen, there are some very talented young builders around!

Robot Wars

Who doesn’t love robot wars? We see a lot of battles at Comic Con when MCM visit the NEC and it’s always a marvel to see, when the robots have been built with Lego it’s all the more exciting. There’s good sized arena for the audience to sit and watch too.

Aim high

Have your kids tried a climbing wall before? If not there’s a chance to do just that and everybody taking up the challenge looked like they were loving it. What a brilliant idea.

Meet Friends

Lego Friends are the new-ish addition to the Lego family and four talented young ladies represented the popular characters superbly in the Lego Friends section of the show. Offering a dance demo then opening the floor to their young fans, the girls led the throng of wannabe dancers who joined in. My little boy thought it was amazing and it was one of his personal highlights. The final tune they danced to, from Disney’s Zootropolis summed up what I felt was the ethos of the show, ‘try everything’ and Brick Live! has plenty of chances for everybody to try everything. The photo opportunity with the girls afterwards didn’t go amiss either.

Game on!

Do you enjoy gaming AND Lego? Consoles were available for anyone who fancied a break from hands on building and the Super Mario Party stand seemed to be the place to be.

Save your pennies up

There’s plenty of merchandise to buy and having an event so close to Christmas means that it’s tempting to make a few festive purchases as gifts (especially while your kids’ backs are turned!). Lego has never been an inexpensive hobby of course, so it’s worth saving those pennies if you fancy treating yourself or your loved ones! It’s worth checking out the exhibition prices applied to some of the sets if you’re in the market to add to your collection or someone else’s.

As the queues outside the Lego store in London’s Leicester Square go to prove, Lego never loses its place in the hearts of small and big kids alike – so Brick Live! is an innovative idea which attracts all age groups and we’ll be very excitedly anticipating a return visit in the future. Everything is awesome!

Bobbi Brown Studio Re-Launch, John Lewis & Partners, Oxford Street

Entertainment Views Awards 2018 public vote closed on 1st November and we’re very excitedly preparing for the cyber ceremony which is due to be broadcast across our social media channels on 15th December 2018. With our guest presenters lined up to announce the winners in the fourteen categories it’s all systems go.

Awards season is upon us, the first round of The National Television Awards 2019 public vote has also closed recently too. Entertainment Views will be in attendance and while we can’t wait to see who’s wearing who, we also look out for make-up choices on the night. Styles vary from year to year – bold colours, neutral shades and always synchronised with the colour they’re wearing on the red carpet of course.

On 18th October Bobbi Brown Cosmetics re-launched their new studios at John Lewis & Partners, Oxford Street and with their assistance, team Entertainment Views will be getting the red carpet look ahead of the National Television Awards ceremony at London’s O2 on 22nd January 2019.

Here’s the press release from the re-launch, why not book yourselves an appointment and see what the new space has to offer:

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics are taking their consumer experience to the next level with a bold re-design. Carefully conceptualised through the consumer’s eyes, this new space ensures a seamless journey of discovery and play, with a primary focus on bringing the best possible service and experience to the heart of Oxford Street. The re-imagined studio space will feature the first ever private Makeup Room within a central London department store, hosted by a colour brand.

The Makeup Room offers the flexibility of personalised appointments and beauty services, converting to a fully private room with a screen to close off the space if required.

In addition to the new design, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics will launch three new services, exclusive to John Lewis & Partners, Oxford Street.

To celebrate the launch of this innovative new space, the esteemed Bobbi Brown Pro Artists made guest appearances during the month of October, giving customers the opportunity to book personalised makeup lessons and receive bespoke tip and tricks based on their beauty needs.

We are excited to report from The National Television Awards in January with our glam new looks courtesy of Bobbi Brown make-up!

 

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