Saturday, 20 January 2018

Dates for your Diary - The Wizard of Oz at St Helens Theatre Royal from 13th-18th February

Get ready to go on a magical adventure over the rainbow with Regal Entertainments and their enchanting February Half Term pantomime production of The Wizard of Oz. The show will be heading to the St Helens Theatre Royal from Tuesday 13th February to Sunday 18th February and will be sure to delight the audience with a great selection of brilliant songs and show-stopping choreography.

After the show's success whilst touring last year, which included playing to packed-out auditoriums in Stockport, Southport, Rhyl and Liverpool, it is now coming back to St Helens due to a huge demand.


Starring BBC's Pitch Battle star Maddie Hope Coelho as Dorothy, this magical show is sure to put a smile on the faces of even the meanest of munchkins. Maddie trained at Laine Theatre Arts, West End MT and the Royal Ballet School. Her theatre credits include Fairy Goodapple in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Mary Margaret in Singin' in the Rain as well as appearances in Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin.

Click your heels together and join X-Factor's David Heath as the Scarecrow, the brilliant Philip McGuiness as the Tin Man, the loveable Si Foster as the Cowardly Lion, and the adorable little dog Toto, as they follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Merry Old Land of Oz to meet the Wizard so he can make their dreams come true.

David Heath was a contestant on ITV's The X Factor back in 2006 as a member of boy band Eton Road. Since his time on the show he has turned his talents to theatre with credits including Billy in Wag -The Musical, as well as pantomime leading men including Aladdin, Prince Valentine in Snow White and Prince Valiant in Sleeping Beauty.

Guaranteed to give an oil-slick performance as the Tin Man, the charming Philip McGuiness is a panto regular, having previously played Gaston in Beauty and the Beast and Captain Hook in Peter Pan.

Finally, Si Foster is no stranger to the St Helens Theatre stage, or to a panto, he is back as the Cowardly Lion, searching for courage from the Wizard.


The Wizard of Oz is a firm family favourite which tells the story of young Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto as they embark on a wondrous adventure over the rainbow in the magical land of Oz. So why not join Dorothy, Toto and all their new friends Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion as they journey down the Yellow Brick Road to The Emerald City om search of the Wizard of Oz who can make all their dreams come true.

Wizard of Oz Producer, Chantelle Nolan said: "We are so excited to bring The Wizard of Oz back to the theatre for February half term. The show was a roaring success, not just in St Helens, but on tour too. I know that people are just as excited to see the show again as I am, so get your tickets soon, before they sell out!"

Listing Details

Show - Regal Entertainments Ltd presents The Wizard of Oz
Dates - Tuesday 13th February to Sunday 18th February 2018
Times - Tues: 1pm / Weds - Sat: 1pm & 5:30pm / Sun: 1pm
Venue - St Helens Theatre Royal, Corporation Street, St. Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1LQ

Tickets - From £14*
*All prices are inclusive of a £1 per seat transaction fee. On-line bookings are subject to an additional 50p per seat on-line processing fee.

Box Office - 01744 756000
Website - www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com
Twitter - @TheatreRoyalStH
Facebook - www.facebook.com/St-Helens-Theatre-Royal

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Shrek the Musical at The Palace Theatre, Manchester - A Review

What better way to shake off those January blues, than with a vibrant, hilarious and thoroughly entertaining musical production, that will have you grinning from ear to ear right from the very start. Suitable for audiences of all ages, Shrek the Musical delivers the perfect mix of adventure, romance and comedy that provides plenty of full on belly laughs throughout the show.

Based on the Oscar® winning DreamWorks Animation film, Shrek the Musical tells the tale of the giant green ogre Shrek, who with his new found friend and loyal steed Donkey, embarks on an adventure to save the beautiful Princess Fiona from her Dragon guarded tower. Having watched the film many times before, my family and I were very keen to see how this could be portrayed as a musical and we were therefore delighted to attend the show last night to see this for ourselves. We had somehow managed to resist all temptation of watching snippets of the show online, so the entire production was something completely new to my family and I, with no idea of exactly what to expect.

The opening scenes provided us with a short background on Shrek, which was smartly done in storybook form using clever stage techniques and lighting. This provided a gentle start to the show, which immediately drew audiences in as the storybook closed and we were transported to Shrek's home in the swamp accompanied with the catchy and upbeat opening song of "Big Bright Beautiful World".

Steffan Harri in the role of Shrek, has a fantastic stage presence with a wonderfully loud and clear singing voice that we were immediately captivated by. His charismatic charm helps to make his character immediately loveable, but lets face it, who could not fall in love with a larger than life, giant farting ogre?? It was evident from the beginning that Steffan Harri was really comfortable in this role and suited it perfectly. With an accurate representation of the Shrek we have come to know and love, we were definitely not disappointed with his portrayal.

Before long Shrek's swamp became inhabited by an abundance of fairytale characters and despite Shrek being a large and powerful figure, this didn't seem to take any of the attention away from the other members of the cast, which was great. We were able to focus on each one individually and it was at this point that my daughter commented how amazing the costumes all were, which is something I would definitely have to agree with. From Pinocchio to the Wolf and the Three Little Pigs to Little Red Riding hood, the detail in the costumes was just incredible and it was immediately possible to identify who each character was. The Three Little Pigs provided the first big laugh for me and I would have liked to have seen them more throughout the show as they definitely gave us a good giggle.

Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
The next couple of scenes saw the introduction of Donkey, who is our favourite character in the film version. We really enjoyed watching the unlikely friendship being created, and Marcus Ayton in the role of Donkey, certainly brings his own individuality to the role. It is a great skill to be able to take a well known character and make it your own, but Marcus Ayton certainly has no trouble with this and his energy came across really well to the audience. His witty one-liners, exciteable stage presence and confident personality shine bright throughout the performance and teamed up alongside Steffan Harri as Shrek, they definitely make a highly entertaining duo.

Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Our surprise of the night however, came in the form of Lord Farquaad who soon became our main source of laughter throughout the evening. Samuel Holmes plays this character to absolute perfection and the comedy value he brought to the show was just wonderful. Providing the ideal combination of family friendly humour, along with a couple of cheeky innuendos for the grown ups, he quickly became our firm favourite of the night.

Samuel Holmes' past credits are both extensive and impressive and the person responsible for his casting in this role should be commended. Performing on stage to several musical extravaganzas whilst on your knees is certainly no easy task, yet Samuel Holmes not only makes this look simple, but also provides comedy and laughter in abundance. Every scene he appeared in was just so much fun and even when he wasn't speaking or singing, his facial expressions alone provided plenty of laugh out loud moments.

Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Princess Fiona is being played by Laura Main who is most well known for her role in all six series of Call the Midwife. My family and I really enjoyed her performance of 'I Know It's Today' where she was able to display a whole range of emotions from excitement to anger, whilst still telling her story beautifully through song. Another favourite (especially with my children) was the duet with Shrek in the second half of the show, with the song 'I Think I Got You Beat' which both children and adults alike found really funny. This is where Fiona's ogre personality was really emphasized, with a burping and farting competition at the end of the song being a particular highlight for my son, who could not stop laughing throughout.

A special mention must also be given to Lucinda Shaw who was the voice of The Dragon. Her tone was very powerful yet elegant and it was a delight to hear her sing. The voice matched the style and the movement of the on-stage dragon perfectly, which was gracefully manoeuvred around the stage by four puppeteers. I especially liked the fact that although The Dragon was large in presence, it wasn't particularly scary in appearance, which meant that some of the younger members of the audience had no reason to be afraid. My four year old son is very sensitive to 'scary things' such as dragons or dinosaurs and although he did not come to the show with us, I feel confident that he would have been quite comfortable.

It is particularly clear that this whole production is a superb team effort and whilst the four main characters each deliver their performance exceptionally well, the support from the ensemble is commendable with a great variety of amusing choreography, skilled acting and phenomenal voices. The orchestra were also wonderful and a delight to listen to, the character costumes were vibrant yet detailed, the make up was spot on and the stunning sets have clearly been well thought out in the design process. Collectively everything just seemed to go so well together which is a credit to not only those on stage, but also everyone working hard behind the scenes.

The overall production was outstanding and although I was sad when it came to a close, it certainly had the most uplifting and enjoyable ending to any musical I have seen. The atmosphere in the Palace Theatre was electric with excitement, as audience members began to sing and dance along to the finale number of 'I'm A Believer'. The production also left a great impression on my children who have not stopped talking about it since. My daughter is now more keen than ever to get involved with theatre and is determined to perform on stage in the future. This therefore shows that not only is this production a giant fun-filled shrek-tacular, but that it can also be inspirational to children too. In short, Shrek the Musical provides laughter in abundance, an exceptional cast and magnificent music, that is sure to deliver an enjoyable experience for all.

Listing Details

Show - Shrek the Musical
Venue - Palace Theatre Manchester, 97 Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 6FT
Dates - Tuesday 16th January to Sunday 28th January
Times - Show times vary, so please visit the website for the most up to date information.
Ticket Prices - Ticket prices range from £18.00 - £56.00 (plus £4.00 booking fee)
Box Office - 0844 871 3019 (calls cost 7p per minute, plus phone company's access charge).
Website - www.atgtickets.com/shows/shrek/palace-theatre-manchester/

*Disclaimer - We received complimentary tickets for this show for the purpose of providing an honest review of our experience. Opinions are my own unless otherwise stated. This post contains an affiliate link.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Dates for your Diary - Jack & the Beanstalk at The Epstein Theatre starring Ray Quinn

Fe-fi-fo-fum - get ready for some panto fun! This GIANT panto will be coming to the Epstein Theatre in Liverpool this Easter and LHK productions have now announced that Liverpool's very own Ray Quinn, will be leading the all-star cast.

This egg-cellent production will be scaling new heights at The Epstein Theatre from Thursday 29th March to Sunday 8th April and tickets are on-sale now. With a beanstalk reaching the heavens, golden geese and hungry giants, this show really is too big to miss.

Ray is a multi-talented singer, dancer and actor, who first came to attention in 2000 playing Anthony Murray on Channel 4's Brookside, and won the hearts of the nation in 2006 on ITV's The X Factor where he went all the way to the final, finishing runner-up. Following the success of The X-Factor, Ray's debut album Doing It My Way entered the charts at number 1, selling over 300,000 copies without even releasing a single.

He then skated to victory not once, but twice on the ITV show Dancing on Ice as Series 4 champion in 2009, and then again on the All Stars series in 2014. Ray is also no stranger to the theatre stage, having appeared in some of the biggest hit shows, including Grease, Dirty Dancing and Legally Blonde. Most recently he starred as Glen, in the UK tour of the smash hit musical The Wedding Singer.

On joining the cast, Ray Quinn said: "I am absolutely thrilled to be coming home to Liverpool and appearing on The Epstein stage. There is no better feeling than playing to an audience in your home town! Panto is great fun, I always have a great time and I can't wait to be back. I'll see you at Easter Liverpool!"

LHK Productions Managing Director Lee Kelly added: We are delighted to have cast Ray as Jack for our Easter panto. He is a local lad, audiences from Liverpool know and love him! He is a true professional, and has appeared in some of the UK's biggest stage shows, so I know he will be a great addition to the show!"

The full cast who will be joining Ray to tell this epic tale will be announced in the coming months, so watch this space!

Listing Details

Show - Jack and the Beanstalk
Dates - Thursday 29th March to Sunday 8th April
Times - Performance times vary so please visit The Epstein Theatre website for further details.
Venue - The Epstein Theatre, Hanover House, 85 Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 3DZ

Tickets - Adults £16.50 / Concessions £15.50 / Family £54
Groups - £14 each and 1 in 15 free.
There are also a limited amount of £11 tickets available on select performances.
*Subject to booking fee. All prices include a £1 per ticket venue restoration levy.

Box Office - 0844 888 4411
Website - www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk

Tickets can also be booked in person at the theatre box office (open 2pm-6pm Mon-Thu & 12pm-6pm Fri-Sat)

Alternatively you can book tickets via TicketQuarter by calling 0844 8000 410 or visit www.ticketquarter.co.uk.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Dates for your Diary - Crafty's Creepy Castle at The Epstein Theatre & Competition

There is always plenty going on in Liverpool to keep families entertained during the school holidays and this upcoming February Half Term will be no exception. On Saturday 10th February, Crafty's Creepy Castle will be heading to the stage of the Epstein Theatre with a fun, spooky and musical adventure!

Brought to audiences by Honalee Media, help Crafty the Crow and Sally the Scarecrow solve the mystery of the castle's ghostly goings on, hunt for the hidden treasure and find out why Pirate Harry is making things go bump in the night!

There will also be an opportunity after the show for a Meet & Greet with the cast, and every child will receive a special present from puppet star Crafty the Crow.


The team from Honalee Media have a proven track record in top quality children's entertainment. Marty MacDonald's Farm has been a huge hit for almost five years of national tours and features the voice of Cbeebies' Justin Fletcher AKA Mr Tumble as one of the farm's puppet characters Pongo the Pig. There has also been Easter Bunny's Eggs-ellent Adventure, and their sell out Santa Shows!

Writer Martin Parsons explains: "Crafty's Creepy Castle is an interactive musical mystery for all the family, especially 2-7 years old, with the emphasis on spooky fun rather than proper scares - our castle may be creepy but it's more funny than scary and it's great to be writing the further adventures of the characters from Marty MacDonald's Farm. This time they're joined by Pirate Harry, so children who love a swashbuckling pirate story won't be disappointed!"

Producer Kate Ashmead is also looking forward to seeing some of the audience dressed up: "Children love fancy dress, so if they (and the grown-ups!) want to come in their most frightening costumes we would love to see them - in fact, they can help scare away Pirate Harry in the story too!"

The music for the production is written by acclaimed children's composer Barrie Bignold (Justin's House, Gigglebiz, The Sooty Show) and includes children's favourites such as Ghostbusters; Dingle, Dangle Scarecrow; The Hokey Cokey; Hickory Dickory Dock; Row, Row, Row Your Boat; I Hear Thunder; and many more.

Audiences are in store for some (not very!) frightening fun - in this happy, action packed adventure.


Listing Details

Show - Crafty's Creepy Castle
Venue - The Epstein Theatre, Hanover House, 85 Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 3DZ
Date - Saturday 10th February
Time - 2pm
Ticket Prices - £13*
Box Office - 0844 888 4411
Website - www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk

*Subject to booking fee. All prices include a £1 per ticket venue restoration levy.

We also have a fantastic competition for our readers, to give you the chance to win a family ticket to see Crafty's Creepy Castle at The Epstein Theatre on Saturday 10th February. If you would like to enter, then please read the terms and conditions & submit your entry using the gleam form below. Good Luck!

Win a Family Ticket to see Crafty's Creepy Castle at The Epstein Theatre, Liverpool

Terms & Conditions
  • There is 1 (one) prize of a family ticket to the 2pm performance on Saturday 10th February 2018 at The Epstein Theatre, Hanover House, 85 Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 3DZ
  • A family ticket is for 2 adults and 2 children, or alternatively 1 adult and 3 children.
  • The winner shall be required to collect their family ticket from the box office, prior to the show.
  • Tickets are non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.
  • There will be no contribution made towards travel.
  • Tickets are valid for the date/time/venue specified only and cannot be used on an alternative date or time, or at a different venue.
  • Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 years or older.
  • Competition closes on Saturday 3rd February at 12 noon. The winner shall be drawn at random and contacted by email within two working days.
  • Due to the time restrictive nature of the prize, the winner shall have 48 hours to reply to the email to confirm their acceptance of the prize, before another entrant from the remaining eligible entrants is drawn.
  • No bulk or third party entries.
  • The winners details shall be shared with the promoter, for the purpose of prize fulfilment.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Looking Back at 2017 - Our Travel Favourites

Whilst we are looking forward to all our planned adventures for 2018, it is also great to look back and reflect on the travel opportunities we had last year. I therefore wanted to share with you, some of our travel favourites from 2017.

January - Our year began with a trip to the fabulous Bluestone National Park Resort, in South Wales. Although we live in North Wales, we had never actually ventured to the South before and after a very scenic four hour journey to Narberth, we enjoyed a lovely few days in a beautiful lodge and enjoyed the wonderful Blue Lagoon and some other local attractions. Bluestone is a stunning holiday resort, set within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. It has 345 luxury lodges set amongst 500 acres of spectacular countryside. It is marketed as an all year round short break holiday destination, where fun can be enjoyed in all weather conditions and offering guests the chance to enjoy a relaxing break, or an adventure fun-packed holiday. As Bluestone offers so much, it is suitable for families, couples, or groups of adults and caters for all ages, with over 100 activities to enjoy. You can read all about our visit to Bluestone in our review here.


February - This month saw our first overseas trip of the year, where my family travelled to Silvaplana in Switzerland to attend the World Ski Championships being held in St Moritz. This trip actually came about as a result of a competition that my husband had entered on Twitter and we couldn't believe that he had won the family such an amazing opportunity. During the trip my family travelled on the Glacier Express taking in some wonderful sights, enjoyed the fabulous opening ceremony, watched some skilled skiers taking part in the championships and also had the opportunity for a skiing lesson and some sledging fun. You can read more about Silvaplana here.


March - In March my husband and I enjoyed a weekend break at the Shibden Mill Inn for my husband's birthday. This was our first and only time away without the kids throughout the year as I really don't like going away without them, but it was a relaxing time with delicious food. The suite we stayed in was stunning and had been tastefully decorated with a great combination of both modern and traditional furnishings. You can find out more about our stay here.


April - We travelled to a few places in the Easter holidays during April. The first was to Somerset where we visited some wonderful local attractions that included Puxton Park and the Wookey Hole Caves. On our return to the North, we enjoyed a stop at Drayton Manor where Riley had an amazing time in Thomas Land. We also travelled to Yorkshire for some cliff top camping in Filey, where we also spent the day at the fabulous Alpamare Waterpark in Scarborough and had an absolutely splashing time!


May - In the May half term we travelled to Salou in Spain, where we stayed at Sanguli Holiday Park with Al Fresco Holidays. This was an absolutely wonderful break and we spent our days between the onsite Africa themed resort pool and the sandy beach located a short walk away. This holiday resort certainly ticked all the boxes for us and you can read all about our stay here.


June - June saw us head to Shropshire where we enjoyed a weekend break with my parents in Ironbridge. Whilst there we travelled back in time to the Victorian era and visited Blists Hill Victorian Town. My children absolutely loved it here and we had a great experience. You can read more about our time at Blists Hill here.


July - The school summer holidays began in July and we started the six week break off, with a trip to the Lake District. This really is a stunning part of the world and we had a wonderful week exploring and visiting some fun attractions. Some of our favourites included a day out with Windermere Lake Cruises, spending some time at Old Hall Farm and finding out more about transport at the Lakeland Motor Museum.


August - In August we spent two days in Hamburg, Germany thanks to the Come to Hamburg scheme. We only spent a short amount of time here, but managed to fit so much into only two days. The Miniatur Wunderland was magnificent and Hagenbeck Tierpark provided the opportunity for my children to feed some elephants, which is definitely an experience they will never forget. Whilst in Hamburg we stayed at the Appartello Smarttime Living hotel, which offered fantastic apartments with plenty of room for the whole family.


September - In September we had the chance to visit France and stayed with Al Fresco holidays at the La Croix du Vieux Pont holiday park in France. The park offered so much for families that we didn't get the chance to see it all, so it is definitely on our list of places to return to in the future. Ideally situated only 90 minutes from Disneyland Paris, it also meant that we could enjoy a magical day out together before the return back to school!


October - The October half term saw us return to Somerset, where we stayed with John Fowler Holidays at their Sandy Meadows Lodge Park. There is so much to do both onsite and in the local area and we had a lovely day out at Bristol Zoo Gardens whilst here.


November - As the end of the year approached we spent the majority of November and December staying local as there was just so much on offer throughout the North Wales and North West areas. We are very lucky to live right on the North Wales/Cheshire border so this means that we have the lovely North Wales coast twenty minutes in one direction and the great cities of Manchester & Liverpool 40 minutes in the other. Some of our favourite events and days out during November were going to see The Snowman at the Manchester Opera House and meeting Santa at Bridgemere Garden Centre.


December - Well we definitely enjoyed a month of family fun throughout December, with my personal highlight being the Dick Whittington pantomime at the Manchester Opera House. I have never laughed so much at a panto and at one point I was actually crying it was so funny.

My youngest son Riley also had a lovely experience of a theatre production at Waterside where we saw the beautiful performance of The Bear.

Topped off with a family evening of fun at Winter Wonderland and a trip to Dunham Massey to see their stunning festive lights, December was certainly a month to remember.


Sunday, 31 December 2017

Dates for your Diary - Shrek the Musical is coming to Manchester in January!

Most families enjoy a good film night together and ours is no exception, cuddling up on the sofa when the dark winter nights settle in, is absolute bliss. One of our firm favourite films to enjoy is Shrek which always guarantees to get us all giggling, no matter how many times we have watched it together before. We were therefore delighted to find out that Shrek the Musical, which is based on the story and characters from the Oscar® winning DreamWorks Animation film, will be heading to Manchester in January 2018!

Promising an entertaining mix of adventure, laughter and romance, this magnificent production is sure to delight audiences of all ages, as the smash hit blockbuster comes to the stage of the Palace Theatre, Manchester from Tuesday 16th to Sunday 28th January.

The family show tells the story of the lovable ogre Shrek, who along with his loyal steed Donkey, embarks on a quest to rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona from her Dragon guarded tower. Featuring a whole host of fairytales misfits, a biscuit with an attitude and the pint-sized Lord Farquaar, you can be sure of an entertaining and dazzling experience with this all-singing, all-dancing comedy spectacular.

Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Shrek the Musical welcomes a wonderful cast, with Steffan Harri starring in the main role of Shrek, having previously appeared in the original UK tour as a cover for Lord Farquaad. His other theatre credits include Les Miserables, Spamalot and Children of Eden. In addition to these theatre productions, he also starred as Lyn in the welsh language soap opera Rownd a Rownd.

Princess Fiona shall be played by Call the Midwife star Laura Main, who is very excited to be starring in this marvellous show. Laura commented "I've been waiting a long time for an adventure like this to come along and now that it has I am ready to swap the surgery for the swamp in one of my favourite musicals. Shrek has made a Believer out of me and I can't wait for this fairytale to take me across the country". 

They will be joined by Marcus Ayton as Shrek's sidekick Donkey, whose recent credits include Sammy Davis Jr in The Rat Pack Live and Ray Charles in A Tribute to the Brothers Live. The vertically challenged Lord Farquaad will be played by Samuel Holmes who has recently appeared as George in the UK Tour of The Wedding Singer, as well as other stage credits that include Mrs Henderson Presents, Kiss Me Kate and Crazy for You.

Nigel Harman, who appeared in the original West End production as Lord Farquaad and also won the Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical, will be returning as Director. He previously made is directorial debut on the first ever tour and has since gone on to direct Lunch & The Bow of Ulysses (Trafalgar Studios) and will also direct Kelsey Grammar in Big Fish the Musical (The Other Palace) this Autumn. 

Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
My family and I are very excited to be heading into Manchester this coming January to watch Shrek the Musical and if you would like to obtain further information on the show, then you can find the listing details and link to the booking website below. With a running time of 2 hours and 30 minutes, this production is the perfect family treat to enjoy together in the wonderful city of Manchester at the beautiful Palace Theatre.

Listing Details

Show - Shrek the Musical
Venue - Palace Theatre Manchester, 97 Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 6FT
Dates - Tuesday 16th January to Sunday 28th January
Times - Show times vary, so please visit the website for the most up to date information.
Ticket Prices - Ticket prices range from £18.00 - £56.00 (plus £4.00 booking fee)
Box Office - 0844 871 3019 (calls cost 7p per minute, plus phone company's access charge).
Website - www.atgtickets.com/shows/shrek/palace-theatre-manchester/

Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Shopping for Christmas Decorations at B&M

B&M has been one of my favourite high street stores for Christmas decorations for the last couple of years. I always find that they have a great range of products at really reasonable prices, which makes decorating our home much more affordable each December. My children like to select some new items each year to build on our collection and this year was no exception.

Firstly, we are very lucky to have a large B&M store literally just down the road from us, so this makes visiting the store really easy and convenient. There is also an even larger store in Chester on the retail park, which at only ten minutes drive away, gives us another option for our Christmas decoration shopping.

Our living room is currently decorated in monochrome colours and I always like our decorations to coordinate with our existing colours, so I was determined to purchase some lovely items in black, white and silver. I don't like to spend too much each year on decorations, so we set ourselves a challenge, to see how much we could get for only £20. We ended up being quite suprised!


The first thing we were on the look out for was a brand new star for the top of our tree. We have had our previous one for a few years, but it no longer fitted well to the top of the tree and I remembered saying to my husband last year that we would definitely have to replace it. B&M had a few different stars available, but my children all really liked the look of the Colour Changing LED Snowflake Tree Topper instead. It had a try me button on the bottom left hand corner, so my children all took turns to make sure it worked properly and that they were happy with. We were all very pleased with our new chosen tree topper and at £4.99 we felt that this was great value for money.


Next on my list were some baubles, due to the fact that apart from our personalised baubles that we have added each year, our main selection were relatively old and some were also damaged. We began looking at the wide range available and Ben spotted a large plastic tub that we filled with 40 baubles in black, silver and silver glitter. Perfect! This large bundle of baubles was only £5.99 which is a bargain.


With baubles and a tree topper now chosen, we decided we wanted something a little different to add to the tree, so I gave my youngest son Riley, the task of choosing something that he really liked to go on the tree along with the baubles. It didn't take him long to select a lovely tub of shatterproof Icicle Baubles which contained 18 individual glitter coated icicles for only £1.99. These were perfect for what I had in mind and Riley was very pleased that he was able to choose something different to what we have had before.


Of course a Christmas tree needs some tinsel and although we seem to have accumulated a fair amount over the years, we couldn't resist this 2M 3D Deluxe Tinsel which was only £1.29. It stood out to us because of the added stars and we felt this would help to add even more detail to our tree. Riley also absolutely loves stars so he was adamant that this tinsel could go around the top of the tree and lead up to the LED snowflake.


With the tree decorations all chosen, I told my daughter Emma that I would also like something to go on our bookcase or sideboard. We had a look at a few things as there was plenty of choice, but eventually we settled on these lovely glitter stags. The box contained two of them at a price of £3.99.


With a small amount of money left in our £20 budget, Ben found this sign to go in our window for only £1.49. I loved the silver glitter design, which not only compliments our interior, but also looks lovely in the window to welcome visitors to our home.


Overall we were really pleased with the decorations we purchased, as well as being extremely impressed with the wide range of choice available in store. Decorations were available in all shapes and sizes, in colours to suit all tastes. The prices were really reasonable and I couldn't believe how much we were able to buy with only £20. B&M also stock a large selection of homeware and toys, so it also gave us the opportunity to get some Christmas gift ideas for family and friends. We would definitely recommend a visit to B&M when looking to purchase Christmas decorations or other household goods. They also have a website where you can view some of the other decorations available in store and their Christmas range can be found here: Christmas Decorations

There is also a handy store finder tool to help find your nearest B&M here: Store Finder


Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post and we received a £20 B&M voucher to cover the cost of our purchases. Opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.