Tag Archives: gin

17 Sleeps until Christmas!

7 Dec

The London No.1 Gin
For those gin lovers out there, The London No.1 Gin  has launched a gift pack which includes a stirrer in a London-landmark inspired design and is just so pretty you willalmost not want to drink it. Almost. Launched in 1771, when the 1st Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, built his London townhouse on the southeast facing corner of Hyde Park it’s a really smooth gin with great heritage. It pairs well with a plain tonic – or if like me you like to fancy it up try a dash of elderflower. Delicious! It can be purchased nationwide from Ocado and Oddbins for RRP £34.00.

london-no-1-gin

Verdict: 9 / 10

 

PHIZZ
If you are gifting alcohol this Christmas, do your family a favour and attach a little tube of the miracle that is PHIZZ. It’s a pocket size, Swiss made effervescent tablet combining a rehydration formula with a mix of essential vitamins and minerals. I tested this after a Christmas party – and it really helped to perk me up. I think it would make a really useful stocking filler. Available from Ocado, Amazon and select independent pharmacies.

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Verdict: 10 / 10

Pusheen Cat Watch
For the emoti-lover in your life you will be very pleased to know that they can now see their favourite Facebook cat, Pusheen in watch format. These cute watches from www.WatchShop.com are a bargain at £11.99 and would make a perfect gift for children or anyone who is a fan of the cue and quirky!

If only they did one for men – my dad loves this emoji – a cat with kisses, a cat with hearts, a cat with wool. Pusheen really does get about on her travels!
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Verdict: 8 / 10

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Puzzle
When buying gifts for children it can be a fine balance as they proabably have a lot of toys clogging up the house already. The solution is to keep it educational too! I love The Very Hungry Caterpillar – 4 in 1 Puzzles aimed at Preschoolers it contains four colourful jigsaws of 12, 16, 20 and 24 pieces. Each puzzle features a different image including: The Very Hungry Caterpillar in the sun, The Very Hungry Caterpillar with some of his favourite fruits and also the lifecycle of the butterfly. It’s great fun, but the box isn’t very sturdy, so make sure its not squished in your pile of presents before you give this away!

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Available from Amazon at only £8.95, great for a last-minute gift if you have prime.

Verdict: 7 / 10

 

Four Legged Fancies
Best not to forget your loyal pets this Christmas morning – at the very least it will not be worth the hassle of fighting them away from your mince pie! Joking aside, if your furry ones are part of the family why not give them the best. Four Legged Fancies (FLF) has some gorgeous handmade, natural and wheat free treats for dogs this Christmas. I would ask my dogs Bob and Harry what they thought of them – but unfortunately they gobbled them down so quickly that I’m not even sure they took a moment to taste! 😉 Treats start at under a fiver and are available at www.fourleggedfancies.co.uk

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Verdict: I love how they look, that they are healthy and the dogs certainly approved. 10 /10 

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Best of the Bunch – Fathers Day gifts 2015

14 Jun

Oscars Boutique ‘Dad’ photo Frame
I love the shabby chic look (needs less dusting right, as ‘old’ is part of the style?) and this photo frame is gorgeous. The frame holds one 6″ x 4″ photo and comes with a stand at the back for displaying.

Oscar’s Boutique is an online shop specialising in shabby chic home accessories, unusual gift ideas and beautiful furniture. They specially select products to be representative of themes including shabby chic, vintage, country cottage and French Boudoir. The frame costs £14.95 and can be bought on the Oscar Boutique website at www.oscarsboutique.co.uk. A little birdy tells me that there are often discounts on certain ranges as well as regular sales, so it may also be great for those with a limited budget.

Shabby chic - I love it!

Shabby chic – I love it!

Verdict: 9 / 10

Practical Dad
Often the most practical gifts are the most useful, hence you can often find yourself buying boxer shorts and socks for father’s day! if you are going to resort to this old classic, you couldn’t go far wrong choosing from the stylish jockey range. Try the classic trunk available at www.jockey.co.uk in a variety of colours, sizes and prices.

Classic design

Classic design

Verdict: 8 / 10

ZPM Weekend Bag
If your dad has too many toiletries, but nowhere to store them treat him to this weekend bag, by ZPM. At £25.99 it is not cheap, but it does feel very sturdy and is certainly large enough to fit everything in. I particularly love the swivelling hook, making it easy to hang anywhere.

Folds away neatly

Folds away neatly

Easy to hang

Easy to hang

Verdict: 7 / 10

Cool Dad

If your dad is one of those fashionable sorts, and spends more time in front of the mirror than your mam, he would probably appreciate a good hair mousse. Moosehead produce a range of styling products from putty, paste, dough and clay, perfect for men with all different types of hair thickness and style. Available at Superdrug for £3.99.

In funky colours too!

In funky colours too!

Verdict: 8 / 10

When in doubt, ply them with booze!

Dubliner have launched a tipple, the Irish Whiskey & Honeycomb Liqueur. With a blend of honeycomb, caramel and whiskey flavours all in one liqueur it is a nice twist on a classic. Available at around £19.99 from the Whiskey Exchange

Yum!

Yum!

Verdict: 6 / 10 (while I think this is a must try for whiskey lovers, I found it hard to find a suitable mixer, and I am simply not hardcore enough for ‘on the rocks!’)

I have reviewed a lot of floral, pretty and exotic looking gins of late. Gin is a massive favourite of mine, but I have noticed the tendency to gear these towards a female audience. That’s why I love The King of Soho’s London dry gin as a father’s day gift. Very fittingly, The King of Soho was launched by Howard Raymond as a tribute to his legendary father, Paul Raymond. Affectionately called the ‘The King of Soho’, due to his role in revolutionising the district, Paul Raymond played a pivotal role in the cultural and  social liberation of British society. Prices range from £11.95-£34.95 from most retailers, and in a glorious bottle, with a lovely dry flavour it’s a real winner.

A handsome bottle

A handsome bottle

Verdict: 10 / 10

I scream, ice cream!

For the dad who is a whizz in the kitchen, I can’t imagine anything better than the gift of limitless home-made ice cream and gelato. I tried the Swan Come Dine With Me Ice Cream & Gelato Maker (Available at Argos for £39.99) I found the machine easy to use (and that is a big must in the Mullaney family!) and not too large, which makes stashing it away in my tiny kitchen all the more bearable. Even better, this is a gift for the family – who will get to sample the finished product!

Perfect for the summer

Perfect for the summer

Verdict: 8 / 10

Super Dad

For a Dad who is the whizz in the kitchen, the Genie Gadgets Superhero Oven Glove, is certain to go down well. Priced at £6.95 it won’t break the bank either.

Very funky

Very funky

Verdict: 7 / 10 as cute as these are, I think I would need to buy two so my dad doesnt burn his other hand!

Weather Station

Tech loving dads will have hours of fun with the Archos weather station. Definitely a ‘splurge gift’ at £79.99, but very fancy nonetheless. With a module for outdoors, a module for indoors and the ability to run this from your smart phone it is a unique gift. From the app you can view the reported information from a number of sensors including Temperature, Humidity, Pressure, CO2 and Noise. Cross checked with national data users can know exactly what to expect when they leave the house. Available from www.Archos.com

Great kit

Great kit

Verdict: 7 / 10


Erasmic Toiletries
If you are looking for good value toiletries to fill a gift hamper or toiletries bag for dad, The Erasmic grooming range from Savers consists of shaving foams, creams and brushes all designed to help soothe and moisturise the skin with each shave. Prices start at £1.50

Great value

Great value

Verdict: 8 / 10

The gift that keeps on giving
If your dad likes to read, treat him to a Readly subscription  I absolutely love the idea, and after trialling this for a month I’m addicted. For £9.99 per month you have full access to thousands of magazines, you can read online, on your iPad/tablet, and on your phone. And because you press download and bank the magazines you can even read without an internet connection which is so very useful. A full list of titles can be viewed here but my favourites are heat, grazia, chat, that’s life, craftseller, vegetarian magazine, good food and dog world. Though your Dad may prefer Xbox magazine, T3, Men’s health and the like! I also love that while on the iPad I can easily ‘print screen’ little recipes from cooking magazines to share with my friends!

Thousands to choose from

Thousands to choose from

Verdict: 10 / 10 and it saves the trees with all that paper too!

Zap yourself to number one
If you have siblings, you will know that it most certainly IS a competition as to who gets Dad the best present. And I have a felling that this little gadget could give you a head start!

One For All’s new Smart Zapper is a nifty little gadget that sits anywhere near your TV and translates Bluetooth Smart signals into Infrared. This will convert a tablet or smartphone into a universal remote control for home cinema equipment. You can use the Nevo iOS or Android app to use full functionality. Nevo app is free from the Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store (search for Nevo under ‘Universal Electronics’). Priced at £34.99 you can find the Smart Zapper in Maplin or at www.oneforall.co.uk.

Compact and easy to use

Compact and easy to use

No need to get up from your sofa

No need to get up from your sofa

Verdict: 8 / 10

Bored of games? Try a new board game
The Really Nasty Bankers Game” from rascals is a game with the aim to squander billions without getting caught and earn a big fat bonus along the way. I’ve added this one into my father’s day feature as I think it could make a good joke present! The Really Nasty Bankers game is available from Amazon for £19.99 and while I am not sold on the title, the concept is actually quite good (think monopoly modernised!)

Family fun

Family fun

Verdict: A tad on the dull side 5 / 10


Green fingered Dad

If your dad is more of a floral fan, you can’t go wrong with Lavender. The deep purple flowers attract bees and butterflies to the garden, whilst giving off a sweet scent for year-round interest. Best4Hedging deliver right to dads door and the potted lavender is established and ready to add to any garden.

Lush Lavender

Lush Lavender

Verdict: 9 / 10

 

 

Wallet Ninja
Most dads love a little gadget, and they do not come more useful and pocket sized than the Wallet Ninja from menkind. The small credit card shaped tool includes 3 screwdrivers; 6 hex head nuts and bolts; bottle, can and letter opener; box cutter; ruler, phone stand and peeler. it’s also TSA approved for carry on during flights. Made from 1.5mm of heat treated steel – the creators claim that it will never chip, rust or bend. Priced at £ it is fairly reasonable too!

Fits in wallet

Fits in wallet

Great functionality

Great functionality

Verdict: 8 / 10

 

Give the gift of time
For the green fingered dad who is pushed for time, try giving one of Lechuza’s beautiful self-watering planters. The perfect gardening or home accessory, Lechuza helps Dads have lasting plants that thrive without much effort at all. Each Lechuza planter comes as a complete kit including a water level indicator and nutritional substrate layer. This will give the plant all the water and nutrients it needs for up to 12 weeks.
Lechuza is available online at http://www.lechuza.co.uk with prices from £9.99 up to £174.99

The Puro 20 pot, £14.99

The Puro 20 pot, £14.99

The technology inside

The technology inside

Verdict: 10 / 10 (I love anything that saves time – as you cannot put a price on that)
Freedom Gift Box and Glass
Posh ciders and beers have taken the UK by storm this past year. Give dad a lager with a difference – Freedom craft lager. This lovely gift box has a bottle of each Freedom Beer (6 x 330ml), as well as a Freedom half pint tankard glass. At £12.50 it is also a bargain!

handy gift set

handy gift set

Yum!

Yum!

Verdict: 9 / 10

 

Valentines Gifts for Her

4 Feb

Women as opposed to men are usually much more bothered about which gifts they receive on Valentine’s Day.

Is the gift thoughtful? He loves me.
Is the gift expensive? He thinks that I am worth it.

Absolutely no pressure at all boys!

I personally think that you cannot beat a handmade valentine’s gift. (I look back at gifts of past and the pricey rug that I received went down less well than the almost free to give origami flowers) Though I do confess I prefer these to be accompanied by a thoughtful gift. I’m not demanding or precious but I put a lot of effort into thoughtful gifting so I do appreciate this to be returned. I also believe that if a man can buy me a gift I will love but get a discount or get it at the lowest possible price – it then frees up his money to spoil me with a romantic weekend of nice food and wine. I have collated some ‘easy wins’ for men to give to their lovely women, to help those along who may need a little nudge!

Bloom Gin
Because…pretty bottle. That’s it, that is all you need to know. Cover a bottle with embellishments and pop a bow on it and yes women will love it.

Blooming Lovely!

Blooming Lovely!

BLOOM London Dry Gin: RRP £22.00 for 70cl. ABV 40% at Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Booths and other quality retailers.

Verdict: A very pretty 9 / 10

Jockey Red Chemise
This nightie is not only gorgeous, and sexy – it is so comfortable and luxurious. Available For £27 at Jockey
Jockey Chemise

Verdict: 10 / 10

His and Hers Wooden Tree Carving Coasters
These beautiful little coasters will be sure to melt her heart. All of the romance, none of the inconvenience. A winner all round! Available from Getting Personal for £9.99

Almost like I carved them myself!

Almost like I carved them myself!


Verdict: Ok, it’s a piece of wood, but actually considering I don’t own a saw, or have a tree to chop down £9.99 seems like a bargain! 9 / 10

Personalised Mix Tape MP3 Player
This is the cutest idea ever, a little MP3 Player which in fact looks like a little mix tape. You can charge with a mini USB. The sticker on the front is a little cheap (mine’s half falling off!) so alas it will not give your iPod a run for it’s money, but still very cute. Available from Getting Personal for £14.99

Rachel's Mix Tape

Rachel’s Mix Tape

Verdict: A cute 7 / 10

Personalised Rose Champagne
There is nothing more cliché thank pink champagne on Valentines day, but hey ho – a little cliché can actually be quite nice. Available from Getting Personal for £34.99

Yum!

Yum!

Verdict: A bit pricey for pink champagne, but if you have the money well worth it for a Valentines meal indoors 8 /10

CIROC Vodka
It may well be indicative of the secret alcoholic within me, but I really don’t think that you can go wrong by gifting your partner their favourite booze. Make it more romantic by printing a cocktail list and including mixers and any fruit needed all in one nice gift bag. For Vodka lovers try CIROC, it comes in a gorgeous bottle, is high quality (made from fine French grapes) and is priced at under £30 from most major supermarkets.

CIROC

Verdict: A delicious 8 / 10

Bio Sculpture Nail Varnish in Nude
If you are unsure of what colour to choose when it comes to make up for a girlfriend – go neutral. Bio Sculpture Nail Varnish in Nude is available from http://www.biogel.co.uk for £6.45 and would make a great mini-gift.
bio

Verdict: 7 / 10

Set the Mood
This isn’t a gift as such, but if you are planning a romantic night in how about LED Hut’s pink outdoor/indoor LED fairy Lights. You can wrap them into any shape around your house for that essential mood lighting, and then use them in the summer for garden parties. Available at LED Hut for £31.20

Wrap around your home furnishings

Wrap around your home furnishings

Verdict: A glowing 8 / 10

Thomas Sabo Heart Charm
This would make a great addition to any charm bracelet, elegant and simple. Available at Burns Jewellers for £21.99

Verdict: A classy 8/10

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Joan Collins – Timeless Beauty
The Joan Collins range comes in a wonderful deep red – perfect for valentines day, and the lovely gold bottles make this a very cute gift. Available at http://www.joancollinsbeauty.com, http://www.qvcuk.com or Urban Retreat at Harrods. The lipstick is £18 and the nail polish £13.

Valentines Red

Valentines Red

Verdict: 8/10

Halloween Drinkies

20 Oct

In strange tradition each year many of us try and make our Halloween party drinks a disgusting green colour! However this year I am going to opt for a decidedly more pretty purple drink (yes I know Halloween should be scary, not pretty but just a little can’t hurt can it?)

Greenall’s have launched a new wild berry gin, and it is absolutely delicious. Here is recipe to make your own cocktails, or get creative and make a spooky punch bowl by adding tonic water or diet lemonade!

Yum!

Yum!

Greenall’s Wild
50ml Greenall’s Wild Berry Gin
25ml Lemon Juice
15ml Monin Vanilla Syrup
3 Raspberries & 3 blackberries

Method: Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a tumbler with fresh ice
Garnish: Raspberry, blackberry, lemon twist.

The sloe gin is priced at £16.00, and is available at Sainsbury’s and Tesco stores.

Verdict:

9/10 for flavour

7/10 for difficulty to make

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