Tag Archives: present

Fathers Day Gift Guide: 12 Days to go!

7 Jun

With 12 days to go until Father’s Day don’t be a last-minute diva, and get your gifting sorted. We all have busy lives and I think birthdays, Christmas and occasions like mothers day and fathers day is an opportunity to be truly thoughtful. As a child I loved making them breakfast in bed and carrying it up precariously – it felt very grown up! Now as an adult living far away I don’t have that luxury, so if I am going to jump on the consumer bandwagon I may as well choose products that they’ll really love!

McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes
McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes have launched a personalised range this year, where you can type in your own personalised message for on the front of the box. My parents love Jaffa cakes, so I thought that this was a really cute idea!

The McVitie’s Sweet shop can be found at www.mcvities.co.uk and delivery is free for orders over £20.

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Verdict: 8 / 10 (this would be a 10 if they were a little cheaper!)

 

Ripped up Art
I think that cards should fall into one of two categories to be genuine and heartfelt:

1) Home made – awesomeness!
2) Really unique, bespoke shop bought, something really different.

If you run out of time, and buy a standard (some may say dull) convenience store style card, just make sure that you fill it with reams of personal commentary to compensate!

Ripped up Art sent me a gorgeous card to review – they implant seeds into the card so that the card can be used afterwards in the garden to grow wildflowers! Very cute designs to and at £4 a card (with free delivery if you by three) they are not badly priced at all.

The cards are available at www.rippedupart.co.uk/cards

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Verdict: 9 / 10 (this would be a 10 if you could choose your seed type!)

 

LIC frozen cocktails
If you’re making a Father’s day lunch – add these ‘grown up’ frozen lollies to your shopping list. Using their closely guarded secret formula to create a frozen drink with the strength of a regular drink (10%ABV) and completely natural ingredients LIC (Love Iced Cocktails) have created new pina colada and mojito flavours that are absolutely delicious! You can buy them over at www.havealic.com

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Verdict: A tasty 8 / 10

 

Millie’s Cookies – Bake at Home
If you have children and want them to put a real effort into Fathers day for your partner – but don’t want all of the mess that comes with home baking – the Millie’s Cookies bake at home range will be perfect. Bake at home Millie’s Cookies are just £3 at Iceland stores you simply push them out and flatten out onto a tray, bake in the oven and enjoy warm and gooey! They can also be used to make milkshakes, cheesecakes or even ice cream cups.

A lot more cost effective than the cookies form a Millie’s stall too!

Ready to Bake Millie's Cookies - Milk Choc

Verdict: Get me some more they are addictive! 9 / 10

 

 

Aux Anysetiers Du Roy – Chocolate Fondue
For the chocolate loving dad, why not try the deliciousness that is the Aux Anysetiers Du Roy chocolate fondue pots. The chocolate comes in a stoneware pot to maintain the heat – simply remove the lid and microwave. The special stoneware jar keeps the Chocolate Fondue warm and melted on your table for 45 minutes minimum, and contain a delicious minimum of 70% cocoa.

I was sent a variety to review, and my goodness, it was heaven! Chocolate heaven! I even used half a pot to ice some cakes for a charity bake sale so versatile too. I think it would be best enjoyed as a family (or on your own!) with a platter of fruit to dip.

They are available at www.bmcglobal.com and prices start at £6.50, going up to £20 for the larger gift sets.

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Verdict: These are AMAZING. Never mind dad, can I eat them all now? 9 / 10

 

 

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Mothers Day Gifts

2 Apr

What to get the mother who has everything. Chocolates, check. Flowers, check. Smellies for her bath, check. But after that it can be really hard to not get repetitive after so many years. Here are a few of my favourite ideas for this year:

Globee
I love the idea of this, a mini glob of your favourite city. It could be a reminder of a special trip abroad with your mam, filled with fun memories. I think it would look lovely on a desk, or on a shelf displayed. These are available at http://www.globee.co.uk and prices start at £9.95

Verdict: 8/10

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Stocking fillers for women

19 Dec

Every woman loves her stocking filled to the brim with chocolates and sweeties. However, the difference between a standard stocking offering and a fabulous bespoke Christmas stocking is the little extras that you include. Jewellery is an excellent choice, as its not just a novelty or token gift, but genuinely reflects what you perceive that persons style to be.

Clea Silk
This year I recommend the Clea Silk range. Sourced from an eclectic, contemporary and unique collection of gold plated and silver jewellery found on their extensive travels, Clea Silk use only precious metals and semi-precious stones in their pieces.

Designed and sourced by owner Charlie Silk, a self confessed magpie, these elegant luxurious and timeless designs evoke the natural elements – beautiful objects which draw the eye and speak to the heart and appeal to the magpie in all of us.

I love the whole concept of a gift that is not just a mass produced high street concoction, but has been beautifully designed and well thought out. I have tested the ‘Spinning Gold Star Necklace’ and it is very easy to wear, light and elegant, plus I received comments from friends about how unusual the design is, which is always a bonus! The range can be viewed and purchased at www.cleasilk.com and there is a variation of eye catching peices, as well as more understated peices.

Spinning Gold Star Necklace

Here are some more peices from Clea Silk that would brighten any ladies stocking:
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Gift for cider lovers!

10 Dec

With 2013 the year of austerity measures and a nation of ‘super scrimpers’ it comes as no surprise that sales of home brew kits are on the up. Trust us Brits to avoid cutting out our alcohol habit by making it ourselves! For the experienced brewer I would recommend home store Wilkinsons, it sells kits but also individual items for every batch if wine and beer imaginable.

However finding a good cider kit is a bit trickier – and when giving a gift you have to be careful that the follow-up equipment will not cost the earth. There is nothing worse than receiving a gift that you then have to spend more money to be able to use. That is why this year I have tried, tested and can recommend Victor’s Drinks cider kit. It comes in a box, with everything inside. All you need to do is add water, and 20 pints of apple cider are ready to drink, share or even offer round a more sparkling gathering, in ten days. The box is actually quite compact, even better for chilling.

Business Development Manager, Cacelia Broadbent, explained, “We’ve had so many focus groups working on this, and the overwhelming response is that Victor’s is as close to off-the- shelf drinking as it gets. It’s clean, tasty and doesn’t deplete the wallet.” She went on to say, “2013 has seen duty rise on alcohol and supermarkets being held to ransom over minimum pricing. One thing is for sure, alcohol is only going to get more expensive, while people’s budgets are going to be under a lot more strain.”

The kits have no added sugar or preservatives. All that is inside is apple syrup (from real apples!) and a little bit of malt extract. There is even a handy YouTube video to show you how it’s done here

After 12 days (the recommended ten and two for good luck!) the result was a delicious sweet and very easy to drink pint. The only drawback is that the bag inside did expand a little so i had to decant to chill (I have a tiny fridge) At £20 per kit this is only £1 per pint, great for parties but also fun to make. I’m sure that waiting for the brew to be ready improves the flavour somehow! The kits are available in major online retailers and also at Victors Drinks

Verdict: A refreshing 9/10

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Christmas for Kitty

7 Dec

For us Brits, advent calendars are another one of those strange customs that we blindly follow each Christmas. I know some grown ups who still love to buy an advent calendar for themselves each year, myself included. Yet, it lacks the same element of excitement as a adult. Let’s face it, if we fancy a chocolate we can just go and buy some chocolate. After a quick calculation I realised that the average 26 year old has probably opened 575 little doors, and eaten 575 little chocolates in their lifetime. Less if you shared your calendars, and more if you stole chocolates from your siblings! And to those poor children who had the calendars with no chocolates, the ones with only pictures behind the door I can only imagine that as an adult you have given up on the ‘excitement’ altogether.
Dreamies have found the perfect solution – advent calendars for cats. At first I thought the calendar did not appear to be good value, if each door only housed one treat. However on closer inspection i realised that each door actually has approximately 10 treats inside, and on the 25th December your kitty will receive a really speedy wind up toy mouse. My cats both absolutely love this, they come running to the crinkle of cardboard and rub against my legs waiting for the little treats to be released. Thank you Dreamies, for putting a bit of excitement back into my advent calendar experience!

With prices from £2.99 in supermarkets and retailers such as Amazon it won’t break the bank either.

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Verdict: A Purfect 10/10

Christmas for Baby

29 Nov

Buying for babies at Christmas can be tricky business. If its your own baby chances are you will be struggling to make ends meet, never mind stocking up on costly toys. If it’s for a relative or friend you have to tread carefully, choose a clothing item that is not their style and they may politely smile and never dress the little one in it! High street toys always hold the risk of duplicates, so I would always opt for something a little different. This year I recommend two great gifts. First up is the Kiddicare Woodland Musical light-up owl. It is made from an extra soft fabric with different textures to stimulate the senses. It’s also quite neutral in colour – so it should suit the tastes of most parents. When you pull the attached mushroom down it softly plays the classic Brahm’s lullaby, and the owl’s face lights up. It also has an easy to attach knot to tie onto cots and pushchairs. The owl is available from www.kiddicare.com and is currently priced at £12.99 with all toys on a 3 for 2 promotion, and regular half price sales.

Verdict: Great value and very cute 8/10

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Second is for expectant parents or those with new babies. ClevaMemories, is a keepsake suitcase and memory book – a real time capsule for babies and new parents to fill over time, and reopen over years to come. The suitcase itself is light, and at first it looks a bit small. However when you open it up it has handy boxes for first tooth, lock of hair, hospital I.D. band and spaces in the memory book for photographs with designated sections to write notes. I think actually all in all it is just the right amount of space. Everything within has room to personalise to your baby, and even the front can be personalised with your baby’s name using stick on letters which are included. While I have often thought how easy it would be for one to make a set like this themselves this has a certain quality about it, and is cleverly compact. And for £24.99 at Amazon I think this gift is good value – to keep those priceless memories safely stored. The memory book includes some prompts that I would never have thought of if I were to make my own for a friend so on this occasion I have to say home made is not always best! It would be the perfect Christmas gift for a new family.

Verdict: a gift to treasure 9/10

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Halloween Party Treats

10 Oct

If you want to make a good centre piece for your ‘treat table’ at a Halloween Party this year, I recommend making a sweet tree like the one below. You will need:

– 1x Pencil

– 1x polystyrene ball (I used the inner of a Christmas bauble – its far cheaper than craft store polystyrene balls)

– double sided sticky foam (I get mine from the 99p store)

– gravel

– silver spray paint

– small terracotta plant pot

– 1x ribbon

– 1x small tray of Ferrero Rocher

Yum!

Yum!

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