Tag Archives: presents

Fathers Day Gift Guide

12 May

With Father’s day only a month away, I’ve tried and tested some really unique products, to help with your gift buying decisions!

Janjira Grapefruit & Tangerine Therapy Massage Candle
A lot of people only give candles as gifts to women. My dad for one, certainly loves them too – as does my boyfriend, so they should be a versatile gift for everyone!
I love the Janjira range of candles, as they are spa-inspired they have a glorious scent that is made from natural ingredients including beeswax, soybean and coconut oil  that is paraben and SLS free.
As it heats, the candle also produces an oil that you can use for massage, I love that this then doesn’t waste any of the wax at all. it comes with a handy lid too, which if like me you have pets running around is useful for after you blow it out.
Available to buy at www.janjira.co.uk at £30 each.

Untitledccc

Verdict: Such a strong fruity smell 8 / 10

Jockey Everyday Socks
Before designing underwear in 1935, Jockey originally began as a sock production company, with its origins dating back to as early as 1876. their ‘everyday’ sock range are a great Fathers day gift, really useful but also of such a lovely texture that they do feel special too. They’re made of cotton, to help the feet breath but have a tight top which will keep them held up also, and I love the striped ones in particular!

Available to buy at www.jockey.co.uk/collections/socks £9 for three pairs.

socks

Verdict: really good quality, nice and easy gift giving! 8 / 10

ChariTable Signature Dish Book
For the father who has every standard cook book, why not treat him to a book that is filled with the signature dishes of 365 top chefs (including John Williams at The Ritz)

ChariTable Bookings is a philanthropic restaurant booking platform that raises funds for UK registered charities at absolutely no cost – when making a booking through charitablebookings.org £1 for EVERY diner will be donated to charity. They have launched this book just in time for fathers day, and the recipes are amazing! I love how full and sturdy the book is, it would take my dad months to cook his way through this.

Available at https://charitablebookings.org/signature-dish/about for £40, of which £5 will go to the charity of your choice.

Untitled

Verdict: A little pricey, but given the sheer volume of recipes, it may be worth it 7 / 10

Lyons Coffee Bags
For the coffee loving dad, surprise him with a new product, Lyons Coffee Bags – they’re just like a tea bag but with freshly ground coffee beans! Available at major supermarkets for under £3, I think that these are such a handy idea when you are in a ruch for delicious coffee and no more terrible instant. One thing that I would say however, is tht they really do take up a lot of room in the mug – they are 4x as large as a teabag! So have a big mug ready or there will be spills.

UCC Lyons Coffee Bags packaging

Verdict: A delicious 8 / 10

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13 Sleeps until Christmas!

12 Dec

13 sleeps – two weeks – may seem like plenty of time to stock up on presents. But the early bird catches the worm so take today’s gift inspiration and find the perfect gifts to spoil your loved ones!

 

Grants Family Reserve Whiskey
Grant’s whiskey is Scotland’s oldest family run blend – I remember my Grandad used to keep a bottle of grants in the cupboard and have a little nip in the evening. It’s a timeless classic and a perfect gift for any whiskey lover. Grants Family Reserve 70cl is only £17.19 and available in most supermarkets too so super for any last minute present buyers as you can grab a bottle on your way even! I liked that it was very smooth and easy to drink – I’m sure there are ‘fancy’  whiskeys with a sharper woodier taste that a connoisseur may keep for special occasions, but actually for a Friday night tipple by the TV the mellow flavour works very well.

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Verdict: 8 / 10

 

HoMedics Foldaway Footspa
Ah the footspa! A classic go to gift for your mam, dad, nana or grandad. But… they are usually so big and clunky really hard to store. HoMedics have the solution, with their foldaway footspa. It has a soothing vibrating massage, and raised acunodes for stimulating those tired tootsies. No more refills with the kettle either as it’s keep warm feature proves to be mega useful! Add some bath salts, and relax! Available at www.homedics.co.uk for £39.99

ft2

ft1
Verdict: 8 / 10

Stampin’ Up!
For the crafters out there I would recommend anything from the Stampin’ Up! collection. My favourite is the Forever Evergreen Project Kit, where for around £20 you can build your own gorgous table top christmas trees. The kit includes all of the ribbons, trims, dowels hooks and snowflakes as well as the high quality die-cut cardstock.

tree
Verdict: A very fun 7 / 10

 

Wisdom While you Work
If you are looking for something a little different to gift to your children or grandchildren this year, Libbla Kelly has released a book ‘Wisdom While You Work’ a mindfullness gem full of core values and ‘pass me down’ pearls of wisdom with a tear and share section in the middle. The book is a culmination of Libbla’s life; being a nanny, having 12 godchildren, nephews and nieces, cousins, stepsons etc… There has not been one day without the presence of children in her life which makes her ideally placed to write such a book!
Priced at £10.00 (plus P&P), Libbla’s book may be purchased direct from www.wisdomwhileyouwork.com
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Verdict: 7 / 10

Freedom Brewery’s Taster Box
British pioneers of craft beer, Freedom Brewery, has the perfect gift option for the discerning craft beer fan. Their award winning range of craft lager comes as a gift pack – choose from Organic Helles, East India Pale and King Koing to Boston Beech, Liberty Pils and Freedom Authentic.
Available at Freedom Brewery online and other specialist retailers – choose three bottles for £6, six bottles for £10 or a case of twenty four for £30.
freedom
Verdict: A very tasty 9 / 10

Cake Boy Hazelnut Ale
All your boyfriends sweet and beer dreams have come true this year, because Meantime Brewing Company has teamed up with the Master Pâtissier to create ‘Cake Boy Hazelnut Ale’, a nutty dark ale that’s perfect for the festive season.

The ale is really deep and refreshing, the nuttiness pokes through the 5% alcohol and gives you a lovely warm winter buzz! It would make a fab stocking filler, and is available at www.meantimebrewing.com for £2.10 per bottle

ale
Verdict: 8 / 10

CHIKA’s Snacks
Fill your stockings this year with healthy alternatives that will help for a guilt free Christmas! (There’s enough calories in that big dinner never mind chocolates on top!) CHIKA’s is a flavoursome, gluten free, non GMO snack range, and they have launched ‘Snack4Change’, a new snack box initiative designed entirely to fund and support the schooling of underprivileged children in west Africa.
Each subscription purchased funds one child’s school fees and contains four delicious CHIKA’S snacks such as chili plantain crisps, smoked almonds and hand toasted peanuts. Priced at an introductory £4.99, one box sold sends one child to school. From spiced plaintain to salt and pepper cashews I have heartily nibbled my way through the collection – and can safely say that they are delicious!
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Verdict: 7 / 10

Twist, Drink & Go – Zingo
Root7 have created a nifty little bottle that they call Zingo. Very catchy! You add your half lemon, lime, orange, whatever citrus fruit to the bottom, and it gets speared onto the reamer. You then add water to the main bottle and the flavours infuse as you drink. I love that this is a healthy way to enjoy a fruity drink, no chemicals, preservatives or sweeteners – just natural fruit and water.
xingo

drink-ngo
Verdict: 8 / 10

 

4 weeks until Christmas!

30 Nov

With the Christmas countdown now officially upon us, I hope that you enjoy part one of my Christmas gift guide. As usual expect a mixture of quirky ideas, fab value products and those luxury ‘splurge’ gifts that are too unique to miss!

Vintage Puzzles
Gibson Games have created the perfect gift for puzzlers this Christmas. Their Vintage Kellogg’s puzzle tin has 250 pieces perfect for cornflake lovers and the tin is just so pretty to keep afterwards. If crisps are more your thing they also have a double sided Pringle’s puzzle gift. I love that it is double-sided one side with the tub as the main image for beginners, and the other a stack of crisps a lot harder to complete!

The games are sold online or you can find a local retailer here

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apr
Verdict: A truly unique 9 / 10

Relax, sooth and pamper
Treat someone with a perfect stocking filler to relax and unwind (I think we all know a few people who could do with this!) in the form of Olverum Bath Oil.

First produced in 1931, it has a ‘mystical reputation’ for its rejuvenating effects, which come from the aromatic blend of essential oils said to ease stress and relax tension in both mind and body, aiding restorative sleep.

aov

It’s a luxury gift – as the 125ml size is £26.00 but it is also highly concentrated as only 5ml is needed per bath. You can find Olverum in Harvey Nichols, Liberty, Fenwick and at www.houseoffraser.co.uk

Verdict: At first it was hard to get my mind around the price tag. But… my muscles loved it. To quote a little bump and grind: “My mind is telling me no – but my body, my body is telling me yes!” 8 / 10

For the party girl
Who doesn’t love a great cocktail? Yet when you kick off your shoes on a Friday night in the house so often its the boring wine or beer that we open. I love the idea of this little  Kahlúa and Absolut Vodka Expresso Martini kit. With the small bottles and gorgeous martini glass (and even the coffee!) it has everything that you need for this lush cocktail. At only £10 and available in major supermarkets such as Tesco it’s a bargain too – the perfect price to jazz up your secret Santa offering this year.

aexp
Verdict: It is just to delicious so it has to be a 10 / 10 gift!

 

Coffee Lovers
For a gift that will definitely be used why not give the coffee lover in your life a bag of their favourite addiction. The Sailors’ Society have recently launched an ethically sourced ‘BySea’ coffee. It makes an ideal Christmas gift and with 100 per cent of the profits going towards our work supporting seafarers and their families. The Brazillian reserve is my favourite with a smooth deep flavour, but if you like a bit more crema in your cup the Indian reserve is even richer. Very delicious!

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BySea coffee is available to buy at www.bysea.org/shop and is £4.95 a bag.

Verdict: a delicious 9 / 10

Beauty gift with a difference
We all receive beauty gifts at Christmas and some are for pure pampering purposes – but if you know someone well enough you may also know that they would appreciate a beauty solution with a practical purpose. Beauty company Remescar have just launched a new eye bag and dark circles cream which uses ‘Eyesyl’ a technology developed by Sylphar (the company behind Remescar) that works on 3 key actions;

·         Skin tightening

·         Decrease water accumulation

·         Micromuscular-pause

This claims to effectively and immediately erases eye bags and dark circles in just two minutes. I tried this product out for two weeks, and I did notice a difference – I can only imagine it would be a welcome addition to your Mam’s beauty box if bags or dark circles are a concern for her.

arem
Remescar is available in all major Boots UK stores – and online – for £29.95.

Verdict: 7 / 10

*Note: Some of these products were sent to me by the retailer in exchange for an impartial review. As a northern lass I am quite opinionated, and all views are my own. Honestly, if I hate something I will tell you, and if I love it I will rave about it.

Last minute Fathers Day Gifts!

18 Jun

It’s never to late to buy your dad a bit more for Father’s Day. Don’t bankrupt yourself, but do spoil him! Here are a few of my faves:

 

SodaStream Power

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Give your dad a blast from the past – only reinvented. We had a SodaStream as kids, and it seemed so magical and fun. As an adult wow have they come on – they are nifty little gadgets. By using tap water you keep all the fluoride to protect your teeth, and can add any flavour you want. What’s more big bottles of water goes flat in a blink, this means you can make your own whenever you want.  I love that you can choose three levels of fizz – so if like me you want mildly sparkling and not super fizz you can make to fit.

There are so many new flavours that you can add including Elderflower, Cloudy Lemonade, Cranberry Raspberry and Pink Grapefruit with a large bottle spreading a long way at £3.99.

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SodaStream is available at Argos, The Range, Lakeland, Robert Dyas, Dunelm Mill, Ocado, Amazon, Selfridges, ASDA and Sainsbury with prices ranging from £89.99 – £149 for the Power model featured below.

Verdict: 10 / 10

 

 

HAIG CLUB WHISKEY
aaaaTreat your dad to HAIG CLUB’s unique blend of butterscotch and toffee notes, with this super fancy whiskey. In a gorgeous bottle and tastes superb too!

A 70cl bottle is available from Selfridges and Waitrose stores, nationwide at around £45, and a mini 5cl bottle is £4.50 from The Whiskey Shop.

Verdict: 9 / 10

 

Animal Frieze High Ball Glasses

To go along with that whiskey why not add a high quality glass? The Animal Frieze High Ball Glasses from Peach Perfect are handsome, and the perfect size for a short drink and room for ice.

stagPriced at £9.50 each they don’t come cheap – but if you’re having a fancy whiskey you must have a fancy cup!

Verdict: 8 / 10

 

 

 

*Note: these products were sent to me by the retailer in exchange for an impartial review. However this northern lass is quite opinionated, and all views are my own. Honestly, if I hate something I will tell you and if I love it I will rave about it!

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

 

Gadget Accessory Gifts

18 Dec

For the iPhone, new to retailers shelves this Christmas is the Tactus Smooth stick on phone cover. Available at online for £9.99, they come in a range of colours. With ‘micro suction technology’ (what on earth is that?!) the covers do not leave a sticky residue. I just love the feel of the cover, so smooth, like a squidgy gel. I haven’t tested this one out for durability (I need my iPhone in one piece too much for that!) but I do worry that without protected edges it may not be the best cover for those prone to accidental dropping incidents.

Tactus Gel Cover

Tactus Gel Cover

Verdict: A cool 6 / 10

For the iPad mini the Tactus Buckuva brand take a modern accessory and gives it an old fashioned twist. They have designed a case that makes your iPad mini fit snugly into a protected cover, with a book-bound look. Available in black, white, orange, turquoise and green, the case has a very secure feel to it and while not cheap (available from Argos at £24.99) I feel that value accessories for gadgets can often be a false economy in that they do not last as long, don’t work as well and most importantly do not protect your product.

Tactus Buckuva

Tactus Buckuva

Verdict: 8 / 10

Make your own wrapping paper

10 Dec

There is nothing worse than running out of wrapping paper on Christmas Eve. As a quick fix, simply print your own! Using microsoft word, paste in a picture of the person that you are gifting, and adding a bright border. Copy this and create a page of back to back pictures. Finally – press print. Remember to select the correct settings so that the ink does not smudge. Finally wrap the gift and add a matching ribbon and bow. It will look like you went to great efforts to create a great personal touch and this way you can avoid the oxford street madness!

Personalised Tanuka Paper

Personalised Tanuka Paper

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

9 Dec

And for once I don’t mind! Never mind that the gifts were on the shelves since October, it is now a dark, cold and wet December and the perfect time to get festive. That’s because for me Christmas involves lots of booze, sumptuous food and fun times with friends and family. So whether you’re drinking it or gifting it here are some of the best for 2014:

Line up the Christmas Booze

Whether its for gifting, or drinking, t’tis the season to be jolly!

 

Oddka
This drink is a bit of Christmas fun. As the name would suggest, it is a bit odd! With it’s dusty pink colour it would certainly make a pretty stocking filler. I tried this drink as a short and found it very sweet and palatable, however I was stuck as what to mix it with for a long party drink. In the end because it reminded me so much of strawberry milkshake I tried it out with skimmed milk as a mini cocktail. It was actually very yummy, if a little different. This vodka is 20% proof and retails at around £10. At present Sainsburys do have a sale, with £2.50 off  making it even better value for money.

Oddka

Oddka

Verdict: not for everyone but a unique gift 7/10

Three Barrels Honey
French grape brandy, Three Barrels, has been blended with honey flavours to create Three Barrels Honey – perfect for a christmas gift. I created one of the Three Barrels cocktails, and thought it was very tasty! I would love to feed a christmas cake with this brandy, it would certainly add to the flavour.

THREE BARRELS HONEY FIZZ
Glass: Chilled flute
Method: Pour in order listed and stir
Ice: None
Ingredients:
25ml Three Barrels Honey
Top with Champagne or dry sparkling wine (Cava or Prosecco)
Garnish: Lemon oils sprayed and discard zest

Three Barrels Honey

Three Barrels Honey

Three Barrels Honey is available in Morrisons at around £17 per bottle.

Verdict: A very sweet 8 / 10 

Opihr Gin
While I usually see gin as my new year drink, tasty with slimline tonic while detoxing from the Christmas baileys, I do love to receive it as a gift in time for the new year celebrations. I reviewed Opihr’s Oriental Spiced gin, and a tasty treat it was indeed! There is something very luxurious about the bottle, whether it’s the little tassel or the exotic look to the bottle it’s most certainly aesthetically pleasing. Now to the drinking! This gin has a very district flavour with Cubebs from Indonesia, Black Pepper from India & Coriander from Morocco. It’s made by G&J Distillers, England’s oldest producer of high quality gin since 1761, and is priced at £23.00 in Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.

A beautiful gift bottle

A beautiful gift bottle

 

Verdict: Santa certainly wouldn’t say no to this warming tipple on Christmas Eve! 9/10

 

Rum
The Wild Geese has launched a collection of three Caribbean rums, new to the UK this winter:

– The Wild Geese Golden Rum – uses hand picked parcels of aged rum, matured for up to five years. Butterscotch tones and pronounced aromatic spice.

– The Wild Geese Premium Rum – an intense, bright gold blend, aged for up to eight years. Takes you on a journey through the Caribbean, with pronounced hints of a soft, aged Bajan heritage and honeyed aromoatic Guyanese and Jamaican pot still character.

– The Wild Geese Caribbean Spiced Rum – a golden rum with a heart of spice. Full and sweet with a layer of toffee sponge, dark chocolate and cinnamon.
First and foremost this rum makes a beautiful gift. The bottle is emblazoned with a metal and diamanté skull! I quite enjoy that this brand steps away from the tropical paradise theme that we usually see with Rum brands, and instead goes for option two – pirates!

rum

Now for the tasting. I’m not a massive rum connoisseur. But after a trip to Cuba recently I have been introduced to some lovely rums, which would put my cheap bottles of past for house party mojoto’s to shame. This rum certainly falls into the premium category, I mixed with pineapple and was surprised at the mellow yet strong flavour – with no nasty aftertaste. Definitely a thumbs up! You can buy The Wild Geese at specialist drinks suppliers.

Verdict: a ho ho ho and a bottle of rum 8/10

 

Top Tip: 
To make your Christmas booze trolley even cheaper this year sign up to Ocado as a new customer and with an £80 spend you can use a £20 voucher. At present their drinks offers are even cheaper than Asda, Tesco and Sainsburys with a litre of Bombay sapphire at £17, a litre of Baileys £12 and a litre of Smirnoff Ice red at £15.

If it is wine (including mulled and sparkling) or port that tickles your fancy Sainsburys currently have an offer where if you purchase six bottles you save a hefty 25%.

Christmas for Cat Lovers

27 Oct

Ok, let’s talk about the elephant in the room… My name’s Rachel and I am a cat-oholic.  Since becoming single I find myself sort of saying it under my breath like “yeah I have two cats” because of the crazy cat lady stigma. But after much soul searching I decided to come out as a cat owner as it were and deal with the consequences. After all – any man I meet will have to like my cats if they are going to be with me. “Meh, I think cats are alright” will no longer be my tagline.

So…I love cats! What is not to love? Their cute little paws, the way they give you a little nudge with a nose when you cry, as though to say ‘hey! Why are you crying, come and play instead?’ The way that you can provide complete bliss for your furry friend just by waving a ribbon creates lovely times and lots of giggles, and while I don’t run home thinking cats, cats, cats I do think that my house became a home the day that these spiky little bundles arrived. Cats are inherently selfish creatures, so to gain their love feels like a reward and humans do ponder over their ways – that much is clear from all of the literature out there.

My Cutie Dexter :-)

My Cutie Dexter 🙂

Today a new book has launched called Meow – A book of happiness for cat lovers. By Anouska Jones it currently retails at £12.95. This glossy hardback is a compendium of quotes that aim to capture the essence of this fascination. I actually really recommend this book for those cat lovers who hate books about cats. Rather than looking at the authors experience of carts, or god forbid doing it from a cat’s perspective. I actually hate those books with a passion (and trust me I have been given a few, the curse and blessing for a cat owner is cat related gifts) and much prefer books such as Simon’s Cat, which give a bit of a comedic angle on the crazy little things that cats do. This book has a feel of that about it – in that it collates the ponderings of many people.

meow
Verdict: 7/10 definitely a one to get for cat owners if you are stuck for ideas!

 

 

BECAUSE CATS…

While I am the topic of cat related gifts I must quickly mention another product I spotted recently on Amazon and have instantly ordered. Firstly it felt like it sums everything up in two words, secondly it is an absolute bargain at £1.79. Be aware as with all international orders this takes ages to arrive, so order early!

Because Cats

Verdict: 9/10 does what it says on the tin!

Christmas Traditions

3 Dec

As a child the Christmas buzz would begin a day early – on Christmas Eve. We would each get one present to open that night, and usually a few sweets too, and the present would always be a brand new pair of pyjamas. It made Christmas that bit more special, going to bed all clean and fresh in our jazzy new threads, knowing that when would wake Santy would have been and gone.

In modern times, pyjamas have been cast aside and with colder winters of late, toasty warm ‘onsies’ are now the new trend. Last year I blogged about the trend and I was a bit unsure as to what I thought, this year however I have been converted and won’t go back! I have tested out the nicest, cosiest and cutest onsie on the market – and I am huge fan. The best onsies are to be found at The All-In-One Company www.the-all-in-one-company.co.uk where you can design and customise your own bespoke onsies. Options include different shapes, fabrics, slippers or no slippers, drop seat or not. My favourite is that you can even add your own ears, tails, and embellished text / logo. The sizes are even bespoke – avoid the ‘camel toe’ onsie look that is a particular risk for tall men and women! I designed my onsie in lamb-fawn material, with ribbed sleeves, detached slippers with non-slip grip, a full length zip, bear hood and finally the logo ‘Huw Bear’. My cute bear certainly approved, and he can be seen modelling the onsie below.

The onsie that I designed is made of a soft flock like material, with a slightly tougher interior, and the zip is conveniently long. Elasticated hand and feet cuffs keep the onsie in place and cute teddy bear ears promise to transform even the most serious adult into an adorable cuddly creature. I would give these a 10/10 for quality and even though they are on the pricey side – an adult onsie can set you back up to £90 depending how many extra customisations you choose. After much research on the hight street however, I have been unable to find such a high quality specimen. Rather than spend £25 for one that won’t last or wash well, I would rather have one of these to last me a really long time. I would certainly recommend as a gift for adults, and for those with children the baby and child versions are too cute for words.

Huw Bear

Huw Bear

I had to try it!

I had to try it!

Verdict: 10/10

Fathers Day 2013

4 Jun

There are two great fathers day card offers this year. First is Tesco Cards – they are currently offering half price on all fathers day cards with the added option to pre pay and get 30% extra credit. This offer can be viewed at www.tesco-cards.com.
Second up is the current deal from Funky Pigeon – 50% off their top 50 Fathers Day card designs. There is also the option to pre pay and gain 25% extra credit and I have landed a discount code for an extra 25% off all cards (up to three cards per code) just visit www.funkypigeon.com and enter FUNKYASP2013 in the ‘Promo Code’ box. An added extra with Funky Pigeon is the option to add a note to the envelope to say ‘Do not open until xxxx’ which is really useful to keep the suprise for special occasions but ensure that your card arrives in time.

See the card that I made below for £1.49

blog post 1

Verdict: Funky pigeon is 10/10 for choice wheras Tesco Cards are only 6/10 for choice, although they are a bit cheaper.

Keeping Mam Sweet

5 Mar
The bests edible gifts

Shops are filled full of Mother’s Day goodies, ‘mum’ shaped biscuits, chocolates and cakes charged at 3x the usual value for the privilege. Much like valentines day, Mother’s Day has gone commercial and with busy lives commercial can be rather convenient – if you shop in the right places to avoid paying a fortune. My favourite sweet treats this year are from Asda, I have sampled a few if their goodies and particularly love their chocolate heart priced at £5. It is very similar to the famous Hotel Chocolate slabs, with thick milk chocolate marbled with white and pink, sprinkled with a generous helping of dried raspberries. I also love their choice of biscuits and chocolate sets, I know it’s very cheesy but something about a chocolate or biscuit in the shape to fit the occasion really does make it taste better!

Verdict: a tasty 9/10

Heart shaped chocolate £5

Heart shaped chocolate £5

 

Shoe chocolates £2

Shoe chocolates £2

 

Mum shortbread £1

Mum shortbread £1

 

 

Gifts for him…

13 Dec

Gifts for him…

It can be hard deciding what to buy that special man in your life (after all who can afford an iPad or whatever gadget he is really hankering after!) All too often women rely on the good old staple gift of underwear or socks. Luckily I have found a way to make this a bit more exciting!

Jockey (www.jockeyuk.com) have a really fun festive range this year. My favourite is the Jockey Countryside Quebec Short Trunk (aka snowflake pants!) which can be bought at www.deadgoodundies.com. They are tight, they are tiny, and the snowflakes make for the perfect excuse to give them to your man. At around £13 I don’t think they are badly priced either.

Well hello Mr Snowflake Pants...

Another must have in the dreary winter weather is the Jockey Body Suit (aka Sexy Onesie!) Imagine smart, tight underwear seamlessly attached to an easy to unbutton t-shirt. Quirky thermal wear at its best, after all the hot men we know need to stay warm this winter too! (Please note the model in the image does not come with these gifts – boo!) The only drawback is at around £28 it would be cheaper just to get some undies and a separate t-shirt. Though that wouldn’t be as much fun…

Fasten up those buttons, you may get cold!

Well I certainly cannot wait to give these gifts to my boyfriend this Christmas, and unwrap them myself!

Verdict: A very sexy 9/10

Puurrfect Presents…

10 Nov

Chistmas Gift Guide

Puurrfect Presents…

If, like myself, you are addicted to the joy of giving at Christmas you will find just about any excuse to buy the perfect present for every member of your family. There is not a single aspect about the gifting process – whether it is giving or receiving, wrapping or unwrapping – that I do not love. Even looking at the neatly stacked gifts under the tree gives me a shiver of excitement. For pet lovers, Christmas is yet another excuse to spoil those furry little creatures that give their cuddles freely and can put a smile on even the grumpiest of faces.

One of the best gifts that I have found to date for cats is the cat play house from iwantoneofthose.com (http://www.iwantoneofthose.com/gifts/gifts/pet-gifts.list) For £14.99 you can order a plane, tank, Cadillac or fire engine, and the concept is a flat pack cardboard set that you can then slot together to build the play house for your cat (I presume the idea was borne from the fact that cats love jumping into cardboard empty boxes) Upon arrival, I was very surprised at how large (though flat) the box was, the whole set comprised of under 10 pieces, which is quite handy if you do not like the ‘fiddly bits’. It did take me about 20mins to put together, as my cat Cleo was already intrigued and tried to lend a helping paw. This in itself was a rather fun activity!

Checking it out...

Confused...

After building the plane, it did take me a while to coax Cleo in. As it has a hole in the bottom (which isnt really very accessible) and a hole in the top it did feel like the wings got in the way a little. In this sense I think Cleo, being quite a curvaceous cat, would have been better suited to the Cadillac or fire truck. That said after throwing a few treats in there she quickly overcame her fears and was jumping in and out happily.

The plane now sits in our living room and Cleo loves it. I can imagine on Christmas day it will keep her occupied and away from our presents (especially if we throw our used wrapping paper in there!)

...Pro!

As an added extra, I am told by my partner that it also makes a great hat….

Verdict: A very fun 9/10

Upside down it makes an excellent hat.

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