Tag Archives: shopping

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.

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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.

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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

4 Days Until Valentines!

11 Feb

There is still time to get some lovely treats for your loved one. Spend the weekend on a bit of retail therapy and check out some of these lovely options:

Valentines Cocktails
Absolut have launched the latest of their limited edition bottles, Absolut Electrik. The metallic range – available in blue and silver – are available at supermarkets RRP £18.55 and is very very sleek looking. It would make a great valentines gift, as the cocktails you create can be shared with your loved one.
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Why not try one of Absoluts Electrik Cocktail Recipes?

Blue Mule
1 part Absolut Vodka
2 parts Ginger Beer
Garnish with lime wedge

ElectriK blue
1 part Absolut Vodka
1 part Blue Curacao
1/2 part Lemon Juice
Shake!

Neon Lights:
2 parts Absolut Vodka
1 1/5 parts Lemon Juice
1 1/5 parts Grapefruits Juice
4/5 part Simple Syrup
1/5 part Ginger Syrup

Verdict: A delicious 9 / 10

Jockey
The Jockey range is my partners all time favourite – the hug him in the right places just nicely! I won’t embarrass him with an in action picture, instead I will use one of the model below!
Visit www.jockey.co.uk and prices start from £10 in their current sale, so very cost effective!

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Verdict: 8 / 10
It’s in the Bag!
I love the Hello Gorgeous range from Zazzle. This cute personalised bag would go down well as a present this Sunday – or could even be used as the ‘wrapping’ to a jewellery or small gift. Available online, customised for £27.99. A little on the pricey end of the scale, but at the moment they also have a 25% off voucher code: GIFT4MUM2016

zazzle bag

Verdict: A gorgeous 8 / 10

Dotcomgiftshop
If you are looking for gifts that will get the ultimate girlfriend seal of approval head to the Dotcomgiftshop Everything is so pretty, functional and cute that you could literally just pick anything. Their Valentines range is gorgeous (and delivery is free over £10 – though get in there quick!) I have included some of my favourites below. Prices start at under a pound and all items can be bought at www.dotcomgiftshop.com

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Verdict: A very cute 8 / 10

 

Cook up a storm
Charlie Bigham‘s, makers of some very fancy dishes for two, have launched  limited edition romantic red packaging just in time for Valentine’s Day. The meals are very delicious (if at the higher end of the budget) and will certainly give you more time with your partner as opposed to cooking from scratch. I was very impressed with the yummy steak pies, in their own ceramic dishes. The Pastry was amazing!

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Verdict: 7 / 1o

 

Booze glorious booze!
Valentines may be on a sunday so the hard liquor might be out of the question, but a few nice beers with a romantic dinner would go down very well. The team at There’s A Beer For That has carefully handpicked a selection of quality beers for you to enjoy, but if that’s not enough, there are many more great beers available, which you can find at beerforthat.com

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Blue Moon (660ml)
Available From: Tesco’s, Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s
RRP: £1.95
ABV: 5.4%
Blue Moon is a refreshing, medium-bodied, unfiltered Belgian-style wheat beer. It has a uniquely complex taste with notes of citrus, banana, orange peel, coriander and a welcome spicy bite. Try it with a slice of orange to complement the zesty fruitiness of this classic wheat ale.

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Deus Brut De Flandres (75cl)
Available From: TheDrinkShop.com
RRP: £17.09
ABV: 11%
Deus Brut des Flandres is a champagne beer, of medium body and effervescence. You will detect complex, flowery and biscuity flavours as well as peach, gooseberry and lemon followed by a long slightly sour, dry bitter finish. Deus Champagne Beer provides a revolutionary taste sensation for those seeking a matrix of styles.

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Birra Moretti (660ml)
Available From: Tesco’s, Morrison’s, Asda, Sainsbury’s
RRP: £1.99
ABV: 4.6%
Inject some classic Italian romance with a Birra Moretti, a beer that’s brewed to a recipe first used in 1859. This pale lager offers aromas of vanilla, honey and corn with a refreshing sweet taste. There’s also an underlying grassiness that’s brought to life by decent carbonation and falls into a dry finish.

 

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Leffe Ruby (750ml)
Available From: Tesco’s, Morrison’s, Asda
RRP: £2.49
ABV: 5%
Leffe Ruby is a red, refreshing beer with aromas of raspberry, Turkish delight and roses – how very Valentine’s. It has a natural freshness that’s given depth by strawberry, red berry and sharp lemon flavours. You will also enjoy traces of spices, forest fruit and rosewood. There’s a sweet, fruity finish with a subtle dryness. Pour into a Leffe chalice to release all of the red fruit aromas.

 

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Meantime Indian Pale Ale (750ml)
Available From: Waitrose
RRP: £5.35
ABV: 7.4%
This fantastic fat bottomed bottle of British IPA comes champagne corked and cries out to be shared. Enjoy sweet aromas of toffee and caramel as you pour and taste, with extra earthiness and herbal notes leading to a spicy and bitter finish. Superb with Indian cuisine, English cheese and a perfect date.

Verdict: A very tasty 8 / 10

 

Orgasms or Chocolate?
I read a statistic once that said women would choose chocolate over orgasms any day. Why choose – have both!
It’s traditional to buy your partner some sort of treat for Valentines, and the Lindor range is nothing short of heavenly. What’s more you can pick them up in any supermarket – so great for a last minute option! (top tip – if you get the standard shaped box, put the Lindt balls in a heart shape around a baking tray for a Valentines breakfast suprise!)
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Verdict: 10 / 10

 

 

 

Mothers Day Gifts

8 Mar

For sporty mam’s

If you have a sporty mam, or even if you want a hobby that you can share together anything from Speedos new range would go down well. I recommend the Speedo Fit Body Positioning Pinnacle Kickback. Packed with technology to help you improve your swimming technique, the vibrant-coloured Kickback suit features lightweight internal compression panels that focus your attention on your core, helping you to swim. Available at www.speedo.co.uk for £50, it’s not cheap but I do love hat you get access to their online app to track your progress.

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Verdict: an eye catching 9/10

For foodie mam’s

If your mam loves to cook, why not buy her the gift of an easy meal by sending a Marley Spoon gift set. Marley Spoon’s Mother’s Day special starts at £26, and the concept behind the service is fresh, high quality ingredients delivered to you with a recipe to create at home. I trialled the rainbow trout and chicken pasta recipes and can confirm that portion sizes were generous and the food very tasty!

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Verdict: I would order as a luxurious treat but a bit too pricey for everyday. Value: 6 / 10 Taste: 9 / 10

For boozy mam’s

While thinking about giving a recipe as a gift, why not combine that with alcohol. Tequilla Rose  is for sale on Drinksupermarket and also Selfridges from around £15. I tried the ‘Mothers Rose’ (designed by Jacob Hewlett-Case at Walrus Bar) recipe which you add 25ml of the liqueur to white hot chocolate. Very scrumptious!

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Verdict: I usually hate tequila but this could change my mind! 7 / 10

If spirits aren’t her thing fear not there are always new additions to the wine market such as Rosso Nobile al Cioccolata, a rich red wine laced with decadent chocolate flavours. A bargain too at £5.99 per bottle with 6 case deals available at Rosso Nobile

Verdict: I could drink this all night (though I do have a sweet tooth) great for after dinner 8 / 10

For tea drinkers

For tea drinkers I love this colour changing mug from IWOOT Priced at £9.99 it’s a chunky mug to fit a generous drink and so very cute!

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Verdict: 8/10

Musical mam’s

If your mam is partial to her tunes (even if it’s Abba and Blondie hits) she will love this little gadget. Boom Pod’s Downdraft speaker is wireless, charges easily with a mini USB and really gives out a hefty beat. I was actually shocked at how loud one little speaker could go! It’s also very sleek in design – almost like a large pebble. Sound clarity is brilliant, thought the range is limited.

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Verdict: 9 / 10

Best for Value

If the budget is a little low this year, but you don’t want to compromise on quality head to Aldi. This classic real leather bag is only £7.99

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Verdict: Not a whacky gift, but a good ‘safe option’ 8 / 10

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 Filler Gadget of the Week

15 Nov

To spread the cost of Christmas, I would recommend buying gifts as early in the year as possible (I set a personal record this year when I bought my first gift in January!) Each week I will be reviewing the best gifts for partners, children, pets and the coolest new gadgets as well as which food and decorations to stock up on.

First up in my weekly gadget reviews is the olloclip 3-in-one. It is a quick-connect lens solution for the iPhone that includes fisheye, wide-angle and macro lenses in one small, convenient package that easily fits in your pocket. After trying this out I was surprised to see that you can flip it over to use either lens, and the results are really good quality photographs, that look like they came from an expensive camera not just a phone. This is the perfect item for those who use their iPhone for all of their photography needs, and don’t want to be limited in function. Arguably one could just buy a camera instead but I do like how small and convenient the clip is – and as men are gadget-crazy it could be just the gift inspiration that you need! Olloclip for iPhone 4/4S and 5 currently retails for £59.95. More info is available on the olloclip official website www.olloclip.com

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Verdict: 9/10 for the ‘cool factor’ and 5/10 for value.

While on the topic of accessories for the iPhone, I must also mention the cutest phone case for this season, the Case-Mate Snowman case for iPhone 4/4s. RRP is at £19.99 available from cleverkit.com though he bargain hunter in me has managed to find this for as little as £6 on ebay! This case is marketed at teenagers, but I actually love this for myself. One slight negative however is that it doesn’t fit onto my phone as snugly as my previous case.

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Verdict: A very cool 7/10 (pardon the pun, it’s something about the festive season mst be all those christmas cracker jokes rubbing off!)

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

 

 

Mothers Day Fragrance

28 Feb

My pick of this years fragrances has to be Katy Perry’s Purr. It has a fresh girly smell, which reminds me of the undertones of some givenchy perfumes, and it really lasts all day. I’m not usually a fan of celebrity fragrances but this one took me by surprise. For great value order this online from Fragrance Direct, many cash back websites offer cash back for the site and it always has its own offers http://www.Fragrancedirect.co.uk

Verdict: 8/10

 

Purr

Purr

Mothers Day – On a Budget!

28 Feb

Save money this mothers day with the latest deal from Martin Lewis at money saving expert. They are offering new and existing customers a ‘free’ mothers day collage mug worth £7.99, all you pay is the £1.99 postage. Simply click here upload your pics, and best of all you can pay your postage via paypal. it’s worth noting that you dont have to give this to your mam, you can upload pics for any occasion and keep it for a birthday or christmas gift. MUG

Doggie gifts!

20 Dec

Doggie gifts!

When you buy a gift for your dog it is either devoured or chewed up in ten minutes flat. This is why I am a fan of dog gifts that you can use over and over again, and that benefit you as the owner. The Dogs Trust have a new range of pet grooming products, and I decided to try the works (Shampoo, condition and spritz) on my dogs Bob and Harry.

Nice Large Bottles

The products are either fragrance free, or have natural fragrances such as basil – it is strong enough to cover up ‘wet dog smell’ but not artificial at all. The products left my muddy pooches Bob and Harry gleaming (I don’t think that they have ever been conditioned in their lives!) though they didn’t enjoy the extra five minutes in the bath! Like most of the men in my life I fear grooming is a bore for them and they would rather be off doing other things.

Shiny and Mud Free!

Effortlessly Groomed

The detangling spritz however, they loved. The extra attention, strokes and being brushed was certainly a hit (and the softness of their coat and freshness of their smell was certainly a hit with me!) The products can be ordered from www.dogstrustproducts.com and from January the full range can be picked up from Pets at Home. Prices start at £5.99, so a little pricey, but given the price of other dog shampoos out there are for much smaller bottles I still feel it is good value, and of course it is in aid of the Dogs Trust Charity which helps dogs in need.
Verdict: A super clean 9/10

Santa Bob! Ready to hit the town…


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

Stocking Filler Snippet

27 Nov

One for the adults…
I thoroughly enjoy hand-making gifts at Christmas, especially photo gifts which add a personal touch. If you give a friend a photo of the two of you enjoying a special moment, it is not just a gift but it is a reminder of the happy memories that you shared. I often make my own Christmas cards with a quirky photo of the recipient. However this year I have simply ran out of time to get that creative on my own! With only one month to go until Christmas I decided to give photo gift website Bonus Print (www.bonusprint.co.uk) a try. The gifts on offer include snow globes, mugs, mouse mats, personalised cards, jigsaws, key-rings, and glass chopping boards. My favourite is the glass chopping board/worktop saver. It is a really useful item, and I was able to choose a photo that matched with the colour scheme of my kitchen. This was followed closely by my second favourite, the snow globe. While it looked rather tacky on the website, upon arrival I was surprised that it is actually high quality and a really nice design, the photo is on both sides and there is plenty of snow to swish around. I wouldn’t keep it out as an ornament all year round, but I would recommend it as a Christmas decoration.


My least favourite of the gifts had to be the mouse mat. While I ordered one that looked great (taken in full daylight high resolution) another (taken on my mobile phone, indoors) looked too dark with quite a poor picture quality. In all fairness I think I needed a better quality picture for the best results! All in all, while home made is often best, I can see myself ordering from here again, if not due to time constraints but simply because it has such a large range. While I would love to be able to, I cannot see myself hand crafting jigsaws and snow globes any time soon, so best to leave that to the professionals!

Verdict: a quick and easy 8/10

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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