Tag Archives: xmas

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.

acof
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
unnamed
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!
untitled
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

 

Christmas Day Essentials

18 Dec

Anyone with children will tell you that Christmas Day is not relaxing, it’s not the drink and booze fest that young 20 something’s get to engage in. It is chaos! The key to a tear free Christmas is preparation. Make yourself a Christmas survival kit and my suggestions are:

Batteries of all variety. AA and AAA predominantly but you’ll always get the off C, D or smoke alarm style required on a certain toy. It’s a misconception that batteries have to be expensive.

Paracetamol, caffeine and plenty of other pick me ups for the adults! It’s not easy work climbing down that chimney and wrapping all those presents so make sure to look after yourself and keep hydrated on the day.

Plasters. With new toys come new injuries and even sharp packaging can make a cut. I love these colourful Dermocare plasters, which also help to support WWF. Your children will want to wear them even without an injury! pick these up from Ocado and Amazon for £2.99
pla2 pla

Enjoy, and stay safe!

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%.

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