Sunday, 29 November 2015

My Sunday Photo 29th November 2015

I really do love the festive season, all that glitter and sparkle somehow makes me feel so much better. This photo was taken on a recent trip to Chatsworth House, their decorations are fantastic and well worth a visit.


Sunday, 22 November 2015

Christmas Presents for Men

Along with my guides for Stocking Fillers for Family, Gifts for Children, Gifts for Couples and Pampering Treats, I have come up with some great gifts for the men in your life.

Braun Series 3
Braun have just released their new improved Series 3 shaver which features the newly designed Microcomb Technology leading to a closer shave and less facial irritation, adapting to facial contours and ensuring the perfect shave.  Hubby loves using a wet razor so this will be perfect for him as it can be used both wet and dry.  The Braun Series 3 is available from Boots, Amazon and other leading electrical suppliers with a RRP of £99.99.

The Real Shaving Co
Have a wide range of products to complete their shaving routine in three steps.  Step 1 the Daily Face Scrub contains almond oil and cocoa butter which leaves the skin smooth and ready to be shaved.  Step 2 Super Slide Shave Gel is rich and creamy containing cocoa butter and willowbark to soothe sensitive skin and allow a perfect shave.  Step 3 Super 8 Balm provides moisturisation to protect the skin all day.  The Real Shaving Co products retail at around £3.99 - £4.99.

Star Wars Stormtrooper Look Alite
For the man who likes his boys toys or perhaps has a games room what about this funky Star Wars Stormtroop Look-Alite LED lamp, it either runs on 3 AAA batteries or can be powered by micro USB cable, I know my son will love this.  Available from Maplin and priced at £19.99 it's a great toy for the men.

Fudge Kitchen - The 12 Flavours of Christmas
My hubbie loves fudge and this beautiful box of handmade and decorated fudge will sure to be a big hit. Covered in chocolate and with flavours such as Christmas Pudding, Mince Pie, Cranberry & Orange, Irish Cream and Cherry Brandy there will be something to tickle his taste buds.  Available from the Fudge Kitchen and priced at £15 they would make a fabulous addition to any stocking.

What could be better than family moments captured on canvas, Photobox have a wonderful range of products available and I recently had this canvas done for the boys' dad, captured at the Grand Prix at Spa in Belgium I'm sure it will bring many happy memories from their weekend away.  These would be the perfect gift to remember precious times.  Ordering is is simple online at Photobox and there are always lots of fabulous offers available.

To make it even easier to create your personalised gifts, you can use the mobile version of the website or one of the apps – available on the App StoreGoogle Play and Amazon.

For the man who works outdoors the Thermos Travel Tumbler is a must. It will keep his morning tipple warm for 5 hours and will keep cold drinks cool for 9 hours.  The tumbler has a sealing lid and fits most car cup holders and with a 50 year guarantee it is worth every penny of the £26.95 it costs.

What are you buying the men in your life? have I missed any must haves?

My Sunday Photo 22nd November 2015

I cannot believe we are nearly at the end of November already and the weather as most certainly turned for the chillier.  Here's a photo from our recent holiday in Cornwall, I so long to go back and explore some more.


Saturday, 21 November 2015

Stocking Fillers for the Family

I find it so hard not to buy lots of stocking fillers because I just love to see everyones face on Christmas morning when there is lots to open.  Here are a few more items that could be used.

Westlab Bath Soaks
These fabulous Bath Soak Salts from Westlab are just the thing to help you relax and unwind over the Christmas period, there are three different varieties to try, Relaxing, Detoxing and Reviving.  I tried the Detoxing Bath Soak and it really is lovely, with rosemary, grapefruit and lemongrass it really is relaxing and can leave you feeling a little more energised.  The Bath Soaks cost around £4.99 and are available nationwide in health stores.

Aromatherapy Associates
How about some gorgeous smelling treats for under the tree or would be ideal in a Christmas Eve box?  Well Aromatherapy Associates have come up with some great products beautifully packaged.  The Relax and Revive set contains 2 x rollerballs containing their own blends, Revive and Deep Relax which you can apply to pressure points to lift you,  these cost £18.  The Star contains a Revive Morning bath and shower oil and comes in a star shaped box which could be hung from the tree, costing £10.

There is a new look to Shloer which is inspired by Prosecco, Shloer Celebration is ideal for drivers who would still like to celebrate and is perfectly safe for children to join in with too.  The newly designed bottle is ultra chic and still has the popping cork, it also tastes rather good too and is available in two varieties, White Bubbly and Pink Fizz, costing around £2.99 per bottle it is a bargain.

Olverum Bath Oil
For a bath oil that is therapeutic and pampering why not treat that special person to Olverum Bath Oil. Olverum’s RRP of £23.50 for 125mls (which equates to 25 baths) is at the more expensive end of the market but well worth those extra pennies.  Soaking in this when you have had a hard day or feeling under the weather really does leave you feeling rejuvenated.  Olverum is a blend of 10 essential oils, eucalyptus, lavender, juniper, lavandin, lemon peel, Siberian fir needle, exotic verbena, lime, geranium and rosemary and even better it is not tested on animals.  You can buy this beautiful bath nectar from

It wouldn’t be Christmas without new stationary items and there is nothing I love more than decent pens.  BIC have so many to chose from pencils to felt tips and biros, the kids ball pen is perfect to aid the early stages of child development. All BIC products are reasonably priced starting at around £1.99 and are available from supermarkets and stationers.

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without Starmix and Tangfastics, they are available in duo tubs, gift tubes and have been a firm favourite in my house since the boys were little.  I’m rather mean that I never let them have sweets all year round, only at Christmas.

Wilkinson Sword
For the men in your life who are not really struck on electric razors then Wilkinson Sword have some great gift sets which contain lots of stylish grooming products.  The Wilkinson Sword Grooming Kit contains the Hydro 5 Groomer which is a 4 in 1 styling tool that trims, shaves, edges and hydrates, shaving bowl and shaving brush which will leave skin feeling hydrated.  Gift Sets are exclusively on sale in Tesco on the run up to Christmas.

You can’t beat Cadburys chocolates hanging on your tree and in your stocking.  Cadbury have a huge range of stocking fillers from Freddos to selection boxes and my son’s favourite the Endless Wispa, there really is something for everyone.  New for 2015 are the Milk Oreo Baubles and Snow Bite Baubles which I am sure will be a huge favourite.

Echo Falls
Were you aware of the tasty new red fruit fusions from Echo Falls, no neither had I until I tasted the lovely Cocoa and Orange chocolate flavour fusion.  I really like the chocolatey flavour and it was perfect with a little ice.  Priced at £5.99 and available at Tesco this would make a great stocking filler.

When I was in my youth I use to drink Babycham regularly and I have just renewed my acquaintance with it.  I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the odd glass of Babycham, which is a sparkling perry made from perry pears.  Babycham costs £3.49 for a 750ml bottle which is a great price and perfect to share with friends.

These little bars of scrumptiosness are divine, lovingly prepared from raw chocolate they will sure to be a huge hit with chocolate connosiers.  Priced at £2.69 a bar there are lots of varieties to choose from such as Cherry and Chilli, Almond and Fig and my favourite Pineapple and Inca Berry.

Christmas Gifts for Children

I can't believe we are counting down the days until Christmas. Grotbags is in hyper mode with all the planning for her school play and parties and I have tried to be good this year by planning my shopping early with Gifts for Couples and Pampering Treats, next on my agenda is gifts for children.

Moochies are a watch,  GPS tracking device and mobile phone which allows you to communicate with your child whilst they are out playing. The watch works with a sim card just as a mobile phone does and lets your child ring two numbers whilst allowing up to 20 people to ring your child.  I like the fact that only pre-approved  people can contact your child giving parents control over their contacts.  The watch is also GPS trackable via an app which the parent can download to their phone which is very useful if your child is old enough to play out and you can also set a safe zone and if your child ventures out of this area it triggers an alarm.  An SOS button is also on the watch which when pressed alerts the person with the app on their phone.  Working in standby mode the battery can last 4 days or 360 minutes talk time.  Moochies is recommended for children aged 3-12 years, although I would never let a young child out of my sight, Grotbags is 10 years old and does go playing but is limited to where she goes and therefore this proves very useful.    Moochies are available in 4 different colours and designs and are priced at £79.99.

Grotbags loves creating things out of Aquabeads and there are lots of sets available for Christmas staring at £4.99.  I will be including one of these in her Christmas Eve basket to keep her occupied whilst I prepare things for Christmas Day.  The Aquabeads Jewel Start Set has over 800 jewel beads that join together will a spray of water and design dazzling creations.  Due to the small nature of these beads they are recommended for children 4 years and over.

The Art of Children’s Conversation
I really do love the idea of this game to encourage conversation amongst children, after all they all love technology and it can be increasingly difficult to distract them from their screens.  The Art of Children’s Conversation provides over 300 questions designed to get conversation flowing and costing around £9.98 it really is an essential stocking filler.

So Lush Soap Bombs
This great kit is great for creating and having fun, it contains a soap mould, measuring beaker, gloves and stirring sticks along with water bomb balloons.  Let you children create their own  scented bath hearts, smelly crystals and exploding bath bombs.  This science kit is for children aged 8 years and over and is £10, available at The Entertainer Toyshop exclusively.

Wentworth Puzzles
These wooden jigsaws are so beautifully made out of and the Round Robin is so festive. Each puzzle has its own whimsical features which my daughter loved and these usually reflect the puzzle you are doing, they really are beautiful.  This is the perfect gift for anyone who is addicted to puzzles.  The Robin has 237 pieces and is just stunning and costs £27.95.

Happy Jackson Toiletries
For teenage girls the Happy Jackson toiletry range are just fab, they contain tropical toiletries in vibrant and quirky packaging but also stationary items too which would make great gifts.  With prices starting at £4 for key rings and magnets to the Wash Bag and Toiletries set containing coconut cream body lotion, watermelon & mint shower gel, passion fruit and lime body scrub, shower comb, shower pouffe and wash bag at £16, these are also available on 3 for 2 at Boots.

Beados Gem Suncatcher Set
Beados are magic little beads that stick together when you spray them with water.  Using the template provided you make your design and then spray with water, leave it to dry and you have created your own butterfly suncatcher which will sparkle when hung in the window.  This would make a lovely stocking filler for children aged 4 years and over and costs around £15.

Equestria Girls
Equestria girls will be a favourite amongst young girls, from the My Little Pony makers these dolls are ultra chic in their trendy outfits and are reasonably priced at around £8.

Seas of Ramion
This beautifully illustrated book contains fantasy adventure stories for children.  It is written and illustrated by Frank Hinks and available in hard back.  The stories inside are amusing and bound to keep any child intrigued until the end.  The book is £9.99 and would make a great Christmas present and keepsake.

I have so many other gifts I will be sharing over the next week, would love if you have anything nice that I have missed?

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Couples Gift Guide for Christmas

The people  I find hard to buy for are couples, I always try to find something that they will both love or enjoy.  I did come up with a few ideas but what do you buy for a couple?
Gadget Lovers
The Sodastream Source is perfect for the couple who love sparkling water, with its sleek attractive design it doesn’t look out of place on the kitchen side.  It even has an LED light to indicate how much fizziness is in your water and you can obviously vary this to your own taste.  The bottle just slots in and has a snap lock design so there are no spillages.  Sodastream Source comes complete with a 60 litre aluminium gas cylinder and a carbonating bottle, this can be exchanged when empty in lots of stores or online for around £9.99.  Along with plain sparkling water there are a variety of mixes available to buy and not all of them are high in sugar, there are sugar free syrups and even healthier options for children.  I like the fact that it is more environmentally friendly than buying lots of bottles of drinks from the supermarket and it is really good for any gin lovers out there, you will never run out of tonic water again.  The Sodastream Source costs £89.99.

The Gourmet Couple
Now that the Great British Bake Off as finished why not buy some useful things for the kitchen.  My son and his girlfriend are setting up home after Christmas and requested a long list of items but they particularly liked this Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl from Oxo, it has a non skid base and can be used for a multitude of tasks such as baking, marinating and chilling and even  better it is dishwasher safe.  This really is a super sturdy bowl and as my son trained as a chef I am sure he will love it for his collection of bakeware, the price is £14.00.  Also on their Christmas lid was a decent tin opener Oxo also have a Magnetic Can Opener with Lid Catch which stops the lid falling in to the can once you have opened it, another great product priced at £15.

Something Special
I always try to find something that little bit special to remember certain years and Getting Personal have some really nice personalised gifts to choose from.  My favourite as to be this gorgeous pair of Personalised Wooden Candle Holders, they are crafted from birch and have a metal strip running down the length of them which can be personalised by hand stamping with your message.  I love the feel of these candle holders they are so smooth and the grain of the wood is delightful, each one is shaped, sanded and waxed by hand.  In the top you just place your tea light candle and admire, I’m sure you will agree they will make a great keepsake.

Movie Buffs
Cineworld are selling a Cinema Night Out for Two, you receive 2 x adult tickets, 1 snack voucher and 2 x Merryteasers for £20.  I think this is a really great idea for a couple who are hard to buy for, I know I would love to receive something like this and usually there are some really good movies out at Christmas.

Coffee Lovers
Cafedirect offer a handpicked subscription service where you receive a different coffee from the Discovery Collection every month, coffee is sourced from some of the finest small farms across the world and even better the company invests a third of its profits into cooperatives and communities.  Along with the coffee you receive a tasting booklet which tells you all about the coffee you have received.  You can choose espresso or filter and also whole beans or pre-ground all which comes in a handy sized box that fits through the letterbox.  This is an ideal gift for coffee connoisseurs, subscriptions start at £24 for 3 months and go up to £85 for 12 months and the coffee I received was delicious.

Wine Lovers
There is nothing better than sitting down to a nice glass of wine and Dark Horse have now officially launched in the UK offering a Cabernet Sauvignon which is full bodied and rich made from hand-selected grapes from California’s Lodi and Delta wine growing region, this has a lovely earthy flavour and would be perfect with a grilled steak and nice dressing.  The Chardonnay is quite sweet but out of the two I do prefer this, may be because I have never really drank a lot of red wine and prefer white, I could definitely drink a bottle of this whilst eating cheese and crackers.  Both wines are priced at around £8.99 per bottle and are available from supermarkets.

Watch out for my next instalment in gift ideas, would love to know what you would like in your stocking on Christmas morning?

Monday, 16 November 2015

Pampering Treats Ideal for Christmas

Next in my gift guide is those extra special gifts for ladies to pamper and indulge themselves, after all we work so hard everyday catering for everyone else’s needs we all deserve a little pampering and me time.   I have found some lovely products to help us achieve some well overdue pampering in our daily lives.

Scholl Velvet Smooth Collection
Our feet are one of the most hardworking parts of the body, from the moment we get up until the minute we go to bed at night they carry around in our daily tasks.  Scholl Velvet Smooth is perfect for any woman as part of her pedicure routine.  This fabulous set contains everything to keep your feet in tip top condition.  The Smooth Diamond Express Pedi is an electrical device containing diamond particles which exfoliate your feet and combined with the Smooth Intense Serum it leaves your feet feeling soft and refreshed.  Also in the pack is a glass nail file, cuticle sticks, toe seperators, nail transfers and gel cushions which will leave your feet feeling as glamorous as you.  I love this and it is my idea of a perfect present.  The Collection can be bought at Boots for around £80.

Braun Satin-Hair 7 Brush
A hair brush that removes static and minimises frizz?  I must admit I was rather dubious but this does what it says on the box and without the need of using straightners all the  time which can only be good for my hair.  The Satin-Hair brush works by releasing ions when you switch it on which helps and also boosts shine and smoothness.  Costing around £21.99 this brush can be bought on Amazon.

Venus Snap with Embrace Gift Set
A portable razor ideal for taking holiday due to its size.  I had never use a Venus razor before but this is fantastic and the shaving gel leaves your skin feeling silky soft.   The gift set is priced £9.99.

Baylis & Harding Sweet Mandarin and Grapefruit Slipper Set
I must admit Baylis and Harding have some lovely gift sets available this year and the scent of the Mandarin and Grapefruit is lovely for a morning pick me up, combined with some comfy slippers this would make an ideal present for Nan Nan.  The set costs £9.99 and can be purchased from Lloyds Pharmacy.
Spa London – Gold Range
The Gold Range from Spa London are fabulously sparkly and fun.  This luxury collection of spa treatments can be bought to use at home, they combine champagne, pearl and caviar extract, gold shine and skin loving ingredients.  Liquid Gold Champagne and Grape Leaf Extract Bathing Nectar looks so luxurious, I rather felt like Cleopatra bathing in milk RRP £15.  The Shimmering Gold Dry Oil contains three natural oils, jojoba, apricot kernel and sweet almond and leaves your skin with a lovely shimmer RRP £23 and the Gold Body Scrub is one of the best exfoliators I have used, RRP £25.  These would make lovely presents for that special lady.

I Heart Prosecco
What better drink to have whilst pampering yourself than a nice glass of Prosecco. I Heart Prosecco is gorgeous, a definite for a girly night in or even a romantic night in, it is so light and bubbly.  Priced in the region of £8.99 a bottle, price varies from shop to shop.

There are so many products to choose from today, how do you decide what to buy?