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Friday, 17 November 2017

Homeware Christmas Gift Guide - 2017

I personally love receiving homeware gifts at Christmas, there is just something so nice about unwrapping something that can take pride of place in one of the rooms, whether that's a candle, photo frame, ornaments, anything really, I just love adding new bits to our home. If you're know someone who isn't really into beauty or fashion or you're just a bit stuck for ideas, then hopefully some of these homeware items I've found will help you, there are so many nice bits out this year.
Phone & Tablet Stand* - Do you ever have that dilemma where you're cooking and have to keep going back to your phone and looking at the recipe? or do you ever just want to sit your phone down in one room with some music on and get on with all the cleaning? Well if you do, then this phone and tablet stand from A Place For Everything could be a great choice for you, or any friends or family members you're currently shopping for. This stylish, solid oak stand fits any phone perfectly and would make a great addition to the living room for Christmas parties or in the kitchen on Christmas day, to just make life a little bit easier. Finished in solid oak and handmade in Wales by local designers, each piece is branded with the words 'myPad' and I personally think it looks much more expensive than it is. Currently priced at £20, this is an excellent choice for those prone to misplacing their tablet or phone.
Cancer Research UK Homeware - This year I really wanted to feature some bits from different charities as so many do lovely things that would make perfect gifts, and are often overlooked! Starting with Cancer Research UK, you can find lots of homeware items on their website ranging from blankets to cushions and even candles, aswell as so much more. A few of my favourites are the Tartan Winter Blankets which are only £3.99, what a bargain, and how soft do they look! A blanket never goes amiss in winter, and also the Stag Cushion which is £5.99, makes the perfect addition to a room this Christmas. Lastly, I love this Robin Hot Water Bottle. A hot water bottle on a cold night is just heaven and how cute is this one? It's £3.99 which I think is a pretty brilliant price! Given that these are all under £10 they won't break the bank and will make wonderful stocking fillers.
Candles Are Always A Good Idea - A candle can never be a bad present can it? I truly believe you can never have too many, when one runs out I like to have another ready to go so the more the merrier. There are so many candles I could feature in this post but the one I finally decided on was the Prosecco one from Next which is currently £6. I featured it in my October favourites and I'm really considering picking a few more up as it's such a gorgeous scent and would make a fabulous gift for someone. Not only does it just look really sleek and chic but it has comes in a gorgeous box and just looks so much more expensive than it actually is. With candles it can be tricky sometimes if you're not sure exactly what someones taste is or what colours they like to go for in each room but I think this is just really classic and would look lovely in just about any room. Next have so many gifts and candles in at the moment, including a Bellini one and Gin Fizz one so definitely check them out this year!
Great Ormond Street Mugs - Another charity to shop at this year is Great Ormond Street. They have a lovely range of homeware to choose from including cups and travel mugs which feature designs done by the children who are cared for at Great Ormond Street Hospital. 100% of the profits made from the range goes towards helping the hospital so it's really such a worthy cause and worth considering this year. My favourites this year are the Latte style mug and the Reusable drinks mug which are both £5. Whether you're out running errands or just relaxing at home, both of these are perfect and are sure to brighten up wherever you are. You can find so many festive gifts on the website here including notebooks, calendars and crafty kits, all really well priced!
Dogs Trust Gifts - The last charity I wanted to mention in this gift guide is Dogs Trust, one I personally donate to every month. I've had a look at their gifts in the past and considered them but this year they really do have loads to choose from, you are spoilt for choice! One of my favourites which I think could be perfect if know someone with a little four legged friend of your own is this Wooden Photo Frame which is £7.99. It's a rustic style frame with hanging heart detail and heart shaped inner frame, and I'm sure it would be a lovely gift to unwrap. I also love these two hanging Christmas decorations, the yellow labrador and the dachshund, both £7.95. I love that they're so different to other christmas decorations people might have and the little ribbon and silver bell on them is so cute. Lastly, more mugs because can you ever have too many? This golden retriever one is adorable and perfect for the cold months for lots of hot cups of tea and hot chocolates. It's only £5.99 and they also have loads of others to choose from.
Pretty Gifted Personalised Gift Wrap* - So this isn't a homeware gift but I really wanted to include this personalised wrapping paper from Pretty Gifted in a gift guide. Pretty Gifted allow you to create your own luxury wrapping paper, in a matter of minutes and it's so easy to do. First of all you can choose from a collection of quality papers in an array of luxury colours, then pick from 5 fonts, select your favourite metallic foil, write your message and then you can add a little extra icon, but that's it! The colour I chose was peppermint and I went for copper foil as I just thought those two would go well together. I kept the text simple with 'Happy Christmas' and I chose a little Christmas tree icon and I just love how it looks. You can tell instantly the paper is good quality and it arrives packaged perfectly so no damage can be done during delivery and it even comes with a little gift tag and a gel pen which is a nice extra touch. I think this is such a good idea for wrapping those special Christmas presents this year and well worth considering, I personally can't wait to get started! If you want anymore information or want to create your own wrapping paper, check out their website here.
I hope if you love homeware as much as me this gift guide has given you a few ideas. I love everything I managed to include and I'm so glad there are a few bits from charities too as they all have some really wonderful gifts in for Christmas.

Have you made a start on your Christmas shopping yet?

This Weeks Gift Guides - Womens // Mens // Food #1 // Food #2

*Products marked with a * were sent for the purpose of this post. I only work with brands I feel are relevant to me and my blog. Affiliate links used in this post

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Thursday, 16 November 2017

Mens Christmas Gift Guide - 2017*

I think something most of us can agree on, men are incredibly difficult to buy for. I genuinely struggle every year when it comes to buying presents for George and even though I think I do okay, I'm always a little worried on the day, that what I got could just look totally random! They just never give us much of an idea of what they want do they? So that's why I love doing these Christmas gift guides, to hopefully give other people a bit of inspiration when it comes to buying for the men in their life as it really can be a struggle!
Printsome Personalised T-shirts* - I think personalised gifts are always nice, whether they are a special sentimental gift or if you're just looking for something that's a bit of a novelty present, you can always find some great things online which you can add your own touch to. The place I wanted to mention this year is Printsome who are a London T-shirt printing agency that offer their personalised service all over the UK. On their website you can personalise T-shirts, hoodies, jumpers, polo shirts, vest tops, aprons, workwear, sportswear, headwear, bags and accessories, just about everything, and you can add pretty much what you like. The process is so easy to do and takes very little time and delivery is within 5-10 days so good if you tend to leave Christmas presents until the last few weeks of December! If you're looking for something a little personal this year then definitely have a look at the website here.
AT Cross Stationery* - I really don't think you can go wrong with stationery as a gift whether you're buying for men or women. Everyone needs notebooks, pens, diaries etc, they are always useful and a lot of the time you don't realise you need them until you've ran out, so getting them as a gift is always helpful I think. You can buy stationery from just about anywhere now, I got a lovely little set from Asos last year for George for a really great price, but if you're looking for something specific then AT Cross stationery could be the place for you. They do a wide range of stationery products but the one I really like is this Star Wars themed Sheaffer R2-D2 Rollerball Pen. It's got a unique design, looks very stylish and is comfortable to use. It's £16 which is definitely pricey for a pen but if you really want to splash out on someone and treat them to something you know they'll like, then this is definitely worth considering. They do a few different Star Wars products so lots more to choose from that would make great presents. Perfect if you know someone who is into the films and is a big fan.
Star Wars Travel Mug* - Sticking with the Star Wars theme, this travel mug from A Place For Everything is great for those on the go who have a love for the films. Now we're fully into Autumn and the cold has really started, travel mugs are just brilliant and really needed on frosty mornings on the way into work. Holding 475ml of your favourite hot drink, this travel mug is easy to fill, refill and clean and the lid clip gives easy access to your drink whilst preventing any spillage on your travels. You can choose from Yoda, Stormtrooper or Darth Vader and each travel mug is £8. I think practical gifts like this are always a good choice and one of these saves spending money each day at a local coffee shop!
Encona Hot Sauces* - If you know someone who is a bit of a foodie or likes experimenting with cooking then things like this Encona Carolina Reaper Chilli Sauce could be a quirky little stocking filler! You might think this is a bit of a random one but you can get so many different food gifts now from all sorts of places and I really do think they make great presents, and they are also great to add to hampers if that's the route you're going down. This hot and fruity sauce contains the hot Carolina Reaper Chilli blended with tomatoes, garlic, cumin and orange, so a whole range of flavours and you can add it to a load of different meals! It's a perfect little present for any spicy food fanatics you know and as it's limited edition, it's definitely worth picking up while you can. Instead of sticking to the usual brands, why not try something from Encona?
Badger Ales IPA Beer*- Alcohol can be a great present to give at Christmas and this year Badger Ales have a brand new addition, 'An American Adventure'. Badgers Ales have been brewing in the heart of the Dorset countryside since 1777 and they are one of the leading independant brewers in the UK. They wanted to take inspiration from other countries with a rich brewing heritage and that's how this beer came about. Just awarded a UK silver in the World Beer Awards, IPA category, this combination of Amarillo, Mosaic and Cascade hops with a classic American ale yeast, results in a refreshing West Coast style beer.  A unique IPA beer like this could be an excellent present for anyone you know who is into their beer, whether that be your partner, dad, brother etc, it's a brilliant choice. It's available at Ocado and Waitrose for £2.19 a bottle or 2 for £4 so really reasonably priced!
Novelty Books - Lastly, I think novely gifts are always fun. Little books available from places like Boots, Paperchase and even supermarkets are a funny little stocking filler and don't often cost much either. I've bought George little books like this a few times and this year one I've picked up (and given to him early because I'm just eager) is this Manfulness one from Boots which was £5. It's half series, half jokey and I just thought it was a bit of a different gift to everything else I've picked up already. This is a bit of a tongue in cheek book which features topics on mindful pint drinking to ways to cope with stressful life events like meeting the parents, and there are even a few activities in there. If you need a few final gifts for someone or don't want to spend loads then this is definitely worth considering.
I hope all of these things have given you some inspiration for gifts this Christmas. It really can be so hard coming up with new ideas each year but there are some great things out at the moment so really worth looking around!

*Products marked with a * were sent for the purpose of this post. I only work with brands relevant to me and my blog. Affiliate links used in this post

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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Food & Drink Christmas Gift Guide - 2017 #2*

Yesterdays blog post was my first Food and Drink Christmas gift guide (you can find that here) and today I have the second one for you! There were just too many things I wanted to include this year so I had to split it into two posts, hopefully both will give you some ideas for gifts this year and some of the things included are brilliant for hampers if you're putting something like that together.
Meantime's Brewery Tour and Chocolate Porter Beer* - Starting with alcohol because a lot of people like a little drink over the festive period. Meantime's Chocolate Porter and Brewery Tours could be the unique gift you're looking for. Meantime's Chocolate porter is a perfect beer to enjoy at Christmas. Brewed using four different roasted malts, there's a mocha taste that's aided by the addition of real chocolate during the maturation process. These are full of warm, complex and smooth flavours and make a very special gift for slightly more abstract beer lovers. If you're not looking for an actual present to hand over this Christmas, then why not give an experience unlike anything else? Tours are now available at the Meantime Brewery in Greenwich, London and it's known as the best brewery to visit in the city. During the tour you'll learn how Meantime beer is made, take part in a tasting of some of the beers and get to mingle with like minded beer fanatics. Find out more about their tour on the website here.
Healthy Snacks from Abakus* - If you're going down the hamper route this year for someone then these healthy snacks from Abakus could be a great addition. You might think healthy snacks like dried fruit and nuts could be a bit of a boring thing to give but I really don't think so and they'd be perfect for any people you know who are currently trying to eat a bit better or are following a new eating plan. As much as a lot of us love to eat ALL the chocolate at Christmas, some people really don't and that's where tasty and nutritious snacks like this come in useful. Also many people like to start a new diet and exercise regime in the new year so receving some of these in a hamper that are definitely not as bad for you as crisps are chocolate, could be perfect and give them that motivation to get going! You can find more info about Abakus snacks and other gifts available on their website.
Bettys Chocolate* -  Now on the other scale of what I've just been talking about, for those who really do love their chocolate then Bettys is the place you need to go to! Bettys do just about everything, from chocolates to cakes to biscuits, even tea and coffee, and they also have their own tea rooms, you can find an array of wonderful gifts on their website. A few of my personal favourites that I think would be lovely as a stocking filler are the Moonlight Owls which are delicious milk chocolate and £4.95, the Chocolate Christmas Characters are adorable and are £6.95 and finally the Chocolate Christmas Pudding for those of us who don't like the real thing, and that's £4.95. You can tell so much time and effort has gone into these chocolates, there is so much attention to detail and they really are mouthwatering. Bettys is definitely one to consider this year for stocking fillers!
Crabtree & Evelyn* - One brand I don't think you can go wrong with for presents is the lovely Crabtree and Evelyn. First of all, how beautiful is the packaging of both of these biscuits? I'd be pretty thrilled to unwrap something like this! Crabtree and Evelyn was founded over 40 years ago now and it's evolved from a small, family-run business which only sold fine soaps from around the world to an international company which is renowned for it's fragrances, fine foods and wonderful gifts. You can get something for just about everyone from Crabtree and Evelyn, bath and body products, mens grooming, handcare, perfume and even food. If you're looking for some foodie gifts then I highly recommend the All Butter Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut Biscuits which are £7 and also the Mini Shortbread Biscuits Musical Tin which is £15. Both of these are beautiful and the biscuits just melt in the mouth! Who doesn't love a cup of tea and a few biscuits?
Opies* - Something else which could be a good idea if you're making a hamper up for somebody this year, or if you just know someone who loves baking, are these jars from Opies. Opies are one of the oldest family owned food firms in the UK and I'm sure most people have heard of them. Opies do a range of products which are great for a number of occassions, from stem ginger to cocktail cherries to black cherries, and so many more. All of which are perfect for this time of year. Why not use the stem ginger to make some parkin to enjoy with custard on one of these cold nights? or how perfect would the cocktail cherries be for a new years party? Things like this are always handy to have in and as I mentioned, if you're putting together a foodie hamper for someone, then a few jars of these could be perfect! I'm looking forward to putting some recipes together with some of these so look out for those in future. You can find more about Opies on their website here, and they are also available at most supermarkets.
M&S Food - Ahhh M&S is just the best isn't it? I'm not going to lie it can be very expensive at times but around this time of year they put on a lot of offers and currently so many of their boxes of chocolates and biscuits are half price! They really are one of the best places for Christmas food I think and receiving a box of chocolates from there is always nice I think. I picked up this selection of biscuits a few weeks ago when it was on offer for £4.50 and I'm going to have to go back soon and stock up for the festive period. At the moment they have a bigger tubs than this reduced and so many wonderful boxes of chocolates for around £3 which would make lovely little presents.
So that's both of my Food and Drink gift guides done for 2017! I love getting people chocolate each year and little foodie gifts and there really are some brilliant things out for great prices at the moment!

Did you see my first food and drink gift guide yesterday? and my womens gift guide earlier this week?

*Products marked with a * were sent for the purpose of this post. I only work with brands relevant to me and my blog

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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Food & Drink Christmas Gift Guide - 2017 #1*

It's time for my second Christmas gift guide of the week and this time it's all about FOOD! I love putting together my food and drink gift guides each year but this year is really exciting as their are some amazing brands that have got involved and I can't wait to tell you about them all. There were so many things I wanted to include in this post, so I've had to split it into two so come back tomorrow for another foodie gift guide. These are perfect for the people in your life who love cooking, baking and like me, just generally eating and drinking all the good stuff, so I hope it helps you find a few ideas!
English Tea Company* - Now we're well into Autumn and the cold weather has properly started, a hot cup of tea is heavenly isn't it? I've been getting through cups of the stuff over the last few weeks, normal English Breakfast tea that is perfect with a few biscuits (or if you're like me a packet) and I'm now even into green tea and flavoured teas, I just can't stop drinking them all at the moment! If you know someone who isn't without a cup of tea then the English Tea Company have got you covered. Since 2010 they have been sourcing the best tea from the best farms in the world, ensuring they have something for everyone. If you know they drink a variety of teas then maybe something like the Christmas Tea Collection would be a good idea? This contains 72 tea bags in a selection of flavours so perfect for someone who goes through a few cups a day. Or if someone you know is really into the festive season, the Gingerbread Man Christmas Tea is perfect! Brilliant for those of us who love the gingerbread flavour but aren't into the lattes available at this time of year! Lastly, and probably my favourite is the Christmas Pyramid Prisms which contain flavours that are sure to get you in the Christmas mood, including Candy Cane and Irish Holiday.
Creative Nature Baking Mixes* - If someone you know loves baking then mixes like this brownie one from Creative Nature could be perfect to add to a little hamper! Some people might think things like this are a bit of a random gift but if someone got me a few baking mixes, I know I'd be happy! What I love about this one in particular is that it's so easy to use and makes the most delicious brownies. Creative Nature do a range of products that are just as indulgent and tasty as others you might find, but healthier! Aswell as brownie mixes they also sell muffin mixes (YES PLEASE) and they even do healthy snack bars, superfood powders and breakfast toppings. They are definitely worth having a look into if you know someone who either loves baking and would like to give these a go or if they're currently trying to eat a bit healthier or lose weight.
Westminster Abbey Afternoon Tea* - If you live in London or you've got a day there planned soon, then I really recommend you try out the Afternoon Tea at Westminster Abbey! Starting on the 27th November and running until the 31st of December, it's the perfect treat for you and family member or friend, and a good excuse to take a break from Christmas shopping. The Cellarium Cafe & Terrace will be serving the festive themed menu which includes Norfolk turkey coronation sandwiches, Iced Christmas cake, Cranberry and sultana scones and more, everyday between 12pm and 4pm. Prices are £21.50 per person or £25 per person if you would like a glass of prosecco. Be sure to book in to avoid disappointment via westminsterabbey@benugo.com.
Cockburns Special Reserve Port* - It wouldn't be a food and drink gift guide without a little bit of alcohol and the product I wanted to mention in this one is the Cockburns Special Reserve Port. This huge bottle is a perfect gift for someone who loves a tipple on Christmas Day or in the evening and it's such a good thing to have in over the festive season. This has been the drink of choice for so many families over the years since it was originally introduced in 1969 and it's been hailed as one of the most iconic ports of all time! Matured in oak casks, giving it a full bodied dry finish, it also features notes of Strawberry and Plum, and is just a classic for enjoying on its own. If you're struggling for gifts for maybe someone like your dad, then this is definitely one to consider. Available from Waitrose, Tesco & Morrisons and 75cl bottles are £12.
All The Haribo* - Who doesn't love Haribo? They are the go to sweet brand for me and I pretty much always have a pack or two in our flat! Every year Haribo bring out a range of Christmas products and this year is no exception. If you're looking for gifts for a younger sibling or family member, then Haribo have got it sorted for you, choose from either their Selection Box, Sweet Medley, Maoam Stripes Cracker and so much more. Gifts like this are really reasonably priced and include a selection of different sweets so really something for everyone. My personal favourite at the moment is the Giant Trees which are basically the Giant Strawbs you can get throughout the rest of the year. I always like to have sweets in around Christmas time so even if you don't have anyone to pick these up for, they are definitely worth having in to snack on over the festive period! Available at most supermarkets.
So that's my first gift foodie gift guide of the year! I've been looking forward to putting these together for so long so I hope it's given you a little bit of inspiration. You can't really go wrong with food and drink gifts I don't think, and I have lots more to share with you so make sure you come back tomorrow for another post full of wonderful tasty gifts.

*Products featured were sent for the purpose of this post. I only work with brands relevant to me and my blog

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