Christmas Gift Guide | Home & Tech

If you love home and tech stuff, perhaps this is the gift guide you’ve been waiting for. Here are my top picks for home & tech gifts this Christmas.

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Something we all need is pretty oven gloves and these gorgeous robin adorned oven mitts from Ulster Weavers would make a lovely gift for someone. They’re so well illustrated and so comfortable, they’d make a great addition to any kitchen. Ulster Weavers have been designing kitchen textiles for over 135 years now and have a great range of items to choose from. They’re based in Northern Ireland but ship all over the world. Their oven gloves retail for £13 – a bargain in my eyes.

20161112_133828 20161112_133806If you are anything like me, you are absolutely useless at lighting stuff with matches. You either burn yourself or panic about burning yourself. I always have to get Steve to light my scented candles for me so something like this Zippo candle lighter (RRP £13.75) would make an amazing gift for someone. I know I would be chuffed to see one wrapped up for me as it would mean I would be able to light stuff without Steve being at home – I’d actually feel like a proper grown up!

Zippo are such a prestigious brand too – a gift from them will always be well received.

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How gorgeous is Dyri? He is a cute reindeer candle with golden antlers but if you  simply light the wick and watch as the candle melts, his delicate golden skeleton is revealed. As well as uncovering the gold within, the lit candle reflects an enchanting shadow against the wall as the shape becomes clear. Dýri is  short for hreindýr, which means ‘reindeer’ in Icelandic and is available in two colours: blue and white. He is just one of the animals in the Pyropets collection. It also features: KISA the cat, BÍBÍ the bird and HOPPA the rabbit. They last for approximately 22 hours and retail at £25.

This gift is simply stunning and some people would probably prefer not to light it if receiving as a gift – use it ornamentally instead. Others will want to see the beautiful golden skeleton. What would you choose?

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If someone you know is serious about their exercise or even just their hydration in general, perhaps a Brita Fill & Go bottle (RRP £15, comes in pink, purple, lime or blue) would be a great gift. It can be filled up at any tap and the filter disk will reduce the levels of impurities, leaving you with fresh tasting water wherever you are.

I’ve been keen to keep as hydrated as possible during this pregnancy so mine has been in constant use. I would have loved to receive mine as a gift as health is so important and what can be as healthy as drinking water?

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I’ve spoken about the Ricoh printer in more depth here but this is a fantastic affordable tech gift for anyone who works from home or prints a lot of stuff in general. Even if I didn’t work from home I would be printing numerous things off for Jack’s school so I need something that does the job but is affordable too. This definitely ticks the boxes.

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I raved about the Lumie Bodyclock Iris here and it certainly seems like plenty of readers were keen to grab one for Christmas if the giveaway was anything to go by. This would make a great gift for anyone who is looking for a great nights sleep and/or who loves aromatherapy oils. The Lumie Bodyclock Iris has done wonders for my sleep, even now I’m 30 weeks pregnant, and I would recommend it to everyone.

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Finally, what kind of home/tech gift guide would this be without some fabulous Yankee Candle Christmas gifts? These three offerings are sure to make any Yankee Candle fan shriek with joy. The advent calendar (£24.99) and the Party Pavilion advent calendar (£29.99) are breathtakingly beautiful and the polar bear votive holder (£7.99) is the perfect stocking filler.

I love a good Yankee candle and especially love the wintery/Christmas scents. Why not treat someone you love this Christmas?

If you’re still looking for great presents you can always view sites like Gear Hungry to browse some of the coolest & latest gadgets on the market

Christmas Gift Guide | Food & Drink

When you ask many people what they like about Christmas, plenty of them will say the food and foodie gifts are always a popular choice when it comes to presents under the tree each year. Here’s my selection of the best food and drink gifts to give someone you love this festive season.

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This Gnaw Hot Choc Shots gift set (£5.99) is a great gift this winter for those who love a good old mug of hot chocolate. With a variety of flavours to choose from, they can enjoy a tasty hot chocolate in style.

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These tea selections from O-Teas will certainly go down a treat. The festive flavours will bring joy to anyone’s day and who can refuse a little bit of zesty tropical goodness in the morning with the tropical flavours? They taste absolutely delicious and are perfect for any tea connoisseurs in your life.

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If someone in your life has a really sweet tooth, why not consider Mr Stanley’s? They have a fantastic range of gifts available to suit any tastebuds. The Caramel & Sea Salt fudge (£5.99) is perfect for fudge lovers and the Milk Chocolate and Salted Caramel Chocolate Matches (£6.99) are super tasty. You can even grab some Popping Candy Chocolate Matches (£6.99), some Caramel & Sea Salt Toffees (£5.99), some Crystallised Stem Ginger (£6.99) if someone in your life particularly likes the stuff and even a Bauble with Chocolate Coins (£4.99) for your child to hang on the tree.

All their products are super tasty and very affordable – and I would totally recommend them.

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If someone you love likes a festive tipple, how about some wine or liquor?

The Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay 2014 (£12) is a full bodied Chardonnay with aromas of white pear, fig and toasty hazelnut. Perfect for pairing with turkey.

The Kings Favour Sauvignon Blanc (£13.99) is the perfect aperitif, no food required. If you do want a nibble, try alongside crushed fish cakes with lime and chilli mayonnaise. It has a lime zest and citrus blossom fragrance with more exotic elements of pink grapefruit.

The De Bortoli Show Liqueur Muscat (£14) is perhaps for the more acquired taste but is something the men in my life absolutely adored. Oak barrel aged 8 years, this fortified wine has a bouquet of raisin, fig with spicy notes. Muscat caramel, toffee and vanilla oaky flavours develop on tasting. It will also keep for several more years in the bottle.

If red wine is more your thing, then this Masi Campofiorin Rosso Del Veronese IGT 2012 is a bright ruby red with delicate purple edges. It has hints of cherries on the nose, with cloves and vanilla particularly as part of the spiciness. It has a long, lingering finish. This was a major hit.

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Perhaps someone in your life prefers whisky. A great gift would be a whisky from AnCnoc, such as the 12 year old vintage, RRP £34 for full size and available at Master of Malt. We always buy my father in law some whisky so it always makes a great gift – and sometimes the more vintage, the better!

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Every year I look forward to the Christmas products from Cadbury and of course – every year I am not disappointed. There is always such a great selection of products for both the run up to Christmas and to give as gifts too and as always, they taste absolutely delicious. Cadbury are such an important British institution and I would be a little upset if I didn’t receive at least one thing from them in my stocking each year, wouldn’t you?

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Love marshmallows? Then perhaps something from the Baru range will be a great gift? These Strawberry & Cacao marshmallows (£3.25) are super tasty and a handy stocking filler.

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If you are looking for something that little bit different, how about these offerings from ScandiKitchen? Reindeer Salami doesn’t sound like your usual gift but if you’re looking for something unique, perhaps it would make a cool present. Or perhaps some Blossa Glogg, some Scandinavian alcohol, would tickle your fancy more?

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We all love a tin of biscuits over the festive season and once again, McVitie’s are offering some fantastic products. The NEW McVitie’s Victoria Collection (RRP £6) is a tasty gift in such lovely packaging and the NEW McVitie’s Snow Globe Tin (RRP £10) has such a beautiful scene with tasty treats inside. I can see both of these being very popular gifts this Christmas.

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I’ve mentioned my love for Raisthorpe Manor’s products before and this Sloe Port is definitely a fantastic gift to pick up this Yuletide. Priced at £16.45 for 35cl, it is a Great Taste Gold winner and something I can see being a very popular gift this year. After all, everyone loves a tipple of something over the festive season, don’t they?

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My final gift idea would be some of these fantastic travel inspired chocolates from Cocoa Hernando. With super cute packaging, amazing and intense flavours at an affordable price, someone would sure love to find these in their stocking this year.

What food or drink items would you most like to receive this year?

Christmas Gift Guide | For Kids

With an almost five year old who likes pretty much everything and a baby on the way (who is luckily due after Christmas), kids gift ideas have been on my mind for a while. Here are a few items that I think the children in your life would love.

One of his big things recently has been trampolines. After visiting our local trampoline park in August and finding an old trampoline in his grandparents garage, he’s been keen to get his own one for our garden. Finding the best trampoline for kids can be tricky but this handy guide is making the work a little easier.

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Clothing perhaps isn’t the first thing children expect to find wrapped up under the tree but if they’re anything like me, they will love the new kids range of headwear from Buff. Jack adores his fox knitted polar hat and has already got his eyes on a few other items from the Buff website which I may just have to pick up for Christmas.

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If your child loves books, especially books with their name in it, then perhaps you will consider getting them a book from Lost My Name. Priced from £19.99 with free shipping, The Little Boy Or Girl Who Lost Their Name is the UK’s best selling picture book and is a totally unique, personalised gift based on the letters of a child’s name. Suitable for ages 0-8, it makes for a fab gift as they can really immerse themselves in the story – after all, it is all about them.

The books are fantastic quality with a great story and beautiful illustrations. What’s not to love?

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If your child is a Lalaloopsy fan, why not pick up this fantastic Lalaloopsy Mini Style & Swap Peanut Big Top (RRP £9.99)? She is picking the perfect costume for her next big show so you’ve got to help her choose the perfect outfit.

The great thing about this is that whilst some people may say it is a ‘girl’s present’, my son absolutely adored playing with it – switching and swapping Peanut’s outfits to make different combinations and has already asked for some more in the range. It is a simple, affordable gift that will keep children entertained for ages. For ages 4+.

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If your child (or even an adult in your life) is a big fan of Roald Dahl (like everyone in my household!), then The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake and available from Carlton Books for £16.99, would make the perfect gift. It is perhaps the only thing I have on my own Christmas list which will be beloved by the whole family.

I’ve recently been introducing Jack to the wonders of Roald Dahl and he even dressed as Charlie Bucket for World Book Day, drew a picture of a golden ticket for his home learning about his favourite book and won’t stop going on about chocolate factories. Its amazing how much Dahl’s legend lives on and let’s hope this continues for a very long time to come.

Warner Bros. has the ultimate selection of films this year and this Scooby Doo boxset (available to buy here) would make a great Christmas gift for the little one in your life. Jack adores Scooby Doo so he’d love these!

And if you would like to enter to win it for yourself, just follow and retweet this tweet on Twitter for your chance to win:

 

 


These are just a handful of items that you could pick up for the kids in your life this year for Christmas – books, clothing and toys are always popular. What’s on your child’s Christmas list this year?

Christmas Gift Guide | For Her

I am one of those people who never knows what she wants for Christmas – I actually have no clue what I want this year so if the lady in your life is the same, then here are a few gift ideas for that special someone.

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This Olverum bath oil, made with essential natural oils, would make a lovely gift if you want to get the lady in your life to relax. It smells absolutely divine and currently retails at £26 for the 125ml size (enough for 25 baths) and £48 for the 250ml size which is enough for 50 baths. Available at Liberty, Harvey Nichols, Conran and House of Fraser.

This bath oil is great for easing those aching or sore muscles and is also a fantastic soother for colds and flu. It is a unique and highly concentrated, therapeutic bath oil which contains 10 pure essential oils, carefully blended to work together. For years it was a cult product surviving by word of mouth and has recently relaunched. Recently quoted as ‘bath nirvana’, why not treat someone you love to this?

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Janiro are a brand I’ve worked with plenty of times in the past so how could I not include some of their products in a gift guide for ladies? Their Ginvera Marvel White Zero Blackhead Marvel Gel (£16) and their Bio-Essence Bio Platinum BB Cream (£18.90) would make great additions to any females cosmetics collection.

Its easy to see why Janiro products are beloved by so many people. Not only do they do the job but they’re good quality and affordable too. What’s not to love?

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An affordable and simple gift that you could pick up for the lady in your life is the Nelsons Arnicare Arnica Bath & Massage Balm. A dual purpose balm enriched with Evening Primrose and rich Sweet Almond oil to naturally hydrate the skin, it is designed for massaging into tired muscles or for use in a relaxing bath. At just £8.55, it makes for a great treat after a long day.

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If the woman in your life likes her make-up, perhaps a palette and some brushes from Blank Canvas Cosmetics would do the trick. The Master Series Palette One (£31+) is a great palette for eyeshadow lovers – the palette has the perfect balance of 11 velvety matte shades ranging from a gorgeous vanilla base colour to a dark brown shade. It also contains 1 shimmery champagne highlighter shade. It also contains their bestselling vegan friendly E40/41 Double Ended Tapered Crease Blender/Smudger. The stiff flat shader end (E40) can be used dry/damp to apply eyeshadow. The fluffy dome side (E41) can be used to blend seamlessly.

All makeup lovers need some good brushes so these F20 (£13+) and F05 (£9) would make a great addition to the palette as an extra gift.

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If the lady in your life loves looking after her hair, then this Carmen by Samantha Salon Glamour Styler (RRP £54.99) would surely make her smile. Part of the range by ex TOWIE alumni Samantha Faiers, this styler lets you experiment with your look without having to visit the salon while the 47mm ceramic coated barrel and advanced Keratin Protech technology maintains and protects your hair during repeated styling. With two temperature settings, this is the perfect hair styling product for any female this Christmas.

This Murad Merry & Beautiful Gift Box (RRP £60, worth £121.50) is the perfect skincare gift box to give to someone this Christmas. Containing the AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, the Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture and the Rapid Collagen Infusion products, you can ensure that the lady in your life looks after her skin luxuriously this winter.

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If jewellery is more her thing, perhaps some items from DIWAH would be perfect? They are a fairly new jewellery brand which specialise in semi-precious and their online platform allows customers to design their own jewellery. All of the jewellery is then handmade in the UK by one of their very skilled jewellery design team members. There is a choice of over 1000 components, so the design options are endless when creating the perfect gift for someone. If struggling to choose, they also have gift codes – so the person you gift it too can design their jewellery for themselves!

Their bracelets and necklaces are just beautiful and I would love to receive one under the tree this year – wouldn’t you?

These are just a few ideas for Christmas for the ladies in your life – what do you like best?

Christmas Gift Idea | MegaBleu Games

Items sent for purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

We were recently contacted by the team behind MegaBleu, a French toy retailer with a range of fantastic games that are available in the UK  for children ranging from  4years+. We were asked if we would like to review any of their games and Jack opted for two in particular – the Alien Mission Evolution game and the Ghost Hunt Evolution game. Both are for ages 5+ but since Jack is 5 in just a matter of weeks, I wasn’t overly concerned about the age rating.

We first tried out Alien Mission Evolution. A game for 2 or more players, Jack has been playing with Steve. The description of the game is as follows:

Strap on your alien detecting goggles, grab your laser blaster, and eliminate the aliens in Alien Mission Evolution.

The hi-tech goggles show where the aliens are on the screen, but be quick… they move fast! You’ll need speed and accuracy to eliminate as many as you can before the time runs out.

Be sure to move from room to room – these extra-terrestrials could appear anywhere! Look out for different coloured aliens – some are worth even more points!

Test yourself by trying to beat your previous score, or compete against friends to see who can zap the most.

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The game comes with 1 pair of goggles, 1 electronic gun and the game rules. Beware – as with most toys, you will need a select amount of batteries for this game so make sure you have some to hand before opening the game up – this game in particular requires 6 AAA batteries.

Steve and Jack both love a good alien film or game so it was quite funny watching them competing against each other to see who could zap the most. I think Jack looks rather cool in his attire too, don’t you?

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The aliens only appear in the goggles so for an outsider, it can be quite hilarious to watch the players shooting at things that you can’t see. Jack and Steve don’t get to spend a lot of time together now Jack is at school full time throughout the week and that Steve is pretty much at work all the time so getting to see them enjoy these special moments and times together is absolutely priceless.

The game is available at a number of different retailers including Argos and Amazon for just £34.99. If you love an interactive game, then perhaps this is one for the Christmas lists this year – or perhaps you want to put it under the tree as a surprise. It will definitely keep everyone entertained.

We were also sent the Ghost Hunt Evolution game. Also for ages 5+, this is a game for one or more players and is described as:

Billy Bones is terrified as now he not only sees ghosts but he also sees bats flying all around.

Put on your MULTI-VISION-glasses and you can see them popping up everywhere

It is up to you to aim your gun as soon as they appear. Score 1 point each time you hit a ghost. But beware! The bats fly around at lightning speed and whoever hits them scores 3 points! Do not forget to reload your gun after 10 shots.

Whoever gets the highest score wins! (3 difficulty levels)

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Containing 1 Billy Bones electronic projector (who Jack couldn’t resist taking a picture with!), 1 electronic gun, 1 pair of MULTI-VISION glasses and the rules of the game, this game requires 4 AA batteries and 3 AAA batteries, not included.

Much as Jack likes aliens, this was definitely his favourite game of the two. With a similar concept to the alien game, Jack would pop on his MULTI-VISION glasses and see ghosts and bats flying around everywhere. Whilst Jack likes to play games with his Dad, its nice that he can also play something like this by himself – its a little different to the usual things he may play by himself.

 

I can certainly see why the Ghost Hunt Evolution game is so popular. Retailing at £29.99 in various stores such as Argos, Amazon and Smyths, its an affordable game which offers something a little different to other games on the market.

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I definitely think that’s the case with all MegaBleu games though. They are a brand new name to me as I hadn’t heard of them before I was kindly approached but they have such a wide variety of products available, all which offer something unique compared to other games out there right now. One that I’ve noticed is particular popular with children right now is Piggin’ Boogers – Jack himself has even asked for it after seeing an advert – so it is clear to see just what impact MegaBleu are having on the children’s market.

I sure hope they are here to stay as I love that they offer unique gaming experiences for children to enjoy not only by themselves but with friends and family too. The interactive side of their games that we reviewed and others they produce are a major plus point and I will definitely be picking up more MegaBleu products in the coming months for Jack (and Steve!) to enjoy.

Have you played any MegaBleu games?