The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide For Children

We were sent some of the items included in this gift guide to help with creation of this post.

With Christmas rapidly approaching and two children, you can bet I’ve been thinking all about the presents I will be getting them. With Jack’s birthday in early December and Olivia’s in early January too, it is an expensive time of year for myself and Steve so I need to ensure the gifts are perfect. Here are some gift ideas for the children in your life.

Young children always enjoy puzzles and jigsaws and this Dear Zoo Puzzle Tray from Milly & Flynn would make a great gift for a child over the age of one. Olivia has been loving this with eight chunky pieces, trying to fit them in the right place and learn the different animals. She keeps making the noises that each of them make too, which is super cute. This has an RRP of £12 and is available at Jojo Maman Bebe.

Want to make Christmas even more exciting? This personalised Christmas Eve Round Treats board (£17.49) from Personally Presented is absolutely beautiful and lovely to put out on Christmas Eve for Santa and Rudolph’s treats. Jack was ever so excited when he saw this and can’t wait to put the treats out over the festive period.

Due to the personalised nature of this gift, you’ll want to get your orders in asap so don’t delay!

Jack is big into football right now and so often needs football boots. He’s not very good with his laces so these Laceeze bands are a brilliant gift option for the discerning footie player. They make the perfect stocking filler and are also great for anyone who plays a sport which requires laces. Jack’s are perfect for his weekly footie practice and I’ll certainly be getting some others for other family members!

Playmobil is always a popular choice in my house and this Aquarium for ages 4-10 is a great gift idea. Retailing at £49.99, it is a great main or secondary gift for the child in your life and will provide hours upon hours of fun.

There are a vast variety of fantastic playsets in the Playmobil range that are perfect for Christmas gifts so do be sure to check them out – you’re bound to find one perfect for the child you are looking to buy for!

Do you have a bookworm in your family like my Jack? Then why not consider a personalised book from In The Story? They have an extensive range of books to choose from and it really will give a special touch to their gifts. Jack is obsessed with Horrible Histories and has been for some time so the opportunity to get a book personalised for him couldn’t be missed.

He loves it and shows everyone that comes in the house. I’m currently considering picking one for Olivia too as I believe it to really be a lovely gift idea as it has that personal touch.

Something that all the children in the house can enjoy is something like this fantastic Extreme Lounging Mini B Bag. We were kindly sent one for the purpose of this gift guide and it’s perfect – the size is just right for both the children to sit on it if needed but also perfect for just the one of them. When they have tablet time, they love sitting on it and chilling out and have barely been off it since it arrived – watching films together, reading books. It would make a great joint present for all of your children, no matter how many there are.

As you can see, Olivia definitely makes herself comfortable, haha!

Now if you’ve got sons anything like mine, then they’re probably really into robots and robotics right now. Jack is desperate for a robot and I am considering Botley, the coding robot. Not only is he super cute but he helps children to learn coding in a really fun way!

The Oregon Smart Globe Myth is a great gift idea if your child loves to learn. It has numerous features and is spectacularly beautiful. Be sure to click the link above to check out my full review.

Does your child love building things? Check out my full review of these Strictly Briks products as they are a great gift idea for the construction expert in your life and are super affordable too!

Finally, this gift is perfect for little ones. The Peppa Pig Laugh & Learn laptop is one of Olivia’s favourite toys and she’s always playing with it, pretending to use it just like Mummy uses her laptop. It is great quality, not too loud like some toys and affordable too. Definitely worth considering for Christmas.

So here you have my gift ideas for children for 2018. Do you find shopping for children easy or hard?

Why I Would Love To Travel To India

If there is one thing I wish I had done more in my life so far, it’s travelling. So far, I have only managed to go abroad twice – once to Italy with my family and once to France on a press trip for my website – but there are so many places that I would love to visit across the world that I have just not had the opportunity to visit yet.

One such country is India. Many of my friends and family have visited different parts of India and sang its praises and told me just how much I should visit and having researched a little myself, I would love to! I’ve been looking into what things are like in the big cities and also what things are like in the smaller towns and cities – I sometimes like to go off the beaten track, so to speak.

My research has, of course, led me to check out both accommodation and amenities. I’ve checked various cities but the hotels in Udaipur really caught my eye.There are such a wide variety of fantastic hotels to choose from, situated in some luscious areas and very affordable too.

But why exactly did Udaipur catch my eye over other popular tourist destinations in India such as Goa or Mumbai? The city is also known as ‘City of Lakes’, It is known as the ‘City of Lakes’ because of the lake system – it has seven lakes surrounding the city! The city is also known for its rich history, heritage and culture – there are massive forts and palaces, galleries, museums and so much more to see when visiting Udaipur. There are also some absolutely beautiful temples and stunning architecture for visitors to see – they really are a wonder to behold.

I would mostly like to travel to India at some point in the next few years to see just how similar and how different life is like in the country compared to the UK. I find the UK can seem quite depressing, boring and bleak at times whereas to me, India always seems so vivid, so full of colour and excitement. There is so much breathtaking architecture, historical landmarks and other things to see that you’d never be bored and you’ll leave feeling as if you’ve learned something. Furthermore, travelling to India would take me out of my comfort zone a little – it is a much longer flight than the ones to Italy and France, I’ve never been on a flight longer than a couple of hours before! I’d be able to see things I’d only ever dreamed of seeing once upon a time.

Travelling is taking a backseat in 2018 but hopefully 2019 will be the year I get to check out some of the places I’ve been wanting to visit. I’ll certainly be keeping my eyes out for affordable hotel deals – after all, you want to know you’ll be sleeping soundly without paying through the nose, right?

Have you ever travelled to India? Have you ever visited Udaipur? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Collaboration

Christmas Gift Guide | For Him, Her & The Home

Some of the items in this Gift Guide were received to aid creation of the guide – as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Can you believe Christmas is creeping up so quickly? It seems absolutely crazy that it is only a few weeks away now! Have you started your Christmas shopping? Have you finished? Here’s a few gift ideas for him, her and the home that you may enjoy.

If the man in your life likes looking after himself, these products from Woody’s Grooming are definitely worth a purchase. They have an extensive range of fabulous products and they make products without compromise by focusing on only the highest quality ingredients to cleanse, nourish and protect. If the man in your life wants a no frills simple skincare regimen with products that get the job done, consider these. We were sent the 2 in 1 beard conditioner, mega firm gel and beard & tattoo oil but there is also multiple other products to choose from such as the daily shampoo, styling gel, pomade, black mask, cologne and many, many more. Their products are available to buy in Boots.

If you’ve got a mega foodie in your life then these spice kits from The Spice Pioneer might be worth checking out. Developed by The Seasoned Pioneers, The Spice Pioneer is a monthly subscription spice kit which aids customers in making authentic and amazing dishes from around the world such as paella or jerk chicken. The kits are all completely authentic and feature world class herbs, spices and chillies.

We use a lot of herbs, spices and chillies in our meals but struggle for inspiration some days. We were sent a couple of the kits to try and they have really helped to revolutionise our cooking experience, enabling us to try different dishes in the kitchen. If someone you love absolutely adores being in the kitchen cooking, buying them a subscription to this kit is certainly a brilliant idea!

Got a friend or family member who loves to ‘pimp’ their drinks? These PopaBall bursting juicy bubbles are the ultimate when it comes to ‘pimping’ your drink. They label the bubbles for certain drinks due to the flavour pairings – they will ultimately taste best with the alcoholic drink they’ve labelled it with but they can be used in any tipple of your choice!

They are a fun little stocking filler to add that little bit of glam when getting ready for a night out, those bubbles and shimmer really are a lot of fun. What is even better is that all of the drink shimmers and bursting bubbles are suitable for vegans, vegetarians and coeliacs plus the bubbles and shimmers are also are also free from dairy, nuts, eggs and soya, meaning pretty much everyone can enjoy them. It is great to see companies such as this covering all bases to make sure everyone can enjoy their product.

Now many people enjoy a tipple at Christmas but there are some people who don’t drink but still want to enjoy a delicious tasting drink over the festive period. This Botonique Blush is a new and unique British-made natural, sparkling non-alcoholic drink, available in two sizes (250ml and 750ml). It has the same crisp dry refreshment as the original but is a touch lighter with notes of strawberry, rose and bramble. It’s a gorgeous colour and tastes great.

I do drink alcohol every now and again but nowhere near as much as I used to and sometimes when everyone else is drinking alcoholic drinks, I fancy something delicious but non alcoholic. This is a great alternative and is something I will certainly be purchasing for when I have teetotal friends over. You don’t need alcohol to have a good time, it is all about the company, right? They’ll certainly enjoy a bottle of this.


Love food? Then you’ll love the selection of food Opies Foods have to offer. Steve certainly does – there were also some cocktail cherries meant to be in the above photo but they didn’t last that long with him around – oops! I think that is testament to the deliciousness of their food, don’t you?

Opies Foods are a family owned firm, based in Kent, who make many Christmas and year round essentials. We were sent a variety of their jars and oh my, did they feel indulgent? I’m not usually a fan of gin but I love blackberries and the blackberries in London Dry Gin are most certainly the perfect pairing – they work so well together with the juiciness of the blackberries and the sharpness of the gin. The Tragana Black Cherries in Luxardo are also delicious and I have to stop myself from eating the whole jar.

They have such a great selection of products that you are bound to find something that everyone will enjoy. I’m definitely considering getting a few more jars of the cocktail cherries, the blackberries and black cherries for Steve – but I’m not too sure how long they’d last after Christmas, haha!

For the keen gardener in your life, a subscription from Lazy Flora might just be the right gift for them! They are a beautiful plant subscription company who are making gardening more accessible to people than ever before.

Launching just last December, they were named The Independent’s Best Buy for plant and gardening subscription boxes just six months later! Their selection are great ideas for Christmas gifts for the green fingered person in your life!

If these don’t tickle your fancy, how about something extremely unique? Why not buy the person you love a ticket to win their dream home for just £25? Just head to https://www.winamegahome.co.uk/ to give a ticket for a gift – all that needs to be done is registering and answering a question with the competition being drawn on the 31st of December 2018. You’ve got to be in it to win it, after all!

I hope this selection of gift ideas gives you some food for thought – what are you most hoping for this Christmas?

 

Oregon Scientific Smart Globe Myth | Review

The globe was sent for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

You may remember that just over a year ago we reviewed another product from Oregon Scientific, the Smart Globe Adventure AR. This is still one of Jack’s favourite things and recently, Olivia has been getting into it too. When offered the chance to review the Myth globe, I knew Jack would be interested. He has a thirst for knowledge, my boy, so I knew it would be something he would enjoy.

The Smart Globe Myth comes with batteries included – a blessing for parents (we all know the struggle of trying to find the right batteries and appease our impatient children when they aren’t included!). It is a 2 in 1 globe – day and night and brings together earth, space and myths all in one handy package. It is aimed at children aged 5+.

The day option is a regular globe and helps teach children about cities, countries and continents whereas the night option gives children the chance to view the stars and the planets as it lights up from the inside – all it takes is the press of a button on the base of a globe. There are 88 different constellations that glow on the globe.  The night mode has three different brightness levels too.

Just like the other globes in the range, there is plenty of audio – the voice tells you all about the things you are wanting to know. You can let the globe know what you want to do via the buttons on the base and also control the volume should your child try to turn it too loud.

The globe comes with twelve constellation stories, ten much loved fairy tales and plenty of facts in a variety of categories. There is also the possibility to use the free to download Smart Globe AR app which enables you to hold your phone over the globe and find out different facts about different subjects such as landmarks, animals and so much more!

For the price of £39.99, you are getting so much. There are so many different features and so many opportunities for your children to learn more about the world and planets around them. Jack has been showing it to his friends who have come round and also to my friends and they’ve all agreed it is super cool!

If your children love learning and finding out more around the world about then, this would make a lovely gift for them. I’d definitely recommend it – Jack barely leaves his Smart Globe Myth alone! You can find out more about the globe and purchase it here.

Strictly Briks Brik Buster Trap & Gap | Review

These items were sent for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Jack loves construction toys, he’s constantly building things so when offered the chance to review the Strictly Briks Brick Buster Tower (£26.99, available at Amazon {affiliate link}) and the Strictly Briks Classic Trap & Gap (£21.99, available at Amazon {affiliate link}), I knew he’d love them.

Both these products can be used with other leading brands and Jack has been playing constantly with them. He took great pleasure in building both sets once they arrived – you can see in the pictures below how he built them, mixing and matching colours as he saw fit to create what he saw as the perfect design.

The Brik Buster set comes with 4 baseplates and 30 stackers. As you can see, you don’t necessarily need all 30 stackers to create a tower but you can utilise them if you so wish to create your perfect design. Once you’ve designed your perfect tower, it is time to knock it down – see how many bricks you can knock away before the tower falls and collapses. This is great for helping children to learn both balance and cause and effect. Jack has had ever such a lot of fun building and rebuilding the tower and seeing if he can beat his previous high score on number of bricks. He has also utilised this as a tower block for his LEGO people – as with most construction toys, this is very versatile and really relies on your child’s imagination!

He’s also loved attaching his Trap and Gap set to the Brik Buster tower to create an even higher tower – much like a multi storey carpark! The kids have enjoyed whizzing their cars around the massive tower!

As you can see, there are plenty of ramps and trap doors which provide hours of fun. This set in particular helps children to learn construction and the basics of engineering. As before, Jack designed it his own way. This set comes with two general baseplates, two baseplates with traps and gaps and 15 stackers. Like the other set, you don’t necessarily need all 15 stackers to create a durable design but the choice is obviously yours.

You can build this as high as you want which Jack loves to do with both the Trap and Gap set and the Brik Buster set – he makes ever such tall towers and has such a lot of fun with his sister, pushing their toy cars up and down the ramps, pushing them through the trap doors and letting his figures from other leading bricks companies roam around the tower.

I’ve been very impressed with the two items from the Strictly Briks range that we were sent. I love that their products are compatible with other companies products – it certainly makes my life easier that he can mix and match. I also really like that they help with certain skills such as engineering and help them learn new things such as cause and effect. They are also extremely affordable for the sets and certainly help to inspire imaginative play. It has been eye opening to see my two playing together with the sets and their other similar construction toys, making their very own world.

I can see these being very popular this festive season. Have you ever tried any Strictly Briks products?