9 December 2020

Gift Ideas for Spreading Christmas Cheer

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This year I definitely think we have to spread Christmas cheer more than ever. Who would have ever predicted a 2020 quite like this! Anyway, like I said, it's all about spreading Christmas cheer and there's more ways to do this than by singing loud for all to hear - see what I did there... So read on to see my top picks for bringing the joy of Christmas even to the grumpiest of scrooges.


The Reindeer Feeder
Have you ever heard of the Reindeer Feeder before? Nope? Neither have I however he's 100% guaranteed to spread lots of festive cheer this year. So what is a Reindeer Feeder? Well it's a Shrumann who has 2 very important jobs; 1) to give Santa the all clear that everyone is asleep and he can come down the chimney and 2) while Santa delivers the presents he pops up the chimney to feed the reindeer. It's a brilliant idea and one sure to ignite children's imagination. The Shrumann comes in a lovely Reindeer Feeder gift box complete with feeding license, storybook, reusable window sticker and carrot sack. Simply stand you Reindeer Feeder on your mantel piece or windowsill and on Christmas Eve fill the feeding sack with carrots ready for the Shrumann to complete his work. It's such a lovely activity to do and would make excellent gifts for inside Christmas Eve boxes or December boxes. I'm going to put one in our December boxes for the kids to share. Check out their website for more info www.thereindeerfeeder.com.


Photography Experience Days With Paul David Smith
Since spreading Christmas cheer is top propriety this year how about treating your loved one to an amazing photography experience with Paul David Smith. There are some cracking fun experiences to be had from the likes of a Warrior Photography Experience to Mermaid Queen Photoshoot and my absolute favourite - Floating On A Bed Of Dreams Photography Experience! Honestly they all look fantastic and with prices starting from £250 it's a brilliant gift and much cheaper than a PlayStation 5, haha. You can even purchase gift vouchers direct from pauldavidsmith.co.uk so your loved one can pick the experience they want themselves. There's also photography courses available for that budding photographer in your life. Go check out the Paul David Smith website for more details. 

The Green Clean Lady
Why not help spread some Christmas cheer this year by also supporting small businesses? The Green Clean Lady is just one of those and she produces some amazing handmade cruelty free candles, reed diffusers and toilet bombs. The Green Clean Lady is based in North Berwick with her lovely little family and has been working her butt off to make a great eco friendly cleaning business. So maybe if you don't need any candles you could book her in for a Christmas house clean instead or how about home styling? Home staging / interior styling is designed to show your property in its best possible light before putting it up for sale. Or why not just treat yourself and have The Green Clean Lady come and fancy up your home for Christmas!? Sounds ace right.

This is a collaborative post. All opinions are my own. 


2 December 2020

Gift Ideas for Him - What to get the man who has everything!

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What do you get the man in your life when he has everything... nothing! Haha, only joking. I'm seriously struggling for gift ideas when it comes to the men in my life, whether it be the other half, my Dad or my father-in-law, they all just buy what they want when they need it so gift ideas can be few and far between. That's why I've put together this little gift guide to hopefully inspire you (and myself) for fabulous gift ideas.  

TrendHim Leather Gloves
My husband really struggles to get a nice pair of gloves that fit. He gets really sore hands in winter so always needs a pair of gloves to hand. I'm lucky to have found a beautiful leather pair on TrendHim, a site which offers accessories and jewellery for men. I love that this business totally caters for men and has some beautiful gifts that really stand out. Shipping is free over £29 and be sure to place your orders by 17th December for guaranteed Christmas delivery. Go check them out for some inspiration. 

Il Gusto Flavoured Alcohol
It wouldn't be Christmas without a little tipple and these wonderful Il Gusto Flavoured Alcohol stocking fillers are perfect as an extra treat during the festive season. I love that they come in fab Christmas shaped bottles, from Gingerbread Men and Stars to Christmas Trees. The alcohol flavours sound delicous too. Rhubarb Gin, yes please! Or what about Salted Caramel Cream Liqueur or Turkish Delight Gin? All sound like perfect gifts and there's loads to choose from. Even better is that you can pick some up for as little as £10, bargain!

Carfume
There's nothing better than a fresh smelling car and I know my other half would totally appreciate this Carfume luxury car air freshener. Not only does it smell amazing but it looks fabulous too. It's so easy to use and it can be topped up every 5-7 days to keep your car smelling great. This would definitely make a great stocking filler gift and you can purchase a gift pack too, not just a single. Check out their website for more info.

Plume Candles
It's not just women who like a nice candle, men do as well and Plume are a local Edinburgh small business who make fantastic smelling candles. It's definitely nice to support small businesses at this time of year if you can especially local ones so go check out their Etsy page and maybe make a purchase or two!

This is a collaborative post. All opinions are my own. 


30 November 2020

Unusual Gift Ideas for Children

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Every year I struggle to think of new and exciting gifts to buy the kids for Christmas. Harlow's not too bad as she wants everything and anything however Logan is almost 11 and it's so hard to know what to get for him as he normally isn't that fussed for gifts, never really has been. He loves his gadgets and tech but there's only so much you can buy so that's why I've put together this gift guide on some more unusual things to buy children this Christmas. 


Young Driver

If you’re looking for a Christmas present for a 5 to 17-year old, how about giving the gift of driving? It'll be a unique and exciting experience that'll make memories to last a lifetime. My son would definitely love this and I'd love it to as it's a gift that doesn't take up space in my house haha! If you're child is aged 10 or over they can get behind the wheel of a real car with Young Driver, how amazing is that. If they're aged 5 to 10 then they can drive a specially created two-seater electric car. There's over 70 UK venues so plenty to choose from. I was surprised that there's a few near me just outside of Fife. Prices for a 30-minute lesson for 10 to 17-year olds start from £32.99, and Firefly lessons for 5-10s are £21.99. Gift vouchers are available and can be purchased from www.youngdriver.com.

Have You Ever Had a Stressor?
Is a great book written with children's mental health in mind. The book was written by iSpace Wellbeing founder, Paula Talman, a leading expert with 25 years of experience in child development and physical and mental health. Focusing on ‘stressors’ - those things that cause us a ‘big worry’ -  the book is designed to help children to open up about what’s worrying them, so that they can identify the cause and understand who and how to ask for help. It's a great little read and a good gift to give this year with all that's been going on. You can find out more info at iSpace Wellbeing

Letterbox Lab
Letterbox Lab is a children’s subscription box service that brings science to life with collectable lab equipment, gadgets and new discoveries in every box. The boxes come with everything parents and children need to start building their lab and have fun with a range of cool experiments. From building helicopters and catapults to experiments that fizz, change colour and glow in the dark, the boxes are designed to help parents spend quality time with children doing something educational and fun, with minimal fuss. The world needs scientists now more than ever, and their mission is to help inspire the next generation of innovators. Children who gain a love of science from an early age may go on to discover the next medical or scientific breakthrough that could help solve some of the wide-ranging issues affecting our planet. It just takes that one spark to light a passion for learning, and from there, anything is possible. Prices start from £11.25 and I think it's a great gift that keeps on giving. 

Tales from the Pitch Books
My son is a real book worm and loves getting stuck into a good read. I know some children do struggle with their reading but that's where tales from the pitch can help. This brand new book series is using the power of football to get even the most reluctant of readers involved. They're easy to read fictional biographies of major football stars which offer something very important to most children - facts about football players and a behind the scenes glimpse into their world. I think books are always a great gift to give so this definitely gets a thumbs up from me. Each book retails for £6.99 and they'd make excellent gifts this Christmas. 

This is a collaborative post. All opinions are my own. 


25 November 2020

Gift Ideas for Busy Mums

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Everyone seems to be celebrating Christmas that little bit earlier this year, and who can blame them! The year of 2020 has been a bit crap lets be honest and as always it's us busy mums that are usually running around trying to get ourselves and the family organised. We deserve a nice treat after all our hard work so I've put together this gift guide on what to buy the busy mum in your life this Christmas. Enjoy!

treat trunk
This box of goodies is perfect for that mum who's always on the run or the exhausted new mum who just needs a grab and go snack. The treat trunk is a healthy snack subscription box designed for when you have that moment of calm and can dive into a selection of treats chosen with mums in mind. They're all very nutritious so you don't have to feel guilty about indulging in a few. I personally think it's a great idea, I mean who doesn't want a box of snacks delivered to their door every month! Each box is literally crammed full and there's a few different options to choose from on the treat trunk website so go check it out.  

Essench
Essench are a health and beauty brand who use the power of plants to help you relax and unwind. I particularly love their CBD Bath Bombs especially the one named Relax! It promises to provide the best relaxation experience when popped in the bath. Sounds fab to me. I also really love the look of their Phoenix Balm which is infused with CBD and used to help muscle aches and headaches. I get so many headaches these days so this temple rub would be ace. These products are vegan friendly, cruelty free and palm oil free which is amazing. Prices start from around £8.00 so go check them out online.

Say It With Champers
Who doesn't love a little tipple at Christmas and what better way to show you care than with a Mini Personalised Bottle of Prosecco! With prices starting at £8.99 it won't break the bank but makes such a lovely gift. I know I would totally appreciate this underneath my Christmas tree with my name on it. Great idea with that personal touch. There's loads of different options available from Say It With Champers so do have a nosey at their website for perfect gift ideas. 

Shardana Catering
If you're local to Fife/Edinburgh areas then why not get in touch with Shardana Catering to treat the busy mum in your life to a delicious home cooked meal prepared for her by her very own chef! It's an amazing experience and it means she'll get a night off and the chance to relax and put her feet up. There's lots of amazing options to choose from with something to suit everyone. I definitely think it makes an excellent gift as completely different and unusual. Find them online for more details. 

This is a collaborative post. All opinions are my own. 


3 November 2020

Review: Twisty Girlz Bracelets

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My daughter loves dolls and jewellery so it's only natural that she's going to love the all new Twisty Girlz from Spin Master who magically transform from doll to collectible bracelet. But that's not all! They come with a mystery Twisty Pet as well. Super exciting. Harlow has been sent two dolls to check out and review. She was so excited when I gave them to her so hears what we thought.


As I've mentioned these fashionable dolls transform from cute girl into a bracelet you can wear. It's simple and easy to do and the dolls come with full instructions in case you need a little help. Each Twisty Girlz features a different stylish outfit and cool hairstyle and comes with a secret Twisty Pet. It's a great element of surprise to add in and Harlow loved guessing which mystery pet she would receive. The Twisty Pet comes in it's own little pet carrier, simply open up to reveal either a unicorn, elephant, puppy or kitty.


Each box contains 1 Twisty Girlz bracelet, 1 ring (Twisty Pet), 1 lead, 1 instructions sheet and 1 collector's guide. The little lead comes in so handy as it means you can join your Twisty Girlz bracelet and Twisty Pet to create a bracelet/ring combo. With a few simple twists, your Twisty Girlz doll becomes a trendy bracelet and your pet transfers into a super cute blingy ring. There's lots of different ones to collect including rare and super rare dolls.


Harlow loves both of her dolls and mystery pets. She received Glitzy Bitzy, who came with the sweetest little unicorn pet, and Kitty Katt who came with a beautiful cat pet. Both dolls are very vibrant and fun to look at with crazy cool hair, glittery skirts and amazing details. I personally think they're really fun and Harlow has been playing with them loads over the last week, both as dolls and as jewellery. They retail for £9.99 which I think is a fair price since they're a decent size, comes with pets and also have a dual purpose. They'd make great stocking fillers for sure this year or a lovely present to give the kids on birthdays or for doing well in school. 


I found the dolls easy to transform into a bracelet and the pets into a ring. After a few tries it comes naturally and you can change it back and forth without any problems. Harlow found it quite easy too (she's 5) although struggled a little bit with the pets to get them back into pet form however it was easy enough for me to help out if she needed it. I'm sure she'll grasp it better the more practice she has. Overall lovely toys at a decent price and I'm sure Harlow will be asking for more from Santa!


Products have been gifted for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

17 October 2020

Halloween Ascarium Fun at the Sea Life Loch Lomond Aquarium

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It's the month of October and the Halloween spookiness is in full swing. We were invited along to the Sea Life Loch Lomond Aquarium last week to see what their Ascarium event had to offer. We love getting out and about enjoying the Halloween activities and this event runs until Saturday 1st November so still plenty of time to get your tickets booked online. 

First impressions are that the aquarium is pretty easy to find. It's located right beside the Loch Lomond Shores shopping and leisure complex so plenty of parking dotted around plus some food venues if you're peckish. The sea life centre does have it's own little cafe if you want some coffee and cake though plus they have a few sandwiches, ice lollies & ice creams and kiddies lunch boxes.


When we entered the aquarium we were delighted to see tons of cool Halloween decorations had been put on display. This was carried on throughout the rest of the sea life centre and we were really impressed with the effort that had gone into decorating the place. As you enter there's a green screen where you can stop to get your photo taken and then take the ticket to the machines in reception to buy them if you wish. It's a nice opportunity for a family photo instead of just a selfie.

Reception staff were lovely and very informative letting us know where everything was and explaining to the kids that they could get involved with the Ascarium event with the spooky spell treasure hunt. You get given the treasure hunt sheet and a pencil then search round the aquarium to find the sea witches lost ingredients. These ingredients have a letter on them which you have to put together and unscramble to make a word. When you have the word you can take your spooky spell sheet back to reception where you get to choose a prize. It's a nice touch to keep the kids busy whilst also enjoying all the animals. As well as this the kids chose to have a fact finding sheet too. There's little fact stations placed around the aquarium and you have to find the fact and scratch off the correct answer. You get a little prize from reception for doing this too.


Both the kids really enjoyed the spooky spell treasure hunt and the fact finding sheet. It kept them occupied and also learning at the same time. Combined with all the Halloween decorations, the animals and different exhibits it was a brilliant afternoon out. The rock pool experience was even open (with extra hand washing) which meant the kids were kept pretty busy and loving every minute. We took our time going round, reading all the info boards and watching the different sea creatures go about their day. We'll definitely be back.


When the kids were getting a bit peckish we stopped at the cafe on the top floor for some refreshments and to watch people enjoying themselves on the loch. You get stunning views from the cafe and they have an outdoor viewing platform so definitely give it a visit. There's a cinema room too where you can watch a video about saving the sea and it's wildlife. The kids really enjoyed this. 


It really was a fun family day out so if you're looking for something to do that's in keeping with the Halloween theme this month then pop along to the Sea Life Loch Lomond Aquarium for spooktastic fun!


We were gifted a family ticket in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 


15 July 2020

Review: Delicious Food from Shardana Catering

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Last week the hubby and I were treated to a beautiful meal at home thanks to Shardana Catering and chef Stefano. If you're looking for something a bit special and different then Shardana Catering are definitely the people to go to. They offer a wide variety of services including; private chef hire, private catering for a special day, private sommelier service, entertainment and event packages. Nothing is too much trouble for you and your guests.


Shardana Catering are based in Edinburgh and operate throughout Scotland but can provide services UK wide on request. Stefano didn't cook in our home this time but he did provide us with a delicious meal for 2 hand delivered straight to our door. We even got dressed up for the occasion, why not!? The menu choices for our meal all looked fabulous but we managed to whittle it down in the end. For starters I chose the scrummy home cured salmon in a beetroot infused with herbs creme fraiche, lemon gel and apple pure and the hubby went for handmade smoked duck breast, pan fried asparagus, rocket and truffle oil. Both dishes were amazing and so well presented. Stefano even provided us with some cute little appetisers which was very kind. Those were tasty too.


For our mains we had braised slow cooked Ox cheek with smoked mashed potatoes and root vegetables, beef jus and baked seabass en papillote with seasonal veg, mussels and herbs. Both dishes were very generous helpings and just as delicious as our starters. Honestly couldn't fault them. Stefano also made us some bread to accompany our dishes, it was bloody amazing! I put a little butter and sprinkled rock salt over it. Highly recommend.


With full bellies we had a breather before trying our desserts, they did not disappoint though. I had the very mouth watering coffee mousse with chocolate and almond cigar whereas the hubby went for cream bomboloni. For anyone that doesn't know (I didn't) bomboloni are fluffy pillows of rich and tender fried pastry dough rolled in sugar and filled with velvety Crema Pasticcera {Italian Pastry Cream}, fresh and warm out of the oven. How fabulous is that.


I was really impressed with the quality of our food and the fact it was all still warm when delivered. Shardana Catering is all about using high-quality ingredients in its authentic and modern Italian cuisine and this definitely showed with our food. Everything was carefully prepared and packaged for its journey to us and like I said the portion sizes were generous.


From corporate events to private parties and weddings, you can wholeheartedly rely on Shardana Catering to provide the best catering service. I would most definitely recommend to family and friends.


The food from Shardana Catering was provided in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

 

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