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Saturday 5 November 2016

Christmas Gift Ideas Guide - plus *win* The Book of Everyone

Ahhh, it's that time of year again folks! You know the one - where all of a sudden you find yourself in a supermarket looking for rolls of loo roll and end up being greeted by rolls of wrapping paper. Tin foil looks mysteriously like tinsel and and there are baubles as big as your backside swinging precariously from side to side (not unlike your backside)...

Yes, it's the run up to Christmas! 

There was a time, in my pre-teaching career, that I used to love leisurely lunchbreak strolls through Leeds, picking out presents well in advance and making helpful suggestions to the love of my life about possible Xmas day surprises. This then changed to post school online perusing (mid marking and planning) when I became a Teacher, swiftly followed by the here and now: Mild Mummy panic as you realise that it is November and you've not even been to a 'non food' shop lately, let alone thought about what to buy your little wrigglers, big Daddy or even what you would like for yourself. You've already exhausted the get out clause of last year - you know, where you suggest that little smidge is too young to know what's going on and an extra breastfeed or something would definitely be high on his Xmas list anyway! Crying into a glass of wine about your post baby brain memory loss and warbling, "baby all I want for Christmas is youuuuuu", just isn't going to cut it this year....

So here it is, my (hopefully) helpful list of Christmas gift ideas for us Mums, you Dads and our little Tiddlers (am I the only one who just read that word and broke into a Mr Bloom song??!) some of these are tried and tested recommendations (note to family, this means we already have them), others are lovely little things I've noticed along the way and kept a record of purely for the purpose of this Christmas gift guide:

Gifts for Toddlers:

 A personalised story book which contains character pictures with the face of your actual child. I LOVE this! I had a personalised story as a child and I've always, always remembered it - but the only thing missing from my original book was that the girl in the pictures just didn't look like me. This book solves that problem and it does so really really well.

 The company who make the book believe that children should be encouraged to read from a young age stating "Our books instantly grab the child’s attention (as it has their photo in it) and maintains it throughout. We advocate that adults reading books to children from a young age gives the child the invaluable gift of a love of reading. We also strongly believe that traditional hardback books should still have a place in our lives, and on our bookshelves." I couldn't agree more.

I'd love for the company to include the possibility of a cover sleeve for the book which would include your child's face, and maybe the possibility of the story including the names of friends too to make it even more personalised.

Personalised Cutlery from Find me a gift*

 How lovely are these personalised cutlery sets from findmeagift? The set is made from stainless steel and is personalised using light laser engraving which creates a slightly gold coloured name. I think these will be a wonderful addition to the Christmas dinner table - especially if this is the first year that your child will be using cutlery properly themselves! I cannot wait to leave these next to Arthur's xmas dinner. He absolutely loves to use cutlery that looks like Mummy and Daddy's (ie, metal!!) and I think he will be really excited to find his name on there too...plus of course, I love a good learning opportunity!! The fact that the name is printed as you would teach your child to wrote their name (capital at the start and then lower case) makes it a really useful name learning tool, as well as dinner eating tool!

The website also has some other amazing gift ideas for all the family, definitely worth a look if you are struggling for ideas. Findmeagift allows you to collect loyalty points on all of your purchases too - which you can then use for discounts on future purchases.


NB: If you are going away for Xmas, then my blog post last year on lightweight toys for toddlers has some really nice ideas for interesting, but easy to carry gifts for your little ones.


We will be writing a full review on this item in the next few week, but for the purpose of Xmas gift ideas, this is well worth a look into for toddlers. This bike is suitable for use once your child is confidently walking and is designed to be used pre-balance bikes ( which are designed to be used pre-pedal bikes).  I have seen first hand what an amazing difference balance bikes can make when trying to progress to pedal bikes and have high hopes for this one. Physical development is one of the most important areas of learning for young children and underpins pretty much everything else. I am always on the look out for quality products which help young children to build up those important muscles and gross motor skills at an early age, I can't believe I hadn't heard of it before.

Crumb pet mini vaccum cleaner

If you have read any of my posts before, you will know that last xmas Arthur received a mini Henry Hoover toy, which he absolutely loved! Cause and effect toys are great for little minds, and this little crumb pet pig vacuum is the perfect little toy to encourage your child to clear up any mess that they make and helping them to be independent. Years ago I bought some of these for some children that I nannied for....admittedly after I had spent a good hour picking up hammer beads fro the carpet which lead me to believe there must be an easier way! 
They do actually work, and hoover up crumbs and mess really well. Perect for the table top and makes clearing up extra fun! I will definitely be investing in one of these for Arthur...

Gifts for Mums:

Enamour lightweight earrings* 

 A perfect choice for ethically minded Mums, Enamour uses the excess fabric from their clothing line, including vegan leather, to cut down on waste within the industry - plus, a portion of each sale goes to NORD (National Organisation for Rare Disorders). 

The earrings are hand made and perfectly lightweight and hypoallergenic, with a range of styles and colours to match different outfits, including: denim, metal inspired, holiday patterns, stripes and vegan leather. The studs pictured are the platinum grey metals inspired earrings, made from poly blend and surgical steel. This is a great colour to match a range of different outfits - and anyone who knows me well can attest to my obsession with anything of the colour/shade grey!!! With these little beauties I can perfectly match most things in my house...

bareMinerals Xmas sets 

It's no secret that I am a little bit obsessed with bareMinerals, not just their makeup but also their new skincare range. I was lucky enough to film some teaser clips for them at their head office in London at the start of the year and try out some more of their products. I haven't purchased any of these xmas sets myself, but I have taken a look at them all during my recent visit to Ilkley Beauty Clinic. Of course I had to mention a couple of the sets here as gift ideas, because this makeup range is just so quick and easy to use - totally fool proof for Mummies with little time on their hands.  If you are local to West Yorkshire, these sets are all available to buy from Ilkley Beauty Clinic, otherwise you can find them here: 

Let it Glow:       Be Beautiful:  

This amazing little tub of loveliness can be used as a cleanser, exfoliant or a rich balm, making it a perfct multitasking product for busy mums. It is organic, so you don't need to worry about this rubbing off onto your little one's skin if, like me, you can't help but shower themwith a million kisses and cuddles a day. It also comes with an organic muslin cloth - although a I suspect most Mums probably have a million of these lying around the house already! Still, nice to have a new one that has never been sicked on...

Whilst browsing the site I also came across this new organic Rose and Geranium deodrant - now I have been looking for a natural deodrant that also smells nice for such a long time. I know there have been many articles written in the past about possible links between certain conditions and the chemicals we apply to our skin, particularly our underarms so this is something I will absolutely be investing in.
 They also have a couple of other varieties spray and/or roll on in Lavender & aleo Vera, Lemon & Coriander and Peppermint & Lime. 

Aromatherapy Associates bath oil collection

I have used the Aromatherapy Associates deep relax bath and shower oil to help me sleep since before I was pregnant with Arthur (it's amazing stuff), and arthur's Daddy swears by their Revive shower oil in the morning to wake him up.  This gift set has a miniature version of their oils (all targeted at different needs) such as support breathe, relax, de-stress, revive and more. This is a perfect way to give them a go before buying the full size - and they really do work.

Gifts for Dads:

Seasalt bamboo socks

My sister has raved about Seasalt socks for a long time - and today, I am sat at her house wearing a pair of hers ( yes I forgot to pack socks for my visit) and I can honestly say they are the comfiest socks I have ever worn! They will be on my xmas list, but also I think these are a perfect present for the Dads too! Like the women's, the Men's come in a box perfect for wrapping and popping under the tree. I don't know about you, but socks as Xmas gifts for Dads has always been a bit of a tradition in my family and I often keep my eyes peeled for beautifully made colourful variations which are much more popular these days than plain black.

Dome8 phone case*

The Dome8 is an Iphone case that holds your Apple headphones. My husband is always getting his headphones tangled up, or even worse, losing them - this is pretty much the solution! Of course it isn't just for Dads, this would make a great gift for Mums or even  teenagers. The innovative design has "no-snaggable" edges which allows your phone to slip in and out of pockets or handbags easily. The dome at the back where the cables are stored actually makes your phone really comfortable to hold, with a bit of extra 'grip'. The front edges are raised for screen protection. It does make it a bit trickier to fit your phone into your skinny jeans, but most of us can be found with our phone in our hands these days anyway right??

There were a couple of things which I found a bit trickier with this case - I like to use the side buttons to take photos which I couldn't do with this. I understand the newer model for iphone 6 has rectified this problem. I found the case easy to put on, but not so easy to remove ( and I always store an emergency 'note' under my screen so do need to be able to get to this). I think this case is fab, but it would be even better if the entire case were to be made from a more jelly/rubber material so it had flexibility to be removed easily, and this would also potentially make the side buttons easier to press too.

I recently wrote a review on our own Book of Everyone for Arthur's Nanny Lyn, we loved it so much, it is so unique that of course we had to include it here. Obviously, this isn't just a gift for Dads, as the name would suggest it is a book for 'everyone' - but they do have special versions for Dads (and Mums!) The book is personalised for each person.

SONOS PLAY wireless speaker

No gift list for Dads would be complete without a gadget or two - This SONOS wireless speaker allows you to Stream your entire music library, music services and internet radio. Your music can be controlled from anywhere using a smartphone, tablet of PC/Mac, and this is a gift idea that can be added to over the years/occasions as you eventually fill your home and different rooms with the speakers...or just stick with the one!

Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner

This isn't a joke entry - my brother in law recently asked for ( and received) one of these for his birthday and absolutely raves about it! Of course we are living in a world where thankfully, men and women generally take on more equal roles around the home (and so they should!) and of course, if 'Mum' has recently given birth, chances are the hoovering duty comes down to 'Dad' in any case - unless of course you are lucky enough to be able to afford a cleaner. This is a great space saving gadget, makes stairways super easy to clean and can also be taken outside to clean the interior of your car. We would LOVE to have one of these at home - we are super short on space, so the compact nature of this product would be perfect. I'd love to know what you think if you already own one and have been using this for a while!

Disclosure: All items marked '*' were previously received in return for an honest review. This post may contain some affiliate links.

Disclosure: All items marked '*' were previously received in return for an honest review. This post may contain some affiliate links.

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