Our favourite Christmas treats.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Everyone loves some special Christmas treats this time of years. Here is a quick round up of my personal favourites this year.

Tanqueray London Dry Gin


Is there anything quite as refreshing as an elegant glass of Tanqueray London Dry with cold refreshing tonic water and a slice of lemon? I for one can't wait to break open mine at the Weekend.

With it's extra smooth taste, it has an elegance that sets it apart and a flavour that shines in sophisticated cocktails and vibrant gin and tonics. 


Made with the finest botanicals including refreshing juniper, peppery coriander, aromatic angelica and sweet liquorice, its smooth yet bold flavour means it has become one of the world’s most awarded gins.

Tanqueray London Dry Gin is beautifully presented in a striking and iconic green bottle inspired by the traditional three-piece cocktail shaker.



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Ferrero Roche with a difference!

Grand Rocher .



Inside this beautifully presented Grand Rocher is a hazelnut and milk chocolate shell containing several classic Ferrero Roche.


This not only tastes amazing but looks lovely too, great as a stocking filler or to pop under the tree.

Priced at £4



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Raffaello.


These are perfect for white chocolate lovers - have you ever tried to find a nice box of just white chocolate? It's not as easy as you would think!

Comprised of a crisp coconut covered white chocolate and wafer shell, encasing a smooth coconut filling and whole almond - they really are delicious!

Priced at £4.50

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The Ferrero Golden Gallery Box  


This premium box of chocolates contains 22 variations of the Ferrero Roche we all know and love, as well as some of the classics for good measure!

Included in the box:Ferrero Manderly - crisp hazelnut shell covering a smooth hazelnut filling with an almond center.

Ferrero Tenderly White - white chocolate praline with a hazelnut filling.

Classic Ferrero Rocher - whole hazelnut encased in milk chocolate and nut croquante.

Ferrero Tenderly Torroncino - milk chocolate praline with a hazelnut filling.

Ferrero Rondnoir: fine chocolate covered specialty, with a dark chocolate covered hazelnut centre in a smooth filling.

Priced at £6

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Cottage Delight Hampers.



One of my all time favourite things about Christmas, is my Husband and I sharing a lovely cheese board and a glass of port (or 2!) in front of the fire - bliss!

This indulgent Cheese Board Collection from Cottage Delight, is a special, handpicked selection of traditional treats. 

It contains everything you need to complement an impressive cheese board for guests or yourself! There really is something for everyone.

This collection includes: Caramelised Onion Chutney, Tomato, Garlic & Ginger Chutney, The Cheese Maker's Pickle, Oval Alberts, Scottish Oatcakes, Cheese Board Chutney, and Caramelised Onion Chutney.


I genuinely can't wait to tuck in!

Priced at £27.90


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Referred to as the Worlds most luxurious Irish Cream Liqueur, Feeneys contains 100% Irish grain whiskey and rich dairy cream. The cream goes from Cow grazing in the pastures t the distillery within 24 hours giving it the distinctive creamy taste.

Winning Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits competition and voted Platinum Best in class at the SIP consumer taste awards in the US, you really can't go wrong with a glass or three!



I can't wait to crack open my bottle on Christmas Eve - delicious! 



Available for £12.45 here. 

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Retro sweeties!





These Taveners treats will go down a storm at our Family Christmas gathering. Lot's of old favourites are available for you to enjoy for just £1 a box from Asda.

This Champions tin contains all of the old favourites such as Black Jacks, Fruit Salads, Wham bars and even sherbet Dib Dabs!

Go back in time and reminice for just £5 a tin! I can't wait to open ours and introduce Liv to some classics.


Available from Asda.

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Applewood Cheese bake and nibbles.



We love Applewoods smoked cheese so I was very excited to try out these new additions to the Family.

Applewood nibbles are little cubes of the smoked cheese we all know and love - perfect for a calcium filled snack.

Applewood bake is a pre-prepared cheese bake. All you need to do is pop it into the oven or microwave then sit back and dip your favourite bread into the delicious baked cheese - heaven!


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What is your favourite Christmas treat?

Disclaimer - we were sent samples of some items to try, however all opinion is my own.

Still in need of Christmas gift inspiration? Have a peek at my gift guide.

As December quickly disappears in a blur of Christmas decorations, school Nativities and wrapping paper, here is a round up of my recommendations for perfect last minute gift ideas.

For the home.


Roku streaming stick.



Introducing the Roku Streaming Stick! The ideal Christmas gift for anyone who loves to watch movies and TV shows.

The tiny stick couldn't be easier to install and use, works with any HDMI capable TV and provides access to the most comprehensive streaming channel line-up in the UK, including all major catch-up TV channels (BBC iPlayer, All 4, ITV Player and Demand 5), as well as popular streaming services Netflix, Google Play and Now TV. 

With more than 1,500 channels in total you will never be short of things to watch again! 

The perfect Christmas gift for anyone who wants to catch-up with TV when it suits them.

Priced at £49.99. Available from Amazon, Currys PC World, Maplin, Tesco Direct, and most major supermarkets.



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Y-cam HomeMonitor HD Indoor Security Camera.



This security camera is so quick and easy to set up and gives you peace of mind knowing your home is safe and secure. With access on the go, we even receive personalised notifications to our phone if the camera is triggered.

At a time of year when there are more valuables at home, this internet friendly camera provides you with free cloud recording, which could prove invaluable should the worst happen.





Features:
  • Mains operated Indoor Colour camera with high quality 1 Megapixel1/4” CMOS lens
  • HD720p : 1280x720 Resolution
  • Viewing angle: Horizontal: 80°, Vertical: 45°, FOV: 87°
  • 30 infrared LEDs - see in pitch black up to 15m
  • Built-in Microphone
  • Dimensions 85 x 85 x 30 mm / 3.3 x 3.3 x 1.2 inches
  • 1 year manufacturer’s warranty.


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Thanks to its petite stylish size, modern compact design and pleasing aesthetics, the Tassimo Vivy is ready and able to fit into the smallest space without compromising on style or quality.

Despite it's deceptively slim water tank, it is still able to hold up to 0.7 Litres - making approximately three cups of standard sized drinks without refilling.

They are also very easy to use, simply fill up the water tank and pop in a disk of your chosen drink. Even my 60 year old Dad is a pro with his!

What better way to show a loved one you care this Christmas.

Priced at £33 here.





Salter deep fill toasty machine.




This stylish Salter 900w power toasty machine boast extra large cooking plates, allowing you to not only use bigger slices of bread, but also more filling!

Complete with non stick cooking plates which prevents your bread from sticking and also makes for easier cleaning.

Power, ready to use light indicators. With automatic temperature control plus power & ready to use light indicators, it really couldn't be easier to make yourself a delicious toasted sandwich.


Available for £22.99 here




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JML Phoenix Gold iron.



The perfect gift for the domestic god or goddess! Designed with a special crease-busting, non-stick ceramic-plate which glides through fabrics with ease and precision, the Phoenix Gold Iron from JML is changing the much hated chore into a swift and easy task.

The Phoenix Gold Iron from JML is extremely powerful, with the ability to steam vertically, not only is this iron able to steam delicate & embellished outfits, it is also perfect for use on cushions & curtains - getting your home ready for the influx of relatives. 


Also I have to admit, how stylish does it look? I would be very happy to find this under the tree on Christmas morning!


Priced at £49.99 from JMLdirect.com - including FREE next day delivery.



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For him.


Personalised multi tool key ring from Giftsonline4u.com



This high quality multi purpose key ring comes ready to go with with a torch, two screw drivers, a pen knife and a bottle opener.  

What makes it extra special is the free personalisation, allowing you to have a special message engraved directly on to the piece.

A great gift for anyone who likes to be prepared!


Priced at £19.99





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Gillette grooming shave station.




Give the gift of a sleek, close shave with Gillette’s Flexball Razor Gift Set. 

Gift set includes:

Gillette’s Fusion ProGlide Razor with Flexball technology,
2 additional replacement heads, 
ProGlide Sensitive Active Shave Gel, 
Grooming station. Great for easy storage - and a tidy bathroom!
Available for £26.49 here.






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Dickies Trinity Dealer Boot.




A stylish Chelsea style boot, designed purely to look and feel great! With padded insoles for extra comfort, these boots would make a perfect gift for the stylish Dad or Husband.

While part of the Dickies family, these are not safety boots, they are purely stylish and heard wearing.
Complete with an oil resistant sole and full grain leather upper.


Priced at £54.95






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Braun series 9 shaver.





If you are looking for a gift for a well groomed Man who is a shaver lover, then look no further.


Complete with precision trimmer, battery indicator, wet, dry and cleaning technology the Series 9 from Braun truly ticks all the boxes.


Boasting quadruple action cutting system and a middle trimmer that not only lifts, but also cuts flat lying hair. 


The pivoting shaving head adapts around facial contours for the most thorough and comfortable shave yet!


Priced at £219 here.







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For the Kids:


Little Tikes Cook N Store Kitchen.



The only kitchen that comes completely assembled and folds up with all accessories inside for easy storage - Children's cooking has never been so tidy! Complete with a stove top and 2 ovens for cooking, little details like true to life clicking knobs and spinning storage shelves make this kitchen very appealing for hours of fun. 

Includes 34 accessories including plates, cups, cutlery, pans, cooking utensils, and play ingredients. Suitable for age 18 months - 6 years


Priced at £47.99




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Disney Frozen 52 piece art set.


Keep your little one's busy this Christmas with the Frozen 52 Piece Art Case. Your child will have hours of fun colouring, painting and drawing and as everything comes in a handy, portable case, tidying away takes seconds and stores easily.

Contents:
2 Colour Your Own Stickers Sheets, 8 x Crayons, 8 x Colouring Pencils, 8 x Markers, Ruler, HB Pencil, Pencil Sharpener, Eraser, Sponge, 10 x Paint Cakes, Painting Brush, Mixing Palette.



Priced at just £4.99


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Rio roller pure quad skate boots.


I genuinely can't wait to see Liv using hers, she will be so excited!

By making some small cosmetic changes & without losing any performance qualities, Rio Roller have brought this sensationally low retail price on these entry-level skates.

Specifications
Semi-soft quad skate, PVC leather construction, PU cast 82A Rio Roller wheels, PUI stopper with easily replaceable bolts, Nylon hi-impact chassis with aluminium trucks, ABEC 7 bearings.

Priced at £44.95



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This little cottage is so pretty and sturdy, it will be a staple role play toy in our house for years. It really comes into it's own with the finishing touches like a working door, letterbox, shutters, shelf, mirror and real photo frame - allowing your little one to pop in a real 6x4 photograph.

It also comes complete with a cooker unit featuring an opening oven door and turning knobs.


Constructed from a strong steel frame, with a zip off cover, the rose petal cottage really is built to last. Liv absolutely adores hers and can't wait to have her Cousin over to play in it over Christmas.

Suitable for 2+ years and currently on sale for £79.99 in Argos.



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Mamas and Papas Armadillo Dolls Pram.





This Mamas and Papas Armadillo Dolls Pram is perfect for Children aged 4 - 8. 

Your little one will love role playing by pushing their favourite doll around in this compact yet super stylish lemon yellow pushchair. Packed full of fantastic features such as front swivel wheels for easy maneuverability, reclining seat, soft foam handle for comfortable pushing, removable hood, mesh shopping basket below the seat and even a coordinating changing bag, we have never come across such a realistic dolls pram, Liv adores hers.


When play time is over, this pram can be folded up to a compact size for easy storage and transportation - perfect!



Priced at £37.84 on Amazon.





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LeapBand.



This "smart" watch for Children is not only great fun but is also an activity tracker which encourages Children to actively move around and carry out fun tasks so that they can look after their virtual pet. 

For example they may be asked to hop like a frog or wiggle like a worm, the idea being the more active they are the more rewards they get to unlock new levels and activities. Progress is shown in the form of an energy bar on screen so the Child can easily see their work paying off - this in itself is great fun!


Liv already loves hers and won't be parted from it, playing happily with it by herself. An excellent gift idea!

Suitable for ages 4 - 7 and available in Blue, Green, Pink or Orange.

Priced at £24.99



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For her:


Dragonfly photo frame from Joy The Store.









I fell in love with this pretty Dragonfly frame as soon as I saw it. With an intricate floral and dragonfly design, this shabby-chic neutral finish frame would make a charming addition to any room. Simply pop in a special 4 x 6 photo and give to a loved one this Christmas. What a lovely way to display your favourite memories


Priced at £17.










I can personally recommend this Braun facial epilator & cleansing brush set. With minimal effort - and no skin damage - those nuisance hairs will be removed for up to 4 weeks. Simpy swap the head for a deep skin cleanse. Perfect for the Lady in your life.

What's included:

Main unit (including battery and cap)
2 x cleansing brush heads,
Epilator head,
Lighted mirror,
Storage bag.


Who wouldn't want to open this gift on Christmas morning? Everyone loves new slippers for Christmas and this faux fur pair have an extra special touch. Presented in a beautiful glittery box, topped with a ribbon, they are accompanied by a tube of luxury foot lotion and a box of foot soak crystals


Priced at £9.99.







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    This chunky knit cardigan coat is a classic with a modern twist. The chunky wool cables are complimented by a lovely lattice stitch design on the high funnel collar, pockets and cuffs. Accented with five horn buttons, ending at the waist to give an elegant yet relaxed silhouette. 

    Made from 100% British Wool in an Aran cable style, this beautiful cardigan can also be machine washed - on a wool setting only.
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  • Available in 7 colours and priced at £60.





















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This beautifully presented CHOC CHICK starter Kit is perfect for those with allergies, despite making delicious fine chocolates, this kit is free of dairy, gluten, refined sugar, soya, egg, additives and guilt!

Complete with enough ingredients to make 30 raw chocolates, truffles or you could even get a bit naughty and make delicious chocolate cocktails (CHOC-tails!) or hot chocolate.

Kit includes:
CHOC Chick Recipe Booklet
Organic Raw Cacao Butter 100g
Organic Raw Cacao Powder 100g
Sweet Freedom 100ml
50 mini baking cases






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Good luck finding the perfect gifts and Merry Christmas!

Disclaimer - some of the items featured have been sent to me for review and some are my own. All opinion is my own.

Home design that's easy to come home to.

Monday, 7 December 2015

In today's increasingly active times, more and more people are opting for an interior design style that is both affordable and minimalist in terms of the attention it requires to stay looking good. We have already seen a huge expansion on the number of people starting this approach with the outside of their homes – commissioning low-maintenance garden plans involving rockeries and juvenile trees rather than vast expanses of lawns and flowers – and now that trend has started working its way indoors.

With longer working hours and environmental restrictions meaning that many of us can no longer spend hours weeding flower-beds and watering outside spaces, this approach has crept inside. Artificial plants are an obvious starting point for this method, as their consistent appearance means that their owners aren't greeted by a smelly, dead bunch of vegetation floating forlornly in a vase when they get home after a business trip.


Such decorations are only in need of the occasional spot of dusting, and a natural extension of this can be found in many modern communal rooms. Stained concrete flooring offers users a non-porous surface coupled with a contemporary look, and will be easy to clean as the surface is virtually impervious to spillages or accumulated footprints. Carpet tiles can also make life easier than wall-to-wall carpets, as any spills or stains can be isolated to individual sections, which in turn can be removed and washed without the need to spend money and time treating the whole area.
  
Away from the aesthetic and into the practical, money can be saved on heating whilst also ensuring that you come home to a warm and cosy environment, regardless of how long you've been away. Versismart's range of customised heating appliances are custom-designed to fit the room they are selected for, and by using their smart heating system you will never waste energy on rooms that aren't in use. 

Stylish and practical, they can also save you money – just like your choice of furniture fabric. More and more people, especially those with children, are starting to opt for faux-leather sofas and armchairs as a result of their wipe-clean nature and durability. Avoid colours such as cream, white and ivory, and instead opt for schemes such as charcoal grey, black or chocolate which will hide a wide range of sins. 

Clever lighting, de-cluttered surfaces and matching appliances are all easy ways to finish off your new, low-maintenance home – and provided you clan before you leave (and set the heating to come on just before you come back) you will never be subjected to a list of chores when you walk through the front door again.