Christmas Gift Ideas for £5 or Less From Sportsdirect

Sports Direct has been a great shop to kit my children out with sports wear over the last few years but would you have thought of popping in there for your Christmas gifts?  With an array of items under £5, it’s well worth checking out whether you are just after a small gift, secret santa or stocking filler item.

I was challenged to pick up a few gifts from there and was actually surprised at the choice available for both adults and children.  For me toiletries or socks are always a winner when it comes to stocking fillers or added extras to main presents so I was pleased to pick up some items that would suit my family this year.

The Korres gift set seemed a bargain at £5 and contains two quality products and is perfect for someone I know (just a shame that the box is a bit battered but I will put the contents in a gift bag with tissue paper instead).  I’m sure you are well aware that I have a little minion crazy boy at home so what better than a set of Despicable Me mini shower gels.  I love these small sizes as he does have a tendency to tip a whole bottle out at a time – oops!  Star Wars socks will be a hit with him too so ideal for his stocking (he’s a massive believer in Santa at 7yrs old so lots of little surprise gifts keep him happy!).  The Star Wars gift set looks great and I have a couple of people in mind for that one.

Overall I’m really pleased with my Christmas purchases from Sports Direct and shopping online was simple as you can filter gifts into one place.  You have the option of delivery at £4.99 or if you click and collect in store you still pay the £4.99 but receive a voucher to spend in store for the same amount valid for 12 months (well worth doing if your store is easily accessible).

Why not check out Sports Direct online and see what goodies you can find this year for Xmas?

This post is an entry for BritMums #sdfiverchallenge Christmas Challenge, sponsored by Sportsdirect.com.

Lush Halloween & Christmas

When it comes to special occasions Lush always bring it out the bag with an array of exciting products to fit the season and always manage to be innovative in their designs and ideas.  I was lucky to get a preview of the Halloween and Christmas ranges and am pleased to be able to share with you some of their fun themed products.

One I’d definitely buy for my children this Halloween is the Ectoplasm bath bomb, with citrus fragrances it bubbles up and leaves a slimy layer on top of the bath water, which is great for softening the skin but even more fun to play with.

A new addition to the range of lip scrubs and stains is Black Rose which looks so pretty.  If you are a fan of the other lip products then this won’t disappoint and gives a lovely deep pink colour on application of the stain.

Bewitched has to be one of the cutest Halloween bubble bars with it’s black cat head and yellow eyes.  Packed with bergamot it smells rich, spicy and fills the bathtub with bubbles and you can use it several times over which is a bonus.

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Moving on to Christmas, there were some exciting new arrivals, how about these Golden Pear soaps.  With a rich luxurious lather, these are a pleasure to wash with packed with lots of golden ingredients – pear puree, cardamom oil, agave syrup, orange oil, cocoa butter, almond oil among other things.

One thing I must mention are the new Lush Naked products, that is products without packaging – quite literally with no plastic bottle or tub.  So how does that work then, well a shower gel or body conditioner is thickened up until it is in a solid state but still lathers and feels like the product it should be.  In the picture below you can see the Snow Fairy Naked body conditioners.  This is a new idea but one that we should all be embracing as think of how many fewer plastic bottles would end up in landfill!

Man in the Moon just has to be the bubble bar for my son, the colours and style are right up his street although the added cocoa butter is great to keep his skin soft and moisturised.  Lime and neroli oils keep this one smelling fresh and clean.

Snow Fairy cold pressed soap looks pretty and would make the perfect stocking filler for any Snow Fairy fan.  With it’s familiar scent it’s a great way to lather up in the bath or just use for washing your hands.

Twilight Sparkle Jar has to be the cutest things I’ve seen for a while.  This massage bar melts into the skin with it’s moisturising cocoa butter along with lavender and tonka.  When you are done, simply tip it up and shake a golden lustre powder over your skin to leave your you shimmery and soft.

Some great ideas from Lush this year – what will be on your Christmas list?

 

Festive Ice Cubes with Filtered Water from Brita

At Christmas time it’s nice to present food and drink a little differently, a bit pretty with a festive touch, so I’ve been preparing some festive themed ice cubes ready for my guests to enjoy in their drinks on the big day.  Using filtered water from my Brita Marella Silver Jug I was already feeling the festive spirit and couldn’t wait to get started.

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For Christmas inspiration I purchased some blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and rosemary to give that festive zing!  I started by setting up my beautifully festive and pretty Brita Marella jug with it’s filter and water and putting this in the fridge to chill.  The glittery silver design on top is particularly pretty and brings a sparkle to my fridge and adds a shine at Xmas.

britaI then added various berries, herbs and filtered water to my ice cube trays and tried to choose trays with appropriate shapes for the festive season such as stars and long oblong shapes that would sit prettily in glasses.  What I love about these is that they are so versatile and you can use them in plain water, lemonade or cocktails.  The choice is yours.  I added a drop of orange juice to some of the star cubes for added flavour but love that all the ingredients add both flavour, texture and a really attractive addition to your Christmas drink!

brita-3 Using water is so simple but adds an interesting touch to drinks at Christmas and is something that all your guests will love.  With the water being filtered you know it has a better flavour and your ice cubes will melt perfectly into the drink.wp_20161211_16_37_13_pro

We’ve enjoyed using Brita filtered water to create our festive ice cubes and can’t wait to share them with guests over the festive season.  Why not try some too, it’ll add a bit of fun and fruity delight to drinks that guests will love!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

 

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Christmas Crafts with Baker Ross

Christmas decorations made by the children are so lovely to see and they love making them, so what could be easier than some cute little festive kits from Baker Ross.   They have some really lovely ones to try out this year and my two children have spent the last week or so beavering away after school getting them ready to hang throughout the house.  With everything from scratch art, sewing, sticking and colouring available they really do get to try out different skills and produce some beautiful, fun pieces.

wp_20161126_10_28_58_pro-1Eager to start making decorations the children have been busy creating, loving every minute of putting these simple to use kits together.  The scratch art caught both their eyes and they were engrossed in scratching the black overlay to reveal rainbow colours underneath.

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The results of the scratch art are incredibly effective and we have these pinned up on our kitchen wall to brighten it up over the festive season.

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Miss enjoyed making the padded reindeers and I was really pleased at how she just got on with the sewing herself.  All I had to do was tie knot in the end of the wool for her.  I think these look absolutely fabulous and are decorations that we will treasure for many years bringing them out again as they look so cute and effective!

6tag_051216-200956The Santa and Elf foam sticky packs are really simple to assemble and kept the children occupied for ages creating all different combinations of glasses, hats, gloves etc. on the character templates.  Again they look fabulous and I can’t wait to string them along my front room to add to the festive feel!

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Again, more successful crafting with Baker Ross, the kids love the kits, they are minimal mess and the results are incredibly fantastic.  I know our house will look bright, colourful and festive this year!  Why don’t you get your kids crafting with Baker Ross kits for the festive season?

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

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Duck Tape Wreath

Duck Tape is so versatile and over the last few years we’ve tried several craft projects with it.  This year we were given the opportunity to create a Christmas wreath using Duck Tape and I knew my 8yr old would be up for the challenge of helping me out, so last weekend we got stuck in and spent an afternoon with a table of Duck Tape.
wp_20161126_10_34_08_pro We were provided with a polystyrene wreath and the relevant colour Duck Tapes and couldn’t wait to get started. We had to cut just over sixty 6 inch strips of green tape which we folded and fringed with the scissors.  This was Miss M’s job whilst I stuck the strips around the wreath.  We used a whole roll of green tape up but fortunately I had a little green left on a roll in the garage so we were able to continue. duck-tape-wreath

I then made a large red bow and cut out some red berries and gold glittery stars.  I have to say we are really impressed with the finished result and think it looks fabulous up on the wall.  I’m going to hang it on my inner door for the festive season so all our visitors get to see and admire our lovely creation.  Duck Tape projects always seem to be a talking point with others and they are intrigued at all the wonderful things you can make with it.
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We loved working with the tape as it’s strong and durable and I hope we can pack this Duck Tape wreath away after the festive season and bring it out again for many years yet.  I’m sure Miss M will love looking back in a few years at the great wreath that she helped to create.  Why don’t you try making a Duck Tape wreath to hang on a door in your home this festive season?

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Lush Halloween and Christmas 2016

Lush is perfect for Christmas treats, amazing smelling gifts and pampering yourself from head to toe in naturally handmade products that leave your skin feeling soft, smooth and totally relaxed. I was excited to find out from Lush Plymouth about the latest arrivals for this years Halloween and Christmas ranges, some brought back from previous years and others new and intriguing.

lushThe array of goodies on the shelves as you enter the shop keep your eyes wandering in excitement whilst the aroma hits you and instantly makes your feel relaxed. I love looking at all the Christmas gifts wrapped in pretty boxes or super cute tins. They have a great choice to fit everyones tastes and price points.

We started off by having a demonstration of the Halloween range which has some super cute items including Boo a fun little bath melt, packed full of cocoa butter and ginger oil for a relaxing, softening bath. The bath bombs that stood out for me in this range are Autumn Leaf which looked so pretty as it melted away in the water and Monster’s Ball which looked fantastic as it dissolved as well as having the most heavenly fragrance full of both lime and neroli oils. What also looked amazing was the way the eye of the monster floated around in the water as the rest of the bomb dissolved – eek, a little creepy but perfect for Halloween!

lush-2Then is was time to check out the Christmas ranges and there were so many fun things, even my children would be spoilt for choice by some of the cute bath pieces. The Christmas Penguin bubble bar looks too cute to break up but it’s worth it for the mountain of bubbles it produces. Santasaurus would sit just perfectly in my little boys stocking this year, a reusable bubble bar meaning he could have several baths swishing it around creating bubbles whilst relaxing and playing in an aroma of orange and bergamot oils. lush-3For me I was tempted with the Golden Wonder bath bomb. It looks rather grand as it’s shaped like a huge present box and covered in a gold shimmer. It has one of my favourite fragrances, lime oil in it and as it melts away in the water is a secret surprise inside. Why not try one out for yourself for a long relaxing treat?

Another bath bomb that looked fascinating as it swirled around in the water is Northern Lights.  With it’s purple barrel shaped exterior, it spun around fizzing away in with colours shooting out of each end.

As well as all the bath treats are some rather fun looking soaps such as Shooting Stars with a fresh citrusy fragrance, Snowcastle which looks really creamy and Santa’s Postbox.  I must also mention the shower jelly’s that had extra large versions on display in the store, Santa’s Belly and Snowman look like great wobbly fun for in the shower!

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At the end of the event I was able to choose some of the goodies to take away and try at home.  It was easy to pick bath and shower products as that’s what I normally stick to in Lush, but looking for a body product I wanted to try something new and different that I wouldn’t normally use.  With my favourite Rose Jam shower gel in my basket (a must for any fans of Rose fragrances), a couple of exciting looking bath bombs and some soap samples, I decided to opt for my something else a little bit different.

wp_20161028_12_07_03_proI’ve never really used any of Lush’s face and body products so decided to go out of my comfy bath bomb box and try something new, not just for myself but to share with you, my readers. I tried Bûche De Noël, a facial cleanser, a totally fresh, natural cleansing product packed full of ground almonds, kaolin, fresh mandarin, dried cranberries and cocoa butter.  It does have a very festive touch to it but how would it work?

I’ll be honest, the first couple of times I used it, it is a little messy.  You need to take a generous pinch and mix in your palm with a few drops of water to make a paste and then massage across your face.  It has a light exfoliating action but gives a really deep clean.  I still wasn’t too sure about it, that is until I washed it off – Oh My!!  My face felt incredibly baby soft, smooth, ultra cleansed and looked really fresh.lush-buche

Lush at Christmas as you can see is packed full of amazing and exciting products that smell divine.  They have a fabulous gift range which is worth checking out and lots of fun little products that would make ideal stocking fillers!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

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Christmas 4000 Sticker Activity Book – Review

Christmas 4000 Sticker Activity Book from Parragon is the perfect way to keep kids occupied over the festive season.  With a jam packed book bursting with pages to keep little ones entertained and an exceptional array of stickers in the middle, every child will be keen to dig in and explore what there is to do.

Christmas stickersThe multitude of pages really does cover every kind of activity, from colouring to dot to dot, mazes, spot the difference, various drawing activities as well as loads of pictures for you to stick your stickers!

Christmas stickers 3If your kids love stickers, then they certainly won’t be disappointed.  There are many pages in all different sizes and shapes, but importantly they are brightly filled with festive images to create wonderful pictures with. I love the little gingerbread men skiing as well as a full set of stickers to recreate a nativity scene, including Mary, Joseph, shepherds, kings and of course baby Jesus.  My little boy was particularly fond of these as he has recently perfomed his first nativity at school, so was excited to show me the scene on paper with these stickers.

Christmas stickers 2This book is action packed and has hours of activities in it, well worth getting to fill any spare time over the next few weeks!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the sticker book in order to write an honest review.

Christmas Craft with Baker Ross

A great time of year to do craft with the children is Christmas, as the children can decorate the house in all their lovely creations and give the house a festive feel.  As usual Baker Ross have come up with some really simple but effective crafts for children that didn’t disappoint and have kept the children occupied over recent weeks.

Baker RossWe started with some peg angels which are so much easier to make than they look and I think the finished decoration is really pretty and effective.

Baker ross 2All the pieces are sticky backed and simply stick around the peg to make the angel.  A dab of glue for the hair and some ribbon to hang her up by her wings, and there you have it, a sparkly, festive angel to hang up and enjoy.  The children were quite pleased with these and couldn’t wait to start crafting some more!

Baker ross 3We then tried our hand at some lanterns and again these were easy to do, but gave us a really effective result.  The black background is pre cut and the children enjoyed pressing out the shapes.  Then simply glue a coloured tissue onto the back and fold the lantern into shape.

Baker ross 5They have a loop at the top so we are planning on hanging them on some ribbon to adorn the house this Christmas.  With the coloured tissue behind the windows, these look great against held up to the light.

Baker ross 6The foam Snowman house kit was great fun and Miss M really enjoyed assembling it along with sticking the decorative shapes around the outside.  The pieces simply pressed out of foam sheets, which Mister B did before passing them to Miss M to build.  Again I have to say how effective this looks once finished and has taken pride of place in our front room windowsill for the festive season.

Baker ross 4The children love these thick card tree decorations which simply required decorating in any way they chose.  They love the Deco pens from Baker Ross and used them to come up with their designs.  These look pretty hanging from our mantelpiece or could easily be hung from the tree as they come with pre attached gold threads.

Baker ross 7We’ve had lots of fun with the Baker Ross Christmas craft selection and would highly recommend them.  There are so many more available that it’s well worth checking out the website and finding some to suit your children.  I love the idea of children making their own decorations, it’s fun to do and they love seeing the results of their efforts pinned up for everyone to see.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the crafts in order to write an honest review.

The Snowman™ and The Snowdog Great Festive Bake Off Blog Tour

The animated film of The Snowman first graced our screens back in 1982 when I was just seven years old, although it is one of those films that I remember clearly and have watched many times over during it’s annual viewing each Christmas.  The 20th anniversary film released in 2012 shares the snowman’s adventure with another little boy along with a Snowdog, of which has become one of my little boy’s favourite cuddly toys since taking part in last years blog tour.  If you haven’t seen the film or want to watch it again then keep your eyes peeled as The Snowman™ and The Snowdog will be shown on Channel 4 again this Christmas!

Snowman Bake off bannerThis year we have received some lovely Snowman & Snowdog gifts to try out as shown below.

snowdogThe Snowman Indoor Light String with LED bulbs is available from Christmas Trees and Lights priced at £15.99.  The set contains 10 moulded snowman which gently illuminate to a soft glow.  The set requires 2AA batteries to operate it, which I do like as it means they can be hung anywhere.  We chose to hang them from our picture rail between our lounge and dining room.  The children really love these lights and can’t wait for me to turn them on each evening.

snowdog 2A product that will always prove popular in this house is chocolate and when it’s a white chocolate snowman from Thornton’s, you know you are onto a winner!  The chocolate is creamy and very yummy, a firm favourite with my little ones and also myself, great for a Christmas treat!

snowmanThe fun twist on this years Snowman & Snowdog blog tour is a bake off along with the other bloggers taking part.  We have all been sent this lovely set of Snowman & Snowdog biscuit cutters available from John Lewis and Party Delights to see what we could come up with.

snowman 3I didn’t have to ask my children twice if they wanted to help, they absolutely adore baking, and as soon as I mentioned we were starting they were in the kitchen doing up each others aprons and sitting at the work top ready to begin.  Due to an imminent house move my food processor is all packed up, so luckily the children love getting their hands in the bowl and effortlessy rubbed the butter into the flour for our biscuit mixture.  They then rolled out and cut a variety of shapes ready for baking.

snowdog 3I love their results, so sparkly and festive!

snowdog 4And aren’t these snowdogs super cute?

snowdog 5Then it was mummy’s turn with the other half of the mixture.  I carefully cut and baked my shapes before attempting to ice them!  I’d had a long weekend of DIY at my new house and was feeling pretty shattered, so was a little rushed, but I gave it my best shot!

snowdog 6I really enjoyed this challenge and found it really fun to do.  I’ll definitely be trying out some more biscuit designs in the new year when I have a bit more time on my hands.

snowdog 7Mister B’s snowdog came down to the kitchen for a visit and approved of my biscuit creations of him and thought the children would love them!

snowdog 8I have to say the finished biscuits are very tasty and the children couldn’t wait to sample them. I can confirm they do taste absolutely delicious are make the perfect festive treat this Christmas time.

snowdog 9For more Snowman & Snowdog gifts and bake off adventures head over to Madhouse Family Reviews tomorrow for more wonderful festive ideas.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the Snowman & Snowdog goodies in order to write an honest review.

A Sparkly Christmas at Lush

Christmas at Lush is a sparkly, glittery and seasonally fragrant affair that will leave you feeling all festive with all the products and gifts they have on offer.  I had a preview on the launch day of the new Christmas and Halloween ranges as they were fresh into my local store in Plymouth, to see what amazing new products have launched and which firm favourites have returned from previous years for another festive season.

lushWe were greeted with drinks and some fabulous cupcakes from the local Mrs Brown’s bakery which looked too good to eat and very festively decorated!

lush 3Then it was on to the bath section, packed full of glorious bath bombs, melts and bubble bars.  We had some demonstrations of bath bombs in action but here are some that caught my eye.

The Magic of Christmas reusable bubble bar is so festive, a star shape decorated with cloves and star anise, it’s perched on a cinnamon stick.  It’s burnt orange colour gives a warming feeling as the chilly evenings draw in and it’s covered in golden glitter, perfect for a hot bath to relax in the evening.  It has a cute ribbon tied around it’s collar along with a cute anti rusting bell.  The idea is you swirl it in the bath water to create a heavenly, softening bubble bath, packed full of bubbles and a Christmassy aroma of cinnamon, orange and almond.

Stardust is a snowy white Frozen inspired bath bomb with bergamont to uplift you.  Inside it’s white exterior lies a blue and white swirly mass of bubbles and a surprise of edible stars that will float around your bathtub twinkling under the lights.

lush aMagic Wand is a silver glitter coated pink bubble bar on a stick with a festive bell and ribbon attached.  I know my daughter will just love this so got her one to try out.

Five Gold Rings are individual bubble bars, glistening and tied onto a ribbon.  With a sparkly gold coat they are infused with fair trade vanilla and uplifting moringa oil.

Peeping Santa is a rather cute bubble bar that can be split into two halves for two baths!  Bursting with strawberry sweet bergamot and geranium oils and cocoa butter in the middle section, this sounds like a refreshing but relaxing bath full of bubbles.

Candy Mountain is a swirling pink bubble bar rich in vanilla for a soft, relaxing soak.

lush bNext stop, the shower section which was packed full of an array of different and interesting products.  First off, Snow Fairy, a popular favourite with candy floss aromas in a delectable pink colour.   I was tempted but opted to try the Rose Jam as I’m rather partial to to roses and love their fragrance. Never having tried Rose Jam I’m keen to give it a try in the shower over the next few weeks and trust me, it smells heavenly!

lush 7The Icing on the Cake Roulade is a shower smoothie and definitely one that looked quite luxurious, full of citrus peels and chestnut puree.  Perfect for a relaxing shower at the end of the day.

Santa’s Scrub is a mixture of castor sugar, dates and cherries to leave your lips smooth and soft and then you can follow it with Santa Baby, a long lasting lip tint with carrot oil and cinnamon.

Something that was new to me was shower jelly in the form of Santa’s Belly or Snowman.  They literally are just like jelly but quite stable and you rub them over your body to lather them up and wash.

The Cranberry Festive Face Mask smelt lovely and felt great on the back of my hand.  I think this would be wonderful on your face, packed with cranberries, fennel seeds, argan oil and rose clay.  It left the back of my hand feeling smooth and soft.

lush 5The soap bars available this Christmas are Yog Nog, Snow Cake and Baked Alaska shown below along with Reindeer Rock which I didn’t catch a picture off.

lush 2With so many products on offer, you really need to visit a store to check them all out.  Some I haven’t had time to mention are Christingle a body conditioner, Fairy Dust a fun glittery powder along with lots of other bath bombs and bubble bars.  Get along to your local store today and check out the amazing array of ethical goodies to fill your bathroom during the festive season.

I must just mention the Christmas gift selection with it’s cleverly thought out packaging, all very ethically sourced I must add.  Christmas Wishes is a wind up carousel that plays a festive tune, Sleeps ‘Til Christmas has a countdown dial on the front to help you count down the days and The Human Cannonball with it’s cracker snap to open the box that greets you with a colourful display!

lush 6I’m going to finish off with a quick overview of the Halloween range of which includes Lord of Misrule bath bomb and shower gel, Nightwing shower jelly and Sparkly Pumpkin which I couldn’t resist trying.  With juniperberry, lime and grapefruit oils this filled my bath with bubbles and left my skin feeling supersoft and relaxed. Definitely one to use again.

lush 8Keep an eye out for my review of the Xmas products once I’ve tried them in a future post.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received some Lush goodies in order to write an honest review.