ijustloveit.co.uk Online Gift Store – Review

I Just Love It is a wonderful online gift store, with a wide variety of gifts, many of them personalised giving them added meaning to the recipient.  They also have things that are a little bit different from the high street, meaning you can find something unique and special for birthday’s, anniversaries and Christmas etc.

I chose a selection of gifts, all for me to try out and I have to say I haven’t been disappointed!

giftsI should save the best till last but I just have to show you this amazing personalised cake tin.  I absolutely adore it, both in style and quality and it will take pride of place in my kitchen.  It is a little pricey at £42.99, but when you see it with its personalisation and feel it’s strong sturdy quality, you’ll know it’s worth having!

gifts 4The metal is really thick and strong, this tin really is made to last.  It has a handle on top of the lid to aid in opening.  What makes this tin different to others I’ve seen is the airtight seal, meaning that your cakes will stay really fresh and biscuits will stay crisp.  I love the grey colour, neutral but stylish.  The personalisation really makes this tin special though, and makes it the perfect tin to keep on show as well as the perfect storage for all my lovely baked treats.  I can’t wait to serve visitors with a treat from my tin when they come round for tea!

gifts 3This Personalised My Family Keyring is so cute with a silver charm for each child that is engraved with their name and a heart for wording of your choice, of which I chose my name.  The charms are made from a zinc alloy making them sturdy and strong.  At £12.99 I think this would make a lovely gift, I certainly would be more than happy receiving this from my children at birthdays or Christmas (obviously with another adult helping them to buy and order it).  This will be home to my house keys from now and live in my handbag,  I’m very pleased with this item.

gifts 6A girl can never be without too many make up bags, you know what it’s like, some get a bit old and need replacing, you need one for make up, one for hair bits, one for other toiletries etc.. I really like the simple but elegant style of this Beauty Parlour Wash Bag and with its neutral colours and pvc coated cotton outer, it’s practical and also a good size.  This one does seem really well made and at £14.99 is a good price for the quality and has room to hold quite a few items.  It’s sitting proudly in my bathroom at the moment, full of little bits and bobs to make it look at bit tidier but I’m also looking forward to using it when I go away.

gifts 2A small but cute gift is this Grow Me Say It With Flowers Seed Kit and priced at £3.99 is a bargain.  I love roses and hope this successfully grows and is something I can plant in the garden.  An ideal stocking filler or smaller gift if you are doing a bag of presents, then this is the perfect extra.

gifts 5I’ve been really pleased with the selection of gifts from I Just Love It and would happily shop there again.  The items are certainly different from what you’d find elsewhere and the personalisation on the some of the items is unique and makes them stand out a bit.  If you are stuck for gift ideas, then I’d definitely give here a look, the range is vast and you’re sure to find something for person you are gifting.

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

Our Christmas 2013

Christmas is the perfect time for family to get together and enjoy relaxing, although it’s always a bit hectic with young children around.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get Christmas Eve off work this year so luckily my mum and dad offered to look after the children.  They took them out for the day to a local garden centre to have lunch and meet Santa.  It was lovely seeing the photos when they got back as they looked so happy and had a wonderful day, leaving them full of excitement in anticipation of Santa’s visit that night.

EndsleighLater that evening I had the job of icing together a gingerbread house that Miss M had baked the previous day.  I couldn’t let her down by not finishing it, but having not made one before, I didn’t realise how long I would need to stick bits together – definitely not something to be doing while you are busy and rushing, but after a few mishaps I managed to put something together.  I see it as a learning curve for next years which I hope will look much improved!

And so Christmas Day arrived, I was so busy playing with the children, helping chop the vegetables for dinner, drinking something bubbly, that I hardly took any photos, but I do have a few as memories of the day which I’ve shared below.

Miss M spent the day playing with her new Lego, as well as building huge marble runs, crafting with all her arts and crafts materials, making customised headbands with a headband kit, and making 3D pictures with a 3D kit she got.

Xmas MaisyMister B loved his Chuggington train set and spent much of the day playing trains, but did enjoy joining in with Orchard Toys Pop to the Shops game and both children had so much fun and giggles playing Pumpaloons!

Xmas BlakeAll in all we had a fabulous Christmas, everyone had fun, we had lots of laughs.  We were all tired out and had a lazy Boxing Day but I did manage to pop to the shops yesterday for a quick spot of sale shopping.  The children may have been too tired to walk round, but they spotted some huge teddies to curl up next to and relax while mummy picked up a few bargains!

Xmas Sales

The Night Before Christmas – Book Review

The Night Before Christmas by Parragon books is the perfect book to read to children on Christmas Eve or anytime on the run up to Christmas.  This Parragon picture book is a lovely quality with beautifully illustrated full colour pages by Henry Fisher that are sure to delight any young child.  The front cover is glittery and gives a magical feel to the book.

The Night before ChristmasWritten by Clement C. Moore this delightful story about The Night Before Christmas when Father Christmas took to the skies with his reindeer pulling his sleigh delivering presents in the quiet of the night is a pleasure to read.  With it’s rhyming lines, children are eager to hear what happens next and use the pictures to help bring the story to life.

My two children love this and it has been on the reading pile every night.  They find the story enchanting and love the excitement of the quick paced tale.  I’d highly recommend for everyone to read this to their children through the festive period.  It really helps keep the spirit of Father Christmas alive!!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions. We are not paid for reviews although we do receive the product to try out and enable us to write the review.

The First Christmas – Early Reader Book by Orion – Review

The First Christmas is a great story for this time of year, written especially for young readers in this Early Reader by Orion books.

The First Christmas orionMy daughter who is 5, picked this up as soon as it arrived and sat and read the entire book out loud to me.  It really appealed to her being very topical for December, and something she could relate to as she is currently practicing for her school nativity.  The First Christmas tells the story of Mary and Joseph on their journey to Bethlehem where their son Jesus is born. The shepherds and kings come to visit after following the bright star.

Early reader books make children feel more grown up reading and they love turning the page as they make their way through the book.  To ease them into more advanced books, there are pictures on every page to keep them engaged in the storyline and help them understand what’s going on.

We love early reader books, and The First Christmas is no exception.  Miss M enjoyed the story and it’s the perfect reading level for her.  She is able to read most words and needs prompting on a few others.  A great book for the festive period!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions. We are not paid for reviews although we do receive the product to try out and enable us to write the review.

Lightbulb Baubles – Crafty Christmas Decorations

When Lightbulbs Direct suggested using old lightbulbs and recycling them into Christmas decorations, I knew someone who’d be up for the challenge.  My daughter Miss M loves her arts and crafts as is always keen to make something, forever looking for items in the recycling bin to glue together.  I hadn’t thought of using old lightbulbs before, but I found her a couple of and she set to work.

lightbulbs 1

We used some craft bits already at home and started by putting each bulb in a white square of tissue paper and gathering it at the top of the bulb.  We wrapped some Christmas ribbon around the top and made a loop to use to hang our baubles.

Miss M then took one of the lightbulbs and used her purple glitter glue tube to make swirls all around it.  The other bulb she covered in glue and sprinkled coloured glitter on to make it all sparkly.  We let them dry before hanging them on our Christmas tree.  Although simple in design they looked really effective amongst the other tree decorations and with the lights on the tree shining behind the baubles, the glitter shines and glistens away.

Lightbulbs 2

I think these our lightbulb decorations look great, a perfect addition to our tree. Unfortunately the glitter didn’t show up as well in the pictures as it does in real life but hopefully you’ll get an idea of the effect.  Miss M loves seeing her home crafted baubles hanging up and loves telling people she made them.  I’m really proud of 5yr old Miss M’s efforts and we are keen to decorate some more lightbulbs in the future – a great way of recycling your old lightbulbs and having crafty fun too!!

Why not try making some new lightbulb baubles with the children, a great activity to keep them occupied at the start of the Christmas holidays!

This post is a competition entry for LightBulbs Direct ‘Light Bulbles’ Xmas Crafting Competition

Christmas Activites for Children from Vertbaudet

Children love to make things at Christmas time and Vertbaudet have come up with a lovely selection of things to keep them occupied on the run up to the big day!

Here’s a list of things you can make and do:

  • An Advent calendar
  • Paper garland
  • Paper pompoms
  • Letter to Santa
  • Colouring pictures
  • Christmas gift tags
  • Woollen pompoms
  • Paper stars

Most things are easy to make and all have easy to follow instructions, you’ll have most things at home already so why don’t you give something a try.

My 3yr old Mister B wanted to try some colouring sheets so we printed some off for him, while Miss M was keen to try the paper star.  We followed the instructions and with a bit of help from mummy the star came together – she was so pleased and I love it too – it looked really effective hanging up by the tree.  We are going to make some more this week to decorate around the house.

Vertbaudet starsLots of lovely ideas to try – why don’t you try something this weekend to keep the children occupied and add to the festive decorations in your house.

 

Win a Thorntons Christmas Chocolate Bundle

It’s the season for chocolate, well it is all year in my book, but hey at least you can enjoy it at this time of year without worrying about your waistline.  There are a vast array of special designs and moulded figures available for the festive season that look almost too good to eat.

Thorntons have come up with a wonderful range suitable for children designed around The Snowman and The Snowdog, with much of it made of white chocolate.  There are beautifully crafted models, chocolate lollipops and selection packs.  Why don’t you check out the lovely range of Christmas gifts here at Thorntons.

ThorntonsIf you’d like to win The Snowman & The Snowdog Christmas Bundle from Thorntons, then I have one to giveaway to a lucky reader, just fill in the form below to enter:

 

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Christmas Pringles – Sweet Cinnamon and Mint Choc

We all get excited about Christmas and Pringles have certainly brought a bit of festive fun to their ever popular potato snacks this year.  They have released two limited edition flavours just in time for the festive season, Sweet Cinnamon and Mint Choc.

WP_003906So, I can imagine you are all thinking – what do they taste like?  Well with my husband being a lover of Pringles I put him to the taste test along with my children.  He found the Sweet Cinnamon quite tasty once he got round the sweet flavour on a crisp and actually enjoyed munching his way through the tube.  I thought they were ok and had a few as an evening  snack.

Unfortunately the Mint Choc didn’t fare so well with us, the immediate bite seemed quite intriguing but the strong minty aftertaste really didn’t seem right on a crisp.   I have some friends coming over this weekend who I will share these with to see what other views people have on these limited edition flavours.

For us as a family we enjoyed the Sweet Cinnamon but the Mint Choc weren’t for us.  It’s lovely to try new and exciting flavours though and these are only limited editions – so if you fancy trying some for yourself, get to the shops quick!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions. We are not paid for reviews although we do receive the product to try out and enable us to write the review.

Christmas by Dick Bruna

Christmas by Dick Bruna has to be one of the most delightful children’s nativity picture books I’ve come across, telling an elementary tale of the nativity story with simple, but charming pictures in a hard back book.  To mark the 50th anniversary since the book was first published in 1963, a stunning gold and white edition has been published by Simon and Schuster.

Dick Bruna Christmas 50 years

Christmas tells the tale of the shepherds who see the bright light of an angel telling them of a baby called Jesus who has been born in Bethlehem.  They make their way to meet Jesus and find him in a stable.  The three kings also make a visit bringing gifts before returning home on their camels the spread the word that Jesus was born.  Everyone decided that every year the day that Jesus was born should be a holiday and that day is Christmas day.

I have read this to my children aged 5 and 3 numerous times over the last week or two.  This is the perfect time of year to read the book and due to them enjoying both the story and the pictures, it has become a firm favourite at the moment.  They love the nativity story which 5 year old Miss M recognises from what she has learnt at school .  She loves the style of the book and has read the book to us a few times with it’s easy to read sentences and simple style.  Mister B who is 3 enjoys the pictures which are simple and recognisable giving us something to talk about.

Dick Bruna ChristmasThe Christmas book includes a ribbon bookmark to save the page you are on with a delightful angel attached half way along.  Miss M love this and guides it through the pages as we read.  Dick Bruna’s illustrations are uncomplicated in design but totally lovable.  Any fans of Miffy (which we are) will instantly recognise his unique style which has lasting appeal through generations.

I absolutely adore this Christmas book by Dick Bruna and highly recommend it.  It’s classic tale that has widespread appeal which children will enjoy year after year.   The 50th anniversary edition is a delight that I am proud to put on my bookshelf and one that I only let the children read supervised.  This book will be enjoyed many times over by our family on the run up to Christmas and is a book that I hope I can read and pass on to my grandchildren one day.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions. We are not paid for reviews although we do receive the product to try out and enable us to write the review.

Win 1 of 5 The Little Reindeer DVD’s and Review

The Little Reindeer DVD is an ideal Christmas film for young children.  It’s animated in a magical way to engage little ones and is accompanied by music rather than voices.  My two sat down to watch this and were mesmerised throughout watching the story of The Little Reindeer and his adventures with a little boy.

Little ReindeerOn Christmas Eve the little reindeer is exploring Santa’s
workshop when he accidentally falls into the giftwrapping
machine, and finds himself being delivered as a present! The
little boy who receives him is overjoyed and sets about building
him a home, but soon discovers that his reindeer is no
ordinary reindeer, he can fly! After many magical adventures
together, Christmas comes around again and it’s time for
Santa to retrieve his lost gift!

With a running time of 26 minutes this was the perfect length for my two children.  They sat quietly watching it and it really brought the Christmas spirit into the front room.  They both enjoyed it and would happily watch over and over.  This is great for the Christmas season as it is something to occupy little ones with, although not too long to lose their attention.  It really does have a  magical feel and is something that would be watched year after year.

The Little Reindeer DVD was released on 28th October 2013 and can be purchased from all good DVD stockists.

For more information can be found on the Abbey Home Media website or their Facebook and Twitter pages.

If you’d like to win a copy of the new The Little Reindeer DVD, then fill out the form below for your chance of winning 1 of 5 copies:

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