Christmas Gift Guide 2019

Welcome to my 2019 Christmas gift guide. I have split my gift ideas into sections and tried to include a wide variety of products to hopefully help you out if you are struggling for ideas!

Puzzles

Outer Space Jigsaw

£13.49

Jigsaw puzzles are a great gift and are suitable for most ages. You can get a variety of jigsaws, some can be really easy and simple for younger children, and others can be a bit more challenging for older children or adults. This particular one is of outer space and is a 1000pc puzzle. My mum and step dad love doing a jigsaw puzzle and so does my grandma, so I am always keeping my eye out for different ones to get them. This would also be a good family activity to do over Christmas!

~~~

Jacob’s Ladder

£5.49

I had one of these about 15 years ago and I remember how fun it was! They are suitable for anyone over the age of 5 and it is one of those things you could have next to you if you like to hold things or like to have a distraction. I find these to be a much more exciting version of a stress ball and think it is pretty cool.

~~~

Gifts For Little Hands – Pyramids 3 In 1

£25

This is ideal for children and is aimed at children aged 0-2 but to be honest I think slightly older children would have fun with this too! It is made up of 26 coloured wooden shapes and the aim is for the child to put it together depending on the shape and the size. It can be very fun and stimulating and will help to keep the child entertained for a long time! I really like the bright colours too as I think children are attracted more to colours than plain looking toys.

~~~

At My Best – Good Questions Cards

£20

These aren’t really a game or puzzle as such but they are a pack of question cards. They are a great way to get to know others and also to grow yourself. They would be great to use in a working environment as an icebreaker or if you are struggling with motivation, some of the questions can really make you think about stuff and appreciate yourself more. The aim is to make you more positive and to really appreciate life and yourself.

~~~

Top Trumps – Mischievous cats

£4.99

There are so many variations on Top Trumps, I think this mischievous cats set is perfect! It is a great way to learn interesting facts about all kinds of cats and it is a great game to play. You can get a set with dogs too!

~~~

Harry Potter Lex-Go

£14.99

A great word game for any HP fan! It is a fast paced tiled word game which comes in this cool travel bag. You can create crosswords and anagrams and try to use up all of your tiles to beat your opponent. It is aimed for age 8+ so would be great to play with older children to increase their vocabulary.

~~~

Homeware

Silk Flower House – Jug Of Sunflowers

£40

I think flowers make a great gift, but the problem is they don’t last very long which is why I prefer artificial flowers. Silk flower house create amazing arrangements of flowers and I just love this jug of sunflowers. I think sunflowers can bring so much happiness especially at this time of year when it is so dark and rainy! I love the cute jug they come in and this would make a beautiful gift.

~~~

Rocket Jack – Tiger Print

From £19 depending on size

I went for an A3 grey background tiger print. I really like tigers as I compare them to my tabby cat Gizmo and I call him my little tiger so I thought this print would bring a bit of colour to our living room. I think art prints make great gifts and Rocket Jack have such a great range available and are really great quality.

~~~

Durrant & Dove

You’ve been poisoned tea cup

£23.76

Durrant & Dove are a new artisanal business based in rural France. They scour the French countryside for beautiful unloved vintage porcelain and viciously deface it. Unique Christmas gifts, insult your loved ones in the most beautiful way.

I think some of the phrases they are using are brilliant and these are such unique gifts! Who wouldn’t want a cup that says you smell like wee, haha!

~~~

Coulson Macleod – Christmas Card

£4.99

This beautiful concertina card has the word “Christmas” in rose gold foil and I just have visions of giving this to someone and it being the centerpiece on their mantle all throughout the festive period. I think it is beautifully made and would look lovely in someones living room!

~~~

Paracise DVD

£12.99

This is a bit of a different gift, it is a DVD aimed to introduce people into a low impact exercise regime. It is ideal for someone new to exercise or for someone with bad joints that needs some guidance. I think a lot of people don’t exercise as they struggle knowing what is best for their joints but this guides you and is something you can do in front of your TV!

~~~

Rebecca Yates – Notebook

£25

Rebecca creates an amazing range of personalised notebooks, you can pick the phrase as well as the colour scheme and font colour and she will then add a name to it too! My aim for next year is to try and make more notes to help me with day to day chores as well as my blog so this is going to be ideal and will look super cute left on my desk. This is an ideal gift for anyone that loves being organised.

~~~

House Of Wonderland

Cat – Vinyl Sticker

£1.75

Cat Paws Washi Tape

£3

House Of Wonderland have an amazing range of cat related products, from pins, stickers, mugs to jewellery.

~~

Bodycare & Make Up

Shea Moisture – Fruit Fusion Bath & Body Massage Oil

£11.99

I love bath oils and this is great as you can also use it on your body after the bath too or as a massage oil. For anyone that love pampering this would be a great gift. Bath oils can often be really expensive but this one is 237ml and I think you get so much for the price!

~~~

Shea Moisture – African Water Mint & Ginger Detox Body Wash

£10.99

This is a great detox body wash, so for anyone that has skin exposed to the elements a lot or suffers with body acne then this is great. I like the simple bottle design and how it is not gender specific like a lot of skin/body products are so it is aimed at anyone. It is 384ml so quite a large bottle too.

I usually pick up this brand in Superdrug but you can also buy it online if you search 🙂

~~~

Rubis Gold Star Tweezers

£37

You can buy these at a variety of online beauty stockists and they are honestly the best tweezers I have ever used. They are so precise and ideal as a gift for any beauty addict. They have the perfect slant and are so easy to use to pluck my eyebrows.

~~~

Live In The Light – Pure Anada Christmas Spirit Range

Pure Anada Hand & Body Lotion

Pure Anada Hand & Body Wash

£9.50 each

I love checking out Live In The Light for skincare and I am always impressed with the Pure Anada products. These are cruelty free and vegan so ideal as a gift if you are stuck on what to get for a vegan friend or family member. This range smells delicious and really does make you think of Christmas. I love it when you can get lotion to match body wash too 🙂

~~~

Bubu Skincare

Pollution Busting Sheet Mask

This is ideal for any skin type that needs a good clean. Pollution can really take its toll on your skin, so this will help to give it a good deep clean and rid your face of impurities.

Hydrating Sheet Mask

This mask contains hyaluronic acid and liquorice root to help the moisture penetrate deep into your skin and leave your face really soft and moisturised.

£7 each

Both masks are vegan and cruelty free. I think sheet masks can make a great gift if you want to get skincare for someone but to get them something a bit different.

~~~

Klean Skin – Zen’d Out Mood Elixir

$18

Suffering with migraines, I am always on the hunt for anything that can help, so I wanted to include this mood elixir in my gift guide. If you know anyone with anxiety or that regularly gets stressed and gets headaches or migraines you might want to get this for them. It came from the USA but didn’t take long at all to arrive. It is called Zen’d out and its aim is to calm you and boost your mood. You rub it over your wrists, neck and temples and I find using this if I have a headache coming on really helps.

~~~

Eye Majic – Instant Eyeshadow

£19.99

I was so intrigued by this! I hate doing eyeshadow, I can never get it right and I am terrible and blending so something like this is ideal. The eyeshadow presses on to your eyes in seconds and it looks like you have spent ages doing your eyes! You get 20 applications in a pack which I think is pretty good value. This would be an ideal gift for a make up lover!

~~~

Blue Rock – Bamboo Toothbrushes

£3.95 each

You could always get someone a bamboo toothbrush if you know they are trying to have less plastic waste and want to be more eco friendly. Blue rock create toothbrushes for adults and children as well as offering subscription services.

~~~

Friction Free Shaving

Lily Shaving Set

£18

This shaving set includes:

Lily handle
Free engraving of your choice (worth £6)
Shave Cream
Four German-engineered razor refills, each with 6 diamond-coated steel blades and a styling bikini blade
Teal Clamshell Protector
Shower hook
Teal Travel pouch

This makes a great gift and you can also subscribe to get new blades however often they are needed. I love this razor and the shave cream helps to combat razor bumps. You can go for a rose gold option too and there are other sets they do. I think it is important to get a good razor.

~~~

MINT 3 in 1 cleansing bars

£9.50 each

These cleansing bars come in 3 different fragrances: Tea Tree + Lime + Mint, Coconut + Argan, Sea Minerals. They can be used to cleanse your face body and hair so are ideal if you just want to use one product for everything or when travelling. They are vegan and cruelty free and last up to 5 times longer than regular shampoo and bodywash. They are easy to use and smell great! Ideal gift for someone that uses vegan products and is trying to help the environment with limited waste and packaging.

~~~

Food & Drink

Il Gusto

Cherry Bakewell Gin – Star

Salted Caramel Liqueur – Gingerbread Man

Sour Cherry Vodka – Christmas Tree

£10 each

These super cute bottles come in a variety of shapes as well as a wide choice of flavours. How good does sour cherry vodka sound?! They are ideal for someone that is partial to a little tipple but you want to get something special, not just gin or vodka you can buy anywhere. The flavours are unique and I love how cute the bottles are!

~~~

Sous Chef – Cocktail making

Monin Cocktail Syrup Set

£6.95

Giant Sphere Ice Mold

£4.50

Copper Plated French Shaker

£14.95

Sous Chef have a great range of cocktail making products that would make ideal gifts. I think the syrup set is a great idea and it contains 5 different flavours:

Passion fruit syrup 50ml
Mojito Mint syrup 50ml
Strawberry syrup 50ml
Coconut syrup 50ml
Blue curaçao syrup 50ml

You can also get ice molds to create giant ice spherical which would look super cool in a cocktail. You can also get a really beautiful cocktail shaker, so together all three of these would be a great gift.

~~~

Hot Elephant Tea

From £3.50

Hot Elephant create a wide variety of tea blends. You can buy an individual flavour or you can buy a gift box with a variety of teas in. This would be great for anyone that appreciates teas as you can get such a variety of flavours. The exceptional earl grey is really tasty. They are easy to use and are high quality leaves and spices.

~~~

Yeti & The Fox – Good Night, Great Day

£6

These handy tablets can help you prevent a hangover. Specially formulated with immune boosting vitamins to help your body recover from drinking. These would be a great stocking filler if you know someone that drinks a bit too much over Christmas!

~~~

Steenbergs

Botanicals For Cocktails – Gin

Red Wine – Four Spice Bundle

Sugar & Spice For Mulled Wine

£4 each

These are something different as they are used to help create your own drinks. Each pack contains instructions on how to use them. I think they would be fun to use over Christmas to make your own festive drinks with family or friends.

~~~

Pets

Leo Charley & Me – Candy Cane Collection

Dog Collar

£12

Bandana

£5.50

Bow Tie

£5.50

Leo, Charley & Me create beautiful collars and accessories for dogs. The bandana and the bow tie can be attached on to the collar to secure them in place and I think they are all super cute. All of the products are really good quality and well made. The collars come in various sizes and there are lots of designs to pick from, not just Christmas ones 🙂

~~~

Cheeky Little Prints

Paw Print Ornament

£19

This ornament is so precious, you can personalise them with a message and a picture as well as your pets paw prints, so cute. You use an inkless kit(no mess!) to obtain your pets paw prints and you can then send them or email back to the company who will then neaten them up and create the one of a kind ornament. They also keep the paw prints on file in case you want to create something else at a later date. They do a great range of jewellery too!

~~~

Webbox Treats

From £1 each.

Of course I would always suggest getting a present for your pets too! Webbox always have a good range of treats all year round but have brought out a Christmas range.

My Tabby cat Gizmo goes mad for the tasty sticks so I wonder what he will think of these special turkey and cranberry ones?! The lick-e-lix cream looks like a great treat too. Maybe as a pudding if they eat all of their dinner haha.

They also have a festive bauble with cat treats in, I will probably hang this near the bottom of the tree or my cats will climb it to try and get to them! They also have toys, not just food, so the teaser wand will be fun to play with.

~~~

Dr Zigs – Cat Bubbles

£28.99

These bubbles are designed specifically for cats to play with, you can also get them for dogs (as well as humans!). The cat ones are catnip scented and are really fun to play with. You mix it with water and use the rope wand to create massive bubbles for your pets or children to play with. they have so many different ones for children too!

~~~

Funky Pigeon – Personalised Snow Globes

£9.99 each

These snow globes are so lovely. You can have them with your cat,dog, child, parents, anyone in them and the cat ones have their name in the shape of a fish, I think they are so cute! I have one each for Gizmo and Archie and can’t wait to put them out on display! They are double sided and you can open the bottom to change the picture so I may switch them so I have two the same with one side Archie and one side Gizmo. I think snow globes are a really nice gift and it is great you can create personalised ones.

~~~

Clothes & Jewellery 

Knicker Locker – Men’s Boxer Cosmos

£20

New boxers are a classic Christmas gift and Knicker Locker have a really great range of Waxx boxers with some really funky designs on! These are like a crazy in space, Christmas penguin theme and they feel great quality and are really soft. Nick will love them!

~~~

Soul Analyse – I Am Loved Bracelet

£25

I think this range of “I AM” bracelets is really beautiful and sends such a positive message. This I am loved rope bracelet is so delicate with the message engraved on the silver bar. There are lots of different phrases to pick from and I think if you know someone is struggling then a small simple affirmation gift like this could really make a difference to them.

~~~

Mother Knows Best – T Shirt

£19.99

Mother Knows Best have created a great range of slogan t shirts based around motherhood. I think naptime negotiator is absolutely brilliant! This would be an ideal gift for a new mother or someone with a young child as I am sure they will be able to relate!

~~~

I hope you enjoyed reading this gift guide and get some inspiration of either things to buy for others or things to ask for for yourself!

What is on your Christmas wish list this year?

Sarah x

New Owners Short Guide To Taking Care Of A Puppy

Adding a puppy to the family is a very exciting time, but with this comes a huge responsibility for the whole family. You need to be sure that you and your family can give them the care, time and attention that they require. You not only need to make sure you provide them with every they need, ensure your home is safe but you also need to have the time to train them with things such as toilet training and how to walk on a lead.

Photo by Chevanon Photography from Pexels

This short guide will help you to think about what it takes to take care of a puppy: 

Introduction To The Family 

Ok, so everyone is excited especially the children but as new owners, it’s your responsibility to remember that this is going to be a very anxious time for your new puppy. They will be in a new environment, have new sounds, new smells, and new people to meet. This is why it’s important to make sure that you make them feel as comfortable as possible. Place them on on a leash and have them explore their new environment at your control. The idea is for it to feel comfortable, but a free-roaming puppy will have accidents if left on its own for an extended amount of time. Although some people are against it, using a crate can be a fantastic way of creating a warm, safe spot for your puppy to retreat to when it becomes too much.

House Training

Much like a human baby, a puppy will give you the run around when it comes to sleep and toilet training in their first few weeks in their new home. House training can take time but once a good routine is in place you can return to normal life. You need to have a good routine, patience, and plenty of positive reinforcement. Make sure you identify clearly to the puppy where you expect them to use the bathroom if they are ready for outside try taking them to the same spot each time so they’re familiar with the smells. 

What Does The Puppy Need 

In order to take care of a puppy properly, you need to make sure you have the right equipment and have arranged a visit to a vet’s such as Lynbrook vet. Some of the items you should be getting organised include: 

  • Water and Food bowls– It’s advised to use metal as they’re easier to clean and more hygienic. 
  • A Strong Leash and Collar
  • ID Tags- You can often get these from your local pet supply store.
  • A Crate or Bed
  • Food – To start with you should always use the food that they have been weaned on, even if it’s bad quality and then slowly introduce the food you want to use. 
  • Toys- A puppy tends to chew a lot and this means your furniture and belongings if you don’t provide enough toys that are going to stimulate them. 

This short guide is only a brief overview of what you need in order to take care of a puppy. Do you have anything else that should be included? Please add them in the comments below. 

Sarah x

3 Ways to Get Fit for Animal Lovers

Image Credit: Pexels CC0 Licence 

Getting fit is hard enough but if the treadmill is boring you to tears and team games aren’t your thing, then finding something to get you active can be difficult. However, there are a few ways you can get fit – you just need to identify where your interests cross over with more active pursuits. 

For animal lovers, this is really easy. There are a few sports that include our favourite friends and the most obvious companions are horses and dogs. But you might like to read on for another tip for animal lovers too… 

Saddle Up

Horse riding is a brilliant way to boost your mood, increase your fitness and take in some fresh air while you’re at it. Of course, cross country riding is just one area of this sport and you could also try jumping or dressage if that’s more your style. 

To start horse riding, you don’t need to jump straight in and buy a horse with some land. Most riding schools will let you borrow a horse and teach you the basics too. Indeed, lots of owners look for partners who can take care of their beloved horse while they are away. So, get your riding boots on and give it a go! 

Fetch! 

Dogs are the most wonderful companions and whether you have your own or you borrow a neighbour’s, they are bound to get you active. Going for long walks and playing together will increase your stamina over time and encourage you to get off the sofa for a little bit of time each day as dogs are bound to inject a bit of fun into your workout

Dogs also love running and make for brilliant workout pals. Because dogs are pack animals, they like to stay close by you and can spur you on to achieve better times and distance. However, it is important that you do a little training with your dog before you set out so that they don’t dash across busy roads or get distracted from your route! 

Dive

Fish might not be your preferred option for a workout buddy and they certainly won’t be coming along on a run any time soon. However, if you’re willing to join them in their habitat, they can provide an excellent distraction. 

SCUBA diving is a really good way to get fit because your weight is balanced for you and there’s no pressure on your joints. Plus, since you shouldn’t get out of breath, more people are inclined to give it a go. Swimming along with your equipment is a good way to very gently build your strength and fitness as well as maintaining your stamina. SCUBA has also been shown to decrease blood pressure and increase your sense of wellbeing. It’s no wonder fish always seem so relaxed! 

The animal kingdom puts us to shame when it comes to health and fitness but with a little help from our furry, hairy and scaly friends, we can enjoy the benefits of exercise too. The trick is to find the right activity for you. The rest is easy.

Sarah x

3 Things To Think About Before Getting A Pet

We are a nation of animal-lovers and with millions of us owning pets it is no wonder that many of us are tempted to get our first furry friend, or perhaps an addition to the menagerie. Whilst there is no doubt that pets can bring love and happiness to our homes, it is not always possible to have them. We know that before buying or adopting any animal we must ensure that we are doing what is best for them, which is why today we are sharing 3 things to think about before getting a pet. 

Image Pixabay – Pixabay License

Do you have enough time to give them?

This should be the first consideration when you are thinking of getting a pet. 

All pets will take up your time to some degree. This might be in cleaning them out and feeding them regularly or playing with them. It might be that they need daily exercise and animals like dogs enjoy having company around them, so will you be available for them? 

Whilst time spent with pets is very rewarding, you do need to be honest with yourself about how much time you can devote to them before committing to a new pet. 

Have you got the money to care for them?

Pets do not come for free, so you will need to think about the costs that you are likely to incur, both upfront and ongoing, to care for your new pet. 

Pedigree dogs can easily run to a thousand pounds and more and horses and ponies are likelt to be a similar amount. Of course at the other end of the scale you can buy pets such as fish or small rodents for around ten to twenty pounds. Buying the animal itself is only a very small part of pet ownership, though, as they are then likely to need items such as cages, aquariums, mobile field shelters, crates and beds. Add onto that equipment such as food and water bowls, bedding, toys and leads and it is starting to add up.

Pets will then need pet insurance, food and health care provided on an ongoing basis, so be sure to factor these in when you are running the numbers. 

Do you know enough about them? 

You need to ensure that you fully understand the needs of your pet. Carry out some research into the animal itself, what they will want from you and the best ways to look after them.

For example, if you are thinking of getting a dog, have you researched the health risks of the breed you are interested in? Do you know how much exercise they will need when they are fully grown? Do you know how to keep them cool in the hot weather? Do you know how to train them to walk properly on a lead? The list could go on and on, and whilst there will be plenty that you can and will learn once you have your pet, it makes sense to educate yourself prior to getting your pet so that you can best care for them and understand all that pet ownership will entail. 

If you have answered ‘yes’ to all of the above, then we wish you a happy life with your new pet!

Sarah x

5 Tips To Keep Your Dog Cool In The Summer

Unlike you and I, your dog isn’t able to release heat through its sweat glands. While humans have sweat glands all over their bodies, your pooch only has them in areas that aren’t covered by fur. This means he or she has to rely on less effective methods to cool themselves off.

Panting and Vasodilation (dilating of the blood vessels) are the main ways your pup releases heat. As you can imagine these aren’t the most effective methods to turn down the heat! This is why it’s up to you to help keep your dog cool in the summer!

Try these five tips to keep your dog cool in the summer;

Dog Paddling Pool

If you’re short on space a dog paddling pool is a great alternative to a full-sized doggie pool. They give your pooch just enough space to lie down and cool themselves without taking up the whole back yard. Having a separate pool for your dog is more hygienic than sharing yours, which is a must if you have kids in the house.

This is one of the best ways to keep your dog cool and it’s a good choice for pups of any age. Older dogs will love having a chilly spot to lay about, while puppies will have fun splashing around. These pools are quite durable and are usually made from a tough polyurethane material. This means that bites, scratches, or playful nibbles won’t cause any accidental holes.

Offer Lots Of Cold Water

This might sound like a no-brainer but it’s extra important that your dog has lots of cold water in the summer. Try adding ice cubes to their dish to keep them cool and be sure to bring a collapsible dish when you take them for a walk.

At a minimum, your dog should have a cold drink every hour! But, in the summertime try to encourage more frequent visits to help your doggie keep cool. Your dog will enjoy the added ice cubes which make a great form of entertainment as they float by.

When you’re out, look for areas with a water fountain so you will have access to cold water. Or, buy a bottle of water to fill their bowl. This will be more refreshing than giving them tepid water you packed from the house.

Your Dog A Frozen Treat

Frozen treats aren’t just for humans, they’re an excellent way to keep your pup cool too! Try making a homemade popsicle just for dogs or another kind of icy delight. There are a ton of great recipes available and they’re easy to make. By adding real fruits you will make the snacks a healthy choice.

When you’re planning a long walk try bringing along some frozen treats in a cooler. This way they won’t unthaw too quickly. Any kind of insulated bag will do and there are plenty of purse-sized options available.

If you don’t want to make the treats there are several quality options you can buy from the pet store. Just be sure that the ingredients aren’t going to pack any extra pounds on your pooch.

A Shady Spot Will Keep Your Dog Cool In The Summer

Have you ever been so hot while you were at the beach that you’ve retreated to the tree line in seek of shade? Well, your dog would certainly appreciate a shady spot to lounge about while you bask in the summer sun. If there’s no shade in sight there are a few easy ways to improvise.

If you plan on spending the day at the beach be sure to pack an extra towel. When there aren’t any trees nearby you can use the extra towel to make a shady cave for your pup to enjoy. Try draping the towel over a log and securing the end with a book or even your beach bag.

Also needless to say a big umbrella could also do the trick if you wanted to bring one of them along with you as well.

Invest In A Handheld Fan

You’ve probably seen those mini handheld fans before?! Well, they are great for cooling off your puppy when it’s hot. Just like you enjoy a nice breeze on a warm day, your dog will love having the wind on their fur.

Take rests along your walk where you stop to fan them. Try fanning for at least 5 to 10 minutes to really lower their temperature.

Sarah x