7 Valentines Gifts To Give Yourself

I’ve finally managed to get the last of the Christmas wrapping out with the recycle bins last week, so you know what that means? Time to think about Valentines Day! Yay!  Well, actually, I’ve not celebrated Valentine’s day in a long while, but while the shops are filling up with red hearts and bad chocolate, what better time to treat yourself (myself!) to something that no one else is likely to give me?


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Handmade Mitten Gift Tag Crafts #BostikBloggers

I saw a picture of mitten Christmas tree ornaments and thought it would be a really sweet way of tracking growth in the early years, but also a personalised gift tag that can be kept by adding the child’s name and age so we set about making just that: personalised mitten gift tags.
Mitten Gift TagsRead more: Handmade Mitten Gift Tag Crafts #BostikBloggers

Luxury Role-Play Gifts For Kids

My girls are very independent and can happily get lost in their own role-play games for hours. So long as I provide fresh water and some snacks from time to time, they can spend whole blocks of days lost in their small world game play – you know, where the toys in front of them are a whole world? Some of their favourites for pretend play right now are a dolls house and a play kitchen, but over time there have been other favourites, like a parking garage with a vehicle lift and a wooden tree toy with platforms and swings.

I thought I’d share some of the best luxury role-play gifts for kids that they’ll come back to again and again.
Read more: Luxury Role-Play Gifts For Kids

Tree Of Life Pendant From Kaya Jewellery {Review}

I don’t tend to get a lot of jewellery as gifts, and it’s something I am very unlikely to buy myself, unless it’s for a very special reason. Most of the jewellery I own is over a decade old! Since the birth of my children however, I have been incredibly fascinated by the human placenta, in all it’s life sustaining beauty.  I remember seeing a series of pictures once, possibly by a doula, of trees made by imprinting a newborn’s placenta on paper, and I’ve always loved that association of the life-force of birth with the Tree of Life. We certainly have an association of trees with life, with sustainability and with our continuance as a species. Even down to the ‘family tree’.Kaya Jewellery

When Kaya Jewellery got in touch to ask if I’d like one of their beautiful pendants to review, I was absolutely taken by their Tree of Life pendant. I’ve always wanted a Tree of Life to celebrate my beautiful girls, but as I said – I was unlikely to buy one for myself! You know what it’s like? Everything else takes priority!Read more: Tree Of Life Pendant From Kaya Jewellery {Review}

Fire Station Activity Book and Playset {Book Review}

The most recent delivery from Parragon for our Book Buddies review is the Fire Station Activity Book and Playset. It arrived a few days before Christmas, and since we were a gift down we wrapped it up and popped it under the Christmas tree for Aviya (3 year old). On Christmas morning, when she opened it, she did look particularly underwhelmed, but then she’s never been particularly into fire stations.  When we actually opened it up, however, she loved it.

Fire Station  Activity Book and Playset

In the box there is a 32- page A5 sized activity book with puzzles, with a lot of ‘count to 3,4,5’ type activities. It’s a lovely little booklet, with full colours and bold pictures and everything that appeals to a toddler.

Along with that however, were three (or four, I can’t remember now) sheets of press out card cutouts that when built together, form a fire truck, a fire station, a bunch of fire men (and women), a fire house dog, a tree with a cat up it, and a fire hydrant.Read more: Fire Station Activity Book and Playset {Book Review}

How To Turn A Garden Gift Into A Garden Adventure

I wrote a post last week about Twinkl, the educational resource where I download a lot of the printable activity sheets that I use with my girls, and the different ways that I use them.

How To Turn A Garden Gift Into A Garden AdventureOne of the things I love about using online resources is that it saves me a lot of time and effort in turning a simple gift – while nice enough – into an adventure, something I know my own girls would love.

For a birthday party this weekend, I bought a gardening kit for the birthday girl – a spade, fork and shovel, as well as twin planters and a little watering can, ideal for indoor planting. With that, I bought a little sunflower seed pot and a runner bean seed pot, so the recipient could get planting straight away. All of this came to about £12, which I thought was pretty good value for money.

How To Turn A Garden Gift Into A Garden Adventure

But, much like the bug hunter kit, I wanted it to be an experience rather than just a gift, so I headed over to Twinkl and printed off a few different worksheets: Flower Display Bunting, the Bean Life Cycle and the Sunflower Writing Paper.

The flower display bunting I put in the gift for her to make, and the sunflower writing paper – for making notes or writing letters. For the bean life cycle I got to use my laminatorI printed out the life cycle, cut out the cards and laminated them so that they can be part of the growing experience.

My girls and I did a fabulous fun experiment with beans, so this is a wonderful learning experience and one I hope our recipient will enjoy too!

So, that’s how we turn a basic garden gift into a garden adventure, complete with bunting, and letter writing.

Personalising Bought Gifts

It’s been one of my objectives this year to be more organised in my gift giving. Rather than stopping on route to a party to pick up something from wherever we pass on the way to where we’re going, I decided to save myself time, money and embarrassment by actually being organised, and having gifts in the house, buying when I see things on sale, and in so doing, buying good quality toys for less. I am not a fan of plastic and rubbish toys, so why would I want to give those to my friends? I don’t.

I’d love to be someone who makes gifts. My friend Ellie made Ameli a gorgeous skirt for her birthday last year, and our friend Karen gave us a box of make-your-own cakepop ingredients. I loved both those gifts, and would love to be a gift giver like that, but alas. I don’t even own a sewing needle.

I’ve been thinking of gifts for one or two of my adult friends too, and I’ve come up with a few ideas I think would work really nicely.

Since I’m not the queen of home made, and I don’t have the budget for much bought, it could be really nice to combine the two, for example making and decorating biscuits or a cake for the birthday girl, or making lactation cookies for a new mama, or ready potted plants (or even seedlings) for friends who are waiting to exchange on their new house.

Each of these are simple, but thought out, and show time, effort and preferences – the birthday friend loves ginger, so I was thinking of a tin of ginger biscuits, but then adding the bought element with something like a lovely Orla Kiely bag or tin, to keep them in. It’s something reusable and pretty.

Actually, in that same range there are also cups and other containers that could be filled with home made beauty products or sweets. Yum.

What do you do for personalising gifts, and making them something special? 


Easy Home Made Christmas Crackers

Okay, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration. It should read, home altered crackers.

I really love crackers, I think they just make the Christmas dinner table, and distinguish it from just another meal. But I also really find them quite unsatisfying. Like a big bang with no real hoorah.

I mean, who really needs another set of nail clippers, a plastic whistle, or a shoe horn? Read more: Easy Home Made Christmas Crackers