November 2018 Monthly Favourites

Today I am going to hare with you a range of products which I have been loving throughout the month of November. It is rare for me to do two of these posts in two consecutive months but there has been that many new products which I have loved this month I have the need. There is a mixed bag again this month it includes beauty, a couple of fashion and websites. No doubt I will end up adding some random favourite along the way.

Nescafe Gingerbread Latte

There is something about this time of year which gets me excited it is the fact that we have flavoured coffee. I now do not live as close as I did to the coffee shops which serve these liquid gold. So this year I have tried to replicate some of the Christmas drinks which I would normally be ordering at home. I purchased the Nescafe gingerbread latte and I did not have that high expectations because I know normally they are made with syrup when you order in a coffee shop. This is power of course but there is still so much gingerbread flavour which is what I actually wanted. I could not believe how cheap these actually where for the 8 which you get in a packet you actually only pay £1.50. This is so much cheaper than one latte in one of the chains. I have even been making then in my travel mug because this means that I can still take them out. This is also saving me money which is important when it is the festive season.

Ebay

Ebay is a site which I have been using for a long time now anyway. I both purchase things which I need off it usually I am getting things for Jess that I do not want to end up paying full amount. I also sell a lot on there usually things which has clothing which still has plenty of wear left in it. I have even been know to sell some of my clothes which I either do not wear because they are too small for me or I have no need for them any longer. Unwanted gifts are something amazing to sell as well because if you do not want the gift you would be better off with the cash. I have done this a few times this month we have had presents which Jess still has in the box. You can always treat yourself with the cash that you have for unwanted items. Or if you are like me you can put the money towards Christmas this is one of the ways I have afforded some of the gifts which I have purchased this year. This month alone I have managed to make an extra £100. This is £100 which I would not have had if it had not been for eBay which I think is a bargain.

F&F Mustard Jumper

It has been getting a little bit cooler this month and of course this means that it is time to crack out the jumpers.Now this is actually a jumper which I did get this year however, it was at the start of October so this does not mean that they still have them.  This is so fluffy which is what I want because I want to feel cosy of course when I am wearing the jumper. This is one which is long enough as well to wear with a thick pair of leggings because of course you want to be able to go outside. With this been a mustard colour I feel like it is so practical to be teamed with other pieces things. This is a piece which can be kept for a few years as well because it goes well in that transition between autumn and winter when the temperature plummets. I have had so many compliments on the jumper from people who would not normally realise that you was wearing something new. This tells me that it is a really good jumper and must suit me. I seem to remember that this jumper did not break the bank and it was around the £16 mark but got it when they had 25% off clothing.  I might have to pop to Tesco and see if they do it in any other colours because I love it that much.

Treacle Moon- Raspberry Kisses bath and shower gel

This is a shower gel which I meant to include in last months favourites but it has been a favouite this month too. This is a bath and shower gel. I will admit I have only used it in the shower so could not comment on how many bubbles it would make. I have found when using it in the shower that it lathers really well like some of the Lush ones which I love. The scent is amazing I think this is what originally make me purchase this shower gel.  I am not the best at describing some of the scents however, this does smell like it is a not as sweet version of Lush snow fairy.  It is a really nice raspberry scent and of course this is available all year around which is always a bonus. For this huge 500ml bottle it is only £3 and it lasted me over 2 months. You really do not need a lot to able to feel clean. This is the first product which I have tried from Treacle Moon but for sure it is not going to be the last.  There products would be amazing for a Christmas present if you are thinking of doing your own hamper or something similar.

Zoo Tycoon

Some of you may if your as old as me may remember playing this on the PC when you finished school on a night. Recently when I was spending far too much time in game looking at pre owned games so that we could use the xbox one more I found Zoo Tycoon. Of course, I had to purchase this game because for the memories if nothing else but I have had hours of fun using this game. I have been forcing myself to have breaks from house work and blogging while Joe has been away by playing this game. The game did cost £14.99 which I do not think for a game is not too bad for this console. The game is not the same as the one which but me and Joe remember playing there is a lot more challenges. I managed to play an hour or so before it can become a bit repetitive but that always a good thing so I am not spending too much time on it at all. I have found that since playing it a lot Jess has learnt more animals names and she seems to be wanting to play with animals more.

Gel Nails

This is something which I have have been loving this month of course, November was the month of my graduation.  I knew I wanted to have painted nails but wanted to treat myself because of course I am going to end up smudging or chipping my nails. I found a lovely lady who was actually local to me and comes to your house which is a bonus because I was still solo parenting at the time.  She managed to match my dress to the colour even had the sparkles which matched. I would recommend her so if you are close to the Pontefract area let me know and I will actually send you her details. They managed to last for 3 weeks without chipping of course they did start growing out. I am going to get them done again in the new year because I have adored having very pretty nails.

Nars- Palas Royal Satin Lip Pencil

I have been wearing only one lip colour this month which is very rare for me because I loved this the Nars satin lip pencil in Palas Royal. It is such a pretty shade it is a deep raspberry colour it looks beautiful with anything. This is actually the shade which I wore when I graduate it managed to stay on all day and I did not have to reapply and it also was not uncomfortable like I have found some lip pencils to be. This is smart enough to be able to wear at interviews which is another place which I have been using this lipstick. For sure I know I am going to be getting even more use out of this in the upcoming months. I hacve had this lipstick for a fair few months now it may have even been last Christmas when I purchased it and there is still so much left. It is not going to break the bank it is £19 this would be an amazing gift.

What have you been loving in the month of November?

Charlotte xxx

Meal Inspriation Monday- Lamb Passanda Burger

Burgers are something which I rarely make because of hassle.  Burgers are not something which I consume that often anyway more so if I am out. They are rarely something which we will purchase to cook at home unless it is the summer and we are having a BBQ. However, recently when I was still subscribed to Hello Fresh I found a recipe for Lamb Passanda burgers. Again, lamb is a meat which I avoid really as I find it very fatty or it can be. After cooking the lamb passanda burgers for sure I knew that this is a recipe which I will be recreating. Of course, this is one when the weather picks up and you have BBQ’s you could consume. Or like me when you fancy a semi cheat meal at home.

Ingredient – Serves 2

3 Potatoes

15g Nigella Seeds

2 Garlic Cloves

150g Greek Yoghurt

30g Passanda Spice Blend

30g Tumeric

1 Bunch Mint

250g Lamb Mince

2 Burger Buns

1 Shallot

Utensils

Baking Tray, Frying Pan , Bowl and Plate

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 200c. Chop the potatoes into chunks around 2cm and add to the bowl. Add the turmeric, nigella seeds, a glug of oil and a large pinch of salt.
  2. Pop the potatoes onto the baking tray in the top of the oven and cook till golden brown around 25-30 minutes don’t forget to turn around half way through.
  3. Chop the shallots into small pieces and grate the garlic.
  4. Add Lamb mince in another mixing bowl with the passanda spice blend. Then add a pinch of salt, the shallot and half the garlic. Mix well and use wet hands to shape the mix into burger shapes.
  5.  Finely chop the mint remove the stalks.Place in a small bowl then stir in the remaining garlic, the Greek yoghurt and more salt and pepper.
  6. Heat a small amount of oil in the frying pan on a medium to high heat. Fry the Lamb Passanda burgers for 117 till carmelised turn them every couple of moments.
  7. Cut the burger buns in half and pop them on another baking tray on the middle shelf of your oven for a few mins to warm through.
  8. Add the mint yoghurt to the bottom of the bun smear a decent size dollop. Then place the burger into the bun.
  9. When the potatoes are ready serve use an additional mint yoghurt as a dip.

For sure I could not believe how tasty this Lamb Passanda burger was going to be but for sure it was packed with flavour. This is a meal which i will be recreating because it is something which I know Joe fancies trying. I am unsure if it is one which you could make with children because they can be pretty spicy but if your child likes spice they should be fine with this.

Have you tried Lamb Passanda Burgers?

Charlotte xxx

 

Reverse Advent Calendar

Creating new traditions is something which I love to do. Even more when it comes to Christmas now I have a family of my own. It is a time which we spend a lot of time thinking about what we are going to be buying and receiving  as gifts. These are elements which have become a critical part of the Christmas. Something which I want to do is install in Jess that Christmas we need to be charitable.  We are lucky to have what we do there are people who are dreading Christmas because money and time are already hard. These people can be found in your local neighbourhood as well.

People have to use food banks regular and of course this does not stop at Christmas. If anything more people turn to the food bank because money is so tight. This year something which we have been doing throughout the month of November is the reverse advent calendar. I know the reverse advent calendar is something which some fellow bloggers Ross and Katy .

What is a reverse advent calendar?

If you are unsure what the reverse advent calendar is it is very simple with a twist on the traditional advent calendar which we have all become used to. Instead of opening a door and getting something out like a chocolate  you put an item into the box. Over the period of the month the box gets full and then you take it to your local food bank at the end of the month.

The reverse advent calendar is something which the whole family can get involved in. We have managed to get Jess involved by allowing her to pick some items up when we have been shopping. It does not have to cost a lot the majority of the items I have done have been from Aldi. I would say in total the whole box has cost us under £10. This is amazing because advent calendars can cost a lot more than that normally. You could even look in your cupboards and I bet there is items which you do not want. As long as they are still in date and have long enough left you could donate them to the food bank.

How do you donate?

I am fully aware that tomorrow is December but there is still plenty of time to do this before Christmas. If you put maybe two items a couple of days you will be able to be finished before the 24th. This does mean that you are going to have time to pop this to the food bank. I know that it is so easy to take your food donation because I have seen in most of the major supermarkets a cage which you can leave your donations. This means that you are not limited to the times which you can go and donate.

You can find where your local food bank is using this site usually there is a couple near you which you could donate the reverse advent calendar to.I know my local one has a list of what they need really which is helpful when you are looking at doing the reverse advent calendar. There was items such as deodorants which I would not have thought about donating so this helped me so much. Another item which is good to donate is sanitary products because this is something which women may go without if money is that tight.

Of course, because it is Christmas it does mean that you can add treats. You could do this normally if you are not planning on this donation been a one off. I have added advent calendars because I know treats and luxuries are something which you are going to not purchase. I have seen people adding other things like Crackers, Christmas Puddings and luxuries which we are all going to purchase this festive season.

Is a reverse advent calendar something which you are going to do this festive season?

 

Charlotte xxx

Win A Yankee Candle Christmas Set *

With Christmas just around the corner if you are anything like me you love candles. For me they bring warmth into the house without having wack the heating up. They also get me in the festive mood I know this sounds crazy.  For me having a candle on make the house feel like a home for sure it is something which you can regular find in my house.

For me I use a wide range of different candle brands. However, one which I always seem to come back to is Yankee Candle when it comes close to Christmas. There is something which makes me want to burn them this could be due to the amazing throw which they have. I find even something majority of the votives which can be homed in amazing holders. Have the throw the same as some of the big candles which I own.  Hard to believe something so small can be so powerful . I think that the Yankee Candle Christmas Sets are amazing because if you are like me you do not want to be burning festive scents long after December. The Votives are the right size that you are not left burning Christmas scents way into the new year.

I do like that this set is the votives as well because the holders are so pretty. I like to leave my candles out all of the time so they become a bit like decoration. So you want something which is going to be pretty rather than a plain boring one. The one which comes in the Yankee Candle Christmas set is not too festive so you could have it out all year long if you are like me. I have found the votive holders which I have from Yankee last a long time even with a toddler who might be clumsy like mine is.

The lovely people at wowfreestuff are actually currently giving away a Yankee Candle Christmas set. This includes a Yankee votive holder and 3 of the Christmas votives. These would make a great Christmas present should you win and want to save yourself some cash. For sure it would make an amazing secret santa present. I have actually had sniff of all of the scents which you get in this gift set. I would say out of selection which you get they include frosty gingerbread, ice blue spruce and winter wonder. My favourite has to be the frosty gingerbread for sure this does smell like what it is mean to. I for sure would purchase this set for myself as a little gift or as a present for someone else.

For your chance to win one of the 50 sets which they are giving away all you need to is fill out some basic information and hope that you win. The all important link which you need is here

Good luck if you choose to enter I have my fingers crossed that you actually manage to win.

Charlotte xx

This post is a sponsored by wowfreestuff

Meal Inspiration Monday- Chicken and Chorizo Rice

How is it Monday already this weekend for sure this weekend zoomed by. I have managed to meal plan for another week which is amazing because I have found that if I am meal planning I am eating better. Of course, by meal planning it does mean that I am able to save money because I am not wasting food. Today I am going to share with you a meal which I consumed a few weeks ago. This is a Hello Fresh meal which I was sent and for sure Chicken and Chorizo rice  is not something which I would normally be making. To me this sounds like it could be a bland meal however, when I made the Chicken and Chorizo rice it was very far from this.

Ingredient- Serves 2

1 Chicken Stock

280G Diced Chicken

175G Rice

30G Red Wine Vinegar

1 Pepper

1 Shallot

30G Paprika

150G Green Beans

400ml Water

150G Chroizo

Oil

Utensils-

Frying Pan, Lid, Jug,  Kettle and Bowl.

Method
  1. Put 400ml of boiling water into a jug then add the chicken stock this then makes the chicken stock.
  2. Half the shallot, then peel and thinly slice
  3. Add a small amount of oil into the frying pan on a medium to high heat. Add the chicken and chorizo to the pan, stir and cook until the chicken is browned. This usually takes around 5 minutes.
  4. When the chicken is browned add the shallot and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  5.  Add the red wine vinegar, smoked paprika and the rice. Make sure that the rice is coated because this is going give the rice the flavour which it needs.
  6. Once the red wine vinegar has evaporated add the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Once this has occurred reduce the heat to medium and cook for a further 8 minutes with the lid on the pan.
  7. While this is cooking trim the green beans and chop into thirds. Halve the pepper and slice into thin slices.
  8. Once 7 minutes add the pepper and green beans to the pan on top of the rice BUT DON’T STIR. Add the lid again and cook for for a further 10-12 minutes.
  9. You know the rice is cooked when the stock is all absorbed and when the chicken is no longer pink
  10. Season with salt and pepper as you require.

For sure the chicken and chorizo rice is going to be a meal which I am going to make again. It is something which could be made with more ingredence so more people can enjoy. I know that everything which you use is something which Jess would eat. Which is a bonus because it does mean that I am not having to prepare two meals.

Have you ever made something so simple but as tasty and chicken and chorizo rice.

Charlotte xx

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small Business Christmas Gift Guide 2018

Today I am sure you are aware because of all the emails which you will have had is Black Friday. However, today instead of sharing with you all of the deals I am going to share with you some of the amazing smaller brands which I love. I have purchased some gift this festive season for some of them and also I have purchased some for my self. Others are companies I have my eye on and I might actually purchase before the big day.

On Junpier!

These are a company who I have recently stumbled upon and I am so glad that I have actually. They do an amazing selection of products. They are aimed at Children which because they sell bath bombs I find really interesting it means that it is not going to damage their skin. The bath bombs which I have tried are actually ones which change colour in the water. This is something which Jess finds fascinating she is one of those children who loves to spend a long time in the bath. I think if she could she would always have a Lush bath bomb but as we all know some can be pricey. They tint the water and they do have a bit of a nice scent I can not work out what they actually smell of to be honest. They do come in a packets for 3 which means that you could split them up and use this as 3 separate gifts in the little ones stocking. For 3 bath bombs you pay £10.50 these are not going to dry your child’s skin out even if you spend a long time in the bath like Jess does.

On Junpier! is not a brand that just do the bath bombs they also do lip balm which is amazing if you a child who suffers with dry lips. They do flavours which sound amazing including Cola, Chocolate and Cherry. All of these flavours sound like they are going to be super tasty. For sure I know if Jess struggled with chapped or dry lips these are something which she would let me apply. Or she is going to be able to apply it like lipstick. Applying lipstick is something which she loves to pretend that she is doing now. These are only £4.30 as well. I would recommend this brand as they are so amazing and high quality products. They are all natural as well which means no nasties going into your child which for me is a huge bonus.

Mini Writers Club

This is one for the little ones in your lives who you may have to purchase for. This is a company which I found on instagram and their help little ones get ready for actually been able to write, They give you several activities to do they are themed so in September it was a space themed box with October being Halloween. I know there is a Christmas box which I have managed to miss out on because it’s already sold out. The activities which you get sent these are hand eye cordination based which gets the little one to improve their skills. This could enhance them doing hand eye cordination tasks can make them used to things between their finger close to how we grip a pencil. With the very useful cards it tells you why this activity is good. All of the items which you need to do the craft activities are also included in the box which I think is amazing. Sometimes we do not have all of the things which we would need. These boxes are suitable for between the ages of 3-5 years old.  The boxes are £14.95 all in which for me is a bargain and can be purchased here.

Happy Place Cosmetics

Another company which I came across last year is Happy Place Cosmetics.I have made a couple of orders from them in the past and some have been for Christmas gifts one thing which I love about this brand is that they are cruelty free. You can actually purchase personalised items so if you have someone who may not be able to purchase their name often on items this is amazing. As you can see from the picture above this is something which we have chosen to do on some gifts. The scents are so strong but not too strong that you are unable to use them because they are super over powering. They o a range of different products including shower gels, bath bombs, body lotions. These are perfect for both men and women who you may have to purchase for this festive season. The prices are no more expensive than Lush and you are supporting a smaller business. I have found that the products do last for a long time which is always a bonus because when something is good you want to use it as much as you can. At the moment they have some super festive scents which sound so good I just want to eat them which I do not think is healthy.

Prints

There are a couple of company which I have used when I have been finding them for my office. I have a lot which is from Jemma from Dorkface she is currently on leave until July but her blog is still fabulous. I am going to share with you two different kinds of prints which I love. The first is one if the person who you are purchasing is for Film or TV fan then MyInspirationArt. Then this company are for you they are a very small etsy shop but they are of very high quality. I have just made a purchase for myself. It is on good quality paper these would look great a frame this festive season more so if you can get something which they love. Another company again one which can be found on Etsy is OlivaLeighPrints this company do music quotes. One which I got is an Ed Sheeran print because I am obsessed with his music and have been for a long time. She is also does movie prints and this is where I got a Captain America one of course these are so good quality or I would not be recommending. Both companies are very affordable and if you know someone who would love them why not make a small company happy by ordering.

Chocolate

Who does not love a bit of chocolate for sure I know I do. I want it more if it looks super pretty I am a sucker for this kind of thing. When Cocoa and Heart got in touch asking me if I would like to try some of their amazing products how could I do anything but accept. They do a range of different chocolate based products including Unicorn hot chocolate which would be amazing paired with the mugs from the women’s gift guide. They for sure do not do boring chocolate as you can see there is lollipops with different animals on which I am going to put in Jess’ stocking because she is animal obsessed at the moment. I have a friend who is unicorn obsessed so would love some of the unicorn products which the website is home to. I have tried some of the products and I could not believe how amazing it is. I could always eat chocolate and I am sure that people would love this as a gift. Due to the fact that it is handmade it more expensive than it would normally be. The quality of this is amazing and I would recommend purchasing it because of cause it is always good to support small business. They chocolate for as little as £1.50 so they would make amazing stocking fillers or secret santa.

Atlanta Designs 

Another company which I have purchased off when I was at York Balloon Festival. I purchased a few prints for the office which are animals because this something which they specialist in. They also do some amazing wanderlust prints with polar bears are also with balloons.I have purchased a money boxes which I think you would be able to all the spare coins in which will mean that at the end of the month or a period of time you will be able to have a bonus. Atlanta designs do some coasters which are of high quality these are the ones which I have been using on my desk in order to prevent staining. They do the same prints which means like me if you dream of travelling you can have something to remind you of the dreams. The do a mug and coaster set which is only £12 I can only assume of the quality of the items are as high as the other items. If the special person in your life is into jewellery there is homemade jewellery which can be purchase. Again this is of animals which makes me think of all the long hours which have gone into the pieces. These are reasonably priced at £10 which is a steal.  There is so much more I could purchase from this company. I am sure I will be in the new year.

From Lucy 

From Lucy is another company which I have my eye on a few things recently.I have just purchased a book which allows me to store some of Jess’ creations in. I am sure if you are a fellow parent with a child in nursury who is into arts and crafts as much as Jess. You will have a ton of art work come into the house every single week. The book which I ordered allows you to store up to 20 of the creations in it meaning that they have homes instead of cluttering up your house.  This would be a great present to a mum or even a grandparent maybe who doesn’t get to see the grandchild as often as they would like. They also do boxes which are challenges for someone which could be something like a few date ideas for your other half. Or challenges for those who are super hard to buy for and we put off till last moment. If you have little ones who like books you can also get personalised books for example the day that they were born book this is alongside books which are like personalised Christmas books. Something which I have my eye on is the happy memory box because when times are down, You would read the happy memories and it may not seem as hard. This is something which would be great for me when Joe is away as these are the harder times.

Craftly

Speaking of Joe been away something we purchased was a countdown which allows us to see how long it is till he is home. This could be worth it if you have a parent which is working away They do not just do countdown boards they also do routines ones which allows you to make sure that the child is going something properly. For example you could praise with them for doing something correctly several times if this is something which you want to do. They also do reward charts which could be used for potty training which you could gift if you are looking for practical gifts this year. These are hand painted which means that they may be a longer turn around. These help the child learn which I think is always a bonus. Craftly products are not cheap however, they are made so well that they are going to be able to be used for a long time. I am sure that no doubt over time they are a company which we are going to purchase more and more from.

What small buisness have you been loving this year? I am always looking to expand the amount of companies I purchase from.

Charlotte xx

This post contains PR sample however, all views are my own.

Women’s Christmas Gift Guide 2018

Today I am sharing yet another gift guide today it is one for the Women. Before Joe who I know reads my blog thinks he has cracked it and found everything that I want that’s not the case.  I am sharing with you gifts which we have purchased for other people so if you are reading this and you know I purchase for you click off now.  I only have 6 women to purchase for and this can be hard because there are so many amazing gift sets. I am going to share with you a few.  Usually, instead of setting huge a gift set I like to make my own for people because for some reason feel like this is a lot more personal.

Fluffy Socks

The ones in the picture are actually children’s but feel like there is nothing better than getting fluffy socks. I love to be cosy there is nothing better in my eyes than been cosy. There was a stage where m and one of my best friends always bought a pair or two of fluffy socks. I love being warm in the winter and because I spend a lot of time out in the cold because of rugby and February now been the coldest month. Even when I am trying to keep warm fluffy socks is something which I may have on because my office is actually laminate floor I have found them to be so cold.  Primark I have found to be one of the best places to go and purchase fluffy socks from. They always have a huge range at this time of year and of course, they are not that expensive.  I have hundreds of pairs of these and they last such a long time which is always a great thing.

Face masks

Self care is something which the majority of us forget or claim we do not have time to practice. Personally I think there is nothing nicer than been able to stick on a face mask even if it is while you are doing something else. There now is so many amazing Face masks which you can purchase on a budget. Who knows it may make a person who does not really bother with a strict skin care routine change their ways. I think these are amazing as part of a bigger gift. Sheet masks are all of the fashion at the moment and can be picked up everywhere. I purchased some from Superdrug for next to nothing. Of course. if you are purchasing for a Disney fan there is always the ones which Primark are selling which also look like they could be effective.

Bath Bombs

As someone who is obsessed with Lush I do not understand how I could not feature some bath bombs. They do have a wide range of bath products which are limited edition and only for the Christmas season. A problem which I have found with this is that if they really like them you can get them for long after Christmas. This is one of the reasons why I usually purchase from the regular line because then this means that they can be repurchased. If you do venture into Lush this festive season there is so much more than just bath bombs. I think there is not a section which I have tried that I would not recommend. If you are purchasing bath bombs make sure they they have a bath there is nothing worse than getting bath bombs as a gift and not having access to a bath.

Mugs

There is nothing more that I love than a good cup of coffee, of course for this you need a mug. I know there is a lot of people who adore hot chocolates at this time of year. I am not a huge hot chocolate fan but when I saw these initial mugs when I was in Superdrug. These mugs are huge and deep this does mean that you can fill a hell of a lot of hot liquid on this. If you are having a hot chocolate it does mean that you can fit a ton of whipped cream and toppings in and I know this is what some people I am purchasing for will do. Others are like me and will just fill it with coffee because you can never have too much. I managed to pick these up for half price I am unsure if this is because of the fact that it was last Christmas stock or maybe they were on the offer. They did have limited amount of of initials. I know there is some amazing mugs which Cath Kidston do as well as Emma Bridgewater both I find big enough. And I do actually love big mugs.

Candles

Can you tell a running theme with this gift guide of self care. Candles are something which I love to burn to me they make a home a home sometimes. I think they help on the dull damp cold days bring a lot of joy and of course this is something which we all need. As the colder months come who doesn’t want amazing fragrances filling their home.  Depending on the budget which you have to spend their are a wide array of candles which you could purchase. Naturally there is some amazing Yankee candles which throw off a lot of scent. If you do not want to spend all of the money which Yankee can cost of course there is some amazing cheaper candles which have as much throw. TKmaxx and Homesense usually have great candles which you can get with a huge range of scents. You can pick up some amazing bargains and for a fraction of their retail price. I have also found that Home Bargains have been doing great candles I think they are a dupe of Jo Malone ones and also some Yankee ones these have been all available for under £5. For larger jars so these could be amazing if you are doing something like secret Santa or do not want to break the bank on candles.

Shower Gel

The body shop are not somewhere which I shop a lot anymore. This could be due to the fact that I have a large collection of shower gels. So I do not need to purchase them as often as I am trying to run my collections down a little bit. However, recently I was in the body shop outlet and I saw some of their Christmas range which usually is amazing anyway. There was a couple of the scents which once I smelt them the first one was a peppermint candy twist shower gel because this for sure is going to be one which is going to wake you up. A problem which I can find is the around Christmas some of the scents become way to sweet and I know I would not appreciate them so I do not gift over sweet scents. Another one which I purchased was the Berry Bon Bon and for this one it actually smelt like Christmas. For me there is something which is Berries make me think of winter and Christmas. These do last a long time. You could always make your own own gift sets with a range of your favoruite brands which you think the recipient may enjoy.  Soap and glory shower gels always make presents as well bundled together.

Make your own hamper

This is something which I did last year for a number of the females in my life. This was something which they all appreciated more than a gift which they did not want. I made them up something similar to a self care package which is something that I am planning on doing in the future. I have been using the Yankee Votives which always goes down so well. Who does not want their house to smell amazing. I have also been including bits which I love the most because some of my friends then can try presents which I love as well. December is a month which people struggle to do a lot of self care and this is when we should be doing it more.  This year I have actually used Lush to make a couple of hampers. The reason behind this is they have amazing products which can wrapped in knot wraps. These are something which we love because you can use them so many times. Lush do not just do amazing bath bombs they also do some amazing skincare. I love some of the body scrubs which they also stock. If you do not know what you want. There staff are amazing and can help you.

Experiences

Having an experience is something which I have gifted before I even did a post on it last year. It can mean that you spend precious time with someone which you may not have done previously. I do this often with my mum I have gifted her several times spa trips and this does mean we have had so much time. I use sites such as groupon and wowcher to get amazing deals. If you know one of their favourite bands are touring why not get them tickets to their show because of course this is something which they would love.  An experience which we have loved in the past and Indoor Skydiving something which we have continued to do. This is something which I have gifted as well because it is something which I love so much. I will be doing a post about indoor sky diving soon because so many of you have asked me questions about it.

Mini Lipsticks

I was browsing on ASOS to try and find a lipstick for my graduation shockingly I ended up using an old one which I love. I might include it in a November Favourites if I remember. MAC lipsticks are something which I have had before but now do really like spending the money on because they have gone up so much in price in a couple of years. I saw that they do these mini sizes which are only £10. I find it so hard to use a whole lipstick because I like to change them up so often. These would be a great present for someone who you know likes MAC or like me wants to try so more products without spending the earth.

I hope this has given you some inside into you could purchase some of the females in your life this Christmas?

Charlotte xx

 

Meal Inspiration Monday- Spicy Sausage Chilli

 

Something which I love to consume in the winter is a chilli. For me it is one of those hearty warm meals which warms me up after a cold hard day. This is something which I have consumed so many times when I have been growing up and has become a staple. I have even managed to cook it when I was living away at university on a budget. When we moved house and I actually purchased the Hello Fresh cook book. I found a variation which used Sausage this is something which I have made several times since and I love. I think it may be one of my favourite meals I have had the book.  Today I am going to share with you the recipe.

Ingredient – Serves 2

1 Leak

1 Red Pepper

4 Sausages

1 Clove Garlic

1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes

1/2 Bunch Chives

1 Tin Kidney Beans

1.5 tsp Paprika

1.5 tbsp Ground Cumin

1 Beef Stock Pot

Utensils

Knife, Frying Pan , Sieve,Bowl

Method
  1. Remove the dark green top and the bottom root from the leek. Cut in half length ways, then slice into thin half moon shapes. Peel and grate the garlic. Remove the core from the red pepper and chop into small 1cm chunks. Chop the chives into ½cm pieces.

2. Put a large frying pan on medium-high heat and drizzle in some oil. Add your leek and pepper and cook for 5 mins till softened.

3. Remove the sausage from the skins, you can get rid of the skin. Drain the kidney beans.

4. After the 5 minutes of the Leeks cooking add the sausage meat to the pan. Cook this for a further 5 mins making sure you break down the sausage meat so it cooks evenly. During this time it should go brown when this is up add a pinch of salt and black pepper.

5. Once you have done this add in the  garlic, smoked paprika and ground cumin. Mix together and cook for a further 1 minute.

6. Pour the chopped tomatoes into the pan, rinse the tin out and then add a 1/4 of a tin of water and mix it together.

7. Add the beef stock pot and stir until dissolved, then add your kidney beans. Stir together and cook for a futher 10-12 mins, until your chilli is thick. The consistency you would expect chilli to be.

8. You may want to season with some salt and pepper.

I serve mine sometimes on it’s own as I find the chilli to be very filling. I have also served it with rice and also tortillas which have been toasted or even the cheap slightly salted Doritos. You could serve it with whatever you would like.

Have you tried using sausage in chilli?

 

Charlotte xx

 

Toddler Christmas Gift Guide 2018

Today I am going to be sharing with you another gift guide. In this edition, it is going to be all about the toddlers I have a 3-Year-old Jess.  Today I am going to be sharing some of the presents we have purchased her. It might like a lot but some of these items are ones which she already owns and that’s why it looks so much more.  Toddlers can hard to purchase for because it feels like they have everything.  Jess also is lucky to receive so many presents off the grandparents as well.  On with the post because I know it is going to be a long one anyway.

Balance Bike

A balance bike is something which we have chosen this year. She has had a scuttlebug and toddler 2 bike and has just become too big for both of them sadly. She loves to be able to ride around the garden on something when the weather is nice .  I can imagine when the weather is better she is going to be able to go to the park on it because we are lucky to live close to two parks. I am one who is super organised so managed to pick up a balance bike on living social which should have cost £50 for half price it’s worth checking sites like these for toys.  Halford’s usually have money off children’s bikes close to Christmas.

Toy Kitchen

Jess is lucky that she does own a toy kitchen which her grandparents purchased last Christmas. Since we moved house this is something which Jess has been playing with so much. We have managed to put it in the wendy house.  I think this is going to be something which she is only going o get more use out of when the weather improves.  If your child does not already own one I am sure they would love one. I have had my eye on the Aldi wooden one because the one Jess has is not the greatest condition. I love wooden toys I know the Aldi one will be out of stock as it is that popular. The Great Little Trading Company do a wooden on which I would love but it is so expensive.  When it comes to a kitchen it can be passed down between any further children we may have.

Shop

One thing which Jess is obsessed at the moment with is pretending that she is going to the shop. Something which I saw in the Aldi toy sale was a wooden toy shop at one side and a puppet theater on the other.  This means that there is the benefit of this gift been two in one because you get both. I did not have to purchase any food as Jess has so much from the kitchen.  This is something which is is going to get so much love no doubt I will have to be a customer and a shop keeper. I have also picked her up a till because what kind of shop would she be if she did not have a till.  Again,  picked this up in Aldi which means that it is wooden so should not become broken easy. I have noticed as well that the money which comes with is also wooden. With it been a theater on the other side it means I have had to purchase some puppets. I purchased a range from Aldi when they had them on and also Amazon. I could not believe how expensive puppets are in the shops.

Books

Even though I am doing a book advent calendar for Jess I am always keen to increase her book collection. We read a story an night so can easy become bored of the same books. The ones which I have saved for Christmas presents are the Disney ones these  Aldi had in stock. I promise this gift guide is not sponsored by Aldi. These are longer books so this might mean that they are going to have to be read over a couple of evenings. These are going to be something which we are going to treasure. I can see us owning these books for a long period of time.  Eventually I am sure we will end up reading them all in one sitting. Of course, you could purchase books depending on their age and attention span.  You could even pick up books second hand in the charity shop because some of them are really in good condition for really cheap.

Selection Boxes

We do not get Jess too much chocolate because we do allow her to share some of ours. When I was in Home Bargains I found the paw patrol ones. I know this is going to be cheap chocolate but she will love it because it has the pups on.  You can easily wrap these up and put them in your child stocking or a normal present.  Of course, there is a wide selection of selection boxes available some with characters on. Then obviously there are the classic ones which you get including Cadbury depending on which your child likes more. I always remember as a child being given a selection box a Christmas. This is something I hope to do with Jess as well.  You could even get some chocolate coins as well which is something which I might actually purchase before Christmas.

Gellibaff

Spending a lot of time in the bath is something which Jess adores to do. So when Gellibaff offered to send us some products I just had to say yes. This these are products which Jess is going to have so much fun with. If you do not know Gelli Baff sends you water like jelly. While Slime Baff is going to turn your bath or whatever you put in it slimey.  Its safe because I know there is a worry about the safeness of slime at the moment with Baron. However, this does not contain this which is always a bonus. These are so cheap could not believe that they are cheaper than a lush bath bomb at only £2.50.  You run your bath normally add the mixture and wait for between 10-20 minutes depending on the temperature of the bath.  Slime baff you only have to run more water which is going to make it dissolve. The Gell baff you do have to get the dissolver which then allows it to go down the plug hole.  I will be a doing a full review on this at a later date.  If your child loves the bath as much as much this is going to be an ideal present you can even pick this up from the supermarkets.

Orchard Toys

Orchard toys are a company which we love to play their games have had hours of fun with them. If you purchase the mini-games they come in small boxes which means that you can travel with them. We only have the summer editions of these games but I know we are going to purchase more of them. Hours of fun have been had with these  because they are so simple which means that Jess can play them without getting bored. We currently have a matching game, snap and a counting game I spoke about them more here. Personally, I think this is amazing because it is a fun way of her learning which is always a bonus.  She wants to play all of the time because you can play from 2 players usually we can play.  These games usually are under £10 which you can afford to get a couple. The games which are suitable for toddlers to 9 year old meaning you can get the whole family involved.  You can purchase them on Amazon and in most toy stores I know our local one stocks them.

Bath Crayons

These are something which has brought hours of fun to our lives since we first used them several years ago now.  f you have not heard of them before they are crayons which you wet it almost turns to paint which you cause to draw on either yourself or the bath. It is great because it just washes away and does not stain your bath or the tiles which your child may draw on. We have found it is easy to get off the skin because I have been painted several times when I have been supervising bath time and it has always come off. We have found I think it was last year that these only rose in price on Amazon and we ended up finding them in Boyes I would not pay more than about a couple of pound for them. If you leave hem for too long like Jess has a tendency to do in the water they just go all mushy and horrible. This year while having a walk around Home Bargains I found these which come with a Skye wash mit which means that she is going to be able to clean herself with her favourite pup. It was only £1 which is amazing for something paw patrol.

Pyjamas

Pyjamas I know are something which most people get new on Christmas Eve. However, shockingly we are a family who does not do this tradition at the moment. I do like to purchase pyjamas as gifts for Christmas. I have managed to pick up some Disney ones which Jess this is because we are lucky to live close to a gap outlet store. Which means I can pick them up for a fraction of the retail price. Usually I like to get Jess character ones because think that thin she will appreciate them more and usually the character ones are the ones she wants to wear.  There is nothing better than being able to get cosy as a family in all your pyjamas. This year I am tempted to get some of the matching family ones but we might see about this.  I have noticed while browsing the shops that for toddlers you can purchase Pyjama sets. These come with a dressing gown which can be handy after the bath. These usually are character ones and are around the £13 mark.

Lego

Lego is meting which I recommended in my male gift guide  you may think that toddlers are a little bit too young.  However, we have found that as long as Jess is supervised when she is playing with it we have no problems. We have found that she is a lot more creative when she plays with lego compared to mega blocks. Again like I said in my male one I would recommend the classic more for children because it allows them to use their imagination. I do not think if she had the sets she would not be as creative and wouldn’t play as often.  Jess loves more of the transport items which means that we always have train tracks and also boats out.  I think at one stage we had a house in the middle of a train track.  When I was in The Works I noticed that they had a huge base plate which is compatible with Lego. It is huge and as you know lego is not cheap and this huge baseplate it only cost me £8 I know it would be at least double if you ordered this from official lego.  The works are incredible fo gifts you should check them out for everyone’s gifts.

Jigsaws

Jigsaws are something which Jess has got into recently, however,  we do not have that many because of space really.  She is able to do the couple of bigger jigsaws which she already has. She now can do them without even asking for help which for me tells me that they are a little bit too easy.  I find that it is great being able to do some jigsaws when then the weather is rubbish outside because they are so fun to do. I picked up this Paw Patrol because of this smaller pieces that the ones which she has. Hopefully, this means that she is going to find it a bit harder and of course you always want to make something which you enjoy.   I am not one of the parents who can sit and do jigsaw but because Jess is so happy to do them alone it works.  You can actually purchase them so easily in a lot of cheap shops. I might have to see if I can purchase some more in the run up to Christmas.

Writing

Learning to write is something which Jess is trying so hard. She has tried to write her name so much it is so hard to believe that she is only 3 sometimes because she is so ahead.  I know she has a short name and this could be why. This book is actually is wiped clean it means that she is going to be reuse it several times. I know maybe she is a little bit young to do this but because she wants to do it and be grown up. These are the first 100 words which kids should be able to write so of course, these are short words. I think this is something which will help and enhance her learning which she does at nursery. This is one of a couple of books which are going to be able to help get a good pencil control.  I always love getting her a few presents which are going to help her learn but also be fun. Again The Works are so amazing for things like this. 

What do you recommend getting your toddler this Christmas?

 

Charlotte xx

This post includes some PR samples however, all views are my own.

 

 

 

Christmas Gift Guide For Men 2018

Can you believe it today it is time to share the first of my Christmas Gift Guides. I have decided that I am going to kick them off with my gift for men this year.   I do have a few males which I have to purchase for this festive season. Of course. I have 8 males to purchase for and this does include Joe of course. I have not included any of Joe’s presents because I know he is likely to read this post.

Skincare

Men’s skincare is something which has only exploded in the last few years. There are now so many brands who actually make skincare we have managed to try a few different brands. I actually use it because I find it so much better than some of the female brands. Admiral is one of the brands whose products which I enjoy. I have done a whole review actually on Admiral I have linked it.  Body wash is something which all men need to use and this does have a really nice scent. It is not over a manly scent but it does have a scent which is always a bonus. Men usually do not get as many different scents women. The hair wash it really good  I have found that it does keep your hair clean for several days. Without a doubt, this hair wash you could use every single day.  Moisturiser is something which a lot of men use now because they want to look after their skin. These gift sets are something which I have picked up for a few people because I know how much people are going to love them.  They also do an amazing facial scrub which is not in this gift set but I would recommend purchasing.  These gift sets are a bargain at £9 from fragrance direct, the actual products are worth around £20.

Sauces

Hot sauce sets are something which I purchase often due to my Dad loving everything hot. Purchasing sets like this allow you to try a range of sauces which you may not normally do.  This set, for example, has 8 different sauces and normally they might try one.  This means if they do like one of the sauces they could go and repurchase a bigger size bottle. Usually, as you can see from the packaging the bottles are tester sizes this one is 48g. If the person your buying for does not like hot sauce but for example likes flavoured coffee. There is a wide range of gift sets which contain the syrup for coffee. I have seen some of the sets which have been olive oil and all different kind of food-related gifts. Over the years we have found that TKmaxx or Homesense usually have a good selection of food gifts. The one in the picture above which contains 8 different hot sauces came from there and was around the £10 mark I seem to remember.

Clothing

I always find for people like Joe or my brother that clothing is a good gift. This could be because I think they should look good the majority of the time. I usually have a look at Hollister as they do some amazing basics which last forever. They seem to wash well which means they look like new for a long time. If you can get them on a sale price then they are not a bad price either. I know you do not want to always spend too much on each person at Christmas. Sign up to their newsletter which allows you to know when they have offers on. Boohoo is another place which does sell so many amazing male clothing usually they are not that expensive. From the clothing which Joe has had, we have actually found them to good. Again Boohoo have money off all of the time it varies between 20-30% . This means you can sometimes get a whole outfit for around the £20 mark. I have actually purchased a whole outfit this year as a gift. Don’t even be afraid to purchase socks men do actually want and use them.

Sweets

Sweets are a treat which of course people love to. You could purchase their favourite sweets if this is something that you know. For me, we have decided to pick up these Jellyactrics which are basically Jelly Babies. Instead, they are designed to be older people instead of babies. These are more of a joke present I  picked them up because I know that those who I am gifting them to will find them amusing. Pick n Mix is something which I would love to receive because these are some of my favourite sweets.  If you are purchasing sweets make sure you know they like the ones which you have purchased . There is nothing worse than them not actually liking the sweets which have actually been given. If you like me want to gift Jellyatrics you can purchase them from Hawkin’s Bazaar this is the cheapest place I found them at £1.75 a bag.

Toiletries

These are something every male needs no matter their age they are still going to be using the shower.  Gifts like this can be amazing for people who you do not see often like Grandad’s. When you are looking at toiletries gift sets make sure you look at them properly. For example, there is a lot of them which contain body lotion. I know the males we buy for are unlikely to use body lotion so it is pointless getting a set with it in for them not to use it. The one which we have chosen to gift this year is the Bayliss and Harding gift set which included Body wash and a shower gel. We know they will use everything in it which means they will be no waste products.  The gift set we purchased is currently on offer for £5 so will not break the bank. We have decided to give this to the Granddad’s instead of purchasing something like Old Spice or Brut like we usually do.

Scratch Off Map

If you have someone who is into travelling why not purchase them a map which you scratch off when you have visited the country. This is great because it is going to last a long time because when they first get it they can do the countries which they have already visited. The overtime when they go to more countries they can continue to do it.  This could also motivate them into booking a trip to another country which they have not visited.  This then would allow them to scatch another place off. They are so beautiful posters that they look good anywhere in the house because of them can look very tacky. The one which we have purchased for a gift is actually A1 so it is pretty large. It would look great in something like an office but do take into account the size when you order one. You do not want to purchase one and then it is way too big. I think you can actually get some smaller ones if this size would be too big.  This gift would be great for anyone or if like us sometimes you have to purchase a gift for a couple but really do not know what to purchase.  I purchased this one from Amazon for around the £10 mark I know they are more expensive at the moment but with black Friday coming up they are sure to be on offer.

 

Adult Books

No, I am not out to go all fifty shades of grey on you are all I do not mean that kind of adult book . I have noticed there is an increase in the amount of parody adult funny books this year. I have actually picked up two the first been the hungover caterpillar. This is a play on very hunger caterpillar but about a guy who is hungover so eats as much as the hungry caterpillar. This is a book which Jess was obsessed with and made my brother and I we knew the words off by heart. I thought it would be funny if she purchased him this book. I picked it up in The works but I do know you can get it on Amazon.  You could always gift this to someone who has been forced to read this book several times as well.  Another book which I have picked up is one which is for a friend who is into fitness and HITT.   While browsing on ASOS I  came across this book which is high-intensity intercourse training which is something which HITT could stand for.  I actually bought this as a joke present but did not realise how good it was.  It has about 60 positions in it telling you the intensity and difficulty in case you fancy trying them out which I found funny. I know the person who I have purchased it for will also find it amusing.  If you fancy purchasing this book it can be found on ASOS.

Console Games/ Accessories

If your other half is anything, like mine then they are really into gaming. Whether that be PC gaming or console gaming you could purchase them a game which you have heard them talk about. If you are doing this check they do not already own it.   I know the big one which has just been released is Red Dead Redemption 2,  the new Forza Horizon has also been released on the Xbox.  I am unsure what has really come out on the PS4. If you do not know what game they want you could purchase them a gift card so they can download the game which they want. If you do not want to go through the expense of purchasing a game you could purchase an alternative/. For example, they may thank you for a controller if theirs is starting to become old, a hard drive so they can store more games. Also if they like playing with friends maybe a headset would be perfect.  We have found that when it comes to gaming some of the best deals can be found on Amazon so this is a place to check out.

Gimmiz Bar Mats Image 3

Games

If the person you need to purchase a gift for is really into board games this could be an idea for a present. I know the males in my life would not be the kind who are going to sit and play board games.  I usually like to pick up some games which they can play on Christmas day. My brother has just started uni and as you know this is the time when you start playing more drinking games. I know when I was at uni this is something which we did for pre-drinking.  We all had different games but people never really knew the rules so we played a variation. So when I was in Wilko and I saw a game which had 30 bar mats with 30 different drinking games. I could not believe that these were only £3. They do a range of different games as well including champagne pong and a range of drinking games. The majority of them are under the £5 mark which means they are great for secret Santa. If you are hosting this festive season these would be so good because you could pick up a few and have so much fun. You can even purchase them on Wilko’s online store here.

Lego

Lego is not something which boys ever grow out of.  I know for sure that Joe still enjoys playing lego now as much as when he was a child. He loves nothing more than building things with Jess but you want the freedom to create whatever you fancy.  Instead of purchasing a lot of sets which means that you are restricted to what set you to have to what you can build why not get classic lego.  Unless you are purchasing something like a set of New York to announce a trip there.   This is actually a present for Jess but I know so many men are into lego and building which is why I have included it.  I managed to pick the 900 pieces set in Asda for £18 a while ago.  For sure there is going to hours of fun as a result of this, it is also a good bonding experience for Dad’s and their children.  This is something which Jess and Joe spend hours doing and creating different models.  I know Amazon have some sets which are at least 50% off meaning you can save some pennies.

Boob Egg Cup

I actually saw this on a Holly Vlogs video if you do not know who she goes around bargain stores showing you all the bargains to be had.  She showed this egg cup which holds two eggs which is perfect if you know someone who likes to have hard boiled eggs.  These can be found in the pound shop for you guessed it the mear sum of one pound. I thought that this would be a great a secret Santa joke present. This is almost what I have purchased it for. I know the person who will be receiving this will find it very funny. Of course, you do need to make sure that they are not going to take offense.  I know they can be some issues with people recieving boobs or other parts of the body as gifts. This does feel like it is good quality rather than cheap. I am unsure if they do anything else apart from Boobs so it may be worth checking out the Pound shop this year for some gifts.

I hope this has helped in getting some inspiration for seeing what I have purchased for the males in my life.  Let me know in the comments what you are going to purchase for the males in your life this Christmas.

 

Charlotte xxx