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

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