Father’s Day the AMARA Way

With Father’s Day fast approaching I guess it’s about time I start to think about gifts. I’m the lazy kind of shopper, the shopper that wants to do it all from my sofa in just a few clicks of a button, and preferably nail it all on the first website that I visit, and so I was quite excited to discover Amara’s* fantastic product range.

Over the years I’ve bought Spencer many a personalised item ranging from mugs and mouse mats through to garden tools and hammers, and while these items are lovely, sometimes it is nice to buy something that little bit more luxurious.

Father's day gift guide featuring ted baker westminster and arch from amara

When I discovered the AMARA website I knew that I had hit the luxurious Father’s Day gift jackpot. Stocking many designer brands including Ted Baker, UGG and Ralph Lauren to name a few, and with something to suit every budget I was pretty much guaranteed to find the perfect gift.

For the purpose of this guide I left it to Spencer to pick his gifts, I wanted the guide to be for men, by men, to give you a little extra insight, because buying for men can be so difficult.

After a lot of debate Spencer eventually settled on three gifts, a nice watch for special occasions, a stylish yet practical accessory tray and a set of beautiful whiskey glasses, for when he becomes a man of leisure, because apparently that is happening one day (yeah, right!).

You can shop Spencer’s picks below or see the full selection of Father’s Day gifts on the Amara website here.

*Disclosure – we received these items in exchange for this gift guide*

What She REALLY Wants For Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching (tomorrow, be quick!) I thought I would share my ideas of what she really wants for Valentine’s Day, after all there are only so many personalised mugs/phone cases/love plaques that you can buy. When you have been together for ten years, like Spencer and I, you really want to buy practical, yet perfect gifts.


I’m going to start with a contradiction – flowers and chocolates are always a great gift and the perfect way to my heart, and also the perfect solution for those of you who haven’t yet bought a gift. I personally have never been bought flowers in a romantic way, apart from when I split up with my ex but that didn’t quite have me melting at my knees in the way that he had hoped, in fact I gave them to my friend for her mother, but enough about that!

Back in my younger days I thought that flowers were a pointless gift and I was very vocal about the fact that they were a complete waste of money – why buy something that is just going to die after all? Fast forward more years than I care to admit and I now appreciate the finer things in life, including flowers, and love to receive them as a gift.

You may want to use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to bring some spice into your love life, and why not? If you do want to go down that route then check out My Favourite Voucher Codes where you can find discounts a-plenty, such as 50% off https://www.myfavouritevouchercodes.co.uk/lovehoney-voucher-codes.

If none of this is floating your boat why not go down the practical route? Pen Heaven stock a beautiful collection of gifts, including the leather journal* in the photo above; not only is it practical but the vibrant red and little gold love heart detail make it the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day.

My dream Valentine’s gift? Spencer will be working so a surprise flower delivery during the day would be amazing, but what I would really like is for him to take everything off my hands when he arrives home from work in the evening. For him to cook a delicious meal for all three of us with no input from me, for him to put Aria to bed and allow me to relax and enjoy my evening.

Think back to conversations from months gone by, I for one am always stating things that I want, or in some cases things that I really need. If Spencer were to turn around a month or two down the line and surprise me with said gift it would show me that actually, he does listen after all!

Gifts aren’t about how much you spend, they are about how much thought you put into them. For example buying flowers for someone with hayfever would be a HUGE mistake. Buying chocolates for someone on a strict diet could be serious sabotage. Buying a thoughtful and practical gift shows that you really do care.


*Disclosure – items marked ‘*’ were received for inclusion in this post. Contains a sponsored link*


The Family Christmas Gift Guide
*Items marked with an * were either gifted to me for the purpose of this post or have sponsored this post*

It’s November, which in blog land means CHRISTMAS! I have been working on this Christmas gift guide for a little while now and am super excited to finally be able to share it. The guide includes gifts for everyone, so the little ones and the big ones, something for the whole family. If you’re looking for Christmas treats for mam & dad and fun for the children, then look no further.

the family christmas gift guide - a gift guide including gifts for the whole family - children's christmas toys - adults Christmas treats

Christmas gift guide - presents for mother-mam-nan-nanny-mum - Weleda gift set

This Weleda Pampering Gift Bag* includes body wash, body lotion and a bath scrunchie. The Pomegranate body care includes organic pomegranate seed oil which is an antioxidant that protects the skin from dying out and premature ageing. This is the perfect gift for the busy mam or nan.

Great British Bake Off fridge magnets - Christmas gift guide for the gbbo lover

These Great British Bake Off fridge magnets* are super cute and make the perfect little stocking filler for the GBBO fans out there. The Bake Off range is currently stocked at Debenhams.

wooden christmas pudding coaster set from create gift love

This Wooden Christmas Pudding Coaster Set* from Creategiftlove is ideal for the Christmas fanatics! The coasters are made FSC Certified wood and are super high quality.

personalised white boards and glass boards from teacher boards - notice board supplier

These personalised whiteboards Teacher Boards* make a fab gift for pretty much everyone. You can purchase standard boards or send in your own art work to create a unique and personalised whiteboard or noticeboard. I quite fancy a blogger daily task list for myself.

bright pink selfie stick from Primark

The selfie stick is a present for my seven year old niece who is currently considering setting up her own YouTube channel. Selfie sticks are suitable for pretty much anyone of any age, provided that they like selfies! This particular selfie stick came from Primark. I am planning to buy some Shopkins and use my glue gun to transfer this into a unique Shopkins selfie stick. If I manage to pull it off there will be a blog post.

hot pink action camera - 1080P full hd - less than £15 - GoPro alternative

This hot pink action cam is a complete bargain at less than £15. It is available in a range of colours as well as pink, I’m currently awaiting delivery of the pink version for my selfie crazy niece. The action cam and selfie stick are a great gift for a budding YouTuber!

Messy Monster Talking Soft Toy from Messy goes to Okido Christmas gift guide for the whole family

The Messy Monster Talking Soft Toy* is great for Messy Goes to OKIDO fans. Squeeze him to hear some of his favourite sounds and phrases from the TV show. He is super soft to touch making him an ideal comforter and friend.

DinoSaur DNA kit TyRannoSaurus Rex - excavate and re-create with augmented reality - make your own life size dinosaur

The Dino DNA Kit* aimed at ages eight and over is perfect for the budding palaeontologist. Bring your very own dinosaur to life by excavating and re-creating with augmented reality. Once you have completed the code and downloaded the app a life size dinosaur will appear and you can film your very own mini movie! Watch this YouTube video to see the Dinosaur kit in action.

menu-u selection box - box of mini toiletries - christmas gift guide for dad/ grandad

The men-ü selection box* contains a 100ml shower gel and six various 15ml tubes, the perfect gift for the man who travels or the man who is simply looking to trial a new skin care regime. 

pull along wooden toys dog and elephant from hape - toddler Christmas gift ideas

Hape stock the cutest range of wooden toys, including this beautiful pull along elephant* and walk along puppy*. As well as stimulating the imagination these toys will help your child to learn balance.

shabby chic wooden toy kitchen cut out hearts pretty - toddler Christmas gift guide

Talking of beautiful wooden toys, we will be buying this shabby chic style wooden toy kitchen for Aria’s main present this year. Kids love kitchens and as it has to go on display in my house (probably the dining/living room) I want to ensure that it looks good. This kitchen ticks all boxes as it has draws and doors to open, knobs to twist and it looks super pretty. We will also be buying some cute wooden kitchen tools to go along with the kitchen.

Christmas gift ideas for the whole family - Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit personalised little guide to life books

Historic Newspapers have recently launched a beautiful collection of personalised Beatrix Potter little guide books*. These well presented books are perfect timeless keepsakes and come in a choice of the guide to harmony, guide to virtue and guide to life. These books are perfect for adult and child alike.

If you’re still struggling for ideas then why not download Zeek and purchase some discounted gift vouchers? If you download via my link you will receive £5 off your first purchase.

Before doing your Christmas shopping don’t forget to sign up to cash back sites such as Quidco and KidStart.

A Perfectly Practical Father’s Day Gift Guide

I always struggle to buy gifts for the men in my life, I like to buy something special but also something that is useful and won’t just be tossed in a corner never to be seen again. Shops and on-line retailers seem to be latching onto this and launching some fantastic perfectly practical gifts for the men in our lives.

The perfectly practical father's day gift guide - a guide of practical gifts for men including personalised hammers and garden tools

personalised wooden hammer for father's day or gift for men - when it comes to dad's you've nailed it

These hammers seem to be popping up everywhere at the moment, and I can see why, they are fab! I bought mine from Love Emma for £19, but be sure to shop around as they are being sold by a lot of different retailers all at varying prices.

personalised wooden gardening tool set beautiful gift for the man in your life or for father's day

This engraved gardening tool set from I Just Love It* for £24.99 is adorable. It can be personalised with a name up to 10 characters and a message up to 25. I decided to personalise mine with ‘nurture me, watch me grow’ as I thought this was apt for both the garden and Aria. The tools are very good quality and something that I imagine will last for years, even with heavy use.

father's day gift guide men-u pro black shaving brush

If personalised gifts aren’t your thing how about a shaving set? This shaving brush from men-ü costs £19.95* and comes with a free 15ml shave creme. This shaving brush isn’t made in the traditional way using animal bristles and as a result uses up to 40% less shave creme, is easier to clean and there is no bristle loss.

dad and me father's photoshoot in pontypool south wales day gift guide

Jenny Healey Photography in Pontypool are running a dad & me photoshoot package which is a lovely way to capture some perfect memories. While you may be too late to book this before Father’s Day you could always purchase a voucher for the offer and redeem it at a later date.

If all else fails you could always go down the practical edible route. Collier’s have recently launched a Royal Gold Ale, the ale has been perfectly brewed to be the perfect match for Collier’s Cheddar. An ale and cheese hamper would be the perfect gift for a foodie father. The Royal Gold Ale can be purchased at Asda stores in Wales.

What Father’s Day gifts have you bought this year? Is there anything that I should add to this list?

Easter Gifts For The Whole Family

I buy for a variety of ages for Easter, ranging from one right up to thirty three, me being me I like to find gifts that are a little bit different, whether it be an unusual egg or a chocolate flavour beer. I’ve already shared Aria’s Easter basket so in this post I will be sharing what I’ve bought for the rest of the family.

blog post easter gift guide easter gifts for the whole family - chocolate beer, hello kitty easter egg easter basket bunny egg with carrot hot cross bun popcorn

Easter gift guide marks & spencer kids eggs and luxury adults eggs chocolate beer and hot cross bun popcorn books and clothing for baby
I started my Easter shopping quite a while ago, I worked in Marks & Spencer as a Christmas temp, I finished at the end of January which was when their Easter stock came out so I made the most of my staff discount and bought a few bits in readiness.

I bought the Alfie bunny for my four year old nephew and the Hello Kitty egg for my eight year old niece, the small bunny and chick chocolate lollipops are also for them. M&S have since released a Frozen and dinosaur egg, even though I’m sure my niece and nephew will love these part of me does wish I had held off and bought those instead.

For Spencer I’ve bought this pretty delicious looking coffee lovers egg from Marks & Spencer along with their Cheshire Chocolate Porter beer, I couldn’t resist the beer when I saw it, I thought it was a fab twist on the traditional Easter present. I just hope he lets me try a sip, and also lets me help him eat his egg.

I’ve also got the Butterkist Hot Cross Bun popcorn* for us both to have a nibble on, as much as I love chocolate it will be nice to have a change at Easter time, I’m really looking forward to trying this.

What have you bought your family for Christmas? Are you tempted by any of these treats?