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*

Three Simple Toddler Friendly Valentine’s Craft

I absolutely love the idea of crafting with Aria, but I very rarely get around to doing it, which is why I applied to be a Bostik Blogger for 2017, it will be great to have encouragement to do at least one craft per month. The first box to arrive was the Valentine’s themed box, we decided to make a complete gift in the form of a candle, a card and a gift bag to put the candle in. Follow this simple guide to re-create your own toddler friendly Valentine’s gifts.

three simple toddler friendly valentine's crafts - DIY valentine's card, decoupaged love heart candle and a diy gift bag

For the candle you will need :

  • A candle/glass jar and tea light candle – we used a Yankee Candle but you could easily use an old jam jar and a tea light candle
  • Various coloured/patterned paper
  • Glue
  • Ribbons
Decoupaging is one of my all time favourite crafts, it is so easy and can look so effective. When I saw the array of pretty papers in my Bostik box I instantly decided on a decoupage craft. 
To decoupage your own candle jar you simply cut or tear your paper up, paint the jar with glue, stick the paper on and then finish with a further layer of glue. Once the jar has dried pretty it up by tying on various colourful ribbons. 

step by step decoupage candle jar tutorial - toddler friendly - toddler sticking paper on glass jar

Aria really enjoyed sticking the paper on the jar, decoupaging doesn’t have to be neat to look good making this a fantastic toddler friendly craft.
For the card you will need : 
  • Blank card
  • Various heart stickers
  • Heart shaped gift tag
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Glue
Start by sticking your large heart shaped gift tag in the middle of the card, then cut your pipe cleaners to size for the ‘I’ and the ‘U’, stick these on with glue (you will need to hold them in place for a little while) once they have dried allow your toddler to go crazy sticking the various heart shaped stickers all over the card. 

simple I heart u valentine's day card DIY toddler friendly craft

For the gift bag you will need :
  • A plain gift bag
  • A large glitter heart
  • Ribbon
  • A heart shaped gift tag
  • Glue
This is the simplest of them all, and Aria still thoroughly enjoyed it. Simply glue the back of the heart, press it onto the front of the bag and hold it in place for a little while, tie your gift tag on with the ribbon to finish.

DIY heart gift bag toddler craft tutorial


Valentine's craft gift guide - decoupaged candle, handmade card and handmade gift bag

Alternatively if you would prefer to watch a video tutorial you can do so below :

Like this? Pin it for later! 
three simple toddler friendly valentine's craft ideas - decoupaged glass candle jar, I heart u card and heart gift bag

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.

An Easter Gift Guide for a Thirteen Month Old – Aria’s Easter Basket

This year is the first year where Aria will be able to eat chocolate at Easter time, last Easter she was only two months old so chocolate was a no-go. I have however made the decision not to buy her much chocolate, just a small token gesture of chocolate because I couldn’t not buy any. The reason being is my family really wanted to buy her chocolate last year, so I have a feeling that they are going to go chocolate crazy this year! Aria won’t be able to eat it all and I am (kind of!) on a diet so don’t want too much temptation. I’m already eyeing up her egg from nursery.

an easter gift guide for a thirteen month old baby a white basket containing books clothing and a token gesture of white chocolate coins

Easter basket for one year old baby girl containing clothes books and chocolates - alternative to Easter eggs for babies

As mentioned above we didn’t want to go too chocolate crazy, I saw these white chocolate Easter coins in Wilko and decided that they would be the perfect addition to her box. They are individually wrapped which means that we can keep them for ages, just giving her one here and there as a treat, the blue and yellow colours matches the box perfectly (this was a complete coincidence but I am pleased with how it looks together!) and they only cost 50p, bargain.

I wanted to buy a Spring outfit rather than an Easter outfit that would only be worn for one day. I came across the gorgeous bunny top and leggings set in Matalan and instantly knew that it was the one. The colourful yellow flowers and bunny make it the perfect Easter/Spring outfit.

I decided to carry on the bunny theme for the books, opting to buy this super cute Peter Rabbit puppet play book and The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep, I’m not sure if Aria is maybe a little too young for this book at the moment but I have heard a lot of great stuff about it so wanted to buy it while it was on my mind, plus, rabbit!

What have you bought your little ones for Easter? Has Aria’s basket inspired you?

One Size Fits All Valentine’s Gift Guide

Spencer and I don’t tend to go crazy for Valentine’s Day. Last year we didn’t even buy anything but I missed having that little something, even if it is only little. This year I have decided to get a few bits and pieces, both home made and shop bought, so that Spencer has a little token gesture on Valentine’s Day. Carry on reading for Valentine’s Gifts suitable for anyone, from anyone.

one size fits all valentine's day gift guide

Valentine's day gifts chocolates from Marks & Spencer
Valentine’s Day presents should always include chocolates right? These chocolates from Marks & Spencer were cheap and look delicious. I couldn’t resist picking up the #loveYOU chocolate heart as a little extra something.

handmade valentine's day card from baby with foot and hand prints handmade valentine's day heart keyring
Next up at the homemade gifts. The card is self explanatory. Aria’s hand and foot prints on some white card to form the O and V in the word love. I messed up on the writing on the first one which is why the prints have been cut out and stuck on here.

The small hearts are made from air dry clay and then painted red. I used a chopstick to make a hole for either string to hang it on or a keyring. On the larger one I wrote DADDY using a knife and on the smaller one I printed Aria’s thumb prints on to it.

his & her's matching socks Sandy and Danny for Valentine's day
If all else fails you can always fall back on socks this Valentine’s Day! These his & her’s Sandy and Danny socks from Chatty Feet* are awesome, and a guaranteed way of me getting a present because I can’t always rely on Spencer…

Have you bought any Valentine’s gifts this year? If so, what?


Thinking of re-creating the card/hanging hearts? You may need these items: