Archive for Christmas Blogs

Buyagift.com Delivers Happiness across The UK

Buyagift.com launches ‘delivering happiness’ campaign to enable their customers to give something back to their heroes with the help of ITV’s Stephen Mulhern

Buyagift.com customers were asked to nominate someone who they thought deserved a special thank you, this could have been anything from charitable work, keeping a positive outlook through adversity or going the extra mile to help others. They were overwhelmed with the huge response they had from people wanting to surprise their Christmas hero, and after much deliberation three winners were chosen.

ITV presenter Stephen Mulhern personally went to surprise the winners with their special gift on their own doorstep alongside the person who nominated them, so they could personally tell them why they are a hero.

Stephen Mulhern was delighted to support the campaign and said, “It’s so important to take the time to truly appreciate those that have done fantastic and selfless things for others, and this is what the campaign with Buyagift.com is all about, just taking the time to say ‘thank you’. We have surprised some incredible people with a gift that will create special memories for them, to show them that they are truly appreciated. We travelled nearly 500 miles to surprise our heroes but it made it all worthwhile just to see the smiles on their faces! ”

Watch the video of the winners being surprised on their doorstep and the heart-warming reasons why they were nominated.


The BuyAGift Heroes:

Callum Wilson from Southampton was nominated by his sister Samantha Wilson to receive the Ariel Atom 300 Thrill for serving in Afghanistan for 8 years and overcoming a serious injury whilst still managing to be a huge support to her.

Stephen Mulhern and winner BuyAGift

Callum Wilson (left) with his sister Samantha Wilson (right)

 

Antonia Kingscott from Birmingham was nominated by her Mum Sonia Kingscott, to receive the Two Night Family Treehouse experience in Wales for being a huge support to her whilst she battled cancer, and still managed to carry on with everyday life and secure her dream of getting into the West Bromwich Albion football team.

Stephen Mulhern BuyAGift

Sonia Kingscott (left) nominated her daughter Antonia Kingscott (right)

 

Jean Hancox from Wolverhampton was nominated by her friend Sian Hallewell to receive a 5 Star London Hotel Break with Top Price Theatre Tickets for Two for all the volunteering she does to improve health services in Wolverhampton.

Stephen Mulhern and BuyAGift Hero

Jean Hancox (left) was nominated by her friend Sian Hallewell (right)

 

To help you say thank you and deliver some happiness to your loved ones this Christmas, Buyagift.com are giving you 25% off purchases made on the website.  Just use the code HAPPINESS25 at the checkout.

Buyagift.com is the UK’s leading online provider of gifts and experiences, and offers over 5,000 unique and exciting gift ideas for all occasions. For more information, visit www.buyagift.com.

Sponsored Content

WowWee – Toys for Boys at Christmas

I know I’m going to get it in the neck but I have got two gifts for Christmas that screams ‘BOYS’. Adding insult to injury I am also planning to give them to my two sons. Miposaur WowWeeNow I know that there are certain sections of the media that scream ‘SEXIST’ the moment you let it slip that your daughter likes wearing pink, but at least I have the recommended age group on my side in these two cases.

The WowWee toys I’m talking about are the R.E.V. Robotic Enhanced Vehicles (aka a remote controlled car) and the Miposaur which is a remote controlled dinosaur. The toys themselves look fantastic and although they are quite pricey they operate with the latest interactive technology and I know that my boys will spend all of Christmas morning chasing them around the floor.

The Miposaur comes with a trackball and the reactions it shows differ according to the mood of the toy, sometimes angry, sometimes curious, a bit like our current pet cat Slinky, but WowWee Miposaurhopefully without the dribble. Similarly, it responds to hand gestures -often a dangerous ploy in Brighton but something that I know Harry will absolutely love. He’s already got the ‘I’m listening to you but I’ve heard it all before’ stance down pat -which is impressive in a 7 year old- so I’m hoping the Miposaur sometimes puts him in his place by implying that it doesn’t really care if it watches Strictly Come Dancing and then slams the door on its’ way out!

Aside from the trackball and hand gestures there is also an app you can download and with which you can control your dinosaur pet. We’ve not shown this to Harry yet, clearly, but my partner and I have played with it loads. My favourite is when you put the trackball on leash mode and the little dear follows you around. It’s like having kids, but ones who do as they’re told! Other trackball settings include dancing, feed or chase so the aforementioned Slinky is probably going to have a rough few hours on the 25th.

What I love about this is the deliberately robotic style of the Miposaur with his black and silver casing and blue l.e.d eyes. Harry loves a robot and loves dinosaurs so…hmm, a robot dinosaur for Christmas? Yeah baby.

R.E.V Robotic Enhanced VehiclesThe R.E.V. stands for Robotic Enhanced Vehicles and is a car that not only drives but thinks and (in a mode where you meet other people with similar vehicles) battles other cars. This is controlled again by an app and the first things that struck me is the speed these go at, especially in the turn when they spin on the proverbial sixpence (or 10 euros if you’re feeling modern). I must admit I was already looking for a remote controlled car for Tom but the first thing that swung this for me was the app control which is sleek, easy to use and at the same time rather fancy. Tom, my 10 year, is no fool but he’s a 10 year old boy and works on the principle that if it looks cool, sounds cool and it’s got an app, then it’s probably cool. In this case, he would be 100% correct.

All of which leads me to my second point and that is these cars remind me hugely of the Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me. I’m not a car person really but I loved this car and I can still WowWee carsremember drawing various versions of it as a kid. Badly, it has to be said, but it clearly hit a nerve with its streamlined front and low-slung seats. I know the R.E.V. will have exactly the same effect on Tom and I’ll be getting ready to catch his eyes when he opens the box.

Christmas is always pricey but with these ‘toys’ from WowWee, at least I’ve ticked the first and most important box when it comes to deciding pressies for the kids: can the parents play with them as well and have a laugh? As far as I can see both of these answer in the affirmative here. And yes, before people start huffing into their muesli, I’m sure Caitlin will get a chance to play with them too, but I tell you this: she’ll have to join the queue

Win a KORRES Party Survival Kit

There’s a chance below. for you to Win 1 of 3 KORRES Party Survival Kits!KORRES Party Survival Kit

KORRES best-selling set for those with an active social life has had a makeover! The new look kit now features a window on the front so that you can see the miniature bits and bobs inside. KORRES Party Survival Kit contains everything you need to take care of your face, body and hair after a big night out…wherever the night takes you!

KORRES Party Survival Kit

The KORRES Party Survival Kit is available to buy  from www.Debenhams.com and contains:

  • White Tea Gel Cleanser 16ml
  • Wild Rose Cream 16ml
  • Aloe & Dittany Shampoo 40ml
  • Guava Shower gel 40ml
  • Basil Lemon Body Milk 40ml

To be in with a chance of winning 1 of 3 KORRES Party Survival Kits just RETWEET THIS TWEET and Follow @TheBabyWebsite on Twitterand @KORRESuk

The winners will be announced on Twitter and on our Twitter/Blog Winners Page on December 15th.

Handpicked Christmas Gifts

There are so many options for buying Christmas gifts on the high street and online, that it’s great when you find one or two sites where you can buy something for just about everyone you want to buy for.

Reindeer Born GiftedBornGifted is one such site. Apart from the wide range of personalised gifts you can buy there are also some very distinctive products that you won’t find everywhere else.  This stripey crocheted reindeer is made by Dutch designer Anne-Claire Petit.  He stands at an impressive 45cm high and is made from 100% organic cotton.  This colourful, baby-safe toy has floppy arms and legs and makes the ideal luxury Christmas gift for any baby!  Not cheap, priced £54.99 from www.borngifted.co.uk but very special!

Savanna Leather ShopperHandpicked Collection.

This simple but chic leather shopper from handpickedcollection.com seems to suit every situation and every age range! We love its ethical credentials – handmade from leather dyed using extracts of bark and plants by a Fair Trade cooperative of 40 families in Rajasthan. The leather is not “corrected” to hide its natural marks so it’s full of character. It’s not a bad price at all for a leather bag and we can see it lasting for many, many years. Women of all ages would love this bag to bits, so it’s a brilliant gift!

Artisan du Chocolat's No 1 Sea Salted Caramels

 

Artisan du Chocolat’s No 1 Sea Salted Caramels are unbelievably good. They have just the right balance of flavours and textures sweet and salty, crunchy and liquid and velvety. These chocolates are very special and perfect gifts for any chocoholic. The Handpicked Collection also have the most delicious Charbonnel et Walker Strawberry White Thins and we’re big fans of ‘Montezuma’s Chocolates:The Discovery Library of Bars’ – to die for……

Long Olive Wood Chopping Board

This beautiful and brilliantly versatile board in gorgeous, satiny olivewood is perfect for serving all manner of festive foods.  Great for cheese, a whole side of salmon, cold meats or for canapés. We love the fact that each board looks individual and unique and that they can be personalised too. A lovely and original gift for men, women, young and old alike and at £26.99, a veritable steal!

Grace Deluxe Sleeve Grace Deluxe Sleeve
An awful lot of bags and sleeves for laptops and tablets aren’t very stylish at all but the Grace Deluxe Sleeve is quite the opposite. It’s very slim, very chic and has room for a few other essentials too. The main compartment has a super-soft protective lining and the magnetised front flap makes for easy access. The front zipped pocket is perfect for pens, your mobile, cards and more! The Deluxe Sleeve retails for £39.95 and is available in four different colour options: night sky, dark purple, coral/dove and teal dot/night sky. nutribullet

So, after Christmas most of us decide we want to go a healthy-eating regime of some kind. Faddy diets come and go as they rarely fit into our everyday lives but this revolutionary machine, The NUTRiBULLET  means you can stay healthy for good. We know plenty of people who’d love one of these Nutribullets for Christmas! There are colours to go with most kitchens – we like the aqua one best. The recipient of your gift will be able to blend up delicious healthy smoothies in a matter of seconds and will be forever in your debt for giving them such a useful present!Toad Diaries

You can’t go far wrong with a  Personalised Diary from TOAD® DIARIES  either. TOAD Diaries have an extensive range of covers to suit all ages so it’s dead easy to create a personalised gift to suit your mum, dad, husband, teenager or just about anyone. They’re flexible date diaries too so you don’t have to start on January 1st – you can create it to start and finish when you want so miles better than a high street diary.

Buy Gifts For Christmas & Help A Charity At The Same Time

RNLI Teddy BearI love Christmas to bits and always have but I know there are an awful lot of people who rail at the over-commercialisation of the annual food-and-gift-fest. And yes, of course I understand where they’re coming from!

However there are ways to buy a little something for friends and family and ‘do good’ at the same time. I often buy my Christmas Cards from charity shops and this year I’ve already bought some presents from the RNLI Christmas Shop.  The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), is the charity that saves lives at sea and has some gorgeous, reasonably-priced and unusual gifts for all the family.

The cuddly teddy bear above is a snip at £4.95 and comes in pink too. I really like the Pop-Up Lifeboat Station too which makes a change from the usual Wendy Houses out there. Talk about playtime with a purpose.

Pop Up Lifeboat Station

 

This year instead of buying my Mum a tin of biscuits from M&S to go with her other gifts. I’m buying her this lovely Lifeboats Biscuits Tin and it’s only £7.95! Incredible value!

Lifeboats Biscuit Tin

I have also bought a Relax By The Sea Candle Set which at £14.95 is very competitively priced and has three different scented candles in an attractive gift box. A perfect gift for virtually any woman and many a man too no doubt!

Relax By The Sea Candle Set

Now I know I might be in a minority here but I ‘do stockings’ for everyone in the house and it’s much harder buying stocking fillers for a dad/husband than the girls in the family. I did pick up this Body Bar from the Gifts For Him section of the RNLI website. It’s a sort of woody, spicy scent and comes gift-boxed.

scottish fine soap body bar men

This is just a small selection of gifts you can buy from the RNLI Christmas Shop. Take a look yourself – you’ll be surprised.

Who are RNLI?

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea and provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland from 236 lifeboat stations. The RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 200 beaches around the UK and Channel Islands and operates a specialist flood rescue team too.

The RNLI relies on public donations to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 their lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity!

  • The RNLI was founded in 1824.
  • The RNLI rescued 7,964 people in 2012 – an average of 22 people per day.
  • The RNLI charity also offers free safety advice to sea and beach users to help save lives at sea.
  • Most of the lifeboat crews are volunteers on-call while having other careers.
  • Lifeguards are paid a wage, as they have to be in place on the beaches to carry out their role. The local authorities make a contribution to the RNLI for the service provided by the charity to help fund their wages
  • The RNLI (Sales) Ltd company raises profit for the charity through catalogues, an online shop and high street shops.

Win Nativity 3: Dude Where’s My Donkey?!

Nativit 3: Dude Where's My Donkey?

You can win NATIVITY 3: DUDE, WHERE’S MY DONKEY in our new Christmas competition below!

Entertainment One (eOne) is pleased to announce that the beloved Nativity franchise is back – with NATIVITY 3: DUDE, WHERE’S MY DONKEY?!

We are offering 5 lucky winners the chance to win a copy of the film on Blu-ray – available to pre-order now from Amazon.

With loads of special features, including Sing-A-Longs and Bloopers, NATIVITY 3: DUDE, WHERE’S MY DONKEY? is the perfect Christmas film that all the family can enjoy.

Nativity 3This Christmas the pupils of St Bernadette’s and their madcap teacher Mr. Poppy (MARC WOOTTON) are back for their biggest adventure yet involving fantastic flashmobs, excitable elves, Christmas carols and of course Archie the donkey!

When their new teacher Mr. Shepherd (MARTIN CLUNES) loses his memory and forgets all about Christmas, as well as his fiancée Sophie (CATHERINE TATE) and the whereabouts of the beloved Archie, it’s up to the pupils of St Bernadette’s to save the day. Led by the ever enthusiastic Mr. Poppy, they embark on a Christmas journey like never before – but time is against them if they are to help Mr. Shepherd get to New York in time for his magical yuletide wedding…! NATIVITY 3 introduces CELIA IMRIE as the new Headteacher, with ADAM GARCIA as the scheming Bradley Finch and RALF LITTLE as Sophie’s brother.Nativity 3

To be in with a chance of winning 1 of 5 Nativity 3 Blu-ray discs, just RETWEET THIS TWEET and Follow @TheBabyWebsite on Twitter.

NATIVITY 3: DUDE, WHERE’S MY DONKEY? will be available on DVD, Blu-ray, 3 Disc Triple Pack DVD and Download from 2nd November 2015. Pre-order now from Amazon.

The winners will be announced on Twitter and on our Twitter/Blog Winners Page on November 16th.

Kindle For Kids – Fire HD 6 Kids Edition

child KindleI love my Kindle. I fought it for a while, being one of those readers who loves the feel of a book in their hands, but as a multi-reader* it finally made sense for me to try Kindle and I have been a firm adherent ever since. So much so that I bought my mum one. Then my dad. Then my partner. They all love them too. Ergo, it was a bit of a no-brainer when my son’s seventh birthday came around and we had the chance to get one for him.

Now Harry is a great reader; ahead in his year when it comes to reading, genuinely interested in books and keen to show off his ‘big-boy’ style when it comes to his little sister. So a Kindle ‘just like dad’s book’ ticked a lot of boxes. However, when push comes to shove Harry is just seven, and more intent on turning anything over 8 inches long into a lightsabre than anything else. I have a sister who likes to claim that she was reading Pride and Prejudice by the time she was three, annotating Ulysses in Year 1 and translating Proust from the original into Urdu by the time she hit Secondary school. This isn’t Harry. He has dog-eared copies of George’s Marvellous Medicine and faithfully carried The Grunts In Trouble across five different counties during the summer holidays; but he isn’t a sit-in-the-corner-sniggering-at-Austin-type. Yet.

Fire HD 6 KidsAnd this is where Amazon’s Kindle for Kids comes in; more specifically the Kindle Fire HD 6 Kids Edition with 6″ HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB and Kid-Proof Case. Like all other kindles it doesn’t come cheap but it rolls in at around £119.00 and comes with 1 year of Fire for Kids Unlimited. This gives your young reader access to thousands of books but also movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games – at no additional cost. As a device to encourage kids to carry their books around with them at all times it really couldn’t be much better. Harry loved it from the moment he opened the box, even though it was not lightsabre shaped.

Effectively what we have is a Kindle e-reader, with all the great storage, connectivity and ease that Kindle offers, but also with a tablet that is safe and controlled. Therefore Harry can ‘surf’ for Ben and Holly, Teenage Mutants, Paddington or games whilst we can be safe in the knowledge that everything he finds has been vetted by Amazon who have hand-picked content that they feel engages, interests and teaches 3-10 year olds. There are none ofthe dangers that can come bubbling to the surface when you let your kids fiddle with your iPad, such as on-line shopping or in-app payments, and the child’s profile does not have access to the web browser or social media features. On top of this there are parental controls that allow us to decide how long Harry can use it as the tablet rather than the Kindle e-reader. We can limit him in terms of time, or even set goals whereby reading time is rewarded with tablet time. In the same vein we can even set the Kindle to turn off at a certain time, content in the knowledge that if he is using it in bed it will shut down for the night at a pre-set time.children playing with Amazon Fire Kids

Whenever I complete one of these reviews I generally try to look at the downside of the product, but in this case I can’t honestly see one. I want to encourage my children to do what I do, which is to have a book (now a Kindle) with me at all times. This is what the Kindle For Kids does. On the day he opened it he found the first two Harry Potter books, Temple Run 2 and Wallace and Gromit, all free from the Amazon content. I’d be lying if I said he spent equal time on all three, but learning to enjoy (and, yes, rely on) books is a gradual awakening, a burgeoning desire to explore new worlds by using your imagination and a recognition that good literature teaches you things you never knew about yourself and the world you inhabit. The fact that he is now inseparable from his Kindle is a firm step in that direction.

The Kindle Fire 6 HD Kids Edition isn’t going to suddenly make your child love books, but it’s the best product I’ve seen to help them gently along the path that will eventually -hopefully- make them life-long readers. Well done Amazon.

*A term I might have just made up but which means I like to have three or four books on the go at any given time.

Buyagift.com Surprise Some Christmas Heroes

What better way to say thank you to one of your heroes than by a special gift delivered straight to their door.

November saw the launch of the Buyagift.com Surprise Surprise campaign, where customers are given a chance to nominate someone who they thought is deserving of a special treat.  This could be for anything from charitable work, staying positive through adversary or even going the extra mile to help others.

The video shows three of the nominated heroes: David Witherington, who was nominated by his daughter-in-law for all the hard work he does volunteering for the Red Cross; Joel Collins, who was nominated by his Mum Alison for his strength in dealing with his diabetes and finally Linzi Gunter, who was nominated by her friend Sarah for for going above and beyond for her as a friend, despite having been through some very difficult times.Buyagift.com Logo

Dan Mountain, CEO of Buyagift.com says:

“At Buyagift our aim is to create amazing memories with the gift experiences we provide, and we wanted to give our customers the chance to give something back to someone they know- the unsung heroes, the people that go the extra mile for others without a second thought and people that deserve a treat, by giving them a gift experience that will create special memories as a token of appreciation that others feel for them.

We were truly overwhelmed with the number of nominations we had and we know there are so many people out there that deserve some recognition for what they have been through or what they do for others, and if we can help provide that moment of happiness for them with one of our experiences, we are proud to help.”

This is a sponsored post for Buyagift.com

Personalised Word Art

personalised word art from Illustrate My NameI’m going to rave about something now and everyone is going to assume that this is a paid-for post, but it’s not – I promise you!

Illustrate My Name is a company I came across recently when looking for a unique piece of personalised word art for one of my children’s birthdays. I’d seen the company advertising personalised baby gifts and christening gifts and wondered if they covered all ages and all celebrations. Turns out they do – yay!

Illustrate My Name

In other words, you could be looking for a unique gift for a 21st birthday or a New Illustarte My Name personalised jarBaby, a Wedding or a Christmas present and you’d be able to find it at Illustrate My Name. Whatever you choose to have made, it will be very individual, tasteful and timeless and even more unbelievable it won’t break the bank. Or at least from my experience it won’t anyway.

Now I’m not going to share a pic of the framed print that I actually bought as the words and sentiments are very much my daughter’s and for her walls (her friends and family) only. Suffice to say, it’s perfect and she loves it! In fact her sisters love it personalised christmas cardsso much that they want one too so I can see that I’ll be returning to Illustrate My  Name regularly when I’m on the hunt for ‘different gifts’!

I love Illustrate My Name and can genuinely recommend them – great gifts, easy to order from, reasonable prices, excellent service and top quality results! What’s not to like?

Win a Christmas Stocking

Xmas StockingIf you’d like to Win a Christmas Stocking for your little one, there’s still time.  We’re only running this for 2 days so you’ll have to be quick!

You can even personalise this particular Christmas stocking by placing a pic of your little one into the little pocket on the front. Brilliant.

All you have to do to enter our Fab Xmas Stocking Competition, is Follow @TheBabyWebsite on Twitter & Retweet but if you comment and do any of the other things in the Rafflecopter form below, then you get more entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And the winner is… @MummyToTheMax