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Thursday, 13 December 2018
With this gift guide I've tried to stay away from the using the same category's in the Mum & Dads one, but it was difficult to do. This is just a few ideas and categories to help direct you if you are still stuck for gift ideas.

Accessories

Electronics

Food

Personalised 

Magazine Subscriptions 

Blow The Budget 

Just a few different ideas for you but the previous years gift guides are still relevant and you can find them here. I'd love to know what you are up to this Christmas or of any gift ideas you have. Leave a comment below or you can find me on  FacebookTwitter & Instagram

As always, thanks for reading...
Tuesday, 11 December 2018
I decided to group mum and dad together as I like having it all in one place, like I have done before with Grandparents Gift Guides. I have kept the same theme as last years by giving you a few category and gift ideas, but I won't be highlighting a brand like I did with the Children's Gift Guide. I find you will know your parent(s) best but sometimes just need a direction to go in.

Beauty / Skincare

Fragrance

Clothing

Electronics

Food

Blow The Budget


Just a few different ideas for you but the previous years gift guides are still relevant and you can find them here. I'd love to know what you are up to this Christmas or of any gift ideas you have. Leave a comment below or you can find me on  FacebookTwitter & Instagram

As always, thanks for reading...

Wednesday, 5 December 2018
Every year I usually separate the top toys to the children's gift guide, but I decided to put it all in one. Over the years I have done many gift guides with gift ideas but the categories that we put gifts into are the same year after year. I felt like I was repeating the same kind of thing again and again so like I do with my other gift guides I wanted to highlight a brand rather than go through different characters.
This will be different to the other gift guides that I have coming because I will explain my reasoning behind choosing that brand. Finding gifts for children can be a lot more difficult as their tastes change and develop through the years and some people want to buy for children in the family but they may not have any themselves and wouldn't know where to start.

Top Toys 2018


Gifts For Toddlers - WinFun

I came across WinFun when looking at toy deals on Black Friday. I've actually brought a few pieces for Christmas Gifts and the products are very study, not too heavy and as you can see from the images below, they are bright and colourful. With toys for 6 months to 5 years old I picked this as a brand to highlight for many reasons. The main one being that I feel when it comes to brands like  VTech & Leapfrog there is this notion to make almost every product they release available in a blue for boys or pink for girls version. Although WinFun has a few themselves the range isn't overrun by blue and pink only. It's amazing to see a range go back to basic primary colours.

Gifts For Girls - Mattel 

Girls toys are harder to find these days but you'll see from the selection below I mostly picked doll based toys. Studies have shown that girl's verbal and social skills come along quicker than boys because of the amount of time they sit talking to their dolls. Now the ones I've chosen come with accessories to help towards building scenarios and I haven't gone down the traditional princess route as most girls dolls now come in fantasy or superhero forms. The diary I included as it's fun between older girls to write down "secrets" and create memories. I decided to highlight Mattel because a lot of people will initially think it's full of barbies when they in fact offer a wide range of different dolls and play sets. 

Gifts For Boys - Hasbro

Boys toys are another that are difficult to find. In my opinion children are growing up a lot quicker than what the recommended age on toys are. I went with figures again here as boys will still develop social cues from interaction with them but they mostly learn problem skills. You'll find many boys toys are set up and advertised to click the lever or smash down a wall and reveal or save something. I went with Hasbro because it's another brand people assume about. Hasbro Games are very popular but it's not all they do. A lot of people don't know they have one of the largest exports of Marvel toys on the market.

Gifts For Imaginative Play - Addo

Addo as a brand has so many subcategories. The images below only give you a small insight into what they offer. From dress up to arts and crafts there are so many imaginative play items to choose from that you'll be surprised. I picked Addo because it's so diverse amongst gender. I find when you look at imaginative play items it is always girls costumes, makeup or girls arts and crafts. This doesn't have that as much as other brands, I find there's a good balance or more unisex items than what other brands offer. I've really come to like Addo and it's another brand I buy when gifting for children in the family. 

Gifts For Builders - Lego

Of course building toys are a great idea for any age and I had to go with Lego. Not only is it the top seller, it's durable, long lasting and the sets, when well looked after, can double in price. They have such a diverse range from what they've created and who they've worked with. It's one of those brands where you can find The Simpsons, Disney and The Beatles under the same roof.

Gifts For Collectors - MGA Entertainment 

It's no surprise that collectables are popular again this year. This is the trend that keeps on growing and this year I have seen more ranges released than previous. Still including some familiar faces in the image below, these are the perfect stocking filler or gift for your child to give to their friend. MGA Entertainment have many more collectable ranges which is why I chose them and because they expand their ranges into play sets which means the range that the child picks could grow more.

Gifts For Scientists - Nickelodeon 

I chose the category of science sets as I feel sets like these are always overlooked. The Nickelodeon range has diverse styles of experiments and they are great for kids who are getting older and are not that bothered by dolls or figures anymore. When you look at science style gifting you'll find a lot of astrology and metal detector style toys but chemistry and crystal sets are usually higher in age, for around 16 and older. This is a great introduction to whether the child wants to get into a science as a career as we forget toys are not just for entertainment but can help shape a child's path. Also, kits like this would also make a great sharing gift for siblings to do and although the age recommendation is 8 if done with supervision some of these can be done as young as 6 in my opinion. 

Gifts For Outdoors - Little Tikes

Outdoor toys are not your initial thought as a Christmas present but a lot of them can be used indoor and I know some people reading this will be from countries that have warmer winters. I chose Little Tikes as it's a brand that I grew up with. The products are sturdy, easy to put together (which is a bonus for parents) and they clean easily. With outdoor toys it's something that you will buy knowing it won't be used properly until the warmer months and it's a great gift to buy for a child a few months younger than the recommend age as it'll be ready for them to use when that time comes.

As a disclaimer. There are many lists about the Top Toys for Christmas 2018 but these are 12 that I've seen as very popular amongst reviews. The links above will show a retailer that stocks the product but it was chosen at random from one of three, The Entertainer, Smyths Toys & Amazon. I picked these three because of popularity and stock levels. 

So there is just a small insight into some ideas for Children. You can find previous gift guides here, here and here that are still relevant. I'd love to know what you are up to this Christmas or of any gift ideas you have. Leave a comment below or you can find me on  FacebookTwitter & Instagram

As always, thanks for reading...

Friday, 30 November 2018

Contents

- Designed exclusively for John Lewis & Partners, this Happy Socks advent calendar is sure to get you into the Christmas spirit. Featuring one of the brand's distinctive pairs of socks for every day of advent, each is crafted from a comfortable cotton-rich blend and finished with signature branding.

How is it different to last years?

This is the first year I've come across this advent calendar. I had a look to see if they did do this last year but couldn't find any information. I love this concept as it can be done for any age. With a bright red festive design this print is so versatile and I can see them having a range with the colour palettes switched out. 

Is it worth the price?

At £149.95 you would say this is very pricey for what it is and in a way it is but in keeping to the brands prices you do get a small saving with this. You are putting your money into the brand more than the product and I can see many more retailers doing something similar as well as people DIY-ing their own. If you like the brand, this is worth what you pay but if you are out to buy this for the novelty factor, I'd look elsewhere.


Would you like to receive a sock advent calendar? Are you a fan of Happy Socks?

I am doing another month of #CalendarCountdown, I'd love to know what you think of all the different advents and you can find me on FacebookTwitter & Instagram. Use the hashtag #CalendarCountdown if you have one of these advents or if you have your own way of counting down to Christmas.

As always, thanks for reading...

Contents

- Speed into the festive season with this amazing City Vehicles and Accessories Advent Calendar from John Lewis & Partners! There are also lots of accessories to find, including little police officers, speed signs and workmen. Perfect for creating your own city-scape full of bustling traffic, this advent calendar is the perfect gift for any little car enthusiast.

How is it different to last years?

John Lewis have also started to offer their own brand toy advents as well as alcohol and beauty. This really surprised me but I really love it. I feel as though traditional toys like racing cars have become filled with a lot of technology which although fun won't always allow for a child's imagination to open. Featuring vehicles, accessories and figure this is perfect for imaginative play. the design screams car advent calendar too.

Is it worth the price?

At £20.00 you pay for what you receive, yes there are cheaper alternatives or advents priced the same and are better known brands but I really recommend this. As I said above this is great for imaginative play so younger children will really enjoy this. 


Were you surprised John Lewis started to do Toy Advents? Does this one appeal to you?

I am doing another month of #CalendarCountdown, I'd love to know what you think of all the different advents and you can find me on FacebookTwitter & Instagram. Use the hashtag #CalendarCountdown if you have one of these advents or if you have your own way of counting down to Christmas.

As always, thanks for reading...

- This calendar includes a full bottle of The Lakes Distillery award winning Explorer Gin. Perfect for pairing with the premium tonics behind every door. Just add ice and join in the Christmas Spirit!

How is it different to last years?

I cannot remember seeing this available on the John Lewis website last year so I think it's either new or last years sold out fast. This design is a lot more festive to the others released this year and I like the fact it's Gin & Tonic rather than a solid Gin advent. 

Is it worth the price?

At £95.00 this is more than some of the other advents John Lewis offers but you do get more in weight. I really recommend this but not as an advent calendar. This is a great party box where members can pick a tonic to go with the gin at random or they can all be taken out and mixed. It works really well because the smaller bottles will be used up quicker and you don't end up with loads of half empty bottles. 


Are you a fan of Gin & Tonic? Do you prefer this to a full gin advent?

I am doing another month of #CalendarCountdown, I'd love to know what you think of all the different advents and you can find me on FacebookTwitter & Instagram. Use the hashtag #CalendarCountdown if you have one of these advents or if you have your own way of counting down to Christmas.

As always, thanks for reading...

Contents

- "Wine down" to Christmas with 24 mini bottles from around the world. This Advent Calendar is the ideal way to countdown to Christmas. Each door conceals a 187ml bottle of red, white or rose wine.

How is it different to last years?

Again John Lewis doesn't provide a contents list so it's hard to distinguish what is repeated or not. There are some familiar brands I recognise but a lot of them I think fall under the exclusive label it boasts. The design isn't as Christmassy as the others John Lewis released this year but it is in a stand out festive colour palette.

Is it worth the price?

At £70.00, another affordable advent amongst wine and other alcohol advents but it's again hard to know what you are paying for. With no contents list I went by the content weight and found you get your money's worth but whether you feel you do is the question. If you can't go into your local John Lewis or they don't have it in stock for you to check out, you have to ask yourself if you'd take the gamble?


Would you take a gamble on an advent with no contents list? What do you think makes this calendar exclusive?

I am doing another month of #CalendarCountdown, I'd love to know what you think of all the different advents and you can find me on FacebookTwitter & Instagram. Use the hashtag #CalendarCountdown if you have one of these advents or if you have your own way of counting down to Christmas.

As always, thanks for reading...

- This advent calendar contains a selection brewed by Adnams in Southwold. Designed to take you on a tasty beer adventure from lagers via pale ales, it provides a very "hoppy" start to your Christmas celebrations.

How is it different to last years?

This is described as being exclusive to John Lewis but it doesn't specify what is exclusive about it. Is it a brand? a few brands? One thing I really hope for John Lewis is to do is have a full contents list on their advents next year. It does make it difficult to distinguish if it's worth the price.

Is it worth the price?

Following on from my previous comment, at £70.00 this is actually one of the more affordable Beer advents on the market. Looking at the ml of contents in comparison to others you get the same here but at a much better price. I 100% recommend this but as always say to check out the contents in store to make sure.


Would you purchase this? Are you more of a beer fan than wine?

I am doing another month of #CalendarCountdown, I'd love to know what you think of all the different advents and you can find me on FacebookTwitter & Instagram. Use the hashtag #CalendarCountdown if you have one of these advents or if you have your own way of counting down to Christmas.

As always, thanks for reading...

Contents

- A sparkling start to the festive celebrations with a selection of prosecco, cava and sparkling wines. This calendar Includes a 20cl Lanson Champagne to welcome Christmas Eve. Merry Fizzmas everyone!

How is it different to last years?

I remember that John Lewis had alcohol advents last year but I don't have the information on them to compare. I'm unsure whether this comes with repeated products or not but with a variety of flavours, strengths and brands this is one of the most diverse I've seen on the market this year (if the image is correct in representing it!). A very simple push door box where each bottle is pulled through to reveal, I like the white and gold as it stands out but at the same time isn't too white that it blends.

Is it worth the price?

Priced at £125.00, you get what you pay contents wise but in comparison to other Prosecco & Fizz advents, this has so much more variety. I really like John Lewis as a brand so I do trust this won't have many repeats if any but I would have a look at it in store if possible so you can guarantee all of it will be used.


Would you prefer this over a wine version? Don't you think this would be great for Christmas Parties?

I am doing another month of #CalendarCountdown, I'd love to know what you think of all the different advents and you can find me on FacebookTwitter & Instagram. Use the hashtag #CalendarCountdown if you have one of these or if you have your own way of counting down to Christmas.

As always, thanks for reading...

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