10 Christmas Gift Ideas || For Boys

Normally I'm super organised ahead of the festive season but this year I'm really feeling the stress and the struggles for a few reasons, the first is due to our house move that never happened at the last minute - putting a house (painting, flooring and organising) back together again during the festive season is just crazy- crazy I tell you and I don't recommend anyone try it…ever! My second reason is that our three sons are all at that in-between age where they believe they're 'big boys' so this means no Thomas The Tank, no Spiderman or light and sound toys - inside I'm heartbroken and confused because what are you suppose to get children who are at that in between stage? Having a serious sit down and think with hubster we realised they adore their gadgets and creative toys. They can't get enough of Youtube and music, they adore building Lego (who doesn't) and love to play their school friends on Xbox Live. I figured our dilemma would be something that many parents are going through or are going to go through in the next year or so and hopefully this post will inspire, or at least save you some brain-ache when that time comes. 

With us being so close to Christmas I figured it's wise to look to shops that are close by and are trustworthy because it's too late in the game to be worrying about unreliable posting from bad brands. We've considered what would be popular, we've even sneakily interviewed our little monsters to gage how interesting specific toys are and the winners seem to be anything by Apple,  Xbox consoles and games and Lego. What I will say is be a bit selfish if you're asking Santa to bring any of these gadgets because life can get very noisy - ask for earphones also. Tesco have some amazing House of Marley earphones which all three of my mites have specifically asked for and also Gear 4 Angry Birds earphones which are suited to both girls and boys. 

Ipod 7th Generation (link) | House of Marley Riddim Earphones (link) | House of Marley Smile Earphones (link

Having secretly browsed the Tesco's website with my three little men under the precedence of 'adding to their Santa lists' they all think that the House of Marley Riddim Earphones and the House of Marley Smile Earphones are heads and shoulders above the others. They also each asked for a new 7th generation IPod - Cole would like the yellow, Cooper wants the blue and Rome wants the green colour, the different colours will definitely save hours of arguing over who's is who's. 

These are excellent additions to any IPod and our sons have the older IPod which is really fantastic because there's some excellent learning apps, they can make their own music playlists and there's parental controls too which gives you peace of mind and the addition of the earphones gives you peace, it's a win-win. 

Forza 5 Xbox One Game (link) | Fife 15 Xbox One Game (link) | Xbox One Console (link)
Ferrari Racing Wheel Xbox One (link)

These were already on my sons wish lists, I have two car lovers who can't get enough of car games and apparently The Crew is the latest must have game as you can alter your cars and race and I have one footballer who says Fife 15 is first on his list because it's going to be 'way better than Fifa 14' *sigh* I'll never understand these games but I do know they'll love them. 

Finally there has to be some toy's because I'm not quite ready for them to let go of the creative toys yet. 

Nerf Thunderbox Mega Blaster (link) | Glow in the Dark Science (link) | Lego City Police Station (link

Let's be honest even big kids are going to love these toys. 

Lego's always so much fun because we all get involved when a new box of Lego comes into the home, as much as the boys try their hardest to build them on their own they always eventually rope in me or hubster - but - we secretly adore building legos and having fun with the boys. The same goes for the Glow in the Dark Science - I'm definitely the parent who pushes learning and education, hubster's the parent that pushes the fun, these science sets combine both and are huge winners because kids don't even realise they're learning a new skill. 

You can find all ten of these products and more over on the Tesco Direct (link) website, surprisingly they have everything from slippers for your nan to toys for the kids and coffee makers for your other half. If you've not started your shopping then check out Tesco’s because you will get everything in one go which saves so much stress believe me - many of the ‘it’ toys are still available here too so check here before hitting Ebay as the touts are pricing everything brutally but be quick because many will sell out.  

* Written For Tesco's * 

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My Huge Candle Wishlist // Home Scent Brands

Most bloggers have a beauty wish list as long as their arm - some maybe as long as their own selves but my wish list differs from most because it tends to be filled with candles, slippers and home decor pieces - especially cushions and blankets. I've not published as many posts lately because we're getting ready to move house (crazy I know especially since we'll move so close to Christmas) so this has lead to my wishlist growing longer and longer. 

Because my wish list is getting so long I figured dedicating a post to my must have candles would be a great way to keep track of it and to inspire you guys with some new candles brands and scents. I tend to opt more for the warm, herbal, foodie or spicy scents and the more unisex they are the better. I adore Christmas scents as long as they stay well away from apple (bleurgh) and scents that are filled with cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh, patchouli, amber or sandalwood are a real weakness for me. 

These 35 or so candles are a just a small fraction of candles that I badly wish to own, the reality of my wishlist is there are probably more than 50, especially if I was to include all of the Yankee Candle scents that I love. When it comes to candles there's a few things I look for; packaging is what initially draws me in - I would only buy a candle that would look nice on display and poor label design is one thing that can put me off an amazing candle pretty quickly. The second thing is of course scent - a scent that is strong, unique and makes me feel something gets major points and a candle that still delicately scents my home while not lit gets top marks. The last few points are mushrooming, soot and an even burn, of course this will only apply once I've tried a brand but if I find it happens with a few candles or a few scents within one brand it can absolutely put me of re-purchasing. 

There are a few within the same brand that I've included such as

Herve Gambs | The French flower passione makes a range of flower based scents and candles that sound so luxurious it's hard not to want them, it's particularly the Bois de Cashmere and Essence de Figuier candles I'd love. 

Per Una | I chose a few of these gorgeous M&S candles simply because of the design which is crazy, but  then so is the beautiful mirrored glass jars they come in. The scents I really want to try are the pink ribbon jar and the olive green jar. I'm also loving the gold glass pineapple candle jar they've just launched. 

Cire Trudon | Nazareth, Dada, Spiritus Sancti and Carmelite are all on my list. I've never tried any of these candles simply because they're in the upper range of what I'd ever consider paying for a candle but these scents hold some form of intrigue for me because they're so different from any other brand. 

Diptyque | Their packaging is so simple but classically beautiful at the same time, I still have my candle tumblers way after they burned simply because they can be repurposed as makeup brush holders, bobby pin holders, toothbrush holders and so much more. I have tried a few of them and was only ever disappointed with their Encense des Indes (Indian Incense) candle which smelled a little too floral and soapy for my deep resinous loving nose. That being said it hasn't put me off and I badly want Resine, Benjoin, Ambre Cognac and Oranger candles. 

L'Occitane | L'Occitane never fail to impress me and I love their range and prices - as much as I love the brand funnily enough I've never tried a candle? crazy I know. I plan to change that soon though (most probably 2015) with their Spicy Cinnamon candle (link). 

Jo Malone | The medium range luxury home scent and body care brand that so popular, it's rare to see a blogger without it. I love the strength and depth of their scents but sometimes wish they were a little more complex. Regardless, I really want to add Incense & Embers and Nectarine Blossom & Honey to my candle collection. 

Yankee Candle | I'm a huge-mega-mega fan of YC candles and always have a stash of tarts and jars on hand at any given time. Although I am a mega fan there's scents I love and scents I hate and I'm not naive to believe they're consistently flawless although, when they create a good scent-they-do-it-extremely-well and it's their scent range, strength and price point that continue to draw me in. I adore Witches Brew, Silver Birch and Cosy Sweater and Soft Blanket and I want to add Grapevine & Oak (Harvest Collection), Harvest, Shea Butter (coming soon) and Aloe Water (coming soon) to my collection. 

True Grace | I have only tried one candle from True Grace and I was impressed (review here). Although I realised I had opted for the totally wrong scent, the scent that came from the candle was really strong and so complex I couldn't not be impressed. This time round I really want to try their Amber No 31 candle. 

Flamingo Candles | *hangs head in shame* I have never tried Flamingo Candles, there's no reason why other than I was drawn in by the other brands but having heard amazing reviews, I do want to try their White Tea & Mint and Patchouli & Orange scents - have any of you lovelies tried these scents? 

Hunter Candles | Another brand I've tried and loved enormously, this was actually stronger than Yankee Candle but not in a way that it becomes offensive. I previously tried and loved their Smoked Damask Rose Candle (review here) and loved it - so much so I really want to buy another as well as their Warm Dusk candle, probably before I purchase any of these other candles - I really was that impressed. **** Just checked and they have a 50% off and free shipping guys!****

So enough about me and the candles I want, are there any brands or candle scents you want to try that I've missed? 

Nails Inc || Christmas Suitable Polishes

Let's talk about the new Nails Inc bottle designs, what are your thoughts? Being a mega fan of the brand I'll admit I hated these bottles because they were just so masculine and bulky looking but I've since grown to accept the change and really love the amount of thought and consideration that's gone into the design. The bottles hold a good 14ml of polish so price per wear is fantastic, the bottles have a concave bottom for a very good reason also as it allows you to try before you buy. You pop your finger under the dipped base and it reflects the polish onto your finger which allows you to see if the colour suits your skin tone - I love this concept because I've purchased so many colours and found they looked horrible once on my nails (greens I'm looking at you).  

When autumn hits I think of nothing of wearing my glitters and sparkles day or night, what I've found though is that I much prefer a small or hexagon glitter to the huge or stranded glitters in varied colours only because on me they look very young and I'm trying to steer away from the young glitters into more of a classy glitter, these shades are perfect for anyone looking for an adult suitable glitter though - I really want them all *sigh* 

Belgrave Square | Limited edition rose gold sequins - just can't get enough of golds and silvers at the moment. If you're the same I'd fully recommend this polish. 

Porchester Square | I have the old bottle of Porchester Square and can understand why this shade is one of their best sellers because it has the ability to look fabulous in all seasons. On the nail it's pretty true to how it looks in the bottle and is one of those nude tones that verge on mauve and look fantastic on all skin tones. 

Exhibition Square | Limited edition purple and gold pop art polish. 

Winter Lights Royal Avenue | Limited edition red and gold sequins 

Whitechapel Snowflake | A dainty white and gold snowflake polish for this who're looking for a little more bling. 

Kensington Church Street Snowflake | Snowflake glitter, so delicate and pretty for this season. This is also a limited edition shade and looks amazing over opaque polishes. 

You can pick up these polishes right now over on the Nails Inc website (link), they have put their pricing up which is so sad but expected *sigh* if you like a few of these polishes you can save £19 by picking up their limited edition Winter Wonderland Collection (link) which contains Trafalgar Square, St. George's Square and Buckingham Square. 

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Printable Art // Quick Change Low Cost Artworks

When it comes to home decor framed art and photo's are one of the most effective decor items alongside cushions - they're easily changed and even just popping up a few pieces here and there really allows any visitors to get a feel for your homes personality. Great personality makes a home feel warm and inviting rather than stark and cold, as families grow and adapt it's only natural that your decor items will do also but it can be costly having to purchase art regularly.

That's where printable art comes in. With the increase of home grown creative businesses it's become easier for creative types to really let their talents flow, and with more businesses being online now it seems only natural that an option would be there for consumers to have fast decor - cutting out a few steps really enables both parties to benefit. You can pick up the most amazing art for next to nothing and then download it straight away, over and over again if needed. 

Here are three simple but effective works of art - I can absolutely imagine these teamed with a nice baroque style chunky frame which would look really expensive although only cost you the price of the frame and a little ink.  

Yup these three above are actually free! 

There's plenty of style to choose from when opting for printable art, one of the most popular forms however is typography - typography has the ability to inspire, it has the ability to give a pop of colour or a splash of design to all decor styles and it's very hard to grow bored off. 

The We're All in This Together typography print was originally found on Sunny Fiona Design blog and can be downloaded easily from here (link). I love this especially because it's very fun but really touches something - it's so true we are all in this together and it reminds us to not judge others because you see them as being luckier, unluckier or lower than yourself. We all breathe the same air, we all have the same colour blood so let's all be in this together! 

My Cup Runneth Over was found on Kamley Lane blog which is such a fun blog which actually has quite a few free printables - this particular print can be downloaded straight away (link) but I definitely urge you to check out the rest of her downloads and the Use it Up print would look amazing in a kitchen or study, wouldn't it; although it could be hung or framed for any room - I really love this one because it's a motto that I strongly try to live by. This print was found on It Works For Bobbi blog and there's a few size options to choose from (link)

If you're looking for something a bit more special or specific there's plenty more artists to choose from, take for example the four 'printable' works of art in the main picture. The Atlas print is by The Kismet Print Press on Etsy (link) and looks amazing especially for teen rooms, offices or hallways. The Home Arrow print is also from Etsy (link) and is simple but so chic, arrows are so huge right now because they represent both the past (pointing backwards) and the present (forwards). 

The Creativity Takes Courage floral print is by Scissors Paper Mouse, it's flamboyant and ballsy but awesome - ideally suited to those who like to inspire or create (or those with children) (link) and my absolute favourite of the bunch has to be the Hello Gorgeous print by MOJA Graphics (link) - I love this quote, I remember my husband saying this to me once and it was such a simple saying but very innocent, it really made me feel all warm and giddy inside so when ever I hear or see this quote not I can't not feel happy inside. 

The best bit about all of these prints is that none of these cost anymore than £4! what-a-bargain huh. If you're printer isn't that great you can get professional prints for next to nothing also, check Moneysaving Experts forum for coupon codes and money off vouchers or rope in your best friend to print it for you. 

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Buckley London // Russian Trio Bangle

I've recently purchased quite a few jewellery products as it was my New Years resolution to increase my accessory collection - I wanted chic pieces that would go with everything and didn't look childlike so anything garish or plastic was out and anything in mixed metals, precious and semi-precious or with a bohemian twist was in. The reality is I've been there and done that when it comes to plastic low cost pieces, I've had pieces that were so on trend they went out of style within weeks, I've had pieces that were so bright and child like and I've had the whole miss-mash style that now makes me cringe looking back. As I get older and more so when I hit my thirties I started appreciating the less-is-more-attitude which also affected my jewellery and clothing styles. 

I instantly fell in love with this Buckley Russian Trio Bangle because it reminded me of one that my mum had when I was younger, my dad also adored the look of rose gold on a lady and that kinda stuck with me growing up. He used to tell me that the silver represented the past, the gold represented the now and the rose gold represented the future as it was rarer and more premium than the other two golds and he knew my life would be so much richer in the future. My dad was really the most amazing man ever. 

This bracelet is apparently one of their top sellers and it's made with real 18k plated gold, rose gold and rhodium so while it's not quite up to my dad's luxury standards it's still a fantastic, low cost option for creating a classier overall style. Can you believe this only cost £55? 

Wearability this has lasting power, it has the right amount of ''jingle'' and looks sleek and sophisticated even with jeans. As a gift idea it's absolutely viable due to it's price and it comes in a lovely box too. If you fancied checking out this collection or the bangle you can do so over on the Buckley website (link). What do you guys think of this? Do you have any jewellery with a back story like this does for me? 

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Unicorn Fashion Picks // You're Never Too Old

I'd say there's been a huge resurgence of unicorn products over the last two years, so much so even big designers have got in on the act and while it seems to be super popular with teens, younger adults and hipsters I still can't shake my love of the horned horse. 

My issue was knowing what I could buy and wear without looking like mutton dressed as lamb, while some can pull off full pastel hued outfits in their thirties I most definitely can't. I've grown up for so long being considered as being 'younger' than I am due to my ickle height that now I just look like one of those grown ups who are trying to be all sweet and younger looking - that's not my aim of course which is why I was so nervous about nervous about splurging on fantasy fashion items. 

After searching I found a few items that I realised everyone could pull off, dresses in muted tones, accessories that are small and chic and key pieces with bold prints that can be teamed with your wardrobe staples - what excites me about these is that even us thirty somethings can pull them off! *yay-ya* 

Here's my top picks guys...
Of course it's not wise to mix your unicorn print with more unicorn so just keep your outfit to one magical unicorn print at a time. Teaming your piece with awesome shoes, jeans, and knitwear. I think the key is to choose more grown up fabrics or pieces that offer some form of tailoring so be sure to wonderweb those hems or pay a few pounds more to get your trousers, jackets or tops altered to fit your body (honestly it's a god send and makes you feel so much more put together). 

The unicorn pieces that I've selected vary in price and there really is something to suit everyone, I mean how cute is the ASOS unicorn t-shirt on the bottom right? So simple but utterly cute at the same time. I've not listed the links because it's finally clickable *smiles* What I'm wondering is which piece is making your fingers itch to click over? Wildfox t-shirt maybe? Little Ella pink unicorn necklace or the Regal Rose at ASOS Gemstone unicorn horn necklace (love)? Let me know which stands out to you? 

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