11 Stylish Gifts For Valentine’s Day 2016

I personally love Valentine’s Day, all of the fun with none of the pressure. It really doesn’t matter what gift you buy for your loved one, or how much it cost, just that you spared a thought to get something you know they’d like! Well I have put together 11 rather fabulous gift ideas for him and for her to help you on your way to a lovely Valentine’s Day together.

See below for prices and links to site.

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1. LSA International, £42

Flutes are soooo 2015, so if you are celebrating Valentine’s Day with a romantic meal at home, splash out on drinking your pink champagne out of these super stylish saucers with rose gold edges. 

2. Prestat Heart Assortment, £16.50

If it’s a chocaholic you are dating, then spoil them with the ultimate Prestat truffles. The packaging reminds me of something straight out of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory!

3. Filofax Tablet Case, Raspberry, from £30

Stylish and practical, this is such a fun present and will be appreciated long after Valentine’s Day.

4. Susie Watson Lovebird Cushion, £34 

Cosy on up over one of these beautiful love bird embroidered cushions from Susie Watson, such a thoughtful gift for someone who enjoys gifts for the home.

5. Jo Malone Red Roses Bath Oil, £40

For some serious luxury and a clever alternative to the dozen red roses, get the Jo Malone Red Roses Bath Oil. Anything from this site is such a special gift and will arrive beautifully gift wrapped.

6. Susie Watson Hand Painted Mug, £15

For a small token gift, you really can’t go wrong with a stylish mug from the Susie Watson pottery collection.

7. Dolce and Gabanna The One For Him £26, Amazon.co.uk

For the man in your life, spoil him with his (and your) favourite bottled scent.

8. Bloom & Wild Flowers, From £30

If it’s flowers you’re after then head straight to Bloom & Wild for a whole new way of buying your flowers. Not only is the price very reasonable compared to your usual mainstream sites at this time of year, you could opt for a 3 month flower subscription for an extra special gift.

9. Cinema Lightbox A4, The Little House Shop, £30 

I love the idea of leaving each other personal messages on this little Cinema Lightbox, and for making movie nights that little bit more of an occasion!

10. Chupi Heart Ring, £79 

Whatever the occasion, jewellery is pretty much always the answer. This gorgeous 18k gold plated heart ring is such a gorgeous present for your sweetheart! (Look out for this brand – they have a truly beautiful collection of elegant  jewellery.)

11. Nike Women’s Running Shoes, from £70.64

For extra brownie points this Valentine’s Day, think outside the box and go for a regular gift, but get it in pink! Like these fabulous Nike trainers from Amazon UK available from their new Running department.

Elf Magic Twitter Party

I am so excited to be hosting my first ever Twitter Party! Today at 4pm, I, alongside a number of other Mummy Bloggers will be sharing the festive cheer and spreading the word about the long standing Christmas Tradition that is Elf Magic.

Elf Magic Twitter Party Invite

These little Elves make the build up to Christmas even more exciting for the whole family. We chose a little girl Elf with blonde hair who is named Meridy. Little Meridy will be introduced to Scarlett and Savannah on the 1st December when I will tell them all about the magic this little Elf holds…

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Not only can the girls play with this christmas doll in their own imaginative way, (it comes with it’s own bed, blanket, a passport and even some snow flakes fresh from the North Pole), they are going to love waking up each morning to discover the antics little Meridy has been up to whilst they were sleeping.

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Last year my Facebook news feed was filled with brilliant ideas from parents taking part in the Elf Magic. For example, one mummy had a particularly naughty little Elf who had cracked open the Quality Streets and could be found under the tree covered in wrappers next to an empty tin! Another Elf left little notes to the children that they could take to school that day and another was found in the morning enjoying a tea party with other soft toys belonging to the children. These adventurous little Elves can be hidden around the house waiting to be found by some very excited children the next morning. There is no end of fun to be had with these Elves and I can not wait to get started with ours!

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This is our first year with Elf Magic, so if you have any ideas for our little Meridy that will make the festive time even more magical for the girls then please share in the comments below and join in the #ElfMagic Twitter party at 4pm to get some ideas of your own!

You can pick up your Magic Elf from www.happymummy.com where this is a huge selection to choose from starting at just £15.99.

 

Top 10 Christmas Gifts For Less Than £50

November is a busy time of year for us bloggers whilst we frantically put together our Christmas Gift Guides. This year, with the blogosphere already crammed with exciting ideas for what to buy, I thought I would do something a little different and set myself the challenge of finding beautiful gifts for less than £50. More and more families are doing Secret Santa now, so here are some suggestions of special presents that won’t break the bank this Christmas! (click on the links for more information).

ESPA Moisturiser, £45

If it’s skincare you are looking for, you can’t go wrong choosing from the ESPA Skincare range. This is their latest product, the Optimal Skin ProMoisturiser designed to hydrate and restore balance for beautiful skin (I have this – it’s amazing!). It is suitable for any skin type and any age making this the perfect gift for all women!

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Susie Watson Salad Bowl, £45

For the home maker, I suggest anything from the wonderful Susie Watson collection. This gorgeous hand made salad bowl in the iconic Honey Bees design is the perfect addition to your dining collection.

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Rocknife Ceramic Knife, from £19.99

You don’t need to be a professional chef to appreciate a good knife, and these fabulous printed blades arrive individually gift wrapped in a branded Rocknife box (with matching plasters for just in case!) making it a special and unusual Christmas gift.

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Retro 746 Telephone, £42

If you are looking for something a little different this year and have a strict budget of £50, this quality retro phone by Wild & Wolf would make a gorgeous gift and is available along with a number of other unique and stylish ideas at Flamingo Gifts.

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Haig Club Whiskey, £35

For the hard-to-buy-for gentlemen in your life, how about this limited edition Haig Club Whiskey? With the support of David Beckham as the official ambassador (and part owner) of the brand, this luxury whiskey is guaranteed to make it in to a lot of Christmas stockings this year… Check out Amazon.co.uk for the best prices.

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Corioliss Electrocurl Curling Wand, Hairtrade.com £49

This motorised curling wand is currently in the sale on Hairtrade.com keeping it under the £50 mark and has had rave reviews. For looser, more natural curls and extra volume, go for the 32mm barrel.

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Metallic Clutch Bag. £32

This beautiful leather clutch bag can be personalised and is an absolute bargain at just £32 by Lilly Belle.

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Jawbone Fitness Tracking Wristband, £35

So I have just joined the fitness tracking brigade and sport the Jawbone UP 2 which I absolutely love, but if you are looking to spend less than £50, I have just seen this Small UP which is an absolute bargain in the sale on Amazon.co.uk!

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Charlotte Tilbury, Bar of Gold, £32

As a blogger, I come across a lot of beauty products but this skin gilding highlighter is quite possibly the most beautiful piece of make up I have ever seen… Steer clear of the Charlotte Tilbury site, you will want EVERYTHING on it.

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Hunter Umbrella, £32 

The great british winter essential… The Original Moustache Bubble Umbrella is available in several colours and is perfect for storing in the car for those wet school runs! At just £32 you could team this with a pair of cosy fleece boot socks to reach the £50 budget.

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For more gift ideas, please check out my other blog over on the Huffington Post! x

Top Christmas Gifts for Kids 2015

The Christmas count down has officially started, John Lewis said so. So without a second to waste, (last year I was still shopping on Christmas eve!) I am getting seriously organised and researching the most exciting presents for children. Last year the Christmas budget was blown on fad toys and gimmicks from their favourite films and TV programmes, but without a new Disney blockbuster to rinse our pockets dry (cue Let it Go!), I have decided to go down a different route of present buying and have been looking more at timeless pieces that will give years of enjoyment. Here are the best gifts for children I have come across, some are suitable from 6 months on…

Galahad Toy Castle, GLTC, from £64

My girls spend hours absorbed in a fantasy world of Princesses and dragons and would absolutely love this castle and mat set from GLTC. This is the perfect gift for little boys but equally, I can already see Savannah holding Rapunzal hostage at the top of the tower and hosting a ball for Princesses in the main hall!

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Image Credit: Great Little Trading Co

Brio Deluxe World Train Set, £258

A Brio train set is the epitome of timeless entertainment and a gift like this will get years of enjoyment for generations to come. The deluxe set has everything from planes, trains and boats and is totally interactive with battery operated sounds and lights. There are plenty of sets available to suit all budgets but this is currently on sale on Amazon.co.uk.

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Image Credit: Brio

Pyjamas, Mini Vanilla, £20

New PJ’s are a Christmas Eve tradition in our house and year after year, I return to Mini Vanilla for their unbeatable comfort and quality. They are currently on sale for just £20

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Image Credit: Mini Vanilla

Aqua Beads Beginners Studio, £14

These are ideal for children who enjoy creative play and are guaranteed to keep them occupied over the Christmas holidays. Using the specially designed layout trays to place the beads in position, you simply spray with water and the Jewel beads magically stick together.

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Image Credit: Amazon.co.uk

Pink Mocassins, My 1st Years, £40

It’s tough buying for a baby, especially when the house is already filled with toys from her older sisters that get passed down the ranks! My 1st Years is a great place to look for unique and personal keep sakes for babies and I have fallen in love with these stylish little moccasins, they are unbelievably soft! And if you register with their site, you get 10% off your first order!

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Image Credit: My 1st Years

Mamas and Papas Liberty Dress, £38

It’s not just designer buggies Liberty London have collaborated on, Mamas and Papas stock a beautiful range of clothes and accessories using luxury prints from this iconic brand. Look at this beautiful dress! Perfect for Christmas Day.

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Image Credit: Mamas and Papas

Pie Face, £20

Most suitable for slightly older children, this is a game of suspense where as the name suggests, you risk getting hit in the face with a pie!!! I personally can’t think of anything worse but this game is set to sell out quick and is on all the major top 10 children’s toy lists. The best prices I have seen are on Amazon.co.uk

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Image Credit: Amazon.co.uk

Little Tikes Bouncer, £99

If you are looking for that one big gift for your baby, look no further than Little Tikes. This is such a quality brand and all of their products are designed to keep your little ones engaged during each of the early stages of development. This 3 in 1 Cozy Coupe works as a bouncer, walker and activity centre.

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Image Credit: Little Tikes

Leapfrog Epic Tablet, £99

Now Scarlett has started school it’s great to have a gift that will aid in her learning and academic development. The Leapfrog Epic is the latest and most advanced of their Android-based tablets and is most suitable for children aged between 3 and 9.

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Image Credit: Leapfrog

Hatley Rain Coat, £38

These iconic little rain coats make a beautiful christmas gift for children. Their latest collection of prints add a little sunshine to a miserable rainy day and the towel lining gives extra warmth and comfort. These are genuinely the only coats that my girls will willingly put on!

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Image Credit: Hatley

I See Me Sing-Along Book and CD, £26

Savannah loves it when I make up songs about her so I just know this gift is going to be a winner. Not only is the book personalised with her name and picture, the recognisable lullabies and rhymes have also been adjusted to include her name!

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Image Credit: I See Me

Tidy Books Box, £79

My girls are total book worms and finding somewhere to store them all is becoming more challenging! I have always loved these gorgeous wooden storage boxes, and having the books on display like this as opposed to stacked on a shelf will encourage them to vary their reading.

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Image Credit: Tidy-Books

Little Tikes Lil Ocean Explorers, £16.99

The Lil Ocean Explorers collection are new for Autumn and are the most hilarious little toys for babies. They work on a sensor and when the baby gets near, it scoots off across the floor to encourage crawling, then when the baby gets close enough, the pieces pop off this little turtle for them to gather up and put back together!

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Image Credit: Little Tikes

Fancy Dress, Asda, £12.50

Like most parents I have been sucked into the official Disney price tags but since sampling some of the fancy dress costumes George at Asda has to offer I will never shop anywhere else. Their outfits are just beautiful, such great quality and come with a very affordable price tag. They have a huge selection for boys and girls.

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Image Credit: Asda

Where’s Wally

I remember loving this collection when I was a little girl and I’m sure my girls will feel the same. This little book is the perfect stocking filler.

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Image Credit: Amazon.co.uk

For more gift ideas, head on over to my blog at the Huffington Post!

Mother And Baby Photo-Shoot

Today was spent at my sisters studio for an impromptu photo-shoot with Anastasia. I was worried that I had left it too late to capture those new born moments, but actually, after today I totally recommend waiting until around the 7 month mark to book your shoot so that their little personalities really shine through in the photos.

I am so delighted with these beautiful shots of my baby girl that I thought I would share them with you, here are some of my favourite pics of the day…

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Thank you so much Lorna for such beautiful photographs and for capturing such special moments, they will be cherished forever. xxx

My Guide To Weaning And The Essentials You Need

I’ve recently started to wean Anastasia onto solid foods. At 6 months, she was becoming less satisfied on breast milk alone and when she cut her first tooth – I decided it was time to hang up the nursing bras. Despite going through this process twice before with Scarlett and Savannah it has been an entirely new experience. Every baby is different and you never quite know how easy weaning is going to be, so my tip before you embark on this journey is to be prepared with all the modern day essentials to make it as stress free as possible! Here are the items I have used and recommend (click on the links for further information).

Highchair

Making sure your baby is comfortable during meal times is essential. She will need to be fairly upright so that she can easily swallow pureed foods. I am using the stylish Stokke Tripp Trapp chair. It offers great support for this stage with a detachable baby set, but has also been designed to transform into a chair for older children that is the perfect height for a regular dining table. I have this in the hazy grey with the candy stripe cushion but it is available in 12 different colours to work with your kitchen.

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Bibs

This is a great design by BabyBjörn that has an adjustable neck band to last her until early toddler stage and is nice and soft to avoid any discomfort or get in the way. It will catch all food waste and can be easily rinsed ready for the next meal time.

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Spoons and Bowls

You can’t have enough spoons and bowls! The collection by Babymoov are dishwasher, freezer and microwave safe and all come with lids so you can take them out and about. These are also a great size for snacks when they get a little bit older. Go for small, shallow spoons for the early stage – the best I have come across are by Avent.

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Blender

The NutriBaby by Babymoov is absolutely genius and it’s no surprise that it has won so many awards. It is so compact and takes up very little space on your kitchen counter and allows you to make huge batches of pureed food to freeze for your baby. Using a simple electronic programme on the front of the machine, you can steam the food using the double trays and then transfer the soft food to the blender to puree. Add water from the catching tray (ready made vegetable stock!) to make it the correct consistency and hey presto! Baby food done! This product can also warm bottles, heat through food and even defrost your frozen food. It is absolutely brilliant and so much easier than the hand blender process I’ve used in the past, it means making batches of food uses far less cooking utensils and creates far less mess.

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Emergency Reserves 

Whilst I am all for home made food, there is nothing wrong with having some ready made meals stored in the fridge and when this brand came to my attention I immediately stocked up! Kiddie Cubes would have made my life so much easier in the past and Anastasia seems to really enjoy the flavours. This frozen food is as fresh as if you had made it yourself using only organic ingredients and stored in ice cube portions so you can take out just what you need on the day. I would also recommend starting off on these to get an idea of what your baby likes, there is nothing more frustrating than making an enormous home made batch to discover your baby gags at the taste!KC-packshots-015-eat-your-greens

 

Review: Liberty’s Exclusive Collaboration with Mamas & Papas

Mamas & Papas have teamed up with Liberty London to create a stunning collection of strollers with matching accessories. These buggies are so stylish even the glossy fashion mags such as Grazia are raving about them! I was offered the opportunity to review the Urbo² Travel System which has had a serious makeover for the new collection with luxury leather handles, printed chest pads and the distinctive and iconic Liberty London peacock feather print. Where better to give it the first test drive than Hampton Court Palace on a recent family day out, check out pics and my feedback below… 

Anastasia is almost 7 months old so we went straight into the stroller seat but for a new born you can get a truly beautiful special edition chrome bassinet in matching print.

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The stroller has adjustable handle bars to suit any height and the groove on the handle is perfect to keep my essential buggy clip to hang my nappy bag.

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You really can’t knock the look of this premium buggy, the shiny chrome, tanned leather handles and quilted seat really are the ultimate in luxury baby gear. IMG_2812

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The seat has several positions so that even a tiny baby can lie flat when sleeping and older babies can be upright for sight seeing!

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The edge of the seat can be lifted for extra comfort to support Anastasia’s legs  until her little feet can reach the chrome foot rest beneath, and in this section of the seat is a hidden zip to keep the mosquito net – they have literally thought of everything! (Excuse the extremely windswept hair!)

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The basket is just big enough for all of your essentials and is shallow enough to reach everything easily.  As with most of the Mamas & Papas strollers, the hoods are really deep so even laying almost flat, Anastasia has plenty of shelter from wind and sun. IMG_2678

With other small children in tow, it is essential for me to have a buggy that is easy to push and navigate single handed and as you can see, even on a stoney terrain it is no problem at all. IMG_2762

Every detail screams luxury, even the product name is on a leather label!

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Whilst this is marketed as a city stroller, the option for locking the front wheels makes pushing off road just as easy.

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The folding mechanism is so easy, it quite literally collapses without any fuss making it very easy to lift into the boot of the car and the small city wheels mean this buggy will comfortably fit into very small spaces.

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Overall I am massively impressed with the Urbo² Travel System, I wish I could have had more use out of the bassinet as this really is the ultimate in new born luxury. And whilst I have previously avoided such bold prints, the Liberty design is so iconic that there is no risk of it going out of style. I absolutely love this buggy and feel very proud pushing Anastasia around in it :)

There’s also children’s fashion and homewares in vintage Liberty prints available at Mamas & Papas, some of which will be making it in to next month’s Christmas gift guide, for now – you can check out the full collection here.