A-Z Of Autism - C Is For...

So if you read last weeks B is For then you will know what all of this is about, if not here is a little recap. I'm a Mum of 3 autistic children and way back 13 years ago when my eldest was diagnosed I really struggled to find real-life info about autism. So here we have the A to Z of autism, I'm not a Doctor or health care professionals, these are just some words on what autism means for us. Each fortnight is the next letter of the alphabet, do head over and check out B (highlighted above) and let's get on with C!

Coordination

All 3 of my children have a distinct lack of coordination in one way or another. They are really clumsy, stairs are a problem, hopping, standing on one leg and riding a bike. My Dj is the one whos has the most problems with this as is in the process of being tested for dyspraxia. None of the children can ride a bike, the whole having to peddle, keep your balance and look where you are going is a little too much for them! Buttons are another challenge, zips are fine once attached to the zipper and shoelaces have always been a big NoNo!

CAHMs

I have spent most of the past 13 years in and out of CAHM's appointments. For those with no experience of CAHM's it stands for Child and adolescent mental health services. They are who you are sent to see on the diagnosis trail. We have seen psychologists and psychiatrists at CAHM's. It was also where we had the ADOS test done for all 3 of our children, the ADOS test is what is used to diagnose autism. 

Cooperation

This is a bone of contention in our house, whether it be cooperating with me or cooperating with school there is ALWAYS a problem. I have found with my 3 it's their way or no way and if they say they aren't doing something they aren't doing it, no amount of compromise can sway them. Some people have said I allow them too much freedom and should enforce them to cooperate with me, my answer to that is come and live in my house for a week and try that yourself, you will soon see it's not worth the hassle! If it's not a big deal we allow it, but there are some rules they now they have to follow.

Circadin

Out of my 3 ASD children 2 of them have been on Circadin and 1 of them still takes Circadin. Sleep has always been a challenge for my 3 and Circadon was prescribed to assist sleep. I had 1 who couldn't fall asleep and 1 who couldn't stay asleep. I would like to say you get used to the lack of sleep, but that's a lie!! Even taking circadian we don't get a full night, its very hit and miss, some families have great success with it, its very child dependant. 

Challenging

Having 3 on the spectrum is challenging, as they all have different needs. We had to get the main bedroom in the house separated to allow them to have a room of their own. They need their own space to chill and zone out. They have a wide range of challenging behaviours between them, but we are lucky that they are easily managed now they are older. In their younger days they became frustrated at not being able to express themselves, with age this has eased and they can better explaining and deal with their feelings. Not so much for Pops shes is the most challenging if the 3 and still screams, bites herself, shouts, spits and melts down sometimes.

Celebrations

These are tricky as they don't like fuss, the lack of routine surrounding celebrations is the main thing they dislike. We tend to keep things low key. For Christmas, the tree has to be up with the advent calendars come out and has to be down on the 26th. The eldest 2 like their presents in their room, being in the lounge with the whole family is too much, they like to take their time in peace with their gifts. Birthdays are of a similar stance, presents and cake allowed, but no balloons or banners and definitely no singing happy birthday!

Character

I love their individual characters, they all have their own little quirks. I am often asked if I wished they didn't have autism, and my hand on heart answer is no! Yes its hard sometimes, and it has been a long road, with a long road head! But autism is part of who they are and without autism, they wouldn't have the characters that they have now. 

Compulsive

Compulsive behaviour is one of the trickier aspects to live with. I have one who has a compulsion to chew, whether that be paper, ring pulls and plastic lids, his room can always be found to be full of chewed up bits. This has resulted in him losing 2 teeth due to damage from chewing things he shouldn't. We have tried chewy replacements to no avail. I have another who has short compulsions and obsessions on different things. This can be tv shows, particular foods and even a certain pen even.

Carers Allowance

If you care for someone on the autism spectrum you could be entitled to claim carers allowance. You have to be caring for them for more than 35 hours per week and if you earn over £128 per week you cannot claim! This rule angers me, as it means there are literally hundreds of unpaid carers out there. 

So these are my C's for this section, can you relate to any of my C's? Is there any not there that you would add to the list?

Thanks For Reading

Mandy


Christmas Gifts From Smiggle

We LOVE Smiggle and whenever we go past in town the children insist on dragging me inside. I can't blame them the sea of neon colour is a kids dream and I know I would have loved it when I was little. Just before we headed into lockdown 2.0 Smiggle were sending us a gift card so we could go down to one of their stores and pick out some Christmas gifts to feature in our gift guide. Sadly the stores are now closed but lucky for us and you Smiggle allow you to order online for home delivery. So we headed to the Christmas section on the website and picked out some items.

I loved this DIY drink bottle, all the children have to take their own drinks bottles into school at the moment. So this bottle appealed as they can really make their bottle individual and it won't get mixed up with all the other children's bottles. This bottle is available in 2 styles and costs £15.

With 4 children in the house, it gets noisy, then when you factor in the noise from their Ipads its gets even louder! I have been looking for a fun pair of headphones for Spud for a while and these shark inspired ones are just the thing. The flex headphones are available in 3 different colourways and cost £24.

I love this little treats beauty gift pack and thought it would be perfect for my niece, it comes ready gift boxed so perfect for wrapping straight up. The set costs £15 and contains 3 scented lip balms in raspberry, blueberry and grape flavour. You also get a silicone 3d purse in the shape of a cupcake, it's the perfect size to store the lip balms in.

Spud is always doodling so I had to grab a sketchbook for him, you can get these block sketchbooks in a whole host of colours. The 50 page plain sketchbook is 19cmx19cm so it the perfect size for putting in their bag on their travels. This camo design sketchbook is just £5 so a great stocking filler.

When you walk into any Smiggle store you are met by a sea of pens and pencils on the side wall, it's my kiddos favourite part of the shop, mine too if I am honest. I picked up a few styles for Spuds stocking, the styling mechanical pencils are available in 5 styles and are priced at £1.50 each. The cola pencils come with an interchangeable eraser and are scented, also priced at £1.50

I thought seen an I got Pops a drinks bottle I had better get one for Spud, he would be fuming if she got a Smiggle bottle and he didn't! This spritz bottle is perfect for sports thanks to the misting function, perfect for cooling down. The flip spout means it keeps leak-free on the go, it holds a massive 700mls of fluid. This is available in 4 colourways and is priced at £15.

I am really pleased with my choices from Smiggle and I know the kiddie will be too, if you want to head over and shop now there are some fab deals available online like spend £35 and get 25% off or spend £50 and get 30% off but hurry this offer ends on Tuesday.

Thanks For Reading

Mandy

Christmas Baking With Britain Loves Baking

Britain Loves Baking is the new home of family baking. Whether you’ve recently discovered the joys of baking or are an accomplished baker looking for new ideas for baking, they provide all the ambient and dry ingredients that you need to create the perfect sweet treats or yummy bread in one baking box. Their baking boxes are delivered directly to your door, and there’s no charge for delivery in Mainland UK! They take all the fuss out of finding that perfect bread or cake recipe – and then the hassle of sourcing all the ingredients. They offer a selection of baking boxes created by their very own Greg The Baker, ranging from a ‘3 Recipe Tasting Box’ – ideal for those new to baking, to a chocalicious ‘Chocolate Taster Box’ crammed full of indulgent chocolate bakes. All their ingredients are of the very finest quality and the recipe instructions are easy to follow. So you don’t need to worry if you can’t tell the difference between folding, mixing and creaming! Myself and the children love a bot of baking and can often be found in the kitchen whipping up their favourite banana loaf! We were sent a few different boxes to give a try and get us excited for some Christmas baking this year.
The Afternoon Tea Box gives you the choice of a trip to the restaurant or you can bake at home and host your own traditional British afternoon tea party at your home. The Small Afternoon Tea Box for 2-3 guests or Big Afternoon Baking kits are ideal for up to six guests. The box included all the ingredients you need and step-by-step recipes that are so easy to follow that even those who are new to home baking will have no problem creating tasty treats.
The children loved getting creative with the icing and Christmas decorations on the orange and chocolate cakes they helped make. I say helped loosely when in essence I did all the hard work and they licked the spoon!! I mean whats baking with Mum if you can't lick the spoon afterwards. They helped with the scones and teacakes and were fascinated watching the teacake batter rise as it proved.
We bought a cake stand to present their afternoon tea on and they loved it. Ironically we actually did all of this on Halloween!! Seen as we couldn't do what we normally would with family it was a welcome distraction. We got straight on with making our gingerbread fudge and chocolate house when we were done with the baking.
This chocolate and ginger fudge is so easy to make and it keeps well so you can enjoy it over the festive season. Studded with chunks of spicy stem ginger, this indulgent chocolate fudge is the perfect gift for anyone with a sweet tooth and packaged up will make a fab gift for someone this festive season. The kids really enjoyed the Christmas chocolate house kit, it was right up their street. They really went to town with their decorations, maybe next time a little more icing is required on our part as some of our roof fell off!! The chocolate tasted divine all the same.
We really enjoyed these fab kits from Britain loves baking and think they would make a great gift this Christmas. No matter if they are a novice baker or a fab baker they will love these kits. Make sure you check out the Christmas section on the website and see the range of fab gifting options available.
Thanks For Reading
Mandy
xx

Win A Set Of Wannabees Books

 

Wannabes is created by 2 working Mums passionate about promoting Role Play for the older child. They both had children that wanted to continue the ‘lets pretend’ experience without the stigma of it being deemed ‘babyish’ by their peers. They wanted to take role play to the next level by feeling that they were playing ‘for real’. When one of their daughters asked for a “grown up Teachers pack just like the one that they use in school” they set about designing one from scratch. From there, orders started to flood in from friends and family as there wasn’t anything like it available on the market and it was then that, over a cuppa in a supermarket café, they decided to take the plunge and look to offer their packs to the wider market. They now have 3 packs available I want to be a teacher, I want to be a cafe owner and I want to be a Doctor. The team over at Wannabees have offered the full set of books to one of my readers.

For your chance to win just enter via the rafflecopter widget below.

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Win a £20 Amazon Voucher

 
So 2020 has been a bit of a washout hasn't it? I have teamed up with some fab brands for my Christmas gift guides. With Christmas being a time for joy and cheer I decided to run my own giveaway funded from my own pocket. As we have been in lockdown throughout November and December looking uncertain I decided an Amazon voucher would be the way to go! Its a one-stop-shop for all your needs! 

For your chance to win this £20 Amazon voucher just enter via the rafflecopter form below. All entries are optional so enter as many or as few as you like.


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7. Giveaway open until midnight 11th December 2020

Win Downton Abbey Cocktail Book

 

In official partnership with Downton Abbey and with 50 stunning photographs featuring stills from across the series and right up to the latest film release, this collection of 70 delicious cocktail recipes is a lavish toast to the glamorous world of the Crawleys, rrp £14.99. With a foreword by Julian Fellowes, the writer and creator of Downton Abbey, and an introduction by food historian Annie Gray, this curated selection of recipes spans the world of Downton, from drawing-room party drinks to downstairs hangover cures and more. In addition to classic concoctions like a Mint Julep, Prince of Wales Punch and Ginger Beer, this collection features character-specific twists such as Downton Heir, Turkish Attaché, The Valet and The Chauffeur. Photographed using the original lead crystal used on set, each cocktail is guaranteed to raise your spirits, whether by channelling the verve of Lady Mary, the wit of Violet Crawley or the plain-speaking of Mrs Patmore.

For your chance to win this fab cocktail book just enter via the rafflecopter form below.


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2. One winner will be chosen via the widget and announced on the widget
3. Winner will be contacted via email and has 28 days to respond to winning email before a new winner is selected
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5. Entries made using software or bulk entries will be disqualified
6. By entering you agree to your name being shared on social media as the winner
7. Giveaway open until midnight 6th December 2020

Win Peaky Blinders Cocktail Book

With The Peaky Blinders Cocktail Book you can immerse yourself in the atmosphere of your favourite series by making delicious cocktails inspired by the world of Peaky Blinders! Birmingham Sour, Derby, Easy Dizzy ... this officially licensed book includes 40 easy-to-make cocktail recipes made from whiskey, gin and other tipples so that you can sip like a member of the Shelby clan. Featuring photography of the cast and settings from the award-winning BBC period crime drama Peaky Blinders, impress your guests with historically inspired whiskey and gin cocktails, choose a recipe, settle in in a good leather chair, loosen your starched collar and enjoy the moment!
For your chance to win just enter via the rafflecopter form below.

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1. Open to Uk and Ireland entrants aged over 18
2. One winner will be chosen via the widget and announced on the widget
3. Winner will be contacted via email and has 28 days to respond to winning email before a new winner is selected
4. Your details won't be passed to any third parties
5. Entries made using software or bulk entries will be disqualified
6. By entering you agree to your name being shared on social media as the winner
7. Giveaway open until midnight 6th December 2020

Win A Bottle Of Mockingbird Spirit

Mockingbird Spirit is an alcohol-free, Tequila inspired Agave based spirit. Embodying the spirit of the Mockingbird, humbly mimicking the taste of tequila by using authentic Mexican blue weber agave, allowing you to have all the margaritas with none of the migraines. A functional & adaptogenic passionately produced Alcoternative™, made with all vegan ingredients to support health and happiness. Feat. pure ashwagandha, an adaptogen that benefits mental and physical wellbeing by responding to stress and balancing the mind. 0% alcohol & 100% Mexican blue weber agave.

For your chance to win a 50cl bottle of Mockingbird spirit enter via the rafflecopter form below.
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1. Open to Uk and Ireland entrants aged over 18
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3. Winner will be contacted via email and has 28 days to respond to winning email before a new winner is selected
4. Your details won't be passed to any third parties
5. Entries made using software or bulk entries will be disqualified
6. By entering you agree to your name being shared on social media as the winner
7. Giveaway open until midnight 6th December 2020

Christmas Gifts For Men

Now when it comes to the men in your life we always get stuck in a rut of the same old socks, slippers and smellies routine. I am totally guilty of this when it comes to the men in my life. So I hope this guide will give you some fresh ideas when it comes to gifting the male's something different this year!
BeLoved's 100% natural pet care is the perfect gift him and your four-legged friend. Be Vegan a soothing and calming shampoo bar, rrp £5 is perfect for those pet parents that practice what they preach when it comes to living a true vegan lifestyle. Be: Vegan is packed full of naturally calming ingredients including vegan hemp and chamomile, making it the perfect choice for a range of skin issues including dandruff, eczema or rosacea. Be Fresh Probiotic Home & Kennel Sanitising Spray, rrp £12. Accidents happen and when they do it’s easy to clean up with this specially formulated spray. Use to clean, scent and protect your dog’s bed – the spray is safe for use on fabrics - and surrounding areas whilst on holiday. The smell will remind them of home, whilst hoteliers and holiday homeowners will thank you for the courtesy as the active ingredients get to work if resoiling should occur.
Lynx have released a range of car fresheners, which promise to slowly infuse your choice of Lynx aroma into your car, the perfect stocking filler this Christmas! Each classic Lynx fragrance has been harnessed into a sleek diffuser, available in five different formats. From Ice Chill to Dark Temptation, each freshener promises 30 days of freshness. The hanging air fresheners retail at just £2.99 and the gel can fresheners at just £3.99. You can also get vent fresheners and refills, available exclusively to Halfords this Christmas.
Inspired by the ancient technique of enfleurage Neves Bees use only our natural beeswax blended with organic plant oils and pure essential oils to create their little tins of zing. You simply swipe your finger over the solid perfume and apply to pulse points to keep you focused throughout your day. The packaging is totally recyclable with our slider tins, linen bags and new Eco-labels – made from totally bio-degradable materials, rrp £16 for the tin or just an extra 50p for the cute little gift bag and tag.
Stop snoring and sleep better with Good Night Anti Snore Ring, rrp £29.99 a natural, non-invasive and elegant way to help reduce or stop snoring. The Good Night Anti-Snoring Ring is a special ring worn on your pinkie finger that helps you sleep at night. Pop it on 30 minutes before you go to sleep and let the acupressure stimulators go to work to open up your breathing passages whilst you sleep. There are not one, but two points inside Good Night Ring. These apply light pressure on specific points on your little finger. These help you to fall asleep and breathe better during the night. It helps your tiredness and therefore makes you more productive.
Encased in a sleek, matte jacket, Ted’s highly charged Gold AU fragrance has been formulated to spark a positive reaction. Featuring notes of bergamot and clove, this masculine scent was made for the modern-day man who believes the devil is in the detail. This is beautifully designed and boxed and makes a stunning gift, it retails at £40 for a 100ml bottle which is a fab price. It smells AMAZING too, Dave has been wearing it and I can't help but sniff him as he walks by, sign of a good aftershave that!
The Natural Barber Co offers the perfect Christmas gifts for any man in your life. Not only are The Natural Barber Co products great for your hair, using natural ingredients which are free from petrolatum/ mineral oils, parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrance and other nasty chemicals but they are also great for the environment. The Zeus Pomade creates the classic slick back with a glossy, natural finish. The Hades Matte Paste is a lightweight thickening paste, ideal for fine and medium hair ensuring a light hold without weighing down the hair. Both products are available priced at £16.95 each.
The Nivea men complete collection gift set, £18, helps conquer the five signs of skin irritation with this five-piece set from NIVEA Men. The NIVEA MEN Sensitive Shaving Foam instantly protects the skin from 5 signs of shaving irritation.  Sensitive Protect Anti-Perspirant Deodorant Roll-on has been dermatologically tested and developed especially for sensitive skin. Sensitive Moisturiser and men's sensitive face wash, manscaping all in one box!

Thanks For Reading
Mandy

Christmas Gifts For Women

I find women incredibly hard to buy for and I am always looking for new ideas that aren't just a box of choccies or a bunch of flowers. I have been sent some fab items for inclusion and I am excited to share them with you. Make sure you keep checking back as I will be adding new items as they arrive.
Woods of Windsor - Specialising in luxury Bath, Body and Homemade in England and inspired by Windsor's beautiful landscape, since 1770. This True Rose gift set for her features Woods of Windsor's True Rose Moisturising Hand Wash and Nourishing Hand Cream, rrp £10.  The hand wash provides a luxurious lather that moisturises your hands to leave them feeling clean, soft and delicately fragranced. While the light nourishing hand cream contains shea butter, Vitamin E and B5 that absorbs quickly into the skin to help keep it soft, smooth, moisturised and delicately fragranced. An elegant rose petal scent that combines crisp green violet leaves with rose otto and a warm damask rose, to create a delicate English classic.
Slow Ageing Essentials face and body scrub, rrp £51 for 100mls is a powerhouse face and body skin smoother for visibly improved texture, radiance, vitality and suitable for all skin types. Dramatically improve skin texture with this exfoliating, plant butter-infused buffer for the face and body. Nourishing coconut oil, reinvigorating ginger, pomegranate and orange banish rough or dry patches while boosting microcirculation for brighter, more even tone. Naturally, stimulating citrus essential oils leave a lingering uplifting scent on the skin. Use one to three times a week as a brightening treatment. Fill one spatula for the face or one spoonful for the body. Can be massaged dry onto the body before showering, or apply to the face, activate with water and massage off. This has made such a difference to my skincare routine and convinced me to spend more on skincare, as it really does give much better results.
I am in a really good skincare routine at the moment, but am still guilty of using dispoabe make up pad and wipes. Earthbits got in touch and offered to send some reusable cotton & bamboo facial rounds for the guides, rrp £7.99. These soft yet durable facial pads are the best zero-waste alternative to disposable cotton rounds, they are perfect for removing makeup at the end of the day, apply toner or any other facial lotion. However, unlike their wasteful commercial counterpart, these ones can be washed and reused for a very long time. Just throw them in your washing machine and wash on 30 degrees. You’ll see how clean they come out of the wash ready to use again. I have been using these now since the end of August and they wash so well, I will never buy cotton wool pads again!
Face oils are new to me and I have never used them before, I have combination skin and thought putting an oil on my face would make it even oilier, which is incorrect. Bunch sent me an antioxidant organic face oil, Light and fast-absorbing antioxidant face oil. It's light yellow to orange colour and it smells like warmth and freshness, with notes of frankincense, lemon, and lavender. Apply daily to freshly cleansed/toned skin before your moisturiser. It can be used on damp or dry skin. Use a few drops and massage in, using an upward circular motion, and taking care around the delicate eye area. Inhale the herby aroma before gently massaging the oil in. Little goes a long way, the bottle will last for a very long time. Suitable for women and men and retails at £38 for a 30ml bottle.
The Body Butter & Lip Balm starter kit, rrp £20 will give you the confidence to keep making your own natural Lip balms and Body Butters. This will also help you save money and cut down on plastic wastage. Options are provided in the recipe cards and video tutorials if you wish to add Aromatherapy oils to the lip balms and body butters. It is a fun activity to do with a friend/child and would make a fab gift as it comes all got boxed and ready to go. The 100% natural ingredients provided will make 2 x 50g body butter and 2 x 15g lip balms. Geraldine McCullagh, creator of Me-Time Therapies Natural skincare products enjoys creating Aromatherapy blends and has a wealth of knowledge gained over the past 22 years as a Clinical Aromatherapist and also teaching natural skincare classes in Edinburgh. 
Amelia by Ted Baker is an elegant new addition to the Sweet Treats fragrance family. With top notes of rhubarb, almond and magnolia, Amelia stands out from the crowd. Base notes of tonka bean, maple and patchouli command attention, while dark floral heart notes of jasmine, heliotrope and liquorice add a contemporary twist for a fearlessly chic statement. The perfect Christmas gift priced at £24 for 50ml and available from Superdrug, both in-store and online.
This gorgeous NIVEA lip collection, rrp 8 has 4 moisturising lip balms and comes in a fun heart-shaped keepsake tin and is the perfect stocking filler. NIVEA cherry shine lip balm that gives long-lasting moisture for your lips with this unique caring formula made with naturally derived ingredients, including 100% natural jojoba oil. Strawberry shine, pearly shine and the original NIVEA lip balm.
This fabulous NIVEA skin treats trio, rrp £6 is the perfect stocking filler gift.  It has everything you need to give your skin a beauty-boost and comes in an attractive star shaped keepsake tin. NIVEA Soft is a highly effective, revitalising moisturising cream for everyday use, the good morning fresh skin refreshing face mask and the NIVEA hydro care lip balm.
Our Remedy understands all of the ups and downs that the time of the month can bring, so created the pampering Moon Swings Gift Box, rrp £31.99, to deliver everything you need to have a happier period. The perfect gifting option for a friend who needs a pick-me-up treat, it’s a wonderful way to say ‘I’m thinking of you’ and send a ‘hug in a box’. INside you get organic pads and tampons, vegan chocolate bar from Prodigy, a mindfullness colouring page, a handmade vegan soap and the Our Remedy's award-winning Moon Swings CBD oil. Whats more its all packaged in recyclable, compostable and biodegradable packaging
Thanks For Reading 
Mandy

Win The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook

Downton Abbey is a massive television and movie hit for lots of people, so this stunning cookbook would be a lovely gift this Christmas. The team at Quarto Knows have given one of my readers the chance to win The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook in time for Christmas.

The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook presents over 100 recipes that showcase the cookery of the Crawley household – from upstairs dinner party centrepieces to downstairs puddings and pies – and bring an authentic slice of Downton Abbey to modern kitchens and Downton fans. 
With a foreword by Gareth Neame, executive producer and co-creator of Downton Abbey, and featuring over 100 stunning colour photographs, many taken on the set of Downton Abbey and using the original glassware and china, The Downton Abbey Cookbook also includes a special section on hosting Downton-themed dinner parties and includes stills from across the TV series as well as the latest film. Notes on the etiquette and customs of the times quotes from the characters and descriptions of the scenes in which the foods appear provide a rich context for the dishes.

For your chance to win just enter via a many of the options on the widget below as you like
Terms And Conditions
1. Open to Uk and Ireland entrants aged over 18
2. One winner will be chosen via the widget and announced on the widget
3. Winner will be contacted via email and has 28 days to respond to winning email before a new winner is selected
4. Your details won't be passed to any third parties
5. Entries made using software or bulk entries will be disqualified
6. By entering you agree to your name being shared on social media as the winner
7. Giveaway open until midnight 3rd December 2020

Christmas Gifts For Children

Welcome to my kid's gift guide, whether you are looking for toys for big kids or items for a newborn this guide will have you covered. My kiddos have a list as long as their arms this year, this guide will feature some of those gifts I have bought, some of these items pictured have been gifted via the brand, prices for items are included as well as a link to the product to make purchasing even easier!
With Christmas bringing cold, dark nights and the excitement of Santa visiting, help your little one to settle into a bedtime routine with the AVEENO Mum & Baby giftset, rrp £20 and available from Boots and Ocado stores. Care for delicate skin this winter with the AVEENO baby daily care hair & body wash and follow with a mum & baby massage with our daily moisturising lotions. This is the perfect skincare bundle for you & your baby this Christmas! The ideal gift for a new Mum this Christmas and something she can enjoy with her new Baby
Children love imaginative play and I as a parent to children with additional needs encourage it, so when Wannabes got in touch I was intrigued. Created by 2 working Mums passionate about promoting Role Play for the older child. They both had children that wanted to continue the ‘let's pretend’ experience without the stigma of it being deemed ‘babyish’ by their peers. They wanted to take role play to the next level by feeling that they were playing ‘for real’. SO they created Wannabes, available in Teacher, Cafe Owner and Doctor, each pack retails at £14.99. The Doctors pack includes a name badge, patient record cards, examination cards, prescriptions and much more.
How about the gift that keeps on giving with a subscription box? The Nutritional Ninjas Bake Box is a baking box to help children learn kitchen skills at home. Each month, children receive all of the pre-measured dry ingredients they'll need to cook a tasty treat as well as recipe cards, activities and a collectable sticker. They also get access to our online cookery classes so that they can cook along with the teacher, meaning a stress-free experience for parents at home. Bake Boxes are suitable for ages 3+. Each month subscribers receive a different recipe and ingredients. Prices start from just £6.99 per month and the first box is free!
So Sand DIY is a tool case like no other, create, craft and store your very own DIY magic sand with the all in one case, the perfect gift for enjoying ASMR satisfaction on the go! With storage containers to keep you magic sand secure, use the cutting tools and the case itself to satisfy your senses and create awesome sushi-style sand patterns! The set comes with the case, 4 bags of coloured sand, 4 sandbags, 6 tools and some decorative bags. The perfect gift for your little crafter who loves sensory play, rrp £19.99.
Soothe and comfort your little one with the Lovey Soother & Teether Holder, rrp £7.99 designed to keep baby’s soothers and teethers close by! The soft, multi-textured material is great for exploring fingers and is easily hand-washed and air-dried. Lovey holds any Dr Brown’s soothers and teethers, and most other brands, too. They included Dr Brown’s One Piece Silicone Soother which is 100% silicone, featuring a contoured shield and a bulb-shaped like Dr Brown’s bottle teat for better acceptance. The One Piece Silicone Soother snaps securely to Lovey; remove the soother for cleaning. The One Piece Silicone Soother is dishwasher (top rack) and steriliser safe. BPA free.
The Elf on the Shelf and the brand new advent calendar, The North Pole Advent Train, rrp £24.95. “All aboard!” It’s time for 24 days of playable, collectable holiday fun! Count down to Christmas with a holiday-themed Advent train—the perfect size for your Elf on the Shelf to ride along! Each train car stores a miniature toy surprise including adorable mini-figures and themed accessories to brighten your holiday cheer and guarantee hours of fun! It contains 24 North Pole surprises in 4 themed train cars (Sweet Shop, Puppy Love, Snow Much Fun and Tis the Season) The cardboard train at the front is the perfect size to sit your elf in!
The Omnitrix Creator Set, rrp £29.99 may look like just a cool watch, but the minute Ben discovers this device from another galaxy, his world changes forever! That's because the Omnitrix has the power to transform him into 10 different Alien Heroes, each with their own special powers. And once Ben activates the Omnitrix - It's Hero Time! With the Omnitrix Creator, you can mix and match parts to create your own custom Omnitrix or Antitrix! 100+ combinations! 
Thanks For Reading
Mandy
xx

Christmas Food & Drink Guide

When it comes to Christmas its always about the food and drink isn't it, even when we say we aren't going to overindulge we always do! We are dining out on turkey buttys and chocolate for days after. I have been gifted a selection of items that would be perfect for your Christmas celebration this year, or even to be gifted to friends and relatives.

Restore a sense of calm this Christmas with health food brand Aduna’s “Relax” Cacao Super-Tea, rrp £4. Endorphin-packed cacao infused with cinnamon, this Great Taste Award winner is Christmas in a cup, the perfect winter warmer and an ideal stocking filler for health lovers, ethical shoppers and foodies. Aduna’s Relax Super-Tea is 100% natural, vegan, organic, sustainable and packed with active botanical ingredients including cacao, one of the planet’s tastiest and most nutritious superfoods. Revel in the delicious aroma, savour the festive flavour and allow the soothing power of cacao to calm your mind and lift your spirits.
The Little Gin Company sent us over the gin tasting kit, rrp £23 and its would make the ideal gift for any gin lover. The Trailer Made Gin Tasting Kit lets you host your own gin tasting experience from the comfort of your own home. Perfect to enjoy solo or with a partner of choice! The home tasting kit includes 5cl bottle (double measure) of their London Dry Gin, Old Tom Gin, Elderflower Gin and Rhubarb with a Twist of Lime Gin. A selection of complimentary mixers to enjoy with the gins and tasting notes to give you all the details you need on each of our gins. 
Guylian, the world’s favourite Belgian chocolates, has ensured that this Christmas whatever everyone’s ‘new normal’ turns out to be, all Guylian lovers will be able to buy the chocolate they love from a range of convenient shopping destinations. Whether you’re keen to celebrate Christmas after a tough year, to recreate favourite memories of Christmases’ past, or shunning parties for more intimate gatherings, then Guylian has made sure its chocolate range is easily available to everyone and at budgets to suit all pockets. Available from most major supermarket with prices starting from just £1.
Bradfords specialize in hampers for all occasions and for all budgets. This lovely hamper comes on a keepsake wicker basket that I cant wait to find a use for it. This yummy hamper contains English teas, 2 types of jam, shortbread, a fruitcake and some delicious Belgian chocolates. The perfect gift for a spot of afternoon tea. The hampers are sent with a gift card that can be personalised with a message of your choice. Whether you want a full-on food hamper or just some prosecco and choccies Bradfords have you covered.
Buzzy Blends is an independent, family-owned business based in the UK, that was created to bring honey to the table with a tasty twist. The unique range of handmade honey is seriously big on flavour without compromising on quality. Their bees at the heart of everything they do and their honey is collected by ethical beekeepers who care for and protect the bees. The blends are made with absolutely no additives or preservatives, just 100% natural ingredients. There is a fab mix of flavours such as peppermint, chocolate right through to lemon and ginger and cranberries. These pots of yummy honey are available in 200g jars starting at £5.50, alternatively, if you want to try a few they do a lovely gift box 6 raw flavoured honey pots for just £20.50
Mermaid Salt Vodka, rrp £40, from the Isle of Wight Distillery, is infused with locally sourced sea salt that enhances its smoothness and flavour - described as being ‘like the subtle kiss of a mermaid’. With salt’s ability to enhance other flavours, the vodka had already gained a cult following amongst Isle of Wight bartenders for use in cocktails. But now, it’s finally available on the mainland and is presented in a stunning, eco-friendly, bottle with sculpted scales, like those of the mythical maritime creature itself. I absolutely LOVE the bottle and I intend to use it afterwards and pop some lights into it and display it. 
Now I am not a big drinker personally, but what I do love is a good cocktail, or should I say mocktail, I knew all about alcohol-free wine and beer, but alcohol-free spirits is a new realm to me! Mockingbird Spirit is an alcohol-free tequila alternative, developed and launched during the covid-19 pandemic. Made using authentic Blue Weber Agave straight from Mexico. It will taste delicious in your alcohol-free margaritas this Christmas or even on your next Taco Tuesday!! You can buy direct from Mockingbird Spirit priced at £22.99 for a 50cl bottle or try it for just £3.99 for a 5cl bottle.

My little sister is going to be 7 months pregnant by Christmas, so I was pleased to receive this Noughty alcohol-free organic vegan sparkling Chardonnay. It has been de-alcoholised to retain the rich flavour of this beautifully crafted bottle. With 2.9g of sugar per 100ml, it’s almost half the sugar content of other non-alcoholic sparkling wine. With just 14 calories per glass, it's the perfect answer to a hangover-free celebration, at just £8.99 per bottle its the ideal alternative.

Haribo is a firm favourite in our house with the whole family. This lovely selection box is new to me, I've never seen a Haribo selection pack before. This contains 6 full-sized bags of Haribo treats, perfect for sharing, or hiding away for yourself!! We are saving this for our Christmas Eve film, there is something that each of the children like, I have already warned them the Bella Stixx are ALL MINE!! You will find this in B&M stores nationwide pried at just £5.

Thanks For Reading

Mandy

xx

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