Friday, November 28, 2014

Everything you ever wanted to know about Christmas Hampers!

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Giving someone a hamper full of festive tasty treats for Christmas is now a well-established tradition. But how did it start?

The history of the hamper
You may be surprised to learn that giving someone a hamper of food dates right back to William the Conqueror. Originally a French tradition, the concept of giving baskets of treats for a special occasion was introduced to England in the 11th century.

It was after the development of the railways during the Victorian era that the tradition of giving Christmas hampers really started. As the railways grew, it became much easier to send perishable items right across the country before they spoiled. Employers, such as those with large estates, also used to give their employees hampers at Christmas as a kind of bonus. Ensuring that all their staff had enough food and drink to enjoy a happy Christmas.

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Hampers in the USA
Once the idea of giving hampers came across the pond to the United States, it quickly expanded and is the basis of the whole concept of gift baskets. As you probably know, gift baskets are now given for almost any occasion. From welcoming a new neighbour with scones or cookies, to luxury beauty products for a birthday - or a hamper full of nappies and toys for a baby shower.

Ready made Christmas hampers
There are many companies that sell pre-made hampers, consisting of a whole range of tasty and festive foods and treats. These typically include smoked meats or hams, cheeses, fruitcake or plum pudding, relishes, jams and wine or port. More modern versions may include olive oil, handmade pasta or even champagne and caviar.

You can also find speciality hampers that are suitable for people with special dietary requirements, such as wheat or dairy allergies. You can even buy vegetarian, vegan and organic hampers these days.

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Homemade Christmas hampers
You can even put together a hamper yourself for a more personalized gift. It’s easy to source the wicker hamper itself; you don’t need to opt for an expensive artisan version. Many homeware stores are a great source of cheap baskets, boxes and ‘storage solutions’. Then you can have fun choosing what food and drink to include, depending on the person you’re giving it to.

If you’re really going for a personal touch, you could make the food and treats yourself. Make a batch of cookies, mince pies or chocolate sweets. You can even personalize them by writing the recipients name on some items with icing. Or, if you have a stock of homemade pickles and jams, you can add these too for a mix of sweet and savoury flavors.

Don’t forget your presentation skills. You can fill the hamper with store-bought hay or shredded tissue paper before adding your items. Or, you could even shred some of last year’s wrapping paper for a festive touch. And finally, invest in plenty of ribbons to tie to the handles and make everything look pretty. Opt for festive colours such as red and green, and maybe include some gold touches too.


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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Start Now if You Want to Look Fab This Christmas!

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We all want to look positively sparkly during the Christmas period. December is probably the month we have the most to do; work parties, gatherings with family and friends, and sometimes even impromptu nights out. This means you should start as early as possible if you want to look amazing for them at a moment’s notice. Here are some things I like to do to get prepared:

Your Beauty Routine

You probably already have a beauty routine, but you need to make sure that you’re keeping it consistent ready for Christmas. Here are some of the things you can do in preparation for it:

  • Give yourself a weekly home facial complete with a face mask.
  • Exfoliate your body and face a couple of times per week.
  • Moisturise as often as possible, especially after a bath or shower. The winter cold can really dry out your skin!
  • Cleanse, tone, and moisturize twice per day. Use products with an SPF to protect my skin from the harmful environment too!
  • Strengthen your nails with hand cream and cuticle oil. Try to keep them filed to a nice length too, ready for polish before your parties!
  • Book an appointment at the salon if you want to look extra special. I can never do my eyebrows right myself, so sometimes I book in for a wax and tint. Eyelash tints are great too, as they define your eyes with no need for eyeliner or mascara!

Hair

I try to get my hair done at some point in December so I know that it’ll look fab whatever I decide to do to it. My hairdresser freshens up my color (for an occasion as special as this one, I don’t do it myself), and I have a nice amount cut off to make it look healthy and thick. I try not to wash it too often, as this can make it greasy. I do use hair treatments every so often though to keep it in great condition. Treatments are a must, especially if you plan on using heated appliances over the festive period like me!

Makeup

I never like to go overboard with makeup, but it’s nice to try something new at this time of year. For example, a simple glitter eyeliner could really spice up your look. Practice first to make sure you like it before you attend those all important events.
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Outfits

I like to know what I’m wearing well in advance. I note down all of my parties in my calendar, what sort of thing I’m planning on wearing, and then I’ll hunt down similar fashion online or in my favorite stores. I do like to get in the festive spirit, so I think you can’t go wrong with something red, sequinned, or both!

It’s never too early to start preparing for Christmas. The earlier you start, the less stressed you’ll be on the day. If you have any tips, leave a comment to let me know. Thanks for reading!

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Collage.com Review and Giveaway

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If you walk into my home you'll see a variety of pictures both framed and on the walls.  The photos range from wedding pictures of my husband and I, to our dog, and of course pictures that I've taken too.  I think it's important to display meaningful pictures that make you smile each time you see them.   When my daughter is born, we'll surely have lots of framed pictures of her too.  What kind of photos are in your home?


Collage.com offers custom photo creations that make ideal Christmas presents for anybody this holiday season.  Go ahead and have fun creating the custom piece of your dreams.  Why not wow Grandma this year with a high-quality fleece photo blanket featuring her grandkids? If you have a family member who recently got married, they'd love a photo album featuring their wedding photos.  The website also has custom posters, canvases, phone cases, photo cards, Christmas ornaments, photo calendars and so much more.  Whatever your custom needs are, Collage has you covered.

If you're looking for a unique Christmas gift this year, I have the perfect suggestion for you. Collage's aluminum prints would look wonderful on the walls of anyone's home.  An aluminum print offers a modern alternative to the classic canvas.  These lightweight prints aluminum panels show off your photos in high-definition.  Dyes are directly infused into the metal which gives your images brightness and definition like you've never seen before. Memories don't get more vivid than this!

I had the opportunity to try out an aluminum print for myself.  I knew I wanted to surprise my husband with the print, so I chose a wedding photo of us in an 11x14 size.  You can choose from a variety of sizes depending on what your needs are.  The creation and ordering process on the website was very easy and in moments my order was submitted.  Shipping was very fast and my print arrived yesterday.

What I instantly noticed about the print was that my wedding photo did not take up the whole print.  There's a white space on the top and bottom that I wasn't expecting.  I would prefer that the picture take up the whole print, I think it would look better that way.  It would be nice if in the future Collage could offer that.
It's hard to capture the aluminum perfectly because it is slightly glossy.  This picture was taken 15 months ago now!

I was impressed with the fact that the picture was printed on actual aluminum! Technology is so interesting and the fact that this method of printing exists is very cool.  The colors are rich and sharp and I am satisfied with how the print came out.  If you were wondering, the picture is actually cool to the touch due to the aluminum.  My husband loved being surprised with the print and he was very excited about it.  He couldn't believe it was printed on aluminum!


As you can see, the hardware needed to hang the picture is already included on the back.  Simply put a nail in your wall and hang your print wherever your heart desires.  My husband and I are currently deciding the best place for the print to hang.  We have a lot of wall space that is blank, so it shouldn't be hard to find a good space for it.

The ultra thin design of the print is sleek and modern.  Canvases can be bulky and take up a lot of wall space, but the aluminum saves space!

If you're looking for a fun and different way to display your favorite pictures around your home, please check out Collage.com.  They will be waiting for your order.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Collage.com for providing me with a complimentary aluminum print in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are my own.  

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Save More, Spend Less: Saving Money on Holiday Presents

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Though its fun to go shopping for loved ones for holiday presents, everything can add up quickly. You may feel like you need to shop for your parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, and friends too. Before you know it you’ve spent a small fortune on gifts and you’re in debt. What’s the point of that? Instead of over spending on holiday presents it’s time to put on the breaks. There are ways to still give your loved gifts during the holidays without over spending. Here are some ideas on how to be creative because it’s time to save more and spend less.

Homemade Presents
If a loved one recently had a baby or you’re a proud aunt who loves herniece, put together a scrapbook of all of your favorite photos. A scrapbook can be found at a craft store for a reasonable price and if it’s too expensive look elsewhere. Once you find the perfect scrapbook youcan print out the photos from your home printer instead of getting them professionaally printed. Also use stickers and embellishments you already own instead of spending more money on them. There are waysto be creative without spending money on supplies you might not evenuse on your homemade gift. 

Encourage Family Members to Try Electronic Cigarettes
If you have a close relationship with a family member who smokes, why not encourage them to try an e-cigarette instead of a traditional cigarette? E-cigarettes from 21st Century Smoke will save them a lot of money and you as well if you smoke too. Social smokers love indulging in a cigarette with a drink once in a while and there are others who smoke more often. E-cigarettes are not only a less expensive way to enjoy smoking, but they’re also cleaner. Purchase a vapin plus liquid vaporizer pen and e cigarette refills as a gift for the smoker in your family. They’ll be grateful that you’re encouraging them to save moneyand smoke in a cleaner way.

Agree on a Budget for Gifts
If you would like to spend less and don’t have the funds to purchase gifts for everyone, have an honest talk with your family members. You can tell them that you would like to have a set budget for each family or opt not to spend money on presents this year. Instead you can go ona nice family dinner and enjoy one another’s company at a fun location, which can be much better than putting focus on gift


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Three Dog Bakery Review and Giveaway

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My dog Carolyn has two loves in life; her treats, and her toys.  She eats, sleeps, and breathes treats.  I can assure you that when she's awake she's plotting of how to get more yummies, and when she's sleeping she's dreaming of them.  Carolyn does not discriminate against any treat but loves them all too much.  If you show her a bag of treats she will patiently sit and wag her tail, while staring at you with big eyes.  Why not make your dog the happiest pup on the block this Christmas with Three Dog Bakery treats in their stocking?



Three Dog Bakery is the key to every canine's heart.  Since 1989, the bakery has been selling all-natural dog and puppy treats, food, biscuits, and gifts.  You can rest easy knowing the delectable treats are made with only quality and wholesome ingredients.  Your dog will go woofin' crazy for flavors such as classic peanut wafers, pup-kin spiced lattes, strawberry cremes, and vanilla wafers.  Go ahead and delight your pooch's tastebuds with flavored biscuits like cheese or apples and oats.  New holiday flavors have been recently released which is music to your dog's ears.  While you enjoy your favorite seasonal treats, your pet can enjoy theirs too!

Carolyn was lucky enough to receive Three Dog Bakery's new Christmas trio line of treats. When I brought the box into my house she instantly went wild.  She jumped on it and her tail was wagging so hard I thought it would break.  Her level of excitement was through the roof because she knew they were for her.  The set includes Sugrrr Cookies, no bake cookies, and Gingerbeg Cookies.  How cute are the names? The adorable packaging features an oven, and the window of the oven gives you a glimpse of the treats inside the box.

Any treat from Three Dog Bakery will make your dog love you forever.

I couldn't keep Carolyn waiting much longer as I knew it was pure torture for her.  I gave her the ginger beg cookies and she went nuts for them! These little squares are the perfect size for her and she had no problem gobbling one right up.  What's funny is that they really look and smell like gingerbread.  I was almost tempted to eat one except I'm sure it wouldn't taste that great!

Hurry up and give me that treat!

What I did notice right away is that Carolyn drank a lot of water after eating the treat.  My guess is that the spiced flavor made her thirsty, especially since she's never had anything gingerbread before.

I look forward to having Carolyn try the rest of the treats, and I'm sure she will have no problem rising to that challenge either!

If you're looking to bring the flavors of the holidays to your dog's stomach, Three Dog Bakery is there to make that a reality.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Flavors of The Holidays

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Now that Thanksgiving is practically here, the holidays are in full swing!

I'm very fond of peppermint, nutmeg, cinnamon, and of course gingerbread during the holidays. 

I don't believe the holidays are quite complete without gingerbread cookies and peppermint bark.  What are some of your most-loved flavors of the holiday season? Sound off below!




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Creative Christmas Gift Hamper Ideas For Your Friends and Family

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It can be difficult to think of fresh gift ideas every Christmas, but if you're crafty and creative, you'll love making gift hampers. If you look for big gifts while you're Christmas shopping, you can become quickly dispirited when inspiration doesn't strike. But with gift hampers, you don't need to think of that one perfect gift. You can put together lots of little gifts, and each one will have a lot of thought put into it. Some people choose to make things to go in their gift hampers while others buy their hamper contents. Whatever you choose to do, it's a good idea to start off with a loose theme. Here are some ideas for how to fill your hampers to get you started.

Craft Hamper

If you have friends or family members who are crafty like you, they'll absolutely love a hamper full of craft materials. You could give them little kits for making set items and include craft books too. Materials and tools could both go into a craft hamper. Perhaps you could pick a particular craft and gift someone with a starter kit, such as for sewing or knitting. If they haven't already been bitten with the craft bug, they soon will be when they receive your gift.

Food and Drink

Christmas is a time where it's not only acceptable but encouraged to eat and drink a lot. If there's something that almost anyone can appreciate, it's a hamper full of food and drink. You might choose to make some things, such as jars of preserves. Some people include homemade cookies and cakes, or something else that will last all year. You could also put in chocolate gifts, artisanal foods and tea and coffee. You might pick a specific meal to theme your hamper around or a specific food or drink. Perhaps a wine and cheese hamper would go down well with one of your friends.

Candles and Pleasant Smells

Some people aren't too fussed about candles, incense, and other nice-smelling things. But other people love them. If you know someone who just can't help collecting anything that smells good, whose house is covered in candles and diffusers, this hamper is for them. You could even make your own candles and soaps. Bath products are great to include too, from delicious-smelling body scrubs to hand lotions.

Children's Toy Hamper

Kids will love opening up a hamper full of little toys on Christmas Day. If you usually give them a stocking with small gifts inside, try a hamper instead. All those silly and cute little presents that aren't big enough to give as main presents can go in your children's hamper. You can theme it around what your child loves, whether that's books, pirates or bike riding. Include some little extras too, like small bags of candy.

Whoever you give your Christmas gift hampers to, they're sure to be delighted with the effort you've gone to. On top of having lots of fun creating them, you'll love the looks on your friends' and family's faces when they open their present.

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4 Amazing Ways That You Can Announce Your Pregnancy

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Finding out that you’re expecting is a wonderful time. You are probably eager to shout it from the rooftops that you’re having a brand new bundle of pink or blue joy. But, there are some brilliant ways that you can announce your birth. No, you don’t have to take to Facebook. On the contrary, there are some innovative ways to announce your big news. When you are telling your family about your new baby joy, you want to be creative in your approach. The personal touch is always needed when announcing this kind of news. After all, it’s a major event in any parent’s life. Sharing this news is best done in the most creative way imaginable.

Here are four amazing ways that you can announce your pregnancy.

1.    Send a Photo Postcard

Okay, so you now have your scan of your baby. You know that you are definitely expecting. The scan is one of the best ways to announce your pregnancy. There are a wide range of online vendors that you can use to create a personalised postcard depicting your scan. You can then add a funny caption and send it out to your nearest and dearest. Do check out USPS postage deals beforehand. After all, announcing your imminent birth doesn’t have to cost a bundle. If you are announcing your pregnancy later than the three months and you have had your 20-week scan, you can incorporate pink and blue tones to your postcard. What could be lovelier than receiving a postcard of a scan photo? This is a truly wonderful way to announce your pregnancy. What’s more, it has a personal touch.

2.    Create a YouTube Video

Have you seen some of the pregnancy YouTube videos that have gone viral? Some are downright hilarious. This can be a quirky way to announce your birth, but it’s also a memorable way to do this. You can make sure that you send this privately if you don’t feel comfortable sharing with the world. You can send a video in an email and get creative with it too. Some of the results are hilarious, but others are more touching.


3.    Host a Family Meal or Get-Together

Sometimes, the personal tactic is preferred. If your family and friends live in proximity, it may be nice to host a family meal at your home. You could even go out for the evening and make a night of it. When everyone is settled, and they’ve eaten, you can announce your impending baby news. This is a truly personal touch and is a great way to tell everyone all at the same time. Be prepared for the onslaught of questions that are sure to be due! It’s a lovely way to celebrate such wonderful news.

4.    Announcing Your Baby With Gifts

Let’s face it; it’s the grandparents who are going to be the most excited about a new baby. Why not announce your pregnancy with a small token gift with grandma and grandpa written on it? If your family are good at getting the hint, this can be a joyful way of expressing your baby news.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Most Comfortable Shoes for Pregnancy

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When you’re pregnant your body is changing and developing all the time as your baby begins to grow. However, with these changes, comes some interesting side effects, one of which being swollen and sore feet. For anyone who is a religious high heel wearer, this may be somewhat of a problem. Especially as, chances are that you favourite pair of high heels will not only be too uncomfortable to wear, but also will no longer fit you.

However, there is no reason to despair. To help you choose some more comfortable shoes for your pregnancy have a read of these top tips below.

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(Photo credit)

Choose an ankle boot over a knee high boot

Knee high boots can make you rather warm, and as during pregnancy you are more prone to heat, knee high boots might be a bit much. Plus, with swollen feet and ankle knee high boots might feel a little too snug. Instead invest in a pair of super comfortable ankle boots. They are not as tight, have more room for airflow and, best of all are on trend this season.

Loafers

Loafers a soft and comfortable, and often have a breathable fabric lining, making them perfect for keeping you cool throughout your pregnancy. They offer an almost slipper-like feeling, so there is no need to worry about sore feet and ankles.

Flats

Super easy to slip on and off, flats are an excellent choice for warmer weather. They tend to be loose enough fitting so that if your feet swell you can still be comfortable. They are completely breathable and are usually available in a wide fit option as well as regular fit, making them perfect for pregnant feet. Aim to invest in a pair with a slightly raised sole, as this will help relieve any back and joint pains.

Choose wedges instead of heels

If you really don’t think you can live without your high heels, then make a small swap to wearing wedges instead. You will still have all the height of a high heel, but without all the pain that comes with it. Compared to heels, wedges are actually a lot more comfortable because there is a lot more support within the shoe, reducing the strain on your feet and ankles. For a gorgeous selection of comfortable shoes, you can visit high street shoe stores or online sites, such as JustFab.

If a high wedge seems too much but you have an event or special occasion to attend, invest in a pair of low wedges. They give the illusion of height, but are actually just very slightly raised. This slight height is great for using to make an outfit look more elegant, just like a conventional high heel.

Canvas shoes

Super lightweight and comfortable, canvas shoes are perfect if your feet are feeling sore. With a cushioned insole and a soft arch within the sole for extra support, these are perfecting for popping on after a long day. Plus, even if your feet swell dramatically, canvas shoes have an elasticated V in the tongue to help get them on and off easily.


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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Freschetta Pizza Is Here to Listen to What You Think!

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Who's a fan of Freschetta pizza? Their cheesy pepperoni pizza always satisfies my stomach.  I've been enjoying their pizza for years and there's usually always a Freschetta pizza in my freezer.


Freschetta will be hosting a Twitter chat on Tuesday, December 3rd at 3 PM EST.  During the chat you'll have the opportunity to ask any of your burning pizza questions to the top expert at Freschetta. Shelly Heid, Chief Pizza Officer is in charge of all things relating to Freschetta pizza will be at the chat.  Go ahead and ask her about your favorite pizza flavor, her day-to-day at Freschetta, any future flavor plans, or anything else you're wanting to know! She'll be ready and willing to answer anything you have for her.



The official hashtag for the chat is #CPOChat.  Hope you can make it! 

*DISCLOSURE* I received monetary compensation in exchange for this post.  


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Friday, November 21, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Let Ugly Christmas Sweater Help You Ring in The Holidays

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As I've mentioned on my blog previously, the holidays are my favorite time of the year.  I know that may sound cliche, but it's true.  Nothing makes me happier than admiring a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, or sipping a steaming mug of a holiday flavored beverage. I even recently decorated my fireplace for the holidays.  It's never too early to enjoy seasonal decorations in my opinion.  What's your favorite thing about this wonderful time of year?



Ugly Christmas Sweater offers a fun and tacky way to ring in the holiday season. Whether you're throwing a house party, going to a bar crawl, or attending an office party this year, there's no reason why the dress code can't include an ugly Christmas sweater.  The sweaters are available for men and women and feature tacky Christmas trees, ginger bread men, Santas, reindeer, and more.  If you're going to a holiday party this year and the theme is tacky Christmas sweaters, this is definitely the place for you.  Have a contest with your friends, family, or coworkers to see who's sweater is the tackiest and ugliest. Everyone will surely have some great laughs. If you don't want to do a contest, implement a rule that your guests must come in some sort of tacky attire, that will be equally as fun.  Whatever your holiday plans are this year, make sure they include ugly Christmas sweaters.

Instead of choosing a tacky sweater for review, I opted for the snowflake and reindeer pattern leggings. The leggings will let me celebrate the holidays in style, but in a less tacky way.  
These fleece lined leggings are just what you need to stay warm this winter.

Since my holiday season will include taking care of a newborn, it's essential she and I both stay warm.  I love the range of patterns and designs featured on the leggings. You have everything from a fair trade pattern to snowflakes, reindeer, and more.  There's something visually pleasing everywhere you look, and the colors are bright and bold.  Since the leggings are fleece lined, I'm guaranteed to stay warm while I make a quick run to the store for diapers or wipes.  I would probably pair them with a sweater and furry boots when I'm out for optimal warmth.  The leggings fit well and I'm satisfied with the quality of them.

Remember, the holidays aren't truly the holidays without making Ugly Christmas Sweater part of them.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Ugly Christmas Sweater for providing me with a pair of complimentary holiday leggings.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 





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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Give Back with World Vision Gifts

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I prefer to do my holiday shopping online this year.  At 9 months pregnant walking around a store buying gifts is utterly exhausting.  When you buy gifts online, you don't have to deal with the crowds or lines at all.  Sitting in my warm house in my pajamas with my credit card in hand sounds like a much better idea! When you shop online this holiday season, why not look into new gift ideas that give back with just a click of the mouse?



World Vision began in 1996 and has grown in popularity as a gift-giving alternative.  This wonderful cause offers more than 250 items online and in a print catalog which range in prices.  When you purchase a handmade item, you'll help improve the quality of life for women, children, and families in the US and around the world.  Give help where it is needed most and receive handcrafted beautiful goods from artisans in Kenya, Bali, India, and other countries.  Delight your gift recipients with items such as jewelry and household decor to soapstone boxes and scarves.  You'll feel good knowing that you're making a difference in a family's life and giving a loved one something they'll enjoy.

How gorgeous is this soapstone box? Leave it out on your side table or nightstand as it will surely be a conversation starter.

This hand-carved African soapstone box designed and etched by artisans in Kenya offers a safe place to store necklaces and rings.   I love the pairing of the giraffe along with the blue background and other patterns.  Each pattern has its own personality but everything meshes together well.  This box will compliment any decor, and looks great on its own if you don't choose to store anything in it.  

I know that anyone who receives this under the tree on Christmas morning will be truly delighted.  Families in Kenya will also be equally as happy as the income from this sale helps provide medical care for them.  





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How To Stay Looking Fabulous This Winter

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We all know how unflattering most winter clothing can look on women. Not only is it usually thick and clumpy, but it’s also baggy. That means it does nothing to showcase your figure on nights out. After performing lots of research into the latest fashion trends online, I’m now ready to offer you some fantastic advice. At the end of the day, those of you who are single will want to look stunning. Hopefully, that will help you to attract the opposite sex. Those of you with partners will want to make sure you do them proud. Thankfully, winter fashion items have come down in price this year, and there is no need to look for designer labels. Most supermarket chains are selling the perfect items to suit every taste. You just need to think ahead and do some planning. Also, looking after your skin is important as you will soon learn.

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Winter dresses

Contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as a stylish winter dress. I realise that most of you will only have encountered items made from wool and other thick materials at this time of year previously. However, at the current time there are some lovely clothing products available that are sure to tickle your fancy. The long winter dress pictured above is made from a synthetic silk, which is renowned for retaining more heat than cotton. You can find these at most high street stores for less than £50.

Ugg boots

We all know how slippery it can be underfoot at this time of year. Things are made even worse if you go out drinking. Considering that, you should purchase some Ugg boots at the earliest possible opportunity. While you might think they were designed to go with jeans and trousers, they look pretty cool alongside winter dresses. Also, you can get some amazing Christmas designs at the moment that are sure to let people know you’re in the holiday spirit.

Winter jewelry

Sourcing the highest quality jewelry on the market can be tough if you don’t know where to start. For that reason, it’s always wise to do some research before leaving home if you plan on spending more than £100 on a single item. Buying some cool Christmas earrings is a good idea, and you can get some lovely necklaces at the moment too. Personally, I think silver or white gold offers the best aesthetics at this time of year. However, the decision is down to you.

Skincare

As the weather is cold, and there is a lot of wind, your skin might suffer significantly over the next few months. So, you need to get some good quality skincare products. For the best results, you might like to consider some of the items on offer from Emma Hardie @ Blow LTD or similar specialist firms. While they might cost a little more than products you would find in your local supermarkets, the outcomes are far superior.

I hope you have a fantastic Christmas girls, and I can’t wait to hear about all the lovely gifts Santa got for you. Make sure you stop here again soon for more interesting articles!

Holly Lay
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10 Unique and Quirky Christmas Gift Ideas

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Christmas will be here before we know it, but many of us get stuck when it comes to what to buy for our loved ones. You don’t want to get them something they already have, or something that they aren’t going to like particularly. The following gifts are fun and quirky, so you can make somebody special smile this Christmas:

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A Day Zorbing

Zorbing might only last a few short minutes, but it’s something everybody should do at one time or another. Who wouldn’t love to climb inside a big inflatable ball and then roll down a hill fast as the speed of light? Gifts like this are perfect for the whole family!

A Day Driving a Sports Car

A lot of people are into cars these days, but we can’t all have Lamborghinis and Ferraris. We can, however, buy an experience day that means we can drive the car of our dreams! If you know a car enthusiast, this is the perfect gift for them this Christmas.

A Star

You can’t actually steal a star out of the sky and give it to somebody, but you can use the Online Star Register to name it after them. How lovely would it be to gaze into the sky and see a star that’s named after you?

A Trip to Warner Brother’s Studios

Warner Brother’s studios is basically dedicated to the making of the Harry Potter movies. Harry Potter is a wonderful story, that people of all ages appreciate. If you want to treat somebody special this year, consider taking them on a trip to the studios to get behind the scenes info.

A Penguin

Again, you can’t really wrap up a penguin and give it to somebody like this year’s John Lewis Advert. You can adopt a penguin and sponsor them in their name though! Unfortunately, some species of penguin could be in danger. You can help to fund research and resources by sponsoring one for £3 per month. If you know somebody who loves penguins, do this in their name.

A Bubblewrap Costume

Some people almost have a fetish when it comes to bubblewrap. A bubblewrap costume will keep them occupied for hours and hours!

A Chalkboard Bag

Never forget your shopping again with the help of a chalkboard bag! It can be so much fun to sketch designs onto too - perfect for completing a quirky outfit. A great gift for somebody with a unique fashion sense.

A Smartphone Projector

If somebody has lots of cool videos on their phone, a smartphone projector could be the perfect gift for them.

Cookie Shaped Cup Warmer

This gift is great for the office worker who always has a brew to hand. It’ll never go cold again with the help of the cookie shaped cup warmer!

A Blow Up Unicorn Horn for Cats

Know a cat lover? Buy them a blow up unicorn horn for cats and their cat can become a unicat! The cat might not be happy about it but it’s great entertainment.

Happy shopping!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Let Things Remembered Help You With Your Holiday Shopping

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Some of the most special gifts you can give a recipient are personalized.  I'm very grateful and appreciative of any present I receive, but the ones that are directly made for me mean so much.  A personalized gift is treasured and looked at fondly for years after the person receives it.  When's the last time you gave someone a gift that held special meaning?



Things Remembered offers engraved and personalized gifts for Christmas, birthdays, weddings, and any other occasion.  The store offers a variety of items including jewelry boxes, picture frames and albums, kitchen and bath, drinkware, water globes, and so much more.  Any item can be personalized or engraved specifically to your needs in a font chosen by you.  Delight Mom this Christmas by giving her a jewelry box with her initials on it. Don't forget about Grandma either! She'll love a specially engraved picture frame holding a photo of her grandchildren.  If you're going to a wedding in the near future, why not give the bride and groom engraved champagne flutes? The possibilities of gift giving are endless at Things Remembered.  Stop by today to pick out the perfect gift for that special person in your life.

I'm having my first child in 16 days.  I had a lot of fun decorating her nursery, but it was important to me to decorate with sentimental items.  She has a special welcome baby tree picture in her room that my entire family signed.  It was wonderful to read all of the messages of excitement for her arrival.  I know she'll appreciate the picture in many years, and be grateful to have those words even before she was born. When I had the opportunity to review an item from Things Remembered, I jumped at the chance.  In the beginning I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to choose, but I know it would be for Scarlett.

As soon as I saw the Personalized Carousel Horse Musical Water Globe, I instantly adored it.  It is such a beautiful item for a baby's room and certainly a wonderful keepsake item. A waterglobe would make an excellent first birthday present or baby shower gift too.

A beautiful keepsake that will offer memories for years to come.


The waterglobe came extremely fast and was protected well during shipment.  I immediately put it on top of her bookshelf and it looked perfect there!  The waterglobe is compact and doesn't take up much room depending on where you want to put it. It's definitely a quality piece and has weight to it.  There's a pale pink and white horse inside which rotates and plays Carousel Waltz when wound up.  The music is audible and clear, and when wound up the glitter flies around.  When the music was playing, my dog was tilting her head to it. Even dogs enjoy water globes!  There are a few silver areas on top that are engraved with sayings like dream, cherish, believe, etc.  I did not choose those messages but I'm sure you can change them if you wanted to.  The engraving is bold and vibrant.

I love the way the water globe looks on the bookshelf.  On the left hand side is a music box from Scarlett's cousin.  She's going to be one lucky little girl to have such sentimental items!

On the bottom of the water globe and on a portion of the top is the most beautiful filigree. The silver and black compliment the pink perfectly and it looks very elegant together. There is a larger silver area where I had my daughter's name engraved.  I chose the font from an available list of choices.  Although the engraving is beautiful, I wish it was slightly bolder like the top silver areas are.  You have to look at it up close to clearly see it.  

Overall, I'm extremely satisfied with the waterglobe.  It will surely be an item that will stay in her room for years to come.  I hope she likes it just as much as I do. 

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Things Remembered for offering me a complimentary product in exchange for this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  


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