Finding the Perfect Gift with Notonthehighstreet.com

When I was a kid, Christmas was all about getting presents – pretty typical right? I’d start the day tearing open the small packages in my stocking, continue with the gifts under the tree and then spend the rest of the day playing with my new toys.

These days it’s a whole different story.

My favourite part about Christmas now is spending time with my family and also giving them gifts. I love the whole process of thinking hard about what my loved ones would like and picking something out that they’d actually use. Gone are the days of picking something that’s just ‘nice’ from the gift section in any high street store. A good thing considering that those things barely get used.

That’s when notonthehighstreet.com comes in. I’ve bought Christmas (and birthday) presents from them for the last few years and they’ve always gone down a treat. I love that they offer something different and more often than not, allow you to customise the item with your special someone’s name or even a little private joke between the two of you.

So when they got in touch to invite me to take part in their Christmas campaign of finding the perfect gift for a special someone, I couldn’t say no.

It wasn’t difficult to pick the receiver of my gifts. My husband Topher has been by my side for well over 8 years now and as of July this year we finally tied the knot. Since it’s our first Christmas as a married couple I wanted to find the perfect gift.

I chose two items from notonthehighstreet.com and I can’t wait for him to open them on Christmas Day. But of course as my readers, you get a sneak peek! Topher, if you’re reading this – why are you reading this? I told you not to, so stop reading….now.

Here’s what I got him:

Personalised Leather ‘Day You Became My…’ Keyring*

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notonthehighstreet.com keyring front

notonthehighstreet.com keyring back

It’s crazy but even though we bought our house almost two years ago, Topher’s keys are still bare. No keyrings whatsoever. It’s therefore not surprising that he’s always losing them around the house. I think having a nice keyring will make them a little more visible and it brings a little bit of home with you wherever you go. Plus, bare keys just seem so temporary if that makes any sense.

The great thing about this keyring is that it’s leather so it’s hard wearing and also that it’s flat. Topher has had bulky keyrings in the past that weren’t particularly practical since he tends to keep them in his back pocket! Ouch.

I loved the fact that this keyring celebrates a special day. So of course I had to put our wedding date on it (so he will never forget our anniversary – smart thinking right?).

And of course I had to add a cheeky message on the back. We’re always joking that we’re stuck with each other so this seemed fitting. I hope he likes it!

Personalised Solid Copper Photo Print*

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Another funny fact about Topher and I – we don’t have any photos up of family, friends or even ourselves around the house. It’s on the cards but we just haven’t got round to it yet. They need printing out and framing etc. and it will get done…eventually.

That being said, I thought this gift would be a good start. This photo print comes in either copper, brass or stainless steel and allows you to personalise both the front and also add a message to the bottom. I decided to just personalise the front and put our wedding date again since it’s our first Christmas as Mr. and Mrs. And here’s the photo I chose:

http://www.facebook.com/nikkicooperphotography

The photo was an easy one to pick. It is definitely my favourite photo of us on the day and it was the one we chose to use on our thank you cards. I know Topher loves this photo as much as I do. We look so happy!

Hopefully having this print around will give us the push to finally get some photos of our loved ones and our memories up around the house in 2018.

So fingers crossed I’ve knocked another Christmas gifting session out of the park!

I can’t thank notonthehighstreet.com enough for these gifts. I’m definitely another step closer to having my Christmas shopping done.

How about you? What do you look for in the perfect gift for your loved ones?

Posts marked with * are affiliate links

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Getting your Home Cozy for Winter with Direct Blinds

Whenever I thought of shutters in the past, what always came to mind was either rustic English cottages or the cobbled streets of small European towns lined with shuttered windows. If that’s what you thought too then read on, I’m about to change your mind.

When we bought and moved into our first house together back in March 2016, Topher and I were relieved to find that the previous owners had left blinds on all the windows in the house. One less job for us to deal with (and pay for) right away! Now that we’ve been in here almost two years however, the plain windows feel a little, well, plain! You definitely can’t describe them as cozy!

One way to get your house cozy is to invest in some window to floor curtains. Unfortunately for us that was never an option as our cats love to climb them! So what’s another way to make your windows help your home feel more cozy? Enter Direct Blinds and their wooden shutters.

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I never thought that shutters could look both contemporary and rustic at the same time but Direct Blinds have made it possible. The muted colours are ideal for fitting into any colour scheme, whether you’re a fan of all the colours or prefer a more neutral palette. They also come in both full height and cafe style if you want to let a little light in.

And they’re not just for winter – shutters are ideal for keeping the light out on those bright weekend mornings where you really don’t fancy being woken up at 5am. Or if you have kids and want them in bed at a decent time!

But back to winter (how cold is it by the way? I’m sitting in my dressing gown over my clothes as I write this!) – shutters allow you to forget that it’s dark outside at 4pm. And I’m all for that. If you find yourself getting a bit down about the lack of sunlight, creating a cozy haven in your home can be a great way to cheer yourself up.

A bit of cozy inspiration for you:

shutters inspiration

Sources

Top Row: 1, 2

Middle Row: 3, 4, 5

Bottom Row: 6, 7

Other ways to get your house cozy for winter:

  • Fairy lights (a bloggers best friend)
  • All of the throws and blankets
  • Light a fire if you have one
  • If you don’t have a fire, light some candles instead (and be safe!)
  • Bake something or make mulled wine on the stove – the heat and smells will make everything better.

Having a look at Direct Blinds‘ website has really changed my mind about shutters. How about you?

Post in collaboration with Direct Blinds. All words and opinions are my own.

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Hello December

hello december 1

*WeBlogNorth Event *Xmas markets

*Tsum tsum advent calendar *Freelance Folk Christmas Meal

*The tree is up *Watched Elf all the way through for the first time

*Fibre is here! *Pickles loves boxes

So I took a week off. I didn’t mean to but it just happened and that’s completely fine.

I was super busy and then I had a short down period again. I think I need to stop guilting myself into a stupor. So I’m going to take it easy this December and just concentrate on the things that need to be done.

So what have I been up to since my last My Week post back on 17th November?

  • Topher and I went to Coventry for a Christening of one of our friend’s children. Stayed in a Travelodge nearby and caught up with our uni mates.
  • I attended my first WeBlogNorth event in a while – really fun and great to catch up with people.
  • I did some in person work for an indie business who has a stand at the Manchester Christmas Markets.
  • Topher and I started watching Star Trek (the original series) from the beginning.
  • We saw Murder on the Orient Express at the cinema which we both loved. I can’t believe it took me right until the end to realise that Poirot was Gilderoy Lockhart from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets!
  • Christmas decorations went up at the weekend. And when I say Christmas decorations I mean the tree. I also bought some fairy lights so now we have two things. I really need to step up our decorating game. It’s happening though – some bits and pieces for me to craft are on the way so look out for those in a future blog post.
  • The first Christmas event I attended came and went. It was the Freelance Folk Christmas Lunch last Friday. It was a lovely afternoon and I’ve got a lot more events to look forward to.
  • And finally it looks like we’ll be able to get fibre internet very soon. It’s finally come to our area. We’ve been here almost two years and have been dealing with 1.2mb speed which has been horrible. Especially for me having to rely on it for my job. We actually got rid of our wifi all together earlier this year and now use hotspots from our phone. I can’t wait to have wifi again.

Also, I’m almost done gift shopping which is a relief. If you find yourself with not many names crossed off your list you should check out my Gift Guide for Her, for Him and my Indie Business Gift Guide where all the items are from small businesses.

How have you been this fortnight?

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Creative Gifts You Can Make For Your Loved Ones This Christmas

Christmas is a wonderful and magical time of year for anyone that celebrates it. You get to see friends and family that you wouldn’t normally see, overindulge on delicious food, and drink lots of tummy warming drinks. To add to it all we have all taken on the tradition of gift giving, which can turn out to be quite expensive if you have a large family. This year why not consider making some of your gifts to save you a penny or two, and also make it super personal for your loved one? Here are some creative gifts you can make for your loved ones this Christmas.

Creative Gifts

Source

Bracelets

Hand making bracelets and other pieces of jewelry allows you to add as many personal touches as you like for the recipient. They’re fairly simple to do and all you need to do is buy some chains, charms and tools to attach the charms to the bracelet. You can buy make your own jewelry packs easily in stores or on the internet, and choose the charms that fit the best to that person. Then all you will need is a cute display box (which if you’re feeling extra creative you could make these too!) to present it to them in and you’ve got yourself a lovely gift!

Cushions

If you’ve got children that you want to give a gift to within your family, then why not create a cushion in the shape of their favourite Disney character? You can easily get foam cut to size and all you will need after that is some material to create the character’s face. There are plenty of stencils available online that you could use. Pair that with some simple sewing skills and you will have a gorgeous cushion to give to the little ones (or any avid disney fan) in your family.

Scarves

A bit more of a difficult idea here, but knitting scarves would also be a great idea for hand making a gift for one of your loved ones. You don’t necessarily have to use any complicated stitches with your knitting, and you could even stick to one colour and then sew on something to make it more personal. There are a wide range of sewing tutorials that you can check out and easily learn from. Let’s face it, everyone needs a warm scarf at Christmas!

Food

Hand making food to give to someone would also be a fabulous and thoughtful idea for a gift this Christmas. If you’ve got a keen hand for baking then why not bake a delicious pie for them to enjoy over the Christmas period? Alternatively, you could pickle some onions and create a hamper for them to indulge in. the possibilities are endless.

Cards

Finally, hand making the cards that you’re going to be sending to your loves ones this year will add an even more personal touch to your Christmas. Much alike the cushions, you can find and download many different images and stencils to put on your Christmas cards. Add some glitter and voila!

 

Try these ideas for your gift giving this Christmas and make it as personal as possible!

*This is a collaborative post

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Indie Christmas Gift Guide 2017

So it’s Black Friday and time for my final gift guide: The Indie Christmas Gift Guide

I love doing my bit by shopping at independents wherever I can so here’s a few awesome gift ideas I’ve found:

Indie Christmas Gift Guide

1. Pads before Lads Keyring, £8 – Finest Imaginary

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Ideal for any of your friends who love their pets to the moon and back.

2. Tunnock’s Teacake Printed Cushion, £32 – Nikki McWilliams

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I love everything in Nikki’s shop and there is a biscuit design to suit everyone…unless your friend doesn’t like biscuits. And if so, why are you still friends with them? Just kidding!

3. World’s Okayest Blogger T-shirt, £13.20 – Sneaky Bacon Tees*

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Any blogger mates out there should get a good laugh out of this t-shirt. I think I might have to get this for myself.

4. Cat Planter, £7 – Big Fat Dreams*

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Plant lovers unite. This store has many cute planters that your green fingered friends will love.

5. Unicorn cross stitch kit, £8.50 – The Make Arcade*

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This store is full of awesome things you can make yourself. Perfect for a crafty friend who likes to dabble in all things arty.

6. Dinosaur Pin Badge, £7 – Thrift Box UK*

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Anyone else obsessed with pins? This origami dinosaur is so cute.

7. 90’s necklace, £18 – Just Daydreaming Shop*

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Nostalgic ladies look no further than this necklace. Who else loved the Spice Girls when they were a kid? This shop is full of fun acrylic jewellery.

8. Honeydukes Pin, £10.85 – Bunce and Bean*

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Perfect for a Harry Potter fan, this etsy store is full of detailed pins that would make any wizard (or muggle) squee in delight. That’s what I did when I found them…don’t judge.

9. Bubble Tea Earrings, £16 – Lorelai Lorelai*

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Full of loud and proud jewellery, these earrings are ideal for those who want to shout their love of bubble tea from the rooftops.

10. Sweatshirt, £30 – Hello Dodo Shop*

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I did have a good chuckle when I saw this sweatshirt – it’s just what your friend needs when she has nothing to wear on Wednesdays.

If you’re still stuck for ideas, check out my Christmas Gift Guide for Her and my Christmas Gift Guide for Him.

Items marked * are affiliate links. 

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