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*

notonthehighstreet.com - luna

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*

original_personalised-solid-copper-polaroid-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.

Shutters -hampton_vivid_white_cafe

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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Upgrading The Aesthetic Of Your Home Benefits You More Than You Think

Pexels

We all love our homes. But how often do we adapt them to suit our current tastes? We might find ourselves to be the type of person who often changes what we want and what we enjoy quite often, meaning that a large investment in a complete redecoration can seem financially unfeasible compared to how often you feel accustomed to changing it. Not only that, but the effort we must go to for a complete makeover can be a demotivating factor in itself.

Upgrading the aesthetic of your home benefits you more than you think however. This is worthy of examination, especially if you haven’t taken the plunge for some time. Not only does redecorating help you feel fresh and new in your home, but an updated space helps lend you fresh perspective on your living environment and as such your living tastes. We are connected with our environment more than we realise from day-to-day, so it’s important to treat it with the same respect we do our bodies. Not only can upgrading a room help you gain a new lease on life, but it may help you feel more motivated to upgrade the other variables in your living situation to more profoundly suit you.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

 

New Colours

You’d be surprised at how different a room can look with a new fresh paint, or new furniture set all themed around a select look. It may help the light play in the room in a much more attractive way, to such an extent that the room seems bigger. Even in the depths of winter where you hope to stay cosy and warm, light colours can help a room flourish. Not only this, but colours have proven to provoke emotions when we’re exposed to them, meaning spending plenty of time in a drab and dark environment can make you feel the same way. Consider a new lick of paint, it might just work the wonders you crave.

 

Start Small

No one ever said that redecorating a room should be undertaken all at once. The beauty of home decoration is that it can proceed at your own pace, the pace you are most comfortable with. Starting small such as purchasing a white gloss extending dining table, a new leather sofa, or a large mirror to help double the size of your room from a perspective standpoint can all be large and worthwhile additions that don’t break the bank to begin with. Implementing these new features can help you think along the lines of future improvement. You never know, one item may help click into place the aesthetic you were unsure about going for in the first instance. It’s always worth a try.

 

Sell Unnecessary Items

Everyone has plenty of junk around the house, and just like mental cobwebs, these can become stifling and oppressive. Never be afraid to throw out or sell old items to fund your new redecoration. Doing so can help you shed years of fatigue from your home and mind. See, not all decoration is simple home improvement. Cleaning yourself out this way can help you ‘reset,’ much like a spring clean does. You’ll also be growing a handy reserve of funding that gives you the opportunity to upgrade further.

 

With these tips, you’re sure to experience a resurgence in your home life and general energy.

This is a collaborative post.

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Manchester Ideal Home Show and Eat & Drink Festival 2017

It’s that time of year again! Topher and I had a great time at the Ideal Home Show last year so when I was offered a free ticket to go again this year I said yes straight away. Since Topher works during the week at a school now, I brought along Emma.

Eat & Drink Festival - chair

There was an eat and drink section of the show last year but now they’ve gone all out and given it an official festival right alongside the home show. Being a foodie, this was definitely the bit I was looking forward to the most!

Eat & Drink Festival - entrance

There were so many amazing stalls and we had such a good time trying samples and storing away cards for a later date. I may have also purchased some flavoured tequila! It was too much to resist. Otherwise I was very well behaved with my purse. I do have a honeymoon to save for after all.

Eat & Drink Festival - decor

It wasn’t too hard to find the rum…

Eat & Drink Festival - rum ship

Eat & Drink Festival - macaron

How cool is this little drinks van? I wish we could have had something like this for our wedding!

Eat & Drink Festival - prosecco van

Eat & Drink Festival - fudge

How awesome is this fudge? So pretty!

Eat & Drink Festival - fudge closeup

And this Pimm’s teapot was amazing. I wish I had one of these in my garden.

eat & drink festival - pimms teapot

There was loads going on from workshops, to live demonstrations and we walked away with so many ideas.

Eat & Drink Festival - stage

Eat & Drink Festival - stalls

Then it was over to the Ideal Home Show section.

Eat & Drink Festival - ideal home show

My favourite bit definitely had to be the little room set ups they had. I don’t even have kids but I want this room below. The wallpaper is gorgeous.

Eat & Drink Festival - kids room

This room really makes me happy but I now want to go on holiday!

Eat & Drink Festival - dining room

I really like the wallpaper in both the room above and below though I don’t think I’d use it in such a large room. I have an idea to use it in our downstairs bathroom to give it a bit of personality. At the moment it just looks like more of a store cupboard than a guest bath.

Eat & Drink Festival - living room

Eat & Drink Festival - giant table and chairs

We had a great day and will definitely be back next year – especially for the Eat & Drink festival. 

Thanks to the Ideal Home Show for my ticket!

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Winner of Tickets to Manchester’s Ideal Home Show and Eat & Drink Festival

And the winner is…

Lorraine Kirk! 

Well done! Check your inbox for an email from me 🙂

As for everyone else, thank you so much for entering. If you were unlucky this time, take yourselves to the tickets page of the Ideal Home Show’s website as tickets only cost £12.50 in advance (£16 on the door) and children under 16 go free. It’s an event not to be missed.

I know I’ll be going!

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