Wednesday, 14 December 2016

A Christmas gift guide for the men. What to buy the men in you life. Christmas gifts from Lords gift shop, gifts and gadgets and more

Christmas gift guide for the men

I always find it difficult to buy gifts for my husband, Dad, father in law etc... at Christmas time. I'm always on the look out for something different other than the usual aftershave, slippers, smellies combo that I usually buy. 

I have put together a gift guide of a few gifts and gadgets that have caught my eye recently and don't forget there is still time to order online for pre Xmas delivery so get ordering! 

First up I found some wonderful gifts from the Lords gift online gift shop. My husband and father-in-law both like the cricket and I was surprised at the good range of gifts they had. As well as clothing, gifts and memorabilia they also do experiences such as bat making, afternoon tea and more. 

I found these fab gifts in their Christmas gift ideas section. First of all I found these Thomas Lord cufflinks which look great. They are a pair of silver-effect cufflinks bearing the Lord's badge on the face and EST. 1787 on the link. Priced at £15 which is great value and they come in a smart box to keep them safe when not in use.   

Thomas Lord badge cufflinks, £15.

Next I found this neoprene bottle badged bottle cooler. Ideal for keeping your beverage cool on a hot sunny day watching the cricket. Very reasonably priced at £5 and something that can be very handy for when your beer needs keeping chilled!  

Lords badged bottle cooler, £5.

I had to include this great Future Stars full double plastic cricket set. Ideal for the garden or on the beach. We were very kindly gifted a set to review and it has already been put to full use in the garden and with the handy carry bag it can be packed away. The children also took it to their grandparents for a game too. It is very easy to assemble and the bats are very easy to use even for my 4 year old. Priced at £30 it will last for ages and will see many competitive games of cricket amongst the family in the garden and on days out. 

Lords full double plastic cricket set with carry bag.

As a main gift my husband would absolutely love this Smarter Coffee wifi coffee machine. Features include; Control your coffee machine with your smartphone or tablet, Grind and brew fresh coffee beans automatically, on demand, Adjust the strength to suit your own personal tastes, Brew a single cup or 12 at once with the included Smart Carafe, Includes 3 interchangeable panels to match your kitchen decor. Currently on offer at Firebox with an amazing 45% off making it £98.99. My husband would love to wake up in the morning and get his morning coffee on the go without having left his bed! 

Smarter coffee machine currently £98.99 at Firebox

I found this beer bread set on Firebox too. Combining my husbands love of beer and a bit of cooking I thought this was a great gift to get him into the kitchen and get hands on with a bit of baking. With either chilli and garlic, Garlic and herb or Original flavour just add a beer (not included) to the dry ingredients and bake. It couldn't be easier. This costs £9.99 so a great price as a small gift for anyone who would love to bake bread with beer! 

Beer Bread from Firebox currently available in 3 different flavours

Last of all its the socks! Everyone always gets socks for Christmas but how about treating someone throughout the year by buying them a sock subscription for a length of time of your choosing. Socks in a box offers a sock subscription service where they deliver a pair of socks a month for the length of time you subscribe for. With offerings such as the fun and casual 'Dude' style to the All Alpaca style. You can choose which ones fit best to your recipients tastes and get them sent out. Prices start from £19.99 for 3 months with lots of styles to choose from.  

Socks in a box 'Dude' style socks

So whatever you decide for the man in your life I hope some of these ideas help. Have you bought your presents already? Or are you a last minute shopper? 

Thursday, 8 December 2016

A visit to my local Hotter Shoes store, what's instore this season and some fab boots and shoes for Winter.

I recently got invited to my local Hotter Shoes store to see what they had on offer for the Winter season. 

I will be the first to admit that when I first got the email I thought 'Oh that's where my Nan shops' and I know others think that too however Hotter shoes have some fab styles to suit everybody and they had so much choice, in fact too much choice! 

A soon as I walked in there were lots of staff on hand to help out with everything. We had a quick talk through the history of the company which again I never realised how much Hotter Shoes had grown over recent years. 

In February 2010 there were just 5 Hotter stores and now there are over 80. Hotter is also the biggest shoe manufacturer and they make a pair of shoes every 20 seconds. 

Hotter shoes started making slippers and now they make shoes as comfortable as slippers, trust me I can vouch for that! The soles of the shoes are filled with millions of air bubbles and secret Comfort Concept features in every pair including cushioning, flexibility, lightness and wiggle room for toes. 

I couldn't believe how much choice there was in store. I had fun trying on lots of different shoes and boots and fell in love with them all. They were so comfortable and lightweight too and fitted so well. 

Hotter shoes come in sizes 3 to 9 with some extra fit options available on certain styles. 

I chose the County boot on black which is also available in burgundy and tan. I wanted something suitable for the school run plus lots of walking and these fitted perfectly. I have worn them almost constantly since I got them and they still look great. They are so comfortable and have done the school run, woodland walks, city visits and more. 

The County boot available in black, burgundy or tan leather. The most comfortable boots I have ever owned! 

I also fell in love with the Vanity boot which is a heeled boot available in teal or purple with a zip detail to the side. I was so torn between the 2 styles and would love a pair of heeled boots but went for the practical pair of shoes which still look fab. I must grab a pair of the Vanity boots too though! 

The gorgeous Vanity boot in purple and teal

Other styles include the Lotty boot which has a buckle detail, small heel and available in black, chocolate or tan nubuck and the Samia boot with small heel, zip up side and available in black leather or navy/truffle suede. The Stevie shoe also caught my eye. With  a patent look on both the black and truffle colourway, a chunky sole and perfect for work or play! 

Lotty Boot

Samia boot

Stevie shoe

Donna heeled shoe

 So if you are looking for some new Winter boots or something special for the festive season go and check out a Hotter shoes store or hop over to their website where they have such a fab selection available and it really is like walking on air!!

Days out with the children over the Christmas holidays. Oxygen Freejumping trampoline park is the place to be!

Oxygen Freejumping trampoline park

This year the Things finish school on Friday 16th of December so we have a full week before Christmas to keep them occupied whilst they are excited about Christmas arriving. 

It's sometimes difficult to fill the days with things to do as the weather turns cold but we recently visited Oxygen Freejumping trampoline park and it's perfect for a festive fun family day out. 

Part of the interconnecting trampoline area.

So what’s special about Oxygen Freejumping trampoline park? They’ve got 150 interconnected trampolines for you to explore, a mega airbag to practice your moves, performance trampolines so that you can gain some serious airtime, dodgeball courts to challenge your friends, a super squishy foam pit to leap into and lots more activities to get you bouncing!

We visited the Oxygen Freejumping trampoline park in Southampton and they also have sites in London (Acton), Leeds, Derby. Manchester, Wigan, Croydon and Sheffield. 

The Things absolutely loved the trampoline park. You book for an hour and have full use of every part of the trampoline park. Whether you just want to bounce around the interconnecting trampolines or throw yourself onto the airbag to show off your unique moves. 

After around half an hour of trying out the trampolines we lost Thing 3 and 4 to the dodgeball courts and they loved it. There was a Oxygen Freejump employee in situ and who also joined in. There were 16 trampolines in all and each person kept to their own trampoline. The children played against other children and there were some adults in there too but they kept to one half of the trampolines. We had to drag the children out at the end of our one hour session! 

Thing 3 enjoying the dodgeball area, watch out!

Thing 1 enjoyed the interconnecting trampolines which cover the floor and also some walls so you can jump upwards, sideways and just keep bouncing for a whole hour. 

Thing 1 trying out the trampolines

They also loved the airbag, although Thing 4 was a bit apprehensive but after his first go he was happy to queue up for more! 

Thing 4 flying into the airbag. Once he had tried it once he went back again and again! 

Each freejump session runs for an hour and costs £10 per person with £2 for trampoline socks too. If you want a longer bounce time just book consecutive sessions. 

The Oxygen Freejump park in Southampton is open over Christmas excluding Christmas Day only, do check other parks opening times before travelling. 

They also run Little O's sessions for the younger visitors, Dodgeball Nights, Student Nights, Fitness and Peaceful Play (Autism and Disability Friendly sessions). You can access a full timetable on their website to see when each session runs. 

All of the Things (age range from 4 to 19 years) really enjoyed the Oxygen Freejumping park. It's a great activity and would be a fab activity for over the Christmas holidays to keep the children entertained (and to tire them out!) 

Check out the Oxygen Freejumping website for a list of parks, activities, booking slots and opening times. 

There is also a visit to Santa's Grotto that you can add on to your freejumping session. See the link for more details. 

So what are you waiting for? Get booking for a bounce, book for the family or book for the children (freejumpers aged over 5 can jump unsupervised), grab a coffee and 5 minutes peace from the festive chaos and book a visit to see Santa whilst you are there too.