Original Christmas Gift Ideas for Mum & Dad

As parents we always think of our children first. This space is dedicated to parents and here are practical and original Christmas Gift Ideas for Mum & Dad. Buy yourself a present! It’s the best way to get what you want and when you want it. 🙂

THE RISE OF THE SELFIE – THE ULTIMATE SELFIE TOOL! click stick selfie tool photography

Last Summer I had a digital detox and felt good but now that I am back to my routine, I have gone back to my technology. There’s a new gadget on the market that allows you to take amazing selfies without feeling squeezed in the picture. This little gadget (that my husband labelled as useless) is called Click Stick and has become the new must-have for  all selfie lovers.

Let’s face it, everyone knows what a selfie is; if you’re unaware then frankly what rock have you been hiding under for the past year! We as a nation are obsessed with taking self-portraits. In the UK alone 51% of us are guilty of taking a selfie! That’s 35 million Selfies per month! The phenomenon that is the Selfie has taken over the world, and there is no indication of it slowing down.

So why do people love taking Selfies? Are we bunch of narcissists or is there a deeper rooted reason as to why we take Selfies? The answer is yes and no. On one hand, there is a sentimental aspect to it, capturing special moments and feelings is a large part of the selfie phenomenon, however it can be argued that Selfies promote image control and how you want to be viewed by others.

Selfies can be digitally manipulated; when uploaded onto a social media; a good filter and addition of witty hashtags add to the deception; the more likes you receive, the more you believe you are liked.

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A recent Survey on behalf of the Click Stick found out that:

Newcastle men pose the most, 25% of all the UK’s selfies are taken by men are taken by lads in Newcastle! Maybe those Geordies love to pose?

Liverpool are the Nations selfie lovers, with a staggering 67% of all residents taking a seflie!

Pouters! 69% of ladies snapping selfies in London, preferred a pout rather than a smile.

61% of selfies in Manchester included more than one person, showing that Manchester residents prefer group shots! What a friendly bunch they are!

46% of people who’ve taken a selfie admitted enhancing the photo before uploading.

Double Vision 35% of all drunken sefies takers admit removing pictures from social media platforms the next very morning.

london christmas santa selfie stick

Top 5 Cities for Group Selfies

1.            Manchester 61%

2.            London 47%

3.            Sheffield 45%

4.            Liverpool 44%

5.            Swansea 37%

As the Selfie evolves, so do the kind of Selfies we’re taking:

Belfie: A selfie of ones derrière (Kim Kardashian in a white swimsuit, anyone?)

Welfie: A workout selfie (Seriously? How does one have time to work out AND take selfies?)

Delfie: A drunken selfie (the one you’ll regret uploading in the morning)

Couplfie: A couple selfie (the ones singletons hate)

As ridiculous as they may sound, these new variations of the Selfie seem unlikely to go away. With different kind of selfies, means different ways of taking them.

We’ve all been there; you gather your mates for that massive group Selfie, you’re reaching for that button… And damn! You’ve just cropped yourself out! The Click Stick from Menkind costs £19.99 and makes taking Selfies a whole lot easier!

Designed to ease to the strain of taking selfies The Click Stick will drastically change the way you take Selfies, group shots and videos! No Bluetooth, pairing, or batteries needed. Simply, plug your Smartphone into the headphone socket, strike a pose and click the stick!

With a different kind of Selfies and a revolutionary way to take them, whether you love or hate it, the Selfie phenomena is a trend that’s not ready to die.

KitSound Revive DAB Radio

KitSound Revive DAB Radio christmas gift guide

This Christmas I am determined to only give and receive useful presents, only gifts that I don’t want to pass on once Christmas is over.

The KitSound Revive DAB Radio is a radio alarm clock that gives you access to both FM radio and hundreds of digital stations, providing a wider selection of music for you to choose from. Simply select the name of the station from the easy-to-read digital display. The dual alarm function let you wake-up to your favourite station, or if you need that extra 5 minutes in bed, set the sleep timer to program the Revive to turn off automatically after a set amount of time. KitSound products are available in most high street and online retailers such as AmazonUK. RRP: £40.00

 

 

 

GADGET TO STOP NUISANCE CALLS, THE UK’s BIGGEST ANNOYANCE

xmas gift guide review BT8500_nuisance call blocking phone

If you have ever worked from home, you would be familiar with those cold sales calls that are known as nuisance calls. Unwanted calls and automated recordings from PPI claim companies and sales people are Britons’ top annoyance, new research from BT has found. The average person in the UK receives six nuisance calls a week, amounting to more than 7.8 billion a year.Before coming across this new gadget, I received about three unwanted calls every day.

The bugbear ranked above queue jumpers, noisy neighbours and rude commuters as the biggest nuisance; with almost three quarters of people (74 per cent) agreeing that getting a nuisance call was the most annoying thing to happen to them. According to the poll of 2,000 people, 44 per cent find them so intrusive that receiving such calls physically raises their stress levels. In Newcastle, 80 per cent said it was the biggest irritation they had to deal with, while those in Norwich experience the highest stress levels as a result of nuisance calls (52 per cent).

In response, consumer champion and TV star Janet Street-Porter  launched the new BT8500 Advanced Call Blocker. The phone is BT’s most advanced call blocking phone to date, stopping up to 100 per cent of nuisance calls. Since adopting one of these gadgets myself, I haven’t received a single unwanted call! Best Christmas present ever! Highly recommended if you want a peaceful life.

Its “Call Guardian” feature, based on “trueCall” technology, sets this phone apart with the ability to intercept all calls from people not on the contact list. This virtual assistant asks unrecognised callers to announce their name prior to being connected, allowing users to accept or reject the call. Rejected numbers are then stored so they are blocked automatically if they call again and the phone can store up to 1,000 specific blocked numbers.

It has the ability to block withheld numbers and international numbers which account for a significant proportion of nuisance calls and users can also block by area code and mobile number[2]. There’s also a “Do Not Disturb” mode to give complete peace and quiet.

The BT8500 Advanced Call Blocker follows on from last year’s launch of the BT6500 Nuisance Call Blocker, which can stop calls from international, withheld and unknown numbers as well as ten specific numbers. The BT6500 quickly became BT’s fastest-ever-selling home phone. To further validate BT’s research and the need for the new BT8500 model, figures from Ofcom earlier this year analysing a four-week period in people’s homes, found that 84 per cent of landline customers experienced nuisance calls.

With BT’s research showing that the average Brit gets one of these unwanted calls almost once a day, it is no surprise that many have found a novel way of dealing with them, such as playing pranks on cold callers. Scots are one of the biggest jokers, with 10 per cent of them admitting to doing so.

Younger victims of nuisance callers are likely to be the most polite, with more than a third of 16 to 24 year olds (34 per cent) listening to what the caller has to say or telling them they are not interested. Those aged over 55 years are the most likely to feel angry if the call comes at an inconvenient time, with people in Leeds most likely to respond in this way (11 per cent).

Meanwhile, many Brits are being driven to drastic measures to avoid unwanted calls, with almost half of the country (45 per cent) not answering their landline during the day in case it is a nuisance caller. Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of people have resorted to unplugging their phone in order to get some respite from nuisance callers. This figure rises to 33 per cent in Cardiff and 35 per cent in Liverpool.

RRP: single £59.99, twin £79.99, trio £99.99 and quad £119.99

Available from the BT Shop and the following retailers: Amazon, Argos, Currys, John Lewis, Maplin, Sainsbury’s, and Tesco Direct.

 

Innovative tablet case for serial doodlers!

xmas gift guide gadgets tablet cover

Tablets and their accessories are at the top of many people’s Christmas gifts Wishlist. Brit brand, techair has just launched a new tablet case to the market, aimed at the younger generation, featuring a unique design which combines innovation and play. I should have added this in the kids’ gift  guide but I truly believe that parents should restrict children’s access to tablets and not provide unlimited access. Kids can now doodle and colour in the picture on their tablet case, which can then be personalised, wiped off and started again. This nifty design is different to anything else on the market and enables children (or indeed doodle happy big people!) to engage with the phenomena of tablets, even if they’re not quite sure how to use the device yet.  The idea is to help enable children from a young age to start their journey in IT, through the positive power of play and creativity. It is available from www.techair.co.uk in the universal sizes of 7’ (£19.99) and 10’ (£24.99), their low price point means they’d also be an affordable add-on for children’s first tablets. The water-based pens are provided with the case.   

Glacier Extreme Womens Long Waterproof Jacket

PURPLE GLACIER WNS LONG_JKT_SS14_1_p

I love purple and as soon as I saw this Jacket I fell in love with it. It’s the Glacier Extreme Womens Waterproof Jacket by Outdoor clothing company Mountain Warehouse and is great because it is a bit longer than the usual jackets on the market. It is great for everyday use in the elements or just for the school run. As part of the Mountain Warehouse Extreme range, this bestselling jacket comes with a three year waterproof guarantee and our IsoDry technology, to ensure you stay dry. It has a peaked hood and adjustable features that allow you to find your perfect fit with ease making this practical jacket a great companion on rainy dog walks and jaunts across the moors. The jacket is totally waterproof but be aware that it is more suitable for Autumn and Spring seasons rather than Winter as it is a bit thin. Get a bigger size than your normal size as it is a fitted garment which actually looks great the way it is but if you buy it a bit bigger than you can wear it also in Winter with thick jumpers underneath.  I also love the multiple Pockets (it has two front pockets, two internal pockets and one map pocket, all zipped) which are great keep the valuables dry and secure when rushing out to school or in town.  RRP £119.99 but is now on offer for only £59.99 (BARGAIN!).

 

 

Terrarium Design School Experience by THE INDYTUTE

I recently attended a workshop to learn how to design, plant and sustain a divine terrarium. You’ll leave having made your very own miniature, low-maintenance and on-trend biosphere.

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During the class you learn how to create your own easy-to-keep but totally beautiful indoor garden. I totally loved making it although my terrarium did not last more than two weeks probably due to my lack of gardening skills.

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It was lovely to master the art of wiggling little plants through thin bottlenecks (think cacti, succulents, orchids and tropicals) and making them snug with charcoal, stones and soil with teacher, Alyson Mowat – founder of the terribly stylish Botanique Boutique – a women on a mission to put lush, verdant jungles into beautiful glass containers.

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As well as being given all the materials you need to create your own terrarium, you learn how to make the tools to work with difficult bottle shapes (ever tried squeezing a cactus into a bottle?) and how to choose plants which thrive in their own microclimate.

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At the end of the day, you leave merrily clutching your own unique work of art. RRP £85 – The full workshop lasts 2.5 hours and you can book them through www.notonthehighstreet.com/theindytute/product/terrarium-design-school

 

HOME: TURTLE MAT

 

 

turtle mat

With Christmas jumper week nearly upon us, these festive mats from Turtle Mat are the perfect way to add a touch of Christmas fun to your home! Made from cotton and machine washable, the mats absorb dirt and any spillages, making it easier to look after your house.

You can use them to adorn the outside of the house with a festive mat or place one by the fireplace, on the kitchen floor or by your bed side and prepare for this wintery season in Santa style!

Christmas Jumper style RRP £47.95
Rudolph style RRP £47.95

All mats are machine washable and easy to put in the washing machine as they are a soft cotton, yet are durable. They are made from recyclable cotton and rubber so are better for the environment. They have been scientifically proven to trap 95% of wet mud, dust and dirt. They come with a 5 year guarantee ( they can be washed as many times as need). These mats are quality through and through!

VERSACE designs Limited Edition DI SARONNO Bottle

DISARONNO Wears VERSACE bottle and cocktail

 

 


I am not a drinker, in fact I am almost tea total but I always have a short shot of Amaretto DI SARONNO, the world’s favourite Italian liqueur that has a taste of almonds.It is sweet and clearly appeals to mums as well as dads. It is a special liquor that in Italy we normally serve at the end of a meal with Cantuccini biscotti. This Christmas Amaretto di Saronno shows off a glamorous new look, designed by no less than Versace. The luxury fashion house has dressed the iconic bottle in the decadent style for which it has earned its reputation worldwide. The DISARONNO wears VERSACE design takes its inspiration from the Versace Home Collection. The striking bottle will be draped in light blue and embellished with an opulent white and gold motif. This stylish drinks cabinet addition is the perfect gift for all fashion lovers this winter.

The project supports the charity ‘Fashion 4 Development,’ sponsored by the United Nations. DISARONNO will once again donate part of the proceeds towards the development of this unique project in Africa. The exclusive limited edition will be available now in stores across the UK. The suggested retail price of the 500ml bottle is £15.

Try this recipe for the DISARONNO VERSACE Sour’ cocktail, created for the occasion:
25ml DISARONNO
50ml Vermouth Bianco
15ml lime juice
Shake and pour over crushed ice
Top with a dash of Prosecco
Drizzle with Blue Curacao

 

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