Last Minute Christmas Gift Guide

If you’ve finished your Christmas shopping – well done you, I’m impressed! If you’re a bit more like me though you’ll be rushing around to get some last minute bits. Here I list some suggestions for you!


Art of Football Coutinho T-Shirt £14.99

Art of Football create hand crafted designs try to emulate the energy, passion and euphoria that erupts from that one magical kick of a football. They only produce a limited number of each design, so your t-shirts & prints, like any good piece of art, are exclusive and completely original.

For the little (or big) football fan in your life these t-shirts are perfect. These are not your average football tops, these are something special. These are pieces of art. That artwork captures the excitement of the game, I’ve seen all the men in my family laugh, cry and maybe even a few expletives slipping out while watching and it’s hard not to get caught up in the moment with them too. Champions League 2005 is a stand out for me, watching from behind a cushion with my teen. Choose your team – in our case Liverpool- and then your  item, available are great quality t-shirts, sweats, prints/canvases and also other sports such as rugby and boxing. So if you’re looking for something a little bit special I’d definitely recommend having a look at these guys.

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My Pocket Money Toy Christmas Eve Box

We’ve reviewed some amazing My Pocket Money Toy boxes before here , here and here and this time we’re delighted to be trying out the Christmas Eve version of it. If your kids are anything like mine Xmas lists are already starting to be written and you’ve threatened them with being put on the naughty list unless they start to behave.


The box comes with very festive green tissue paper and red frilly card with a letter from Santa Claus letting them know they’re on the nice list!


Onto the box contents which the kids couldn’t wait to get their hands on:


Contents in no particular order:

  • The Puppet Company Gingerbread Man Puppet
  • Keycraft Santa Wind Up
  • Choc O Lait Chocolate Dissolve
  • Little Blue House Crew Socks
  • The Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Co Christmas Chocolate Pizza
  • Gibsons Christmas Snooze Puzzle
  • Melissa & Doug Stained Glass Santa
  • Hodder Childrens Books How To Catch Santa
  • Rachel Ellen Christmas Colouring Book
  • Bag of reindeer food complete with tinkly bell

As you can see there are loads of things to keep them amused whilst waiting for Santa to visit. We all know how excited they get just before the Big Man comes so anything that can divert their attention is a good thing!

Excitingly there’s even a mini version of the Christmas Eve box for Mums/Dads/Grandparents or anyone else you think would like one!


This one also comes with the festive green tissue paper and contains some fab items to get you in the mood for the excitement of Christmas Day.


Contents of mini box:

  • Little Blue House Christmas Light Socks
  • Choc O Lait Chocolate Dissolve
  • The Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Co Christmas Chocolate Pizza
  • Shaggy Stag Christmas Tree Ornament

I really liked the ornament as it’s handmade in Scotland and something just a little bit different to the normal baubles etc that I buy.

Our favourites were the chocolate pizzas, they didn’t last long and the puzzle as we could all get involved in that. I think these boxes are a brilliant idea for Christmas Eve, as Christmas Eve boxes are really popular at the moment – I’d have loved this as a kid I’m sure and my children loved it!

The Christmas box we received is priced at £30 and the mini box at £15 which I’d say is well worth the money as it takes away the hassle of looking for the individual items yourself , which I’m terrible for leaving til the last minute! As well as the brilliant Christmas boxes there are options for monthly subscription boxes and one off boxes:

julie-x-2 (1)

*We were gifted the boxes for the purpose of this review however all opinions remain honest and my own*

Monday Stumble Linky


It’s Christmas When…

When you’re up to your eyeballs in fighting kids and sprouts – they do make great missiles I’ll grant you but pack it in I actually really like them. Actually they make pretty good weapons before AND after they’ve been eaten. Stinky.

When you’ve run out of room to hide the presents and you find yourself screaming ‘nooooooo’ every time you hear someone open a cupboard door even if the poor sod is just trying to get the Shreddies out with a look of fear in their eye.

When you think you might die if you have to set foot inside another sodding shop where everyone walks at the pace of a snail and you find yourself cuddled up to the most unsavoury of characters in the scrum at Argos. Sweaty armpit to the face. Cheers then. You think it’s freezing outside so you wear your ‘big’ coat out but then you feel like a roasted turkey after 10 minutes inside a shop.

When you don’t know whether to choose the golden goose egg, unicorn poo or dinkleberry infused sausage meat so you buy them all then panic about what the hell you’re going to do with it ‘cos the freezer is already threatening to burst open at any moment throwing your satay sticks and 4000 mega pack of Iceland mini sausage rolls all over the kitchen.

When you’ve whispered “ffs give me a break”435 times between 6.30 and 9am but the kids continue to Karate Kid each other and the other half can’t find ‘the thing’ they’re looking for even though it’s right there, right there bloody looking at them. Argghhh.

When you’ve threatened the kids with the naughty list so many times even Santa himself is thinking he’d quite like to use up some of his annual leave to have a Groupon bargain spa day and slob around in his vest and pants. That suit gets a bit ‘chafey’ you know?!

When you’ve already replaced 3 boxes of Quality Street because they were there, taunting you. Calling out to you while you were minding your own business watching Eastenders. Such attention whores.

When you still have to work Christmas Eve and look longingly at everyone else with their bucket sized glass of Baileys photographed in their hand in front of the twinkly Christmas Tree. I don’t hate them *gritted teeth* I don’t. I just hope it curdles, you gits.

You know it’s Christmas. It’s easy to feel stressed and like you just can’t wait for it to be over and nothing you do is ever good enough. I was feeling like this up until today but then 2 different people at different times came into my workplace to bring me a present just for being there. Now these people are just people who I wouldn’t have said I’d done anything particularly special for but they saw it differently. I had listened, maybe I’d pulled a few strings and then put it out of my mind but something I’d done had made a difference to these people.

So you know what?

I am bloody good enough and I can’t wait for the Big Red Man.

Merry Christmas You Filthy Animals!


Monday Stumble Linky


Childrens Gift Ideas

Christmas is creeping ever closer and if you’re anything like me you haven’t finished (or even started even) getting all those presents, so here are a few ideas for childrens gifts. I don’t like to say whether they are boy or girl as my daughter loves being a superhero one minute and Elsa the next so I personally think you can buy them for either.


1 Mitre Personalised Football £30

This lovely personalised fooball come in 3 different colours  (Green, Red and Blue), just add add in your recipients name on ordering and it will be added to the front of the ball. Think it’s going to be a mission to wrap up? Worry not, it comes in an easy to wrap gift box! Phew! Your fab footie present will be delivered fully pumped up within five days, making it the ideal gift for any footy fan – no matter what their age! Kids love to have something with their name on it don’t they!

2 Super Mario Bros Pixel Craft Magnets from Paladone £5.99

720 magnetic pixels for your little Mario fan (if you let them get their hands on them- how much fun?!) to create Mario characters or designs such as the easily recognisable coin, mushroom or flower  as illustrated on the packaging. Hours of fun.

3 Butterkist Christmas Popcorn range from MRRSP £1.49*

If you’re looking for a sweet treat to add to the little one’s stockings and fancy giving something a bit different then these new Butterkist flavours are just the thing! They come in Gingerbread, Salted Caramel and Choc Mallow flavours and are perfect for that lazy afternoon over the Christmas period watching a family film. The Choc Mallow ones are my faves. Yum!

LEGO Star Wars Episode VII Keylights £6.99

Light up the ‘dark side’ wherever you are with these cute minifigure keylights featuring Star Wars – The Force Awakens characters. Just press their chest to light up their feet! The perfect gift for LEGO or Star Wars fans of any age! Lots of different characters to choose from. Who’s your favourite?

Detective Dot Megapack £16.99

‘Detective Dot’ aims to inspire the next generation of kids to be coders, it’s the perfect gift for smart kids aged 8+ this Christmas and will inspire them to learn more about coding and the world around them using cool female role models, stories and personalised missions. The pack is delivered in a Top Secret envelope addressed to your child – the face is a picture when it comes through the door –  with a personalised invitation to join the CIA.  Kids can become lifelong CIA members and the pack gives them cool agent stuff and secret missions to complete which gets them thinking critically about the world around them.

The Megapack contains:

•Detective Dot Book
•CIA Membership Card
•7 fun missions to complete
•A personalised letter from the CIA
•CIA Sticker Sheet
•Lifelong CIA Membership (for a limited time, the first 500 applicants will become founder members of the CIA

6 K’NEX K-FORCE K-5 Phantom Buildable Blaster

K’nex is always a hit for us and now you can blast darts with it too! Build your blaster, load the clip with up to 10 darts, and the new motorized rapid fire chamber will fire darts as fast as you can pull the trigger! This set comes complete with one motorized rapid fire chamber, a 10 dart clip, 10 foam darts, one quick fit grip and downloadable instructions for six additional custom blasters and targets. All in fun, bright colours. Great for running off the Xmas dinner with the kids!


* Butterkist Choc Mallow Popcorn 170g available at Tesco, Sainsburys & Asda
Butterkist Salted Caramel Popcorn 160g available at Tesco & Ocado
Butterkist Gingerbread Popcorn 150g available at stores nationwide

*Some of the items were gifted for the purposes of this guide however all opinions remain honest and my own*

Christmas Gift Ideas For Her

The Big Man isn’t so far away now is he? I certainly haven’t finished my Christmas shopping yet and here are a few gift ideas (hint, hint hubby) for the lady in your life be it your significant other, Mum, sister, bestie or anyone you fancy buying a gift for really!



 Homedics Rokit Salon Gel Nails system from £69.99

This nifty little kit lets you get Christmas perfect nails in the comfort of your own home for a fraction of the cost and without having to make time to go to a salon. As a busy Mum time is precious so being able to sit and do your nails whilst enjoying the soaps is spot on. I never have the time or inclination to do my nails every couple of days so the best part is they stay glossy for up to two weeks. The kit comes with:

•Professional LED Curing Lamp (mains powered)
• Built in treatment timers
• 5ml All-In-One Gel Polish – Postbox Red and Shock Pink (10 applications per bottle). Additional colours of the All-In-One Gel Polish available at £14.99 each
• 50ml ‘Ready’ nail remover, nail file, buffer & cuticle stick and 20 x lint free nail cleansing pads


 S+ from Resmed £129.95

One thing us parents would really love for Christmas is a decent nights kip. So this is the nearest thing I could find to help with that little wish!! The S+ is the world’s first non-contact, fully comprehensive sleep tracking system, which features patent-protected SleepSensor technology. The S+ makes it possible to track, analyse and improve sleep at home without a wristband, electrodes or mattress strips. Place the pod at a suitable place above your mattress and it will work it’s magic tracking your movements to assess whether you are for example in light or deep sleep. You can sync it with your Smartphone to give you lots of information on how you can improve your sleep, such as lighting and give you an overall sleep score which you can then use to start improving your quality of sleep.


Lindt Maxi Ball from Wilko  £10.00

Serious brownie points to be earned if you get one of these for the lady (or anybody else) in your life. It’s a huge 550g worth of the gorgeous chocolate balls with the melty middles. Hard to leave alone once you’ve started!


Jaeger Flat Circle Ring £25

I like my jewellery to be a bit unusual so I thought this flat circle ring in brushed sterling silver was lovely. I don’t personally like gold jewellery but if that’s more your thing it also comes in gold and also has matching bracelet, necklace and earrings.


Selfish Mother MAMA Sweatshirt £45

Selfish Mother clothing is always something I lust after and this in particular is great as 50% of the proceeds of the sale go to Cancer Research UK. So you get a gorgeous, stylish warm jumper and a good feeling that you’re giving money to a great cause.

Hardback Bridget-Jones's-Baby-The-Diaries-by-Helen-Fielding-asda

Hardback Bridget Jones’s Baby: The Diaries by Helen Fielding from Asda £7.00

If you’ve seen the movie you’ll know how hilarious it is. If not this is a must read before the DVD comes out in January. Bridget as per has a chaotic pregnancy and the theme throughout is ‘whodunnit’? Laugh out loud funny.


*Some of the items featured were gifted for the purpose of this guide however all opinions and other gift ideas are my own*

Surviving Christmas

In the run up to Christmas everything seems to go mad, the kids are bouncing off the walls in excitement and you never seem to have enough time to get things done so if you’re anything like me you can end up feeling a bit stressed!

We were sent a beautiful Christmas Survival Kit by Room to Grow – a British Children’s bedroom furniture and accessories retailer – to help things just run a little smoother! There’s a link for a chance to win one for yourself below too!






Dance in your pants

Well not really it’s far too cold but for getting into the spirit of Christmas what better than a Christmas CD? Mix that with Michael Buble and you’ve got the perfect recipe for writing those to do lists or doing the ‘big Christmas clean up’ everyone sings into their feather duster, don’t they?!

Keep ’em occupied

For me a lot of the run up to Christmas is keeping the kids occupied and giving them things to do to keep them busy. In the box were letters we could send to ‘Santa Christmas’ (my daughter keeps getting herself muddled up and it’s stuck!) which the kids couldn’t wait to write. Let’s hope they’ve been good enough for the man himself to turn up on Christmas Eve!

It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a lovely family movie to watch and they can be an absolute lifesaver when the kids are getting over excited and you want a way of just taking them down a notch. We love to get the duvets down to the settee, get more popcorn than is strictly necessary, close the curtains, chill out and watch. So the ‘Elf Buddy’s Musical Christmas’ DVD in the box was perfect for this. We even got a lovely little Itty Bitty reindeer to cuddle while we watched.

We played a game of ‘hide the chocolate coin’ kept them busy for a while, well until someone sneakily ate one or two of course!! Could try it with Quality Street instead although I think you’d be stuffed by the end! Hey, it’s Christmas. Why not.

The kit also contained some really fun photo props for getting those fun Instagram photos which the kids had great fun putting together and then posing for their photos! HAven’t tried using anything like this before but I thought it was great fun.


Annnnnd relax

When the kids have (finally) gone to bed it’s great to try and find some ‘me time’ to relax, I try to have a soak in the bath just to take the weight off from all the stresses and strains after a long day of manic Christmas shopping so was very pleased to see a very festive gingerbread man soap included which smelled gorgeous! There were even a couple of mulled fruit infusion teabags for that relaxing cuppa. Prosecco or gin may be more your thing?!

And if all else fails? At least you’ve still got your marbles (there’s a bag of those included – just in case.)

Room To Grow are giving you a chance to win a Christmas Survival Kit of your own! Just pop over to their blog here and enter the really easy giveaway!

How do you survive Christmas? Do you have a plan or just wing it like me?


*We were sent the box free for the purposes of this post however all opinions are honest and my own*

Things I have liked/loved December

So Christmas is more or less over 😦 but it has been a lovely month – I love Christmas!I’m linking with the gorgeous Stevie at A Cornish Mum for Ten Things.

1.Getting our favourite book out – not that it has to be read at Christmas but it seems much more fun to think of Father Christmas doing the wee-wee dance when it’s actually Christmas!


2.I actually got to go out,like out with adults…well that term can be used loosely…for my work Xmas do.We went to a Hilton hotel near us for a Festive Disco night.I think I’m getting old though as I enjoyed watching other people making tits of themselves more than being one of them!My daughter helped me get ready and by get ready I mean stick fingers in all my make-up and smear it everywhere.

IMG_9068 (1)

3.Kids Christmas parties.Great fun.There’s always one kid off their face on Fruit Shoot and charging around around like a rhino.Not one of mine this year thank god.They were too busy Gangnam Styling.Father Christmas was busy rolling his eyes at 6 year olds asking for Iphones.


4.Lazy Christmas movie days – an excuse to sit on your arse and eat crap whilst the kids are chilled out.Win,win.


5.Nativity’s for some unknown reason make me sob every time!Can’t share any pics as there are lots of other kids in them but I love going to see my children in them even if I do need to take a box of Kleenex with me!

6.Using the Christmas tree as a background for photos!Makes a change from clearing a load of crap out of the way so you don’t get the ironing basket in all it’s glory!


7.Christmas dinner.Eating til it pours out of your ears.I blooming love it!All the trimmings and tonnes of sprouts!

8.Getting together with family,even the one’s that get on your nerves.It’s only once a year and it’s not Christmas til one of your kids has ruined your Mum’s best tablecloth spilling their orange juice.Or you’ve been caught rolling your eyes at someone’s knobhead boyfriend.

9.Presents,of course.It lovely to give and receive.How lovely is seeing the kids faces Christmas morning?!

10.Chocolate.Lots and lots of lovely chocolate.Doesn’t count if it’s Christmas it’s calorie free see.Oh wait…why won’t my jeans fit?!

A Cornish Mum


How I Thought I’d Parent and What Really Happens!

Thanks for hopping over from Lycrawidow and welcome to my post for  day 10 of #12daysofparenting. Todays Sponsor is Gumigem
and you can win a Bubbabag. Full details can be found on the #12daysofparenting page here and all entries to be completed via the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


How I Thought I’d Parent And What Really Happens!

I wasn’t totally naive I knew it wouldn’t be a walk in the park.It was still a major shock to the system though!

I thought i’d be a bit tired after being woken a few times in the night.I wasn’t expecting to be dribbling on my toast by 8.30 after one or other child decided to throw an all nighter.Inevitably they’d then promptly fall asleep just in time for the school run and have the mother of all screamy,snotty tantrums when you try and wake them up to go.

I thought I would have great fun doing crafty things and making all sorts of nonsense from lollipop sticks but in reality I bloody hate crafting.I hate the mess and I don’t have an artistic bone in my body.Instead of what,in my mind,is an awesome idea made with paint,PVA glue and glitter ends up looking like something vomited on a pavement.Mister Maker I am not.

I never thought I’d have to use the jolly red guy as a bargaining tool with my kids or even download an app that rings on demand when they’re being particularly gittish.Poor old Santa must be sick of the “phonecalls” he has to make.They’ve been on and off the naughty list like sodding yoyo’s!

Little Santa

I thought I’d be patient but nope.I’m actually a bit shouty and swear under my breath when someone calls me for the 3234567th time in an hour to pass them something that’s actually right next to them!

I said I’d never let them sleep in my bed.I lied.All of ’em ended up in with us at some point (not all together mind you) and at 3am when they’re screaming blue murder and you have to be up at 6.30 for work I confess I regularly said “oh for god’s sake just get in here and go to sleep”.



For more day 10 posts please hop on over to  Cookies and Cwtches where you can gain further entries into the grand prize draw. Full terms and conditions can be found on the Mummies Waiting website. UK residents only.

My code word is Yule






Our Family Christmas Traditions

Thanks for hopping over from Mummies Waiting and welcome to my post for  day 4 of #12daysofparenting. Todays Sponsor is Bambini & Me
and you can win a sleep bag.. Full details can be found on the #12daysofparenting page here and all entries to be completed via the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Today I’m writing about the traditions we have in our family at Christmas.

We tend to start off by having a bit of a tiff over what we’re having for breakfast.In my family we ALWAYS had Quality Street and in the hubby’s family they had a cooked breakfast.Chocolate or fry-up?No contest in my eyes plus I really can’t eat a full english before putting away Turkey and all the trimmings!

One of the only times my 17 year old will spend time with me is to watch the Dr Who Christmas Day special.It’s something we’ve done for several years.We leave the others to snooze off the monster dinner while we sit in the dark – has to be dark and watch.Lately he has to be surgically removed from his phone so will be interesting to see if he can leave the thing alone!!

I take the kids to the panto every year in Cardiff.I think I enjoy it more than them if I’m honest – oh yes I do!My Mum has come with us every year since – well time began I think -but this year she will be away on holiday so she won’t be coming 😦

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Despite everyone else in my house hating Xmas pudding – what is wrong with these people?!I always go on a hunt for a “free from” one as I have a nut allergy.Harder than it sounds!Mind you I found some individual ones at Morrison’s last year and accidentally put 10 in the trolley.Has to have cream on it too,none of that brandy muck mind you.Good old fashioned double cream for me.

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My code word is baubles





How having kids changed my Christmas

Thanks for hopping over from  The Mummy Balancing Act and welcome to my post for the Day 3 of #12daysofparenting. We have many prizes to give away. Full details can be found on the #12daysofparenting page here and all entries to be completed via the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Here’s how having kids changed my Christmas!

I honestly can’t imagine having a Christmas without kids now,despite the fact that they always decide they’ve just got to have the toy that you traipse around the shops/trawl the internet til the small hours for and can you find it in stock?Can you buggery.

As a kid I was always up early,like your Mum uses a naughty word early.There was one year my brother and I got up aged 5&6 to “cook” Christmas dinner and by cook I mean take everything out of the freezer and let in defrost on a plastic cooker.Words were had I can tell you.My kids however,believe it or not have to be dragged out of bed every year.I’m sat there all excited and they’re all snoring away!!

I always loved opening my presents to find out what Santa had brought me but now that’s transferred to my kids.The look on their faces when they open the presents they’ve had is brilliant.That little jama jig they do when they see “he’s been” is just awesome.Right?

As a kid I ripped off that paper with glee not giving a stuff where it went but now my kids do it too,drowning in Mount Paper isn’t quite so much fun and that blooming glitter that seems to be on everything hangs about for months.You know how distracting it is when someone talks to you with a bit of glitter on their face?!

I used to work in a nightclub back in my younger,could handle the late nights days and loved having a laugh with all my colleagues at all the drunken people trying to drag someone unsuspecting under the mistletoe.There was always a couple hanging on at the end snogging each others faces off and had to be “ejected” by the burly bouncers.Now I’m just as happy staying at home and spending Christmas Eve wrapping the last few presents and making sure everything looks fab for when the kids (finally) get up.

Meeting Father Christmas!
For more day 3 posts please hop on over to Lycrawidow where you can gain further entries into the grand prize draw. Full terms and conditions can be found on the Mummies Waiting website. UK residents only.

My codeword is Big