Sunday, 30 September 2012

Gift ideas that will not break the bank

Some of us are going to be on a limited budget this Christmas. So, rather than just throwing our hands up in despair, why not think smart?

If if you buy books as presents, check out www.amazon.co.uk or www.amazon.com. There are often bargain books available and you can also send Amazon Gift Vouchers, too.

Check out eBay for bargains. But do be careful. Ensure that it is a trader with a good reputation. You need to ensure that if a branded item is advertised on eBay that a branded item is what is delivered to your house.

What about a unique present that will not cost you the earth?

For my wife's birthday I presented her with a t-shirt that had a unique piece of artwork on the front and the back. In all likelihood there will never be another t-shirt quite like it! And my wife loved it! Getting t-shorts, fleeces, mugs, mousemats, hats, etc., etc., printed up as one off special jobs is easier and less expensive than you might think.

Tesco offers this service in store in stores that print photographs and most jobbing printers and some photographic shops offer this service too.

Or you can buy the transfers for making you own printed t-shirts at most good office supply companies or from Amazon. That way you can give your family the same design, or you can print a special unique design just for them.

Do you have any art and craft skills? If you can paint, why not make a special and unique work of art for someone? They can make good conversation pieces in their home.

Buy an old, but sturdy, piece of furniture, strip it of all the old varnish or paint and repaint it, perhaps with modern designs on it? That will make another nice one-off gift for someone special.

Get some clear glass vases, storage jars, bowls, etc., and use glass paints on them to create some unique and stunning works of art. These can look very effective  and even someone with no real artistic bent can create a unique and interesting coloured glass object.

Candle making can be fun. Many craft shops stock materials for making candles. And if you make them in glass holders, you can paint the holder to make it a doubly unique and interesting gift.

Glass painting kits and materials and candle making kits and materials are available from Amazon. As are oil, acrylic and water paints and blank canvases for you to start creating your masterpieces for friends and family this Christmas!

If you are comfortably well-off but have a friend or a relation who is not, an ideal present is A Christmas hamper. You can buy these off the shelf or on the Internet, or you can build one yourself. A wicker basket can be bought for under a tenner on Amazon and you can buy tinned goods, biscuits, chocolates, sweets, etc., to use to make into a Christmas hamper over a period of several months, just ensure that what you buy has a long shelf life.

So, have a happy and a creative Christmas!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Festive Sweet Trees – the latest trend in Christmas treats

Galaxy Christmas Sweet Tree
Galaxy Christmas Sweet Tree
An incredibly cute, edible tree hand made from Maltesers, drizzled with white chocolate and planted with chocolate raisins – what could be a more sumptuous gift this Christmas? With their new range of handmade Sweet Trees, RusticAngels.co.uk have come up with a gift that would delight pretty much everyone on your Christmas list – and make the recipient extremely popular with the rest of the family!

The Sweet Trees looks as good as they taste. Each tree sits prettily in a terracotta pot (not edible!) which is planted with chocolate raisins, fudge and coconut mushrooms, and stands approx. 30cm high, making a wonderful presentation gift, or table centrepiece.

The sweets are lovingly arranged on the tree so they are easy to pick one by one for pure indulgence at the end of a leisurely meal, or can be sneakily plucked by passers-by when no one is looking!

Rustic Angels stock a variety of Sweet Trees, all made from traditional family favourites. Choose from:

Malteser Christmas Tree Snow Cap (standard - £29.95 or mini - £13.95 + p&p)
Galaxy Counters Tree with edible Holly (standard £29.95 or mini - £13.95 + p&p)
Liquorice Allsorts Sweet Tree - £22.50 + p&p
Maltesers Sweet Tree - £24.95 + p&p

Sweet Trees and many other beautiful vintage, retro and French country gifts and home accessories are available from www.rusticangels.co.uk.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

New Christmas Gift Fair Launched

A new Christmas Gift Fair has been launched, That's Christmas can reveal.

The Telford Christmas Gift Fair is to be staged at the Telford International Centre, in Telford, Shropshire. The TIC is becoming a top venue for trade and public exhibitions and shows throughout the year.

The Telford Christmas Gift Fair will be held on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd December and will run from 10am onwards on both days. There will be 7,000 square metres of exhibition space, filled with Christmas goodies for all the family!

There will be a wide range of stalls selling a wide variety of gift ideas for all ages from the toddler right through to adults.

There will also be stalls offering a variety of special Christmas foods and drinks, with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks being available.

To find out more visit www.telfordchristmasgiftfair.co.uk.

Some space for exhibitors is still available. To book a stall call Kelly Griffin on 07800 872422 or Simon Gaston on 01952 415334.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

This Christmas, Why Not Spend It...

...Striking a Yoga Pose in the Himalayas
For a unique Christmas experience, venture to Ananda in the Himalayas, India's leading destination spa. Soothe Christmas stress with Ananda's Himalayan Bliss package including a wild rose soap scrub, personalised yoga session, honey and rose facial and bespoke massage. 

Once you are completely revived, take in the stunning snow-covered Himalayan peaks with a trek to the Kunjapuri temple. Celebrations begin on Christmas Eve with a Gala Dinner and carols, continuing into Christmas Day with sightseeing in the Himalayas. You might even be lucky enough to spot native birds such as barbells and golden eagles.

Price
Himalayan Bliss Package: from $3,850 USD (£2,453 approx) per single room for five nights.
Gala Dinner: $125 USD (£118 approx) plus 18.45% tax per person (subject to change). All three and five-night packages booked before 31st October will receive the Christmas Gala Dinner complimentary.

...Sipping Cocktails at Sunset on an Island Paradise
With an all-inclusive stay at Lily Beach Resort & Spa, taking a tropical holiday to the Maldives is more affordable than it sounds. Located on Huvahendhoo Island in the Maldives, surrounded by pristine beaches, lush tropical vegetation and dive sites, this five-star resort allows all the benefits of a luxury stay - minus the hidden extras. Swap your roast lamb for a fresh lobster or your Yorkshire pudding for a coconut dessert and after a big day of water sports, enjoy unlimited cocktails and signature drinks as you watch the sun go down.

Price
From £1964 per person for 7 nights. Contact: reservations@island-hideaway.com
...Unwinding in a Vinothérapie Barrel Bath

If your favourite part of Christmas is mulled wine, indulge in a Relaxing Moments package at The Yeatman, a multi-award winning luxury wine hotel. Wine lovers will be soothed by a Caudalie Vinothérapie® Massage or drift away in a Deep Barrel Bath. On arrival you will be welcomed by a Signature Cocktail from Dick's Bar and complimentary food and drink from the Special Spa Menu. In the morning, enjoy a continental breakfast served in The Orangerie Room followed by more pampering in the Vinothérapie® Spa by Caudalie. Here you will enjoy the indoor and outdoor infinity swimming pools with stunning panoramic views across the River Douro.

Price
From €418.50 (£330 approx) per room, per night, based on two people sharing a double room.
Contact: Reservations@theyeatman.com) or (+ 351) 220 133 100 mentioning 'Relaxing Moments'

...Enjoying Dutch Wine by the Canal
Situated amid hundreds of kilometers of canals and awarded one of 60 best new hotels in the world, Canal House in Amsterdam surrounds you with all the Christmas festivities right in heart of Jordaan. The traditional Amsterdam Christmas falls on 25th to 26th December and this is when the celebrations really begin. Wander along to the Westergazfabriek winter Festival where you can ice skate, drink Gluwein (hot wine) and sample delectable Dutch food and drinks. Take a stroll to nearby shopping streets, museums and Rembrandt Square. Return to Canal House for a blissful stay with its 17th century dug canal, 23 bedrooms and distinctive horseshoe design. The hotel captures all the historic fixtures, while providing 21st century modern facilities. For New Year's Eve, there are plenty of parties at Museum Square topped with spectacular fireworks.

Price
From €240 (approx £189.00) including buffet breakfast and all taxed (except city taxes).

Adorn your Christmas Tree with Handmade Decorations from Susie Watson Designs

Susie Watson has been designing and creating beautiful, high quality products for the home for many years. For Christmas, Susie has developed a gorgeous range of decorations that are all made and finished by hand, for unique designs that you can treasure for many years to come.
  
Ceramic Decorations - From £4
Available in four shapes; dove, heart, angel and star, these cute ceramic decorations in blue or white are handmade and hand painted with hearts, spots or holly.

Christmas Baubles Star and Bow (Box of Four) - Small £14 - Large - £19
These hand blown glass baubles are decorated with stars that are hand etched into the clear glass. Each one has a pretty bow detail on the hanging fixing. Available in two sizes; small (6cm diameter) and large (8cm diameter).

Crackle Glaze Baubles (Box of Four) - Small £14 - Large £28
Add some glamour to your Christmas tree with these beautiful hand blown, crackle glaze baubles that are available in six stunning colours; ruby, plum, aquamarine, dark silver, pale gold and moss. Available in two sizes; small (6cm diameter) and large (10cm diameter). These striking baubles also look great piled high in glass vases and dishes.

Susie Watson has been designing and creating beautiful, high quality products for the home for many years and has a simple philosophy – that the things we use everyday should bring us pleasure. The product range includes everything from hand decorated pottery through to handmade soft furnishings for every room in the house.  

Susie Watson’s covetable designs are available in over 300 independent retailers nationwide including her own shops in London, Marlborough, Alresford, Tunbridge Wells and on-line at www.susiewatsondesigns.co.uk. New shops are also planned to open throughout 2012.

Creative Christmas Treats from Yummy Dough

Forget buying the kids traditional modelling dough this Christmas, Yummy Dough from Maps Toys is so much more fun and what’s more children get to eat it without getting into trouble off Mum.

The mouldable dough allows young children to get creative all Christmas making festive shapes or whatever their imagination allows. Simply add water to the powder mix and get a pliable Yummy Dough mixture. Work the dough into different shapes - then comes the exciting part....bake it and eat it! Yes really! Children will love seeing their handiwork made into edible creations that they can share. Why not get them to make festive themed treats for all the family.

Yummy Dough is the safest modelling dough around and retails at around £7.99. It develops skills in young children including hand-eye co-ordination, motor skills, colour recognition and of course it teaches them about food preparation. It now comes in a handy, resealable tub with carry handle to store all your cutting tools.

The product comes with four different colours (red, blue, green and yellow) which can be mixed together at the powder stage or when the dough is moulded to create different colours to create with. The product can be eaten raw or baked. Yummy Dough is made in Germany by one of the country’s leading baking manufacturers. Made using high quality food products, it is made under strict European safety guidelines.

Yummy Dough is available from Amazon, Firebox and other toy retailers.

Tasty Christmas treats for your little monsters!

This year has been all about the loveable Moshi Monsters – school kids have gone Moshi mad over this unique collectable craze so this Christmas, why not treat your little Moshi fan to their ultimate stocking filler?

The brand new Moshi Monsters Cookie Kit from Maps will appeal to fans of the cute characters allowing them to get creative and bake their favourite monsters. Each colourful carry-handle tub includes 2 Moshi Monster Cookie Cutters, 2 decorating tubes, 450g of cookie mixture (makes 24 cookies) and an instruction leaflet featuring a bonus download code for Free Rox on the popular moshimonsters.com website.

The contents are stored in a cool reusable storage tub and there are six different designs for fans to collect. At around £4.99, this is a perfect stocking filler pressie that will keep children entertained during the long Christmas break.

(Available from Amazon at


Blast off for space this Christmas with MAPS Toys!


10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…. the brand new Aeromax NASA Space range is the perfect Christmas gift for budding astronauts.

Boys (and girls!) will go wild for the brand new Deluxe NASA Spaceman costume (RRP £35.99). Made from high-quality material (moon dust proof!), the bright orange, zip-fronted suit features authentic NASA badges and is guaranteed to create costume envy. There is also a white spacesuit available for the ultimate astronautical adventure.

Top this off with the cool Talking NASA Space Helmet and you’re all set for blast off. The Talking Space Helmet is priced at around £35.99 and looks just like the real thing. It features a mission control countdown and life-like blast off sounds. A spring loaded retractable visor allows kids to really get into character too.

Complete the costume with cool NASA branded boots (RRP £18.99) – for your first steps on the moon as well as must-have astronaut gloves (RRP £13.99) perfect for picking up space specimens! Once your kitted out on Christmas Day, load up the Astronaut Space Backpack Water Blaster (RRP £14.99) and get squirting those Aliens…or your annoying brother!

In addition to the NASA range, there’s also a Deluxe Firefighter costume available. The Firefighter costume (RRP £37.99) is complemented by the The Firepower Super Soaking Fire Hose (RRP £12.99) which will provide hours of fun for boys and girls of all ages. Fill the backpack with water and use the pump action hose to squirt your friends - and pretend to put out fires!

There’s also a collection of costumes perfect for every day dress up play including a doctor, firefighter and road worker to name but a few.

Kids of all ages will love to impress their friends with the Aeromax 2000 Parachute. Throw the parachute high in the air and watch it sail to the ground. Unlike other toy parachutes, the Aeromax 2000 Parachute is tangleproof and is made of tough material so won’t be used once and then discarded. Dads will love this – ask them, we bet you they remember throwing them out of their bedroom window! The perfect stocking filler priced at around £4.99.


Marshmallow Christmas Madness from Maps Toys

Having a play battle with your mates, forget last year’s crazes the only toy shooters you’ll need in 2012 are the Marshmallow Blasters from Maps Toys – the sweetest shooters around!

The unique Bow & Mallow is part of the Marshmallow Fun Company range and fires real marshmallows at your target showering them with edible bullets. Just load up your bow with mini marshmallows, draw back the arrow, aim and fire up to 30 feet. The Bow & Mallow is suitable for ages 3+ shoots out tasty treats in quick succession beating your opponent into a sugary submission! RRP £22.99.

The Bow & Mallow can be loaded with any brand of fresh mini marshmallows which are available online and at speciality food retailers. The shooters compress different shapes of marshmallow as they enter the nozzle and they spring back into place once fired.

If you want a blaster with real attitude the Classic Blaster is the ultimate way to get sweet revenge on your foes. Firing large marshmallows up to 40 feet, the audible POP as the soft sweets fly from the barrel is awesome. The blaster is perfect for older and children (aged 14+) and of course the big kids in every family. RRP £21.99.

Completing the trio of tasty toy weapons is a Classic Crossbow. This cool piece of kit (suitable for ages 5+) is sure to be the ‘sugar’ hit of Christmas! RRP £19.99.

The full Marshmallow Fun Company range is available from Amazon.

A magical Christmas adventure for your children from Itsyourstory!

Take your children on a magical adventure to the North Pole with this wonderful book from Itsyourstory!

The truly unique Christmas story combines a child's photograph throughout, so they'll be able to really immerse themselves in the festive fun!

Children will love to see themselves as the main character in the book. Watch the delight on their faces as they discover a Snowman packed double-decker bus in their garden on Christmas morning and follow them as they transform into an elf to help Santa Claus save Christmas.

Your little one will be transfixed by the story which sees them help wrap and deliver all of Santa Claus’ presents. Will they make it back home before everyone wakes up? And will their family believe that they helped save Christmas?

The book features the child’s photograph on every page of the book along with their name. In addition, it includes personal information about the child such as their address, name of a special friend and family members. You can also include a personal message at the front of the book to make this special Christmas present a book to treasure forever.

Earlier this year, Itsyourstory ran a competition to rename their loveable Snowman and the winner Alexandra Rossiter from Minehead chose the mystical Zamber Frost! As part of her prize, Alexandra’s name will be on the front cover for a year – so you’ll be getting a unique collector’s item too!

Priced at £12.50 for the A5 version and £17.50 for the A4 version, this book is available exclusively from www.itsyourstory.co.uk. The last date for Christmas orders is 18 December.      

Christmas outfits with a difference

Renowned for their photo-personalised children’s books for many years, Itsyourstory are adding a new twist to their range for Christmas 2012. Their brand new range of photo-personalised children’s t-shirts and tops make fantastic presents for your little ones and solve Christmas outfit dilemmas!

The high-quality clothes feature your child as different characters with their name emblazoned below. Choose from a beautiful princess for your wannabe monarchs and an astronaut for an out of this world t-shirt. There’s also a super-cute fairy to spread Christmas joy and if your child is into all things medieval, they will love the Knight T-shirt. Finally the hero of the family will enjoy strutting around in their very own superhero t-shirt.

The range includes organic cotton babygrows, long-sleeve and short-sleeve t-shirts, polo shirts and a zipped hoody.

This present is sure to become the talking point of Christmas day and will be the envy of all their friends.

The babygrows and t-shirts are priced at £14.99, the polo shirt at £19.99 and the hoody at £24.99. Sizes range from 0-6 months to 12-14 years. The last date for Christmas delivery is 18th December. Available exclusively to www.itsyourstory.co.uk.

Special Delivery from Santa!

The anticipation of Christmas can be almost as exciting as the day itself, so let Itsyourstory add to the thrill with this unique photo-personalised letter from the big man himself.

Each letter is personalised to feature the child's address, the name of two of their friends, their age and a uniquely personal PS at the bottom of the letter. This will create even more magic as it is written by the sender and relates to something personal in their lives eg – how well they’re doing at school, getting a new pet etc. The letter also reveals which friend or family member has asked Father Christmas to get in touch.

Priced at just £4.50, the Father Christmas photo-personalised letter is available exclusively from www.Itsyourstory.co.uk. Customers can choose from two letter designs featuring the child alongside Rudolf or Father Christmas. The letter arrives in a Christmas-themed envelope addressed to the child and complete with a North Pole stamp. What better way to build the excitement in the run up to Christmas!

Orders will be taken from September. Last delivery date before Christmas is December 18th.

(EDITOR: Orders are being taken now, from 1st September! So what are you waiting for? Click on the above link and start early with your Chirstmas purchases!)

Who needs Selection Boxes this Christmas? Not us!

Forget naff selection boxes and same old, same old tins of chocolates this Christmas – treat your loved ones to a unique Christmas Confectionery gift from BabyBlooms.

The Chocolate Flower Bouquets are a beautiful gesture and the festive bright colours will brighten Christmas morning. Priced at £34.00, the Hearts and Flowers Chocolate arrangements comprise tasty chocolate flowers and hearts and will delight the lucky recipient. Eight chocolate Lollipops and 24 sweet dragee hearts mean there are enough to share (if you want to) and the arrangement comes luxuriously packaged so are perfect to send directly to loved ones you won’t see this Christmas.

What better way to wow your Christmas guests than with the collection of brand new sweet and chocolate trees from BabyBlooms. Looking just like a real topiary creation, the sugary shrubbery is a truly unique way to welcome your loved ones on Christmas day and make an ideal gift for relatives and friends with a sweet tooth.

Treat yourself and others to the Chocolate Truffle Tree which features perfectly rounded scrumptious truffles in the shape of a delightful tree decoration. The Malteser Drizzle Tree includes everyone’s favourite light chocolate treat and guests will love to help themselves. Younger loved ones won’t be able to resist the Haribo Tree – this delicious arrangement includes all your favourite Haribo sweets including cola bottles, fried eggs and many more.

Each tree comes in two sizes which are priced from around £30. Prices available on request from www.babyblooms.co.uk. So go on treat yourself to an extra special tree this Christmas.

Gorgeous gifts for your little ones this Christmas

If you have run out of places to shop for your little ones this Christmas, look no further than BabyBlooms (www.babyblooms.co.uk). 

Renowned for their baby clothing bouquets, BabyBlooms also have an array of unique gifts for children of all ages.

The adorable Pull Along Toys are sure to become your baby’s constant companion. Choose from a Hedgehog with a delicate leaf on the end of its lead, a Ladybird with a pretty flower, a Dog with a soft bone and a Cat with a cute fish attached to its lead. What’s more, you can remove the sturdy, wooden wheels to create a cuddly soft toy. Each Pull Along is priced at £16.99.

Little ones will love the collection of stylish, soft animals. The handmade cotton large multi-coloured Elephant is made of strong woven cloth that will survive the rough and tumble of toddler play. The brightly coloured check fabric will also make a beautiful addition to any nursery this Christmas. Priced at £22.00, the Elephant can also be complemented with the colourful Giraffe which is just £13.00.

Treat the little girl in your life to the Fold & Go Dolls House and keep them entertained at home and on the move. The perfectly pink house features two wooden dolls and a selection of detailed wooden furniture. The house comes with a handy carry handle and folds down so girls can carry and play with it anywhere. Priced at £35.00.

The Billy Magnetic Dress Up Set is a great stocking filler for little boys. Priced at just £11.99, you can dress Billy up in a range of outfits including a Police Officer, Superhero, Knight, Fireman, Construction Worker or Pirate he is ready for adventure at a moment's notice. The set includes, a magnetic wooden dress-up figure with stand and 26 magnetic pieces of clothing for pretend play. Suitable for ages 3+, the price also includes gift wrap.

Traditional rag dolls always make treasured gifts whatever the occasion and BabyBlooms have a lovely range in all shapes and sizes that make great stocking fillers. The beautiful Ballerina Doll comes in both 19cm (£5.50) and 40cm (£12.50). Her pretty pink outfit and features will make her a budding ballet dancer’s best friend! The Blue Rose Rag Dolls also come in two sizes and for those still feeling patriotic at Christmas, the 40cm Rag Doll Soldier is kitted out in traditional red and black uniform and wears a dinky furry hat (£12.50)!

To view the full range of toys and gifts available for all the family, visit www.babyblooms.co.uk

Rocking around the Christmas tree

Stunning new Rockers from Little Bird Told Me

If you’re looking for the ultimate gift for baby and the type that can be passed down through generations, look no further than the stunning collection of infant rockers and rocking horses from Little Bird Told Me.

This Christmas sees the addition of two brand new rockers to the Little Bird Told Me stable and parents won’t be disappointed. The gorgeous Ruby & Belle Rocking Horse is the perfect playmate for little girls. Ruby is a beauty of a horse and features stunning vintage printed fabric in vibrant pinks and a scrunchy faux suede mane and tail. Ruby carries her pretty little friend Belle wherever she goes in an appliquéd pocket on her body. Belle is an adorable rag doll that can be played with separately too. RRP £125.00 and suitable from 12 months.

The Baby Bear Infant Rocker is part of the new Hey Bear, it’s me Bear range and is an ideal first rocker for babies aged 9 months plus. This huggable rocker carries his friend Birdy Bear in his pocket who has lots of stimulating features to delight baby. The sturdy quality wood rocking frame make this a safe and comfortable rocker for novice riders. RRP £88.00.

Little Bird Told Me have designed rockers with both babies and parents in mind. Their newest rockers will transform any nursery into a stylish haven and become the envy of every nursery around. The ultra-modern Dylan & Boo Rocking Horse is set to become a style icon. Dylan is a charming horse who carries his lovable little friend Boo Bear wherever he goes. Dylan's distinctive grey fabric has been designed exclusively for Little Bird Told Me by designer Rosalind Maroney. The cute button print is complemented by a soft, tactile fine wale cord mane and tail - a real show-stopper of a horse, Dylan will be the envy of every nursery. Suitable from 12months plus, Dylan & Boo retails at £125.00.

For parents who prefer to make a splash with colour, the new Doodle & Crumb Infant Rocker is for you and your baby. Suitable for babies aged 9months plus, Doodle is a fun and friendly horse who carries his little friend Crumb the bean horse wherever he goes. His vibrant red button print fabric is also designed by Maroney and is complemented by a faux suede mane and tail. The sturdy dark wood frame comes with detachable foot rests for novice riders. Doodle & Crumb is a totally unique rocker whose contemporary style will stay fresh for years to come. Priced at around £85.00.

Create real nursery envy with the super-stylish Jasper Rocking Horse. The irresistible Jasper is the ultimate gift for older babies this Christmas. Jasper features a classic woven check fabric in shades of chocolate and has a stylised leatherette saddle with stirrups to support little ones. His soft and scrunchy mane and tail are made from strokeable faux suede and he stands proudly on a sturdy wooden bow rocking base. There really is no other rocking horse like Jasper available on the market.

Priced at around £200 he will become the talking point of any nursery and be adored by adults for his charm and sophistication as much as little ones will love him for his play value. Jasper stands at around 55cm and is suitable for infants aged 18months plus.

Cuddly and lovable Bobble & Pip is an Infant Rocker that babies will fall in love with. Bobble's luxurious bouclé fabric body just wants to be stroked and the cute Pip Bean Horse is soft and huggable. Tuck Pip into the pocket on Bobble's side and off you rock! Suitable from 9 months plus and priced at £85.00.

For those who are looking for a fun and funky addition to a child's nursery this festive season, look no further than the Softly Snail Infant Rocker. Suitable for 9 months plus, Softly Snail comes in pretty pink plush fabrics and carries her cosy little house on her back. Her soft house creates a snug, supportive seat and offers a fun storage space to put toys. The rocker also features lots of additions to keep baby amused including hidden squeaks, chimes and crinkles and comes with a separate rattle toy for little hands. Priced at around £85.00.

If you love cute characters then the Caterpillar Infant Rocker is for you. Suitable for 9 months plus, Curious Caterpillar comes in fresh plush fabrics of green, blue and red and has lots for a baby to discover. A soft apple creates a comfortable seat and comes with a lift-up flap which reveals a handy storage section for toys. A separate chime toy peeps out of the apple for little hands to explore. The rocker also features lots of additions to keep baby engaged including hidden squeaks, chimes and crinkles. Priced at around £85.00.

To see these and the whole collection of Infant Rockers and Rocking Horses, visit the Little Bird Told Me website www.littlebirdtoldme.co.uk. Selected rockers are also available from John Lewis, Harrods and Jojo Maman Bebe and selected independent retailers. Last date for website deliveries is 18 December.





Have a ‘Bear-y’ Special Christmas with Little Bird Told Me


Just when you thought Little Bird Told Me couldn’t come up with any more brilliant baby toys, up they pop for Christmas with one of their most loveable and innovative ranges to date.

Hey Bear, It’s Me Bear… is a brand new range of infant toys to inspire and engage little hands and minds. The collection of whimsical characters in this huggable bear family will delight both children and their parents. The loveable bears feature a mix of traditional, textured bouclé fabrics combined with soft, strokeable contemporary fabrics to add zing to any nursery and playtime.

The Bear family is made up of Papa Bear – a real softy inside and out, Mama Bear – who likes to be hugged all day long and Baby Bear – who makes playful adventures more fun! The loveable bears and their friend Birdy Bear are a constant throughout the collection which is sure to be the most sought after nursery must-have.

The Baby Bear Infant Rocker is the ultimate present for baby’s first Christmas. He features a plush huggable body with strokable textured bouclé fabric with lots of crinkles to delight little ones. In his pocket, Baby Bear carries his little buddy Birdy Bear who has a rattle in his tummy and crinkly wings. The rocker is a perfect safe ride for young novice riders and is priced at around £88.00.

Keeping young babies amused is hard work and the 3 in 1 Nursing Cushion is therefore a perfect gift for new mums and baby. The versatile cushion has soft shiny red fabric on one side and beautiful textured bouclé material on the reverse. It acts as a support for baby while seated or during tummy-time play and features two separate activity toys that can be attached to the cushion to engage baby. RRP £36.00.

The cute Birdy Bear Activity Toy (RRP £22.00) is sure to become baby’s best friend. Suitable for babies aged 6 months plus, Birdy Bear is brimming with fun features to delight little ones. His cuddly cube body comes with scrunchy wings, a rotating emroidered spiral, rattles, squeaks, crinkles and more. Make Birdy Bear top of baby’s wish list!

If you are looking for a big present for the youngest member of the family, you can’t go wrong with the luxury Baby Bear Multi-Activity Playgym (RRP £70.00). The super-soft, padded playgym is crammed full of fun features for extended play and discovery. It even comes with a Tummy-Time cushion, three bear activity toys and a Birdy musical toy, all of which can be played with separately. Suitable from birth.

A perfect trio of stocking fillers are the cuddly hug toys. Little ones will fall in love with Papa Bear (RRP£16.00), Mama Bear (RRP£14.00) and not forgetting Baby Bear (RRP£10.00). The soft textures and cute characteristics will make each toy a constant companion for your baby. If you want to keep baby entertained on the go, the Chirping Birdy Bear Travel Toy (RRP£14.00) attaches to prams and car seats and will happily chirp away to soothe your child. In fact, you can create a comforting Hey Bear, it’s Me Bear... world when travelling.

Treat new mums to the Baby Bear on Board sign (RRP£7.00) who will swing merrily in your car window telling drivers about your precious cargo – in the most stylish of ways! The Soft Activity Spiral is added to the collection. Wrap it around car seat handles or even cots and let the soft multi-coloured textured toys entertain baby with mirrors, crinkles, rattles and chimes. RRP£18.00.

How well do you know your monarchs?

History Heroes is a brilliant new card game designed to test the whole family’s knowledge of British monarchs from William the Conqueror in 1066 to today’s reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II.

Created by Harry Hastings, a teacher from Sussex, the game provides a fun, interactive way for children to learn about the kings and queens of England, and for adults to brush up on their history lessons, by challenging them to identify monarchs either from a series of facts, from a portrait or from the dates of their reign, thereby capturing their opponents cards in the style of Top Trumps.
    Do you know which king was the last to lead his troops into battle or who was on the throne when the Great Plague struck?
    Did you know that Henry I had a record-breaking 25 illegitimate children or that Queen Victoria survived five assassination attempts?

    And would you be able to name the tallest monarch or identify the king famed for his red face and red hair?
With a total of 42 monarchs to identify, each with six different clues, ranging from easy – ‘Who won the Battle of Hastings?’ - to difficult – ‘Who lost the War of Jenkins’ Ear?’ – the game can be enjoyed by all ages and, with six different ways to play it, can provide hours of fun at home, on long car journeys or simply as a way of helping children with their history homework.

Beautifully illustrated by the well-known cartoonist Bill Stott, History Heroes is the first of a series of similar games created by Harry Hastings, covering famous Battles, Shakespeare, Inventors, Scientists and Explorers.

Harry Hastings History Heroes is priced at £7.99. For stockist details, or to buy direct go to

Baby&More gives baby much more this Christmas

Nursery specialists Baby&More have a range of Christmas gifts for people looking for something different for baby. From impulse stocking fillers to lust-after items, the website is a one-stop Christmas shop for little ones.

The brand new 7 A.M Enfant collection has finally hit the UK. Already popular with Hollywood A-listers, this range features tons of winter essentials to keep baby (and you) warm and snuggly during the festive period. The innovative luxe Blanket 212 is a real investment buy. The super-cosy muff is suitable for both car seats and pushchairs.

The patented zip mechanism allows parents to extend the width and length of the footmuff so there is no need to but new footmuffs as your child grows. The product literally blankets baby in comfort and warmth and can be zipped back to create a pushchair liner. An adjustable hood can be cinched to baby’s face for those days when your child needs more protection against the elements. Choose from a range of colours to complement your pushchair and other items in the 7 A.M range. Priced at around £135.00.

The brand new WarMMuffs™ from 7 A.M make a lovely gift for mums of winter babies. They secure easily to any pushchair and allow parents the flexibility of using bare hands to strap in and lift baby. The WarMMuffs™ feature a faux fur lining for extra cosiness and the on-trend colourways of the waterproof outer shell mean you don’t have to sacrifice style to be warm! RRP £30 (with fur) £25 (no fur). The collection includes an array of on-trend winter essentials and cool changing bags too and the full range can be seen at www.babyandmore.co.uk.

The Lots to Say Soothers from the Booginhead range are a brilliant stocking filler. With cool slogans including ‘Just Chillin,’ ’volume control,’ ‘Hi’ and ‘Snooze,’ these dummies will soothe baby on Christmas Day as well as making a real talking point. RRP £5.99 for packs of two.

The Mum2Mum Wonder Bib range are great for jazzing up any Christmas outfit. Choose from an array of colours including pink, navy, yellow, orange, red and many more shades. Made from soft, super-absorbent towelling, the bibs come in different styles including the stylish bandana ideal for dribblers, the standard bib which is perfect for meal times and the sleeved bib to ensure messy toddlers stay clean during Christmas dinner. Suitable from 4months to 3 years and priced from £4.00.

All products available from www.babyandmore.co.uk