Tuesday 30 November 2021

Make it a Habulous Christmas this year

What is Habulous?

A spokeswoman for the brand tells That's Christmas: "Habulous ceramics are all individually handmade by Nicky Edmunds; mugs, vases, storage containers, jugs and many other decorative and useful pieces for your home."

She adds: "Most items are thrown on Nicky's potters wheel, although from time to time she will also hand build. Her pieces of work all reflect the time, energy and skill that she puts into them. Every piece is unique and crafted with care."

She said: "The jellyfish air plants are unique to her and are proving to be very popular indeed."

I must admit that I have long admired pottery items, especially handcrafted works. My only experience with traditional pottery came about by working in the archaeology unit of the Ironbridge Museum which includes craftsmen and women using traditional techniques to make pottery items before firing them in a kiln.

My favourite event, however, involved digging out a large bottle kiln and find the pawprint of a cat on one of the bricks on the base used for the kiln when the bricks had been left out to dry before baking!

However, let's return to Habulous, shall we?

The pottery items sold under the Haboulous brand are nothing short of astounding.

Handmade Ceramic Mug Moorland Series which costs £25.00. Or if you preference is for a ceramic tumbler, then the Handmade Ceramic Tumbler Moorland Series at £22.00 will be more to your liking.

Handmade oil pourers, handmade espresso mugs, handmade ceramic hanging planters (limited edition, so do order these now!) dome vases, jugs, treeline broaches, there's actually something of a match to the limited edition lidded pot with Moorland trees decoration.

Or what about a gorgeous handmade ceramic soap dish? Or perhaps you are looking for something different for your kitchen? How about some nice ceramic bowls? Or a large ceramic bowl? A very dinky and exquisite mini vase? A small jug ideal for the table?

An amazing range of handcrafted pottery items, I think you'd agree? But that's not all that's available!

There are truly unique jellyfish air plants, wax melt burner sets, handmade ceramic hanging bird feeders, handmade jewellery, cards and more. 

To learn about the full range please visit https://www.habulous.co.uk/.

Fantastic Services make Fantastic Gifts!


Fantastic Services make Fantastic Gifts! 

What is Fantastic Services? It's a rather unique company that offers over 25+ services to in excess of 50,000 customers every month. 

A spokesperson said: "Some of the services we provide are mobile beauty and wellness, domestic cleaning and gardening. We serve domestic and commercial clients in London, the South East, and the North West." 

They went on to say: "There are just a few things you can compare to the feeling of knowing that you don't have to worry about the house cleaning. We allow our customers to have somebody else do the chores before or after a big party at home. We allow them to enjoy the warmth and cosiness of their homes without exhausting themselves with wiping and vacuuming before that."

Now Fantastic Services are offering a very special, personalised gift voucher that you can send as a very special Christmas gift for someone you love. Or why not self-gift so you can make sure your house or flat is gleaming and ready for your Chirstmas Party?

Gift vouchers are available in £50, £100 and £150 amounts.

To learn more please visit them at https://www.fantasticservices.com/.

Personalised NASA Astronaut Helmet with Movable Visor

Everyone loves space and your little astronauts will be mission ready with this ultra cool Personalized-NASA Astronaut Helmet with a Movable Visor!

The realistic looking Astronaut Helmet can be personalised to order with your child's name on it and  it complements other items in the Aeromax Astronaut range which includes Personalised Astronaut Suits, NASA Hoodies and NASA Bucket Hat also available. Available from Etsy and eBay.

(Personalised) NASA Astronaut Costume with Cap

This cool Astronaut Dress Up Costume is perfect for the budding astronaut and includes a NASA style cap.

You can also personalise the costume so kids will feel as though they are part of a space shuttle adventure - lifting off into outer space! 

Embroidery is in Black - similar to the NASA Logo. The NASA Astronaut Costume is available in both Orange and White in a variety of sizes: Age: 2-3 4-6 6-8 8-10 12-14

My Very Own Fairy Jar

This Brainstorm Toys gift will delight the fairy lovers in your life.

They can awaken their imagination and create their own fairy world with this beautiful light and sound Fairy Jar. 

Insert the enchanted forest background in your Jar with coloured stones and grass-green felt. Decorate with pretty flowers and leaf garland. 

Then they can add the toadstools, acorn with love-heart stand and their adorable fairy, for a magical fairyland scene. 

Then sprinkle with eco-fairy dust and make a wish! 

They can write a special letter to their favourite fairy, with five charming mini notes and envelopes. At bedtime, or outside in their night-time garden, the colour-changing LED turns their jar into a delightful night-light. Auto shut off saves battery life. 

Use the key in the sparkling-sound compartment to unlock a secret code. Use the secret code online to discover lots of fun, fairy activities! Make edible wands and fairy energy balls. They can employ their crafting skills by making fairy outfits or home-made glitter. 

Dance along to fairy music with your very own instruments. You can find out their fairy name (mine’s Crystal Dragon-fire!) or their birthstone. Well-being is so important, and these activities include mindfulness and yoga exercises as well as positive affirmations. Never dull your sparkle and believe in yourself today!

The RRP is £19.99 and they are available from John Lewis and all good toy retailers.

Kuhla 43L Table Top Fridge Amp/Speaker Design

Now available from Amazon, The Kuhla Table Top Fridge collection features some stunning and amazingly different designs.

Fancy sleek black, white or stylish stainless steel? Each has an impressive and very useful 43 Litre capacity and its modern space saving design is a must-have for your chill out room to store refreshing drinks and snacks. 

Each Kuhla 43L Fridge comes with a highly helpful bottle rack, a removable wire shelf and a reversible door so you can customise to suit your needs, either left or right. 

It also includes a handy ice box too. The on-trend design led Kuhla 43L Fridges will make real statement and the Amp design is perfect for music lovers, too!

Or what about the Kuhla 42L Rainbow Design Table Top Black Mini Fridge?

It's a special limited edition design that is available from Amazon. The fun and funky vibrant rainbow design of this mini bar fridge will be equally at home anywhere in your home. Your kitchen, bedroom, playroom, office home bar, or your conservatory.

It's ideal for Christmas entertaining as well as perfect teen gifts and a present for the person who has everything. It costs £89.99.

Sunday 28 November 2021

Sorting out Christmas foods? Call on Squeaky Bean to help out

This Christmas you will probably be catering for a wide variety of diners and eaters.

As well as the Christmas Dinner you'll be sorting out lunch and teatime snacks, buffet style dinners, intimate suppers and Christmas and New Year's Eve parties.

Some of the guests will be confirmed meat eaters, some will be omnivores (if it tastes good, they'll eat it, no matter what it's made from!) some will be vegetarians, whilst some will be vegans.

Those very smart and amazing people over at Squeaky Bean will be able to help you out.

New from their range is the New Yorker Style Sandwich Duo. 

Ready to eat plant-based beef style slices made frim wheat gluten and also slices made with chickpea flour.

Ideal if you want to present your guests with something to make New York Deli style sandwiches with, unless you make them up before the meal. Either way, they'll go down great.

If you like things with a bit more spice to them then the new Squeaky Bean Spanish Chorizo style slices will be a great option. 

Rich in protein and so tasty in a meaty sort of a way that you'll need to keep the wrappers to convince guests who doubt that vegan substitutes can taste this good. 

Another new addition to the Squeaky Bean range is the Milano Salami style slices. Made with wheat gluten, tofu and with black and white peppers throughout, these are probably the closest to meat salami that I have tried.

Serve with salads, crudités, cheeses (vegan, obviously!) crackers or freshly baked bread, these will make your meals go with a real swing.

There's also a whole load of other vegan foods available from Squeaky Bean. Just check out Asda, Coop, Ocado, Sainsburys and Tesco.

To learn more please visit https://www.squeakybean.co.uk/.

Friday 26 November 2021

Build your own unicorn

EUGY Unicorn is a nifty toy from Brainstorm Toys.

The recipient of this wonderful present can build their own 3D models with this unique collectable.

 Beautifully detailed yet simple miniaturised animal figures with some extra, added cuteness.

 Children will collect them, love them and treasure them. 

They are environmentally friendly, fully biodegradable made using special card and the ink employed with is 100% natural eco-friendly ink and glue is, naturally, guaranteed to be non-toxic. 

Just glue the pieces together using in numerical sequencing and they'll be put together in about 10 to 20 minutes. 

Designed in New Zealand and fully patented. 

Want something as an ideal stock item for toy and gift shops, garden centres, aquariums, zoos, museums and all other visitor attractions?

Educational fun facts included. Design, ecology, originality. Collect them all!

RRP Price £8.50.


See the world how others see it

Brainstorm Toys have really come up with an idea the likes of which I haven't seen before. See The World Through Others' Eyes.

And that's no pun. You'll see what I mean, when you read on.

Have you ever looked at someone or something and wondered: "How does the world look like to you?

Well, what does the world look like if you are a human baby? 

How can a cuttlefish see it’s underwater world? 

If you have ever wondered these types of thoughts, (and let's be honest, who hasn't?) now you can see the world as other creatures see it!

Just pop on these ultra cool viewing goggles on with the very special 22 interchangeable lenses and you'll be transported into a very different sphere of existence allowing you to perceive  the world through others’ eyes! 

You'll see the world in at least 17 different amazing ways, or even work out how to create your own!

Lenses include wide angle, coloured, polarised, split vision, faceted, spectrum plus more besides.

You'll learn some amazing facts. Learn exactly how many lenses a dragonfly has up, for example. 

Learn about the science of sight and vision the lenses fact-filled leaflet.

Typical price £19 from good toy retailers or department stores and Amazon. 

Night Sky from Brainstorm

Those lovely and very clever folks at Brainstorm Toys have introduced Night Sky.

Night Sky is one of those excellent transformational toys that are not merely a toy but a way to take your children and yourselves together on a never ending voyage of discovery.

With Brainstorm Toy's Night Sky light show you'll magically transform your room into your very own planetarium. 

You'll all learn about the night sky with the projector which includes four amazing projector discs.

From the comfort of your own lounge or living room you'll be able to view the planets of our solar system, our moon, the night sky and over 20,000 individual stars.

Night Sky projects up to a 3.65m wide image and it features amazingly vivid incredible projection quality, offering stunning and ultra-sharp images. 

The images will rotate on your wall or your ceiling. It has an adjustable projector angle and features a 30-minute auto shut-off. 

A secret code included in the accompanying leaflet unlocks multilingual online space information.

You'll learn about the Universe. What is its size? What is it made from? How it all began.

Find out about the constellations and marvel at the specially detailed with information about the ten key constellations in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, including the Great Bear, Orion and Draco. There are lots of amazing deep space images and links to further online Solar System and Moon information.

So Night Sky will be the perfect gift no matter where the recipients of this wonderful gift live from London to Brisbane, from New Zealand to San Francisco, they'll be able to see their sky or yours!

The RRP Price is £42.00.

Available from John Lewis, Very and all good toy retailers.

Thursday 25 November 2021

Get your Christmas going with Lakes Distillery


Yes, it's time. Time to get your Christmas going with a visit to the Lakes Distillery. Or with a visit to their super-duper website!

As the name might implies, Lakes Distillery distils their most excellent drink in the English Lake District. 

And, well within time for this Christmas they have brought out a very spiffing range of special alcoholic crackers to provide festive fun and frolics for Christmas dinner parties for fellow gin and whisky lovers.

Or if you wish, purchase them as some very unique Christmas stocking fillers for the gin and whisky overs in your life.

Individual or as boxed sets? The choice is entirely yours.  

But if you are looking for something else, why not check out their amazing range of gin balloons, cocktail kits, cocktail bar spoons, twizzle sticks, whisky glasses, cocktail strainers, or some truly awesome whisky stones that chills your drink without diluting the taste of the spirits?

Or why not look at their more commodious bottles of spirits? There are at least six different unique styles of whisky, plus a range of different gift sets to make a perfect Christmas gift.

Or if you are looking to buy a gift for a gin lover there are two very distinct gins and two nifty gin liquors available, plus a range of different Christmassy gift sets.

Or trying to find a vodka that they'll remember you buying them for years to come? The Lakes Vodka or The Lakes Salted Caramel Vodka Liquor should be on your present list for the good boys and girls on your list for this Christmas! (I speak as a great lover of the concept of just about salted caramel anything, to be honest!)

To check out the entire range or to order gift vouchers for people who your love enough to order from the Lakes Distillery but aren't entirely sure what they'd prefer, visit their website  https://www.lakesdistillery.com/online-shop-c13/gifts-vouchers-c4


Masha. The Christmas gift your kitchen would ask for

Yes, Masha is the Christmas gift that your kitchen would ask for, if you allowed your kitchen to make a list to give to Santa.

What, exactly, is Masha? It's something that once you have one, you'll never be able to understand exactly how you managed before you had one.

If you want to produce fluffy, delectable and creamy mashed potatoes, or guacamole equal to or even better than produced in top restaurants, fresh and chunky homemade soups, you'll want a Masha.

Desire delightful fresh humous, nutritious and delicious fresh and super palatable baby food, the best whipped cream ever, perfect cake mixes or batter mixes, light and fluffy meringues, brilliant Yorkshires or nifty and very buttery crumbles or pastries? Then Masha is for you.

It employs simple but perfect mains-powered Masha action using a unique and very carefully designed and patented rotor cone technology, which Masha assures users will provide "perfect results every time."

It comes complete with two special rotor blades, one designed to provide smooth and lump free results (this is what you need for potatoes, for example) and another blade for light and fluffy work.

When I was talking with my wife about the merits of the Masha she looked at the blades and said: "Yes, that's a heavier duty unit, idea for producing smooth results. And the other one? That's for aerating. If I were making whipped cream, or a meringue, that's the one I'd use, obviously." I must point out here that my wife is the chef of our household.

After examining it she expressed appreciation in the fact that the handle is of an ergonomic design and has a non-slip texture. She hefted it and said: "They have got the balance about right, too. I don't think this will put any strain on my hands or wrists. And with my arthritis that's a major concern with kitchen devices."

It's also easy to get to the blades to change them as necessary and all removable parts are safe for dishwashing. Sharp metal blades are things that always worry me. So imagine my delight and relief that both blades are made of high strength but totally not sharp plastic, rather than metal.

On test Masha proved itself to be a most appropriate gift for our kitchen for this Christmas. It's motor is powerful (yet reasonably quite) and can power through the ingredients with no bother at all. And it's easy and safe to clean, too, even if your dishwasher is a human and not a machine!

I predict a busy Christmas period for Masha in our kitchen. In fact, I predict a busy life in general for our Masha, because a Masha is for life, not just for Christmas!

Masha is made by Sensio Home and comes with a five year guarantee and a very helpful guide with a number of recipes to try, ideal if you are new to home cooking.

It's available at a number of retailers including Lakeland, Sensio Home, Amazon, Argos, etc for between £40 to £45. Very good value for money in our experience of buying kitchen devices over the years.

Personalised Christmas gifting ideas to celebrate treasured memories

This Christmas, treat the people you care about to a truly unique gift that is special to them.

If you are looking for a meaningful, loving Christmas present Whether you’re shopping for your spouse, something for a family member, something thoughtful for a friend a nifty stocking filler or a secret Santa gift, CEWE has the perfect gifts to help them celebrate their favourite memories this festive period. 

Here’s a selection of CEWE’s most loved festive gifts for this year. And they will not be as costly as you might expect.

A Photo Snow Globe can cost as little as £6.99.

It's a perfectly seasonal gift and makes an ideal stocking filler. The Photo Snow Globe can be personalised with a photo and text of choice and comes complete with artificial snowflakes.

Or why not opt for a Photo calendars from £3.49?

It's a gift they'll love year-round, a personalised photo calendar! With every passing month, they’ll remember a happy moment and the fact that you chose this special gift for them that helps add personality to their workspace or keep their busy home organised. Choose the size and style that suits them, from kitchen calendars to A5 calendars and year planners. 

Or what about a Square Photo Book? From £9.99

They have a clean, modern look that’s ideal for displaying your best images in landscape and portrait style, making it the best option for creating a unique travel album or memory book. 

Compile your recipient's favourite memories, family breaks, weddings, parties, pets, etc.  They’ll be thrilled when they get to look back at their cherished memories.

Or what about a Photo Mugs - from £7.99?

This lovely present will remind them of a treasured memory with every cuppa! Choose a photo, drawing or text of your choice that is sure to put a smile on their face each time they reach for a sip.

 And idea secret Santa gift for a colleague or a unique present for a loved one. The choice is up to you.

Small Photo Book – from £5.99.

A small photobook is the ideal way to celebrate special memories you share together. Whether it’s a memorable holiday or an important milestone, create a quick album of your favourite snaps for a perfect stocking filler they’ll be able to cherish forever.

Or what about Jigsaws – from £9.99?

112 piece puzzle with personalised photo of child and childs name. 1000 piece personalised jigsaw created by Ravensburger.

This gift is sure to provide plenty of entertainment over the festive period – for both kids and adults! Create a unique original Ravensburger jigsaw puzzle that features a photo of your choice. Choose from a portrait of a beloved pet, a group family photo or a piece of artwork by the kids.

Unique gifts under £25:

Large Landscape Photo Book – from £19.99

The perfect size for any occasion and all sorts of stories, it’s easy to see why this photobook is a best seller. With every page they’ll be filled with joy as they get to look back at their favourite memories. This large photo book would make the perfect gift to display wedding photos, travel memories or as a family photo album.

Classic Canvas Prints - from £12.99.

A canvas print. A beautiful gift for a loved one to display a treasured memory in their home. This gift is something that they can appreciate all year round and will brighten up any room in the house.

Phone cases – from £14.99

If you’re shopping for someone who always has their phone in their hand, a personalised photo phone case is the perfect gift! Add their favourite family photo, an image of a well-loved pet or something that will make them smile.

hexxas wall art – from £9.99 

CEWE hexagonal wall tiles provide a unique gift that allows them to create a showstopping display in their home. The magnetic hanging system means they can reposition their pictures and rearrange the display whenever they fancy – the possibilities are endless! This stylish statement piece will add a personal touch to any room in their home.

Wood Prints  - from £24.99.

Photo on wood 

If the person you’re buying for has a rustic décor theme in their home, this is the perfect gift for them. A beautifully unique piece of wall art that captures a treasured memory and can be admired for the years to come.

To place your orders or to learn more please visit https://www.cewe.co.uk.

Wednesday 24 November 2021

Super Sapiens


What is Super Sapiens? 

Super Sapiens is dedicated to helping children to explore hidden histories and also to cultivate a deeper  understanding about the world.

Super Sapiens also works hard to help the children learn how to make the world a better place for everyone. 

It will also assist the children to develop their own superpowers through self-care and self-love.

Their Educational Kids Card Game Family Fun Diversity Empowering Snap Memory costs £12 and can be bought at their own ebay shop, here https://bit.ly/3cNt5dM.

Social Stories Club has a mission

Social Stories Club’s mission is to share social ventures and their amazing stories with the world. 

They create sustainable gift boxes and hampers. 

Each item in the giftboxes comes from a social venture and supports different social causes including empowering artists with disabilities, reducing landfill waste, providing education for young girls in tea growing regions, and more besides.

Their Luxurious Hug In A Box Gift For Her Get Well Soon Present Pamper Hamper Gift and be bought via their own ebay shop. https://bit.ly/3DS749x at £29.00 per box.

You can learn more about them by visiting https://socialstoriesclub.com.

The Goodwash Company

The Goodwash Company offers a wide range of products that are only made with the finest of natural ingredients.

The ingredients are also sourced from suppliers of cruelty-free products.

But what's also of equal importance is that the profits they make are only used to better and improve the lives of people and also animals within their local communities.

Their Natural, Vegan Body Wash comes in 250ml bottles at £19.50 from their own ebay store. Just visit https://bit.ly/3cNlNHc.

The ingredients are all sourced from the Welsh countryside that surrounds their workplace and from the seas.

Give them the gift of learning this Christmas with Learned.Live

You can give them the gift of learning this Christmas. 

From card tricks to basic diving techniques, starting your novel, learn the basics of drumming and a crash course in modelling with clay.

There's a wide and eclectic range of courses covering fields as diverse as Arts and Culture, Business and Finance, Health Beauty and Wellbeing, Humanities and Social Studies, Life Skills, Music, Science nd Tech, Sports and Outdoors, Hobbies and Crafts, Languages.

Teaching and Education, Charity Courses, Free and Taster Courses, Seasonal and Fun.

All of the courses are delivered by experts in their field. For example the card tricks course is taught by Johnathan Reynolds, a British-American who runs his own entertainments company and who has been performing before a wide variety of audiences worldwide for 14 years. He also offers courses in the English language and Chequers and Chess.

The courses are provided by Learned.live, a company founded by Johnathan Reynolds and Sophie Spencer.

The courses are served to students using the Zoom platform so they can learn either within their workplace or at home. 

Learned.Live was launched as a way for Sophie and Jonathan to deal with the first COVID restrictions that put their businesses on hold.

There's an interview with Sophie that explains all the details here https://bit.ly/3DTiMB4.

You can book courses with a gift voucher. Details of how to book the courses plus a full list of courses can be found here:- https://learned.live/.

A wine cooler for Christmas

If you do a lot of entertaining and have sufficient space, you should consider installing a dedicated wine cooler.

Haier offer a modern, attractive wine cooler with a 42 or 77 bottle capacity

You can keep track of your wine collection via a Wi-Fi app. 

It also features a dedicated and utterly unique humidity control air flow system that allows you to store your wine at the perfect temperature.

And it's got a special Dual Zone feature, with independent temperature control for storing red and white wines 

3D warm lighting system design to store wine for the optimum taste and colour

Temperature range between 5 and 20 degrees - preserves wine to the best flavour

Adjustable door – for easier opening for a tailor-made experience in your kitchen

Haier have launched a fabulous, new range of wine coolers. Wine Bank 50 Series 7. 

These new products which were first previewed at IFA last September, feature advanced technologies, premium design and a tailor-made experience. As more people become interested in wine both as an investment and as a hobby, wine cellars have increased in popularity. 

Available at AO and Currys. Visit www.haier-europe.com for details.

Christmas baubles, filled with gin that also light up

If you are looking for the ultimate in adult stocking fillers, the look no more! Because in our quest to find you fantastic Christmas gifts and treats, That's Christmas has found you some Christmas baubles that are filled with gin that also light up!

But it's not just any gin! This gin is crammed full of tantalising with a delicious winter berry gin liqueur and edible 23 karat gold leaf. You'll find notes of redcurrants, blueberries and cranberries.

The mini snow globes will sparkle on your tree. Merely press the button on the base to turn on the light and the bauble will light up for a full 10 minutes before turning itself off to save power,

Each bauble is decorated with a very pretty and utterly perfect Christmas scene to make a festive set.

Ideal sipped neat or served with a dry tonic or perhaps some ginger ale. Plus a good amount of ice (if icy cocktails is your thing. Looks good if garnished with your favourite winter berries or even out of season strawberries.

Where can you find these special Gravity Drinks baubles? They are stocked by Costco, Master of Malt, Amazon, Firebox and Harvey Nichols.

A set of six will cost £39.99 from Amazon.

Tuesday 23 November 2021

Volcano Coffee your Christmas treat

If you are looking to buy someone some special Christmas coffee which not only tastes great but has some genuine green credentials, then fully independent South London coffee roasters Volcano Coffee Works have a gift list that is perfect for the speciality coffee lover.

What about the Volcano Coffee Works compostable coffee pod subscription? This suits a wide variety of different tastes. 

Each subscription contains 40 Nespresso®-compatible, 100% compostable and vegan friendly coffee pods. The capsules, lids and bag packaging are made from a bio-based cornstarch material. 

So after your coffee is made, just put the waste in your local council's food-waste collection bin. 

They are delivered free of charge. You can specify whether you want them delivered weekly or once a monthly.

The Volcano Coffee Works subscription pod options are:

The Bold Morning Shot with Nespresso® Compatible Eco Coffee Pods subscription is priced at £26 and available from the Volcano Coffee Works website: https://volcanocoffeeworks.com/products/subscription-bold-morning-shot-pods

Balanced All Day Subscription (Nespresso Compatible Eco Coffee Pods) - 40 pods subscription is £26 and is available from the Volcano Coffee Works website here: https://volcanocoffeeworks.com/products/subscription-balanced-nespresso-compatible-eco-coffee-pods

Reserve Rich Sweet Subscription (Nespresso Compatible Eco Coffee Pods) - 40 pods subscription is priced at £28 and is available from the Volcano Coffee Works website: https://volcanocoffeeworks.com/products/subscription-reserve-rich-sweet-pods

But there's another great gift that they'll really love you for. Thr Espresso Making and Latte Art Masterclass!

You can gift them the experience to learn the mastery of the espresso machine and all forms of espresso based drinks. 

Your gift recipient will learn the differences between each drink, plus how to serve the perfect version.

 Espresso making starts with coffee grinding, tamping and extracting espresso shots before moving onto the fundamentals of latte art. Participants will learn milk texturing, pouring and how to create latte art designs of Tulip, Heart and Rosetta.

A £65 ticket includes: A complimentary 200g bag of Volcano Coffee Works coffee, 10% off brewing equipment, a Volcano Coffee Works tote bag, a brew guide booklet to take home and a subscription offer. The ticket will be downloadable once purchased and can also be accessed through logging into your Volcano Coffee Works website if the recipient can’t attend the date it can be easily changed to another available date.


Roaster's Choice Coffee Gift Subscription

Volcano Coffee Work's Gift Subscription delivers a unique new coffee to subscribers every month. Pay for your friend or family member to receive three, six or twelve months deliveries and start them on a voyage through a world of new coffees.

The Roaster’s Choice includes:

400g of limited edition coffee from a new country each month

Coffees of the world information cards to learn more about the coffees and how to brew them

The set is £17 from https://volcanocoffeeworks.com/collections/gifts/products/roasters-choice-coffee-gift-subscription?variant=37452021235893

Friday 19 November 2021

Their first Christmas together!


Nyetimber has partnered with professional tablescapers, Lay London, to launch their first ever Christmas tableware gift set

This Christmas, English Sparkling Wine producer, Nyetimber, is collaborating with expert tablescapers, Lay London, to create a range of very exclusive festive homeware items, available to both buy and also to rent.

Sisters Jemima and Alice Herbert founded Lay London, the city’s first tablescape rental service to deliver beautiful dinner party looks straight to the door. And for Christmas 2021 they have designed tableware items especially for Nyetimber.

In each of the products, the sisters have taken inspiration from Nyetimber’s colour palette. The spearmint green of the Cuvee Chérie bottle foil and the iconic Nyetimber Routemaster bus forms the base of the scheme and for Christmas 2021, the bus is returning in the form of a festive bauble. Lending a fresh twist on the typical Christmas setting, the collection combines the Nyetimber green with wintery blues, snow white and hints of festive sparkle.

All good dinner tables begin with a beautiful tablecloth, which is the first of three items exclusively created for Nyetimber. Lay London has produced a large hand-block printed tablecloth with a powder blue and green floral base. By combining rich colours with a bold pattern, the cloth is still suitably festive, with a contemporary makeover. 

To compliment the look, there is also a set of eight cotton napkins, adorned with a minimalist, hand-printed take on a traditional Christmas tree. Finally, to tie the whole scheme together, Lay London has put a Nyetimber twist on their trademark marbled dinner candles. Tall, glossy candles, hand-dipped in marbled hues of mint and emerald-green, have been designed by Lay to complete the classic yet modern look this Christmas. 

Discussing the collaboration, the Herbert sisters said: “It’s been a real joy to partner with Nyetimber, such a modern yet iconic luxury British brand this Christmas. We love creating bespoke tablescapes so when tasked with using the Nyetimber brand and heritage as inspiration, we were keen to get going. Traditionally, Christmas décor is associated with rich reds and a deeper palette which we’ve steered away from in favour of a contemporary look with a variety of textures and bright, vibrant patterns. Nyetimber may use traditional production methods and be steeped in history, however it’s a forward-thinking brand which we wanted to reflect in our scheme.”

CEO and Owner Eric Heerema added: “Precision and attention to detail run through the core of everything we do at Nyetimber, so I was delighted to see the efforts that Jemima and Alice went to, to incorporate the Nyetimber ethos into the overall scheme. Their modern reimagining of Christmas is beautiful and once a bottle of Nyetimber is brought out on Christmas Day, the whole table will be complete and really sing.

The exclusively designed items are available to purchase as part of two gift bundles, bringing together the best of Lay London and Nyetimber. There is also the option to rent the full tablescape with wine. Please visit www.nyetimber.com.

Thursday 18 November 2021

Draw your own 3-D Sweets with Polaroid

Just in time for Christmas 2021, Menkind have brought to market a truly stunning technological innovation. A device that lets you draw and print your own sweets in 3D!

Menkind are the exclusive retailers of the Polaroid Candy Play 3D Pen, with which you can actually draw your own sweets!

It's an easy-use pen device that employs edible filaments that are available in six different flavours, or a you can used mixed flavours.

What flavours are available? Apple, Cola, Grape, Lemon, Mixed Flavours, Orange and Strawberry. 

To launch your new career as a 3D Christmas sweet printer you get four free strawberry-flavoured cartridges. Plus they provide a special finishing cartridge that ensures you can use every particle of the sweet stuff in your cartridge.

And you can order as many replacement cartridges in whatever flavours you want.

What can you design? Houses made from sweets, lovely little crowns, flowers, little bushes, in fact you can make just about anything you can conceive.

Make edible personalised party treats, or even create very exclusive cake toppings. And even if your design might not work out perfectly, don't worry! You, your family and friends can hide the evidence by eating them and starting all over again!

The sweets created are vegan friendly and totally sugar-free, so nobody needs to miss out on these wonderful 3-D sweets!

It's specially designed for easy cleaning and it's powered by via USB-C.

It's suitable for people age 14 and up. But, of course, you'll be able to make sweets for all your younger siblings and relatives.

The Polaroid Candy Play 3D Pen (complete with four strawberry flavoured cartridges to start you off) costs £35.

Extra 40 filament packs can cost £14.97.

To order your Polaroid Candy Play 3D Pen you can visit your local branch of Menkind or order on line at https://www.menkind.co.uk/.

You'll also find a whole host of other amazing gift ideas from stuff for foodies (including a sausage making machine!) to novelty items to high tech gadgets.

Have yourself a Laura Ashley Christmas

There's a lot going on this Christmas at Laura Ashley. In fact, there's always a lot going on every Christmas at Laura Ashley, ever since Bernard and Laura Ashley launched the brand back in 1953.

So, what nifty gifty ideas can you find at Laura Ashley for this Christmas?

Everyone loves a nice sea breeze. So why not make Beachcomber one of your Christmas gifts this year?

They'll be able to infuse their home with a fresh coastal breeze. When they open it, they delight in fresh fruity notes of sweet, ripe melon and crunchy apple, which are matched with seaside floral scents, with an underpinning of creamy sandalwood. 

The top notes featured are: Apple, Lemon. The heart notes: Lily of the Valley, Ozonic Notes, Base notes: Violet, Sandalwood. It's £16 for a 100 ml difuser.

Or perhaps you will be buying a gift for a candle lover? Then look no further than this delightful candle. 

With a burn time of some 40 hours, they'll be able to bring about a welcoming and homely environment with its enjoyable and comforting floral fragrance with notes of freshly pressed linen, fragrant jasmine and soft white musk.

It is 8.5cm tall and has a diameter of 12cm. And it costs £18.

Buying a delightful fur throw can be a little bit of a challenge. After all, whilst everyone loves the look of fur, we don't all want real fur these days.

Which is where this comes in to its own and makes a might fine Christmas gift. 

It's a gorgeous soft chocolate fur throw. The Hexham throw has a velvet velour reverse featuring an exquisitely embroidered Laura Ashley signature.

It's absolutely perfect for creating a warm and cosy look in any room. Ideal for an orangery, a conservatory or a garden room, perhaps? 

It's dry clean only and is 100% Polyester. It's available at £140.

Also available is the matching Hexham soft chocolate fur cushion with velvet velour reverse featuring a beautifully embroidered Laura Ashley signature. A cushion pad is included for instantly plush style.

Or perhaps you have someone in mind who has a space in their home (and heart!) for a stunningly attractive clock this Christmas?

The high-shine mirror surface of the Laura Ashley Lexham Clock is perfect for contemporary homes, and the modern, sleek feel is a perfect complement to chic and clean interiors.

Its height is 32cm, the width is 5cm and it's 15cm deep. It costs £34.

Actually, giving this matter some thought, if you are going to gift them the Lexham Clock, why not also buy them an utterly delightful and charming set of two mirrored Laura Ashley trinket boxes with gorgeous, beautiful mirrored panelling. Largest H9.2 cm, W98 cm, D98 cm. Smallest H7.2 cm, W8.1 cm, D8.1 cm. £22 for the set of two makes this an affordable Christmas present.

Of course, that's only a tiny part of the range of eminently suitable Christmas gifts from Laura Ashley, so please visit https://www.next.co.uk/laura-ashley to learn more about what's available. Incidentally it was my wife who introduced me to the quirky and delightful world of Laura Ashley over 30 years ago.

Yo-yos are back with Wicked

Remember back in the old days? It seemed that everyone was out in the school playground trying top perfect their yo-yo tricks. But that was then, this is now!

Yo-yos are back, but the technology of yo-yos has come on in leaps and bounds since people perfected tricks such as ‘Walk the Dog’ and ‘Rock the Baby.'

But is there such a thing as yo-yo technology? There certainly is and this is exemplified with the brand spanking new Wicked Mega Spin Saturn Yo-yo which will help you dust off your skills and take them to the next level! Or even another planet, as the founder and CEO of Wicked, David Strang attests!

Remember fixed axles? These are gone, eliminated in favour of a super smooth ball-bearing axle providing ultra-long spin times – you’ll being a yo-yo pro in no time! 

But that's not all! It features some nifty super bright colour changing LED lights to really make your tricks light up the whole room. Or even the snow-covered back garden? There's an idea!

Wicked Founder/CEO David Strang said “It’s looking like the Saturn is going to be a top seller this Christmas! We’ve had lots of interest from big retailers who remember playing with yo-yos when they were younger. It’s a timeless toy, every child had one!”

Their compact size and low price point make them perfect stocking fillers and come Christmas morning, there’s no nasty plastic packaging to throw away – the cardboard presentation box can be fully recycled!

Red Letter Days provides a special gift for your special people

You will have some very special people in your life, people who you want to buy something nice for. But... clothing? Not this year! A watch? Only got two wrists!

You bought them a phone last year, the lovely pots and pans you bought them Christmas before last have a lifetime guarantee, so what can you gift them this year?

How about something very special from the folks over at Red Letter Days?

They have a very special Merry Christmas Gift Box  that costs a very remarkable £49.99.

Red Letter Days now features in excess of  2625 stunning experiences available right throughput the UK

Want to zoom along a zip line? Enjoy a special spa day? Meet with an animal, enjoy 50 laps in a go kart? Or perhaps some fine dining is more their scene?

There's gin master classes in a very special location in Liverpool, enjoy an afternoon tea is Soho featuring some rather tasty burgers, or maybe the person you are buying the gift for would prefer to indulge in a spot off off road driving in a 4x4? It really doesn't matter as there's an amazing array of Red Letter Days experiences for them to choose from.

The gift is valid for a full year (24 months) and please remember that no matter your Christmas gift recipient’s idea of fun, there are an amazing array of plenty of different experiences for them to enjoy.

Actually, why not buy everyone on your list one of these Merry Christmas Gift Boxes?

To learn more please visit https://www.redletterdays.co.uk/experience/ref/rld11459981/merry-christmas-gift-box.

And what's more, up until 25th December Red Letter Days will be donating 10% of sales from the Merry Christmas Gift Box to Child Poverty Action Group.

All I want for Christmas is Moooo!

Everyone is preparing for Christmas. And that is especially true for Dorset artist Lucy Tidbury, of Lucy's Farm fame. 

Actually, the truth is that Lucy has been working very hard for a considerable period of time to make sure her customers both old and new will be able to enjoy purchasing her limited-edition festive collection, which is available to purchase now. 

So, what happened down at Lucy’s Farm is the creation of a new collection of uniquely festive cards, seasonal homeware and fantastic tree decorations. 

They're featuring beautifully illustrated and fun packed animal portraits,  including the ever-popular Moo selfie cow art.

You'll have to remember that each product in the Lucy’s Farm Christmas range began life as an original painting by Lucy herself who is widely acknowledged as one of Dorset's most talented artists.

So, what's available this year?

Advent calendar  

This is a truly wonderful and special advent calendar that features Lucy’s best-known festive animal paintings on all 24 of the advent doors. But even better, behind each unique art-covered door is secreted a Christmas themed chocolate treat. The A4 sized calendar is available nowfor delivery in mid-November and is priced at £12.50. 

Christmas bauble  

But it's not just any Christmas bauble! Give your Christmas tree its very own treat when you present it with this most charming and beautiful Christmas decoration that you’ll want to use every Christmas from now on. It will become part of your family's very own Christmas traditions.

 What's depicted on it? Lucy’s new reindeer painting. They are miniature works of art in their own right. Each piece carries Lucy's signature and at only £15, you'll be very impressed that it is made from fine quality bone china in  our very own Stoke on Trent, so these will rapidly become modern heritage pieces.

Christmas platters 

Everyone needs a Christmas platter! But if you buy one, make sure you get a proper 12" Christmas platter. Each one features another vibrant festive design, featuring Lucy's signature. Incidentally these are also crafted in the finest quality bone china in Stoke on Trent. They are priced at £30.

Christmas placemats and coasters 

One of my favourite jobs at Christmas as a child was to help decorate the dinner table. 

You can dress and decorate your Christmas table with this stunning range of placemats and coasters which feature Lucy’s new  reindeer design, plus Christmas Moo and Highland Moo portraits. Each is available individually or as part of a set and prices start from £4 for a coaster and £8 for a placemat. 

Moo Christmas cards 

There are two new spiffing designs for 2021 as Party Moo and Reindeer Moo join some old favourites from over the last several years. You'll find Santa Moo, Christmas Moo, Mistletoe Moo and Robin Moo. The cards are left blank inside so they'll be truly unique Christmas greetings from you to your loved one, family members and special people in your lives, as they receive the card with your own message. They also, of course!) come with some quality white envelopes. Available as a pack  of 12 at a cost of £12, you can choose the designs you want to receive. 

And please be aware that all the china products in the Lucy’s Farm Christmas range are dishwasher proof. There is also a gift  wrap option available on all products bought online, if you're buying for someone else.

To see the full range of gifts and to place you order, visit Lucy’s Farm at www.lucysfarm.co.uk.

Give a Life-Changing Gift to a Homeless Young Person this Christmas

With this Christmas set to hopefully look different from last year's, the majority of the UK will be in preparation for the festive season filled with family, friends, and festivities. Sadly, for many homeless young people that won’t be the case this year.

After months of a turbulence due to Covid, these vulnerable young adults deserve a Christmas just like everyone else. Through Centrepoint, the UK’s leading charity for homeless young people, you can buy a simple gift to help keep them safe, well and inspired this Christmas.

All the indications are we will see another increase in the number of homeless young people this Christmas, so these ‘gifts’, which most of us take for granted, are needed more than ever right now. With life-changing gifts ranging from £10 to £144 any donation small or large makes every bit of difference to their lives this Christmas – visit: centrepoint.org.uk/morethanagift.

More Than a Christmas Dinner, £10.00

Christmas dinner is a time when family members and friends join together to share a meal and celebrate the season. But for young people who are not able to be with their family, it can be a dreadfully lonely time. By providing them with a Christmas dinner, you’ll be offering a homeless young person a comforting, hot meal to enjoy over the Christmas season in a safe, comfortable environment.

More Than a Set of Toiletries, £15.00

Giving and receiving gifts is a special part of Christmas. By giving a Christmas gift to a young person, you can help to bring a sense of love, inclusion and normality to their Christmas Day.

More Than a Counselling Session, £20.00

We offer counselling and psychological support through our therapists and Key Workers. By buying a counselling session for a young person, you're offering them the support they need to recover from their experiences and leave homelessness behind them for good.

More Than a Christmas Jumper, £25.00

Having a cosy Christmas jumper is a great way to feel part of the festive season. The gift of a jumper can help a homeless young person feel warm, comfortable and part of the festivities during this Christmas season.

More Than a Christmas Gift, £30.00

Living on the streets, sofa surfing or sleeping on a night bus can make it hard for a young person to take care of their basic hygiene needs. The gift of items like toothpaste, deodorants etc. can help make a young person feel better about themselves by making use of products we usually take for granted.

More Than a Health Check, £30.00

When a young person arrives at Centrepoint, we carefully assess both their mental and physical health to determine how best to support their needs now and in the future.

This gift ensures we can provide them with the tailored support they need to recover from their experiences.

More Than a Bed, £35.00

Without a bed of their own, a homeless young person may often have no other option but to sofa-surf or even sleep out on the streets. Without the safety and comfort of a warm bed, how can we expect a homeless young person to be happy, healthy or able to build a positive future for themselves?

More Than a Kitchen Starter Pack, £40.00

Moving on from Centrepoint, young people may not initially have enough funds for basic items such as kitchenware. The gift of cooking utensils, pots and pans will help them to cook at home for themselves.

More Than a Christmas Hamper, £50.00

Christmas is an expensive time for everyone, but for homeless young people, affording even the very basic groceries can be a major problem. The gift of a Christmas hamper can help a young person to avoid hunger over the Christmas period, and enjoy some special extras into the New Year.

More Than a Clothes Bundle, £60.00

The right clothes can be formative to confidence, success and a sense of identity. This gift provides a young person with the clothes they need to face their future.

More Than a Study Kit, £80.00

For a homeless young person, stationery, backpacks and laptops are items that carry an unrealistically  steep price tag. Not having these items can mean an uphill struggle with education. A study kit can provide them with the opportunity to succeed in education or work.

More Than Music Lessons, £85.00

For many young people, engaging in music lessons has been an effective way of coping with the traumas of homelessness and beginning to move on for good. Ten lessons could help a young person to recover, or even unlock a hidden talent and open themselves up to new opportunities.

More Than Room Sponsorship, £144.00

A room at Centrepoint can ensure a young person gets the support they need to move on from a life of homelessness. This gift will not only provide a warm, safe room but also includes vital support a young person may not have previously had. The backing and  the support they need to prepare them for an independent life and help them break the cycle of homelessness for good.

Please note: All the money given to Centrepoint will be used to fund our work with homeless young people. These gifts are provided as examples of what we provide for young people and represent how donations could be used.

To find out more please visit http://www.centrepoint.org.uk/.

That's Christmas would like to thank Centrepoint and The Red Consultancy for helping us to prepare this post. 

"Red supports Centrepoint to help young homeless people have a brighter future." 


Sunday 14 November 2021

That's Books and Entertainment: More Taste & Less Waste

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That's Books and Entertainment: I'm Going to Find You

That's Books and Entertainment: I'm Going to Find You:   In 1976 there was the longest heatwave in decades. And in  I'm Going to Find You J D Pullan brings her readers the story of the disapp...

That's Books and Entertainment: Cut the Crap and Feel Amazing

That's Books and Entertainment: Cut the Crap and Feel Amazing: Cut the Crap and Feel Amazing is an important new book from Ailsa Frank who is a highly regarded hypnotherapist, motivational coach and self...

That's Books and Entertainment: Dangerous Skies

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That's Books and Entertainment: Rufus Needs a Haircut

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That's Books and Entertainment: Vicious Cycle

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Saturday 13 November 2021

That's Books and Entertainment: Gothic Ghost Stories

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Friday 12 November 2021

Buy unique island gifts

Got someone in your family who would be really thrilled to get something different for Christmas?

Then these special handmade, embroidered products offer ‘one of a kind’ pieces, which are all created by a women's sewing cooperative that is based in the island of Madagascar.

Handcrafted with recycled cotton, each individual item is guaranteed to be utterly unique and offers a stunning gift with a very genuine, heartfelt Christmas meaning.

Made by the women of the Stitch Sainte Luce cooperative, the items’ sales generate highly valuable income for families in Madagascar; who need our support now more than ever, as 1.15 million people on the island face starvation, due to a famine.

Stitch Sainte Luce, supported by the charity SEED Madagascar, has taught embroidery, as well as business skills in maths, sales and English language, to over 100 women. Alongside value incomes, the cooperative has also helped empower women, giving them a creative and social outlet and building self-confidence. 

For more information on Stitch Sainte Luce, or to buy products, please visit www.stitchsainteluce.org

For further details on the current food crisis in Madagascar please visit the SEED Madagascar website – www.madagascar.co.uk.

Thursday 11 November 2021

Sixpence Pud Liqueur Gin


Sixpence Pud Liqueur Gin. It's a golden, shimmering Christmas in a bottle!

Those wonderful souls who brought you Snow Globe Gin have worked hard and with dedication to bring you yet another festive treat, their Sixpence Pud Gin Liqueur.

 It is both thrilling to look at and shockingly tasty. With its traditional Christmas Pud good looks, the swirling, luminescent shimmering golden cast of the drink, it adds a whole new dimension to your Christmas table, where it will be a new traditional centre piece of your Christmas celebrations.

Years ago, silver sixpenny pieces were put into the traditional Christmas pudding and whoever found it would receive a year's good luck.

That's now replaced with the opportunity for everyone at the Christmas table to receive not only a shimmering golden sip (or two!)  bringing its own good luck, but the chance to indulge in a very Christmassy drink redolent of warming traditional Yuletide spices, candied fruits, a hint of caramel the taste of oranges and of cinnamon, all cunningly mingled with the finest available gin.

It can be taken neat in a suitable glass, on the rocks or why not use it as the basis for a nifty series of festive cocktails? Added to sparkling white wines like Prosecco, Champagne or British sparkling whites it creates a golden, shimmering treat for the taste buds and the eyes.

It will make a remarkable Christmas gift for the gin lover in your life. Or a marvellous self-gift for you!

Or you can buy it direct from the producers, Gravity Drinks, at https://gravitydrinks.co.uk/collections/shop-our-range.  

Do check out their other talked about and stunning drinks whilst you are there.