What to buy older teenage boys for Christmas

I’d like to think this is a gift guide with a difference!

First of all, anything I have suggested here I have bought my teens through the years or I know of friends who have bought their boys similar. Secondly, none of it has been sent to me to be promoted, so any companies I mention here I have actually used or bought from them over the last 7 or 8 years.

I also think that teen boys are much harder to buy for than girls ( probably because I don’t have girls but I would imagine with clothes, perfumes and makeup and jewellery most things can be covered and they are so expensive too so a designer item could certainly be covered as a main Christmas present!) and I appreciate I could totally be wrong about this, but I have only experience in buying for boys in this house and so I think that is where my expertise lies.

I also do not like giving my boys money! That’s just a personal choice I make and I also think they like it that way. Any family members who buy for them instead give them money so they always have cash to put towards something more expensive in the sales. We also aren’t the type of bargain hunters that go out first thing on Boxing Day to buy stuff in the sales either (again our personal choice). Therefore, I like to buy my boys things I know they want as a main present and then fill it out with the usual extras like, underwear, t-shirts, books, cd’s or films etc. That way we all still enjoy a chilled out morning with everyone opening their pressies etc as we did when they were little – and again they love it that way! Keep on Reading!

Review- Le Toy Van Car and Mat set

I was asked at the end of summer if I would review a selection of toys from  a company called Doll Houses via Big Game Hunters at http://www.dollshouses.co.uk

The toys on offer were really for children who were much younger than my boys, however, a friend of mine agreed to review them as her youngest was the perfect age group as he has just started in reception at school.

I chose the Le Toy Van Car Playmat which retails at £27.50, and the Le Toy Van London Car Set which is £13.00.

Delivery was swift and the items were very well packaged together.

This is what was in the package!

 

The cars still boxed
The mat unrolled

On first glance when I opened the roll mat I thought it seemed a little thin considering the price! However, it has a non slip back on it which compensated as most modern family houses have wooden or laminate flooring and the backing would be very practical.

The cars seemed in keeping with most other wooden car toys aimed at that agegroup, but I thought the London set was a great  idea as it was just after the Olympics and most adults and kids could relate to it.

So I handed the toys to my friend whose children seemed to enjoy immediately. She has 2 boys and 1 girl, 1 boy just started school and 1 just started secondary school with the girl in the middle!! She did pass on that they all had a play with it so we can certainly say it’s a universal toy suitable for slightly older children than it is targeted to as well.

SO HERE’S WHAT WAS SAID……….

 

‘At first glance this mat seems rather expensive but when I compared it to others on the market I would say it offers better value. It lays flat as soon as it is rolled out and has an anti slip backing which is great for our wooden floors! The pile is flat too, which made it far easier for my children to move the cars around. I particularly liked the attention to detail e.g. Disabled parking bays and bus stops.
The London car set that came with it was great too as my children immediately identified them (living in greater London). There was only one small design fault. The steering wheel had been painted on the left! My 8 year old daughter spotted this straight away which is a shame, as the car mat is designed for right handed vehicles.
Overall I would say they were both very good value for money!!’

So have a look at their website here as they cater for both boys and girls with what looks like good quality wooden toys. With Christmas coming this company is worth a look.
DISCLAIMER: these products were sent for review purposes only. All opinions are for a candid and truthful review of the product. No other payment was received with regard for this review.

Knitting Project #7-9 – 2012

I have actually knitted lots but hate the sewing up part, that way I have lots of projects knitted but not finished!!

So here are a few I have managed to finish properly and photograph.

Girls sparkly hand warmers complete with bows!
Summer scarf- cotton mix so cool to wear
Beanie hat complete with sparkly flower

I still have more to post but I need to stop procrastinating and get on with the bloody sewing up!!

The projects are getting a little more involved each time so watch this space for the next few.

Hotel Chocolat at Christmas!

I don’t know about you but I do love novelty Christmas chocolates, you know the stuff I’m talking about- coins, mini Santa and Snowmen, mini Christmas puds etc. I tend to buy a lot of these in order to fill up my boy’s advent calenders each year, which they love by the way.

But as far as chocolate goes I have my favourites and I’ve got to say Hotel Chocolat is one of them! OK I know what your thinking and your right they are very pricey!! But if you receive something from Hotel Chocolat you at least know people have made the effort ( as I don’t know about you but I literally could spend hours in there looking at everything!)

However, I’m on a serious budget over Christmas and have been for a few years now after having to give up work through illness. So I have had to rethink Christmas presents especially all the added ones, such as teachers etc. I tend to go for more homemade stuff, eg: hot chocolate cones, making my own gingerbread men and wrapping  and Hampers etc.

But what I do to add a little something special is to go to Hotel Chocolat and invest in their little slabs or their mini packs of 6 choc’s to use in these. So I would put 1 or 2 mini chocolates at the top of the Hot Chocolate cone. Or a little slab inside a family hamper. I tend to find that these are on offers most of the time!

But I do love their novelty gifts at Christmas, Mini Santa’s/ Snowmen/Reindeer’s etc!

So take a look at their website for their Christmas range this year:

Christmas Gifts

Stocking Fillers

The links above cover everything from the very special and expensive to the smaller, more affordable but still very special!!

DISCLOSURE: I was sent a box of their Sleekster  chocolates to try as a gift for a sponsored post.