Showing posts with label gifts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gifts. Show all posts

30 October 2018

The Unspoken Rules of Giving Gifts

As the most festive time of year is inching ever closer, the mind immediately wanders towards gift giving: what to buy your friends and family, and more often than not, the gifts you yourself would like to receive too. There are some unspoken rules when it comes to buying presents for your nearest and dearest, though – and can even cause anxiety – is your present expensive or sentimental enough? Should you have just stuck to joke gifts? Who are you expected to buy a gift for?

Gift Giving Rules to Live By
Why is it that these rules never discussed? It would make life so much easier, don’t you think?

We have all been there – having bought someone a gift card last minute and then receiving an incredible gift that you adore in return. Avoidthe awkwardness and create some hard and fast rules to live by, for Christmas, Easter and beyond!
  • If you know someone is buying you a gift, be prepared and make it reciprocal
  • Set a cost limit for gifts – either with the individual or as a blanket across the board so that you don’t get blindsided
  • Be consistent with the people you buy gifts for, year in year out
By making the most of gift-giving etiquette and these rules for buying presents for your loved ones, you can easily avoid any awkwardness and potential conflict. And we can all agree that this will only ever be a good thing!

Finding a Suitable Gift
Knowing how to find the right gift is something that many people struggle with, but it doesn’t have to be. You just need to know where to start.

Firstly, do some research. Have a look through their social media – what have they been talking about, or is there something they are excited about but haven’t bought already. Instagram and Pinterest – and even Amazon wish lists –are a great starting point.

Make a list of all the things you know and love about your loved ones and use this to help when looking for inspiration. It doesn’t even have to be a gift, organising something you can do together is also a great way of spending some quality time together.

Finally, make it personal – while buying something the person wants or needs is a great start, be sure to add a personal touch. Does your loved one love cheese boards? Put together some of your favourite cheeses and crackers for example.

It’s cliché for a reason, but being prepared in this way can really make gift giving an easy task, and you will go down in history as someone who gives the most thoughtful and generous gifts – and that’s never going to be a bad thing!

Alternative Ideas
These days, knowing what to buy as a gift in itself can be difficult. You always run the risk that you end up buying something they already own or buying something they simply won’t ever use. A great alternative to getting around this is to opt for something less physical; perhaps a donation to a charity or sponsoring an animal, a gift with real value to the recipient. These kinds of gift are so easy to organise and really demonstrate how well you know your friend or family member, and always go down well.

With just a little bit of planning and forethought you can be the gift giving queen or king that you were always destined to be. Follow the rules and you can’t go wrong. It is always worth remembering, though: Christmas is but one day of the year. Don’t get yourself into debt for this one day, your family and friends really will understand if you can’t afford it this year, and more importantly, they will still love you on Boxing Day!

26 September 2018

5 Top Tips For Pre Planning Christmas Gifts

I don't want to scare you away; but I am going to use a word that can put dread and panic into your heart.  Christmas.

Christmas you say?  It is months away, why are you talking about it now?

Quietly whispers to you, it's only 3 months....  

Well, my suddenly terrified reader, because I want you to be prepared this Christmas and not run around like a headless chicken, credit card in hand; buying presents the week before the big day.  I have been there.  I swore never again.

So here are my top tips for pre planning your gift buying for Christmas without making a mess of your finances with panic purchases.  If you plan ahead, Christmas doesn't have to be that stressful.  I promise.

Lists Are Your Friend

So you have had a (hopefully) lovely Christmas with friends and family.  A few too many festive wines, waaaay too much chocolate and the last thing you want to think of is next year's Christmas planning.  My first tip.  Have a break first, leave your planning till February.

Next, make a list of the usual family and friends that you will be buying a present for.  Add in a miscellaneous gift to the list.  For the person who invariably turns up with an unexpected gift that you want to reciprocate.

Alongside the name of each person, write an amount that you are happy to spend on them and will stick to.  Now you have a budget that you can save for each month.  Add another £50 to it marked Christmas.  Trust me.

Take Advantage of Post Christmas Sale Items

OK now I know I told you to wait a couple of months to think about Christmas, but buying some dirt cheap wrapping paper on sale and maybe a few cards isn't going to kill you in January, right?  I much prefer my money to go on the contents, not in its wrapping.

What Do Women (Men & Children) Want?

It's June.  You made your list a couple of months ago, you've started saving.  You are ahead of the game.  Now is the time to start thinking about things that you want to buy.  Write them on your list.  Check out the latest deals, find out when the sales are.  That watch you want to buy for your boyfriend for example sounds a lot better at £50 in a sale than £100 two days before Christmas doesn't it?

Live By The List, Don't Die By The List

It's September.  Hopefully by now your Christmas saving budget is going well.  You have bought a few presents.  You are on track.  But are you?  Sometimes you can plan all you want and then you might have a couple of rough months financially and your saving isn't quite where it should be.  Don't panic.  You have time.

People appreciate the thought of a present and the time spent coming up with a great gift more than the amount it cost.  If you need to make changes, reduce your budget or maybe have that conversation with a friend about maybe not swapping gifts this year, it is okThe world will not end.

Time To Wrap It Up

It's the end of November.  Finish your shopping, wrap your presents.  You are set.  

The next few weeks will be distributing gifts, office parties and impromptu "hey lets go for a drink, it's Christmas" invitations.   Things that you haven't accounted for in your Christmas saving budget.  That is what you will spend your extra £50 on.  You will, without a doubt, end up spending more, but at least you have a little buffer for some fun.

So that's it!  My pre planning for Christmas tips!  Let me know what your tips for Christmas planning are.

*Collaborative piece

1 December 2017

What to do when your Christmas gifts arrive damaged

The moment you've been waiting for weeks for finally arrives; your Christmas presents are here and much to your dismay, some of them are broken!

Unfortunately, these things happen, so it’s important not to get too caught up in the disappointment. Instead, act quickly and get the problem resolved well before Christmas Day arrives.

Even Santa himself isn’t immune from damaging his precious cargo! The different weather conditions and environments can take it’s toll on his sleigh, preventing him getting from A to B with all the presents intact.

Fortunately, the protective case experts over at The Case Farm are offering their top tips to help you solve the problem of damaged goods. Read on to discover how to ensure you get your gifts refunded and replaced before Christmas!

Know your rights

As a consumer, you’re entitled to certain rights under the Sale of Goods act 1979 that protect you when purchasing goods.

The Sale of Goods act states that you have legal rights if the item you bought is either:

  • Broken or damaged in some way
  • Unusable
  • Not as advertised i.e. it isn’t as the seller described

It’s a good idea to be aware of these rights if you’ve received damaged goods, as they can help you get the compensation you deserve!

Find your proof of purchase

When buying items online or in-store, it’s crucial to keep hold of your proof of purchase just in case situations like this arise. This is usually a receipt, but it’s best to check the retailer’s returns to see what counts as ‘proof’ of purchase.

Many retailers require that you must have proof of purchase if you wish to return an item or get a refund, so it’s a good idea to keep hold of your receipts as a precaution.

Contact the retailer

If the shop or online retailer you bought your presents from have good customer service, then this process should be simple and straightforward.

The retailer may ask for purchase details or whether the goods are damaged or faulty. You will then be entitled to a refund, repair or replacement.

You can claim a full refund for a faulty product within 30 days of purchase. So if you’re tight for time, this might be the best option for you to get your money back in time for Christmas.

Get a helping hand

If the shop you bought your gifts from refuses to refund, replace or repair your damaged goods, you may need a bit of extra help to get your money back.

For big purchases such as second-hand cars, you can enlist the help of a consumer ombudsman. This is a free, independent service that helps you deal with your dispute and hopefully get it resolved!

*Collaborative post

21 November 2017

Christmas Gift Guide For Women In Their 30s

Hello everyone!  I won't say happy Christmas, as it isn't December yet but Christmas is now all around us; with trees in shop windows, cards in the stores and the list of presents that we need to buy our loved ones, which seems to increase every year.

Today I thought that I would do a Christmas Gift Guide for women who are in their 30s.  My demographic (just about, don't say 40s, I have another 2 years to go yet!).  These are some of the things that I would love to receive in my stocking this year.

Everything I have chosen could be bought by a family member, close friend or even an acquaintance or work associate for their Secret Santa.

2.  Microwavable Slippers £13.99

3.  Folklore Hand Cream £6.00

4.  The Book of Everyone £32.90 (hardcover version)

My favourites from this section are the Little Book of Cocktails (find me a woman in her thirties who doesn't like cocktails, an impossible feat) and the Book of Everyone.  This book is a great gift to give to a family member or close friend as it is completely personalised to them and the day they were born.

 1.  Mermaid Makeup Bag £9.00

3.  Leather Goals Journal £36.99

4.  Compact Mirror £14.99

5.  Crazy Cat Lady Mug £12.50

My favourites from this section are the Mermaid make up bag, perfectly sized and a great design; and the goals journal.  Whether you are writing your future goals or planning times ahead with family and friends, this is a beautiful notebook to have on your desk.

I hope you like my gift guide and find something for the person in your life this Christmas!

31 May 2017

For the Love of Mum and Dad


Isn’t it amazing how much we once took our amazing parents for granted? All that effort and care and love they gave us, all the little things they did, would all fly under the radar, unnoticed by us and our carefree existence. It was part of being a kid. What’s more, is was part of the joy of parenting.
Early mornings, breakfasts, packed lunches, homework help, playing fare-free taxi driver, standing on the side of the sports field in the pouring rain and getting the arts and crafts on so you could be in the Nativity play. They didn’t do it for appreciation, they did it out of love.
Luckily it is never too late to say thank you or drop a little anchor of appreciation.

Your Turn To Cook
Remember all those times your parents cooked a delicious homemade meal for you. Most of the time they did it simply because it was dinner time, but sometimes it was the best to show they love and care about you, to cheer you up and make you smile. Well, why not turn the tables and make them their favorite dinner, or start rehearsing something special and wow them completely. Nothing says love like a delicious meal.

Buy Them Something For No Reason
There are days through the year which are dedicated to moms and dads, but surprising them with an unexpected present ‘just because’ will mean so much more. Catch your dad off guard by getting him one of the ultimate gifts for men, such as a track day, or a golfing experience or even booking him onto a sailing holiday. As for your mum, something like a surprise spa weekend, or getting her two tickets to her favorite theatre production will say I love you louder than the words ever could.

Indulge In Their Interests
Knowing someone has a genuine interest in your passion is one of the best, warmest and fuzziest feelings ever. Someone loves what we love, or maybe not loves but cares about. So why not give your parents this feeling by getting involved in their passions. If they love art exhibitions, go along with them and soak up all their frenzied words. Go out for cocktails and giggles with them if that is what they love doing. Or, if they love camping, then go away with them for a weekend. Just indulge their interests by being genuinely interested. It is such an easy way to create a special bond.

Go To Them For Advice
When you are young, you rely on your parents for everything. They dedicate themselves to you completely; they go above and beyond for you. They make sure you have all the skills and characteristics to make it in the world on your own. Then, suddenly, that reliance stops. You don’t need them like that anymore. But you do. We all do. And a great way to show this is by going to them for help and advice and getting their wide words. This lets them know you still value their opinion, above all others, and that is true trust; that is a loving trust.

*A Collaborative Piece

25 May 2017

Gifts Should Celebrate The Person, Not The Day

It’s always hard to pick the right gift idea for someone. More often than ever, many people are just asking the other what they would like before they get it. The gift becomes a formality, the gift-giver a middleman in a transaction that often does little than help the recipient save some money. If you want your gift to mean something, then why not pick something that goes beyond celebrating the big day by helping them get what they want? Celebrate the person, instead, giving a gift that’s all about them.

About them
How often do you really tell your loved one just how much they mean to you and what kind of impact they’ve had in your life? If you’re one who loves any opportunity to gush about what makes you feel happy and loved, it might be quite often. But that doesn’t mean that getting it in writing or getting it with some time spent on it isn’t a hugely memorable experience. If you’re worried that whatever you’ve bought doesn’t have the emotional impact you want, then why not create a little heartfelt message of appreciation? For instance, you can create a jar of love notes that contains little bits of positivity that the recipient can go back to time and again. Or you can create a love notes photo book that has you and your loved one taking a trip down memory lane with lots of great snaps from over the ages.
Unique to them
Everyone has a few things that they’re not going to share with most of the people they know. Their birthday itself is one thing that they might not share with a lot of people. Why not commemorate the person by commemorating the day itself? For instance, you can get vintage old newspapers from the day they were born, showing how the world was when they first came into it. You can also use the web to look up what songs were on the top of the charts when they were first born. If you want to put some effort in, you can create a playlist or a mixtape for them containing the number ones of their birthday every year.
With them
If you’re really special to that person, then the gift that means the most might just be your company. Especially if you haven’t had a lot of time to spend with them as of late. It might be something as simple as a meal out. Or you can treat them to a spa day. If you’re both the adventurous type and can clear the time, you can consider some of the more exciting and unusual getaways. Visit a hobbit hut, spend a weekend in a treehouse, or just go explore somewhere neither of you have ever been before.

More often than a gift itself, it’s the experience of receiving the gift and the emotional impact that lingers a lot longer. The next time you have to think up a gift, think about celebrating the person, not just their big day.

8 December 2016

Luxury Gift Guide

This post is the first in a set of two blogs I am writing about giving gifts.  Today I am talking luxury presents and what to buy for the person who has everything.  Tomorrow I will be writing about the kind of personalised gifts that you can make and create yourself.

Today however, we are talking luxury.

"For the Man Who Has Everything"

Men can be hard to buy for when you are looking for a special present and of course it all depends on the personality.  Are they into gadgets, do they like cars, what are their hobbies?  One thing we do know is that men seem to universally love watches.

With this in mind what could be more stylish and sought after than a watch, one that you cannot just be bought off the high street and is a little more rare,

With this in mind I have been looking pre owned Omega watches.  To buy a new one would cost you a few thousand pounds, making it a very, very special present!  You can buy pre owned watches for much cheaper however and I particularly love this one.

This particular watch is from 1944 and costs £775.00.  I love the understated elegance.  It has a classic look that timeless.  I have popped the link above if you want to have a look at the range.

"For the Woman Who Has Everything"

I admit it, women are hard to buy for.  Not because there are a limited amount of things that you can buy us, but because we all like different things and our tastes widely vary.   So for this section I am thinking about what I would like for a luxury gift.

For me, from a great friend or relative, nothing could be better than going away to a luxury spa for the weekend.  My favourite one when I am from (up North!) would be the Titanic Spa. They do a brilliant Mother/Daughter package for £385.00. If the present was coming from a partner, I would love a weekend away in an amazing hotel, perhaps something with a spin like a murder mystery weekend?

"The Couple"

So you are looking for a special present for a couple.  Couples can be hard to buy for as you are buying for two different personalities in one present.  What to buy them?  Vouchers are boring and you cannot buy them furniture!

So what about a wireless speaker system that lets them play music in any room of the house?

These Panasonic Wireless Speakers cost £379.99 and you can use it both for your CD collection but also many other sources such as online subscriptions like Spotify.

"When you really can't decide"

So you have to buy somebody a special gift but there is nothing really singing at you. Perhaps they don't have any main hobbies or perhaps you just can't put your finger on what you think they would like.

When it comes down to this, I do not think that you can go far wrong with a luxury hamper.  They can be personalised as to what you want, they work for any time of year and there are so many to choose from at different price ranges.

I love this Start the Party Hamper from Selfridges which has lots of biscuits, confectionery and alcohol to keep anyone happy!

*This is a collaborative post

6 December 2016

Planning for Christmas

When it comes to planning for Christmas, I like to be ahead of the game and start my organising by the end of October.  I usually start putting money away for presents in September.

Whilst this may sound a very long time to be planning for Christmas, believe me, the alternative of buying everything last minute is not something you want to experience.

I have only done this once.  A few years ago I spent the last three days before Christmas buying all of my gifts and Christmas cards.  It was hell.  A twenty person queue in the card shop, daggers at dawn with the person who wants the same gift as you with only one left on the shelf; your bank balance telling you that you cannot afford to buy all of the gifts that you want.

I swore that the next year I would be ultra organised and I have been sticking to my plan ever since.

So what are my top tips for planning for Christmas?

"Have a Budget"

First things, first, before you even start to save up to buy gifts for people, plan your budget.  Decide how much you are going to spend on someone and stick to it.  Work out how long you will need to save for and add another £20.00 to it, for that one person you always forget to buy for.

"Print Your Recipes"

If you are going to be the one cooking on Christmas Day, why not print out some recipes ahead of time so you can start planning your food shopping.  This link for the BBC Good Food is brilliant.

"Be Savvy"

Once I have my budget in place, I tend to start looking a couple of months ahead for ideas of what I want to buy and for whom.  I create a document on my laptop with links to potential presents and check the sites regularly for any sales or discounts that appear.  For toys, electricals and beauty I tend to wait until Black Friday to get a potential bargain.  

"Post Early"

Did you know that accordingly to a recent study done by Datalabel, almost £750,000.00 worth of cards go missing every year?  In the study, found here, 15% of the respondents had had cards go missing that they had sent out.  So always label as clearly as you can and ideally, factor in postage costs into your budget so that you can sent parcels by Special Delivery to give you some insurance if anything does go missing.

"It Ain't All About the Money"

You can always tell when someone puts real thought into a gift.  It is the thought that matters, not the price tag.  A last minute "that will do" gift screams lack of thought a mile away.  Like buying bath oil for someone who you know doesn't have a bath (me).  

If you have a very small budget, how about making some Christmas cookies or making something that is personable to both you and the person receiving the gift?  The best present I have ever received is a homemade photo album filled with photographs of myself and my dad who died when I was young.  I will always cherish it.

How do you plan for Christmas?

*This is a collaborative post 

4 November 2016

Christmas Traditions

When it comes to Christmas, I am big on traditions.

Over the years I have built up a set of traditions and things to do which all combined, make Christmas, well, Christmas!

Some have evolved over the years.  The Christmas Eve cookie and milk have evolved into a glass of wine and a mince pie, sometimes opening one present each if we are feeling naughty!

The Snowman must be watched (the original one, not the one with the dog).  The Doctor Who Christmas special.  Home Alone (although this is more a New Year tradition, stolen from my friend who insists we all watch).

Mum's sherry trifle, which every year we joke is full of more sherry than trifle.  Enough Quality Street to sink a ship.  Turkey dinners and yes, even brussel sprouts.  They can be delicious, I promise.  Check out this recipe on my post

When it comes to Christmas presents, the Terrys chocolate orange is the one present that we know that we will always receive.

I love giving presents,   It is the best part about Christmas.  I spend months picking out the perfect gifts, whether large or small.  Sometimes the ones that give the most joy are the inexpensive ones where you encapsulate someone perfectly in a gift.

When it comes to more expensive gifts, I love to have a little play.  The present of many layers that takes forever to unwrap.  Strangely shaped boxes.  Presents that have little gifts to find as you unwrap to find the main one.

For these little additional gifts I try to find things that are small and inexpensive or preferably free.  I do not after all want to compromise the amount I can spend on a main present by spending all my money on the extras!

For the free stuff I tend to look for free samples of beauty products, trial perfumes and miniature skincare samples.  Trying new products in sample sizes is a great way of finding things that you grow to love, without spending a fortune and this is where sites like Gratisfaction UK come in handy.

In the end, making someone else happy at Christmas is what it should all be about!

So those are my Christmas traditions, what are yours?

* Sponsored post

8 December 2015

Christmas Gifts

I like to start my Christmas shopping early, ideally in mid November before things get scarily busy in the shops.  I am a planner when it comes to gift buying and I always try to buy things for people that are treats, something a little different or something that they would not buy for themselves.  That is what a present is all about!

Here are a few of things that I have come across whilst present buying this year that I loved and took note of.  

Happy Jackson Earphone Case - £8.95 found here
Novelty Eye Mask - £3.99
Bath Glass Wine Holder - £6.95 
Memory One Line Per Day Diary - £11.95 

Picture Quote from Alice in Wonderland - £12.50 found here

These are all of the stocking filler type of price gifts which most of the women I know would to receive, but would not usually buy for themselves.