Christmas Gifts with thought (and less plastic)

Christmas Gifts with thought (and less plastic)

THE NO CRAPOLA GIFT GUIDE

I was hesitant to put together a list of all the things to spend your money on in the next few weeks, as it has felt more and more like a time of creating more stuff that we just don’t need. Without going all Grinchy Humbug Scrooge on you all, I adore Christmas and the food, the spectacles, the family hang time and of course giving and getting lovely presents, BUT, there is often so much total crap involved, massive amounts of wasted everything from trees, to paper, to food to plastic and beyond.

So, I have made a pledge this year, that I have already bored my family with:

Less presents, only useful, long-term, edible, or plastic free and nothing at all that will be in the bin a few weeks after the event. I’ve put a ban on the “fun” presents, the “joke” ones, that drown us all at Christmas, and that I’ve secretly always hated anyway.

But this doesn’t mean less fun or love or happiness at all. Just more thought.

So there will be more useful stuff you need, DIY, creative ideas, eco luxe picks, clean skin treats, things to do, and then make like chocolates and oils and gins for example and less neon plastic stuff.

And I’ve tried to pick as many as I can from small independent businesses that will love your order.

TOP TEN BOOKS FOR CHRISTMAS 

For you, for him and for the smalls, all the very best books of this year that need to go in your stocking and under that tree.

Reading was definitely my first great love, and my favourite part of Christmas morning was feeling the heavy weight of the books that had spilled out of my stocking. I would read these and leave the presents (hoard) until much later.

So when it comes to presents I always make sure there is a large sprinkling of reading material in there. A big heavy hardback or a lovely little story for the children, they make the best presents for everyone. And once they’re read you can pass them on or underline your favourite parts (I can’t help it!) and keep them to read again. Zero waste maximum pleasure presents. I hope you love these.

 

1)   THE LOST WORDS by Robert Macfarlane 

Just a breathtakingly beautiful book that was created this year in a bid to bring the natural world back into our children’s lives.

As words were literally removed from the Oxford English dictionary recently, to make way for computer jargon and tech speak, this book was inspired to hold onto the magic of each word, and the world it came from. Adults and children alike will adore this reverie of a book with poetry and drawings and a magical journey.

The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane   £13

 

 

 

 

 

2)  KILLING COMMENDATORE by HARUKI MURAKAMI

The latest from perhaps my favourite writer of all time. It’s been called immersive, beautiful and an homage to The Great Gatsby, and I can’t wait to fall into it curled up on the sofa over the holidays. If you haven’t come across him before I would pop this under the tree for yourself.

Killing Commendatore  £13

 

 

 

 

 

3)  LATERAL COOKING by Niki Segnit

The follow up to her debut, The Flavour Thesaurus, which showed you how what to cook, this is just as indispensable to a kitchen in showing you how one dish leads to another.

As Ottlenghi says “it uncovers the very syntax of cooking”. Not a regular cookbook at all, this is part chat manual, part journey and partly a very clever way of guiding the reader through the underpinnings of creating recipes. For those wanting to be less rigid in their recipe following, this teaches you how to put things together using the principles that never fail her. A must have for my stocking, and a winner for all those tricky to buy for friends, I feel like I’ll never stop pouring over it.

Lateral Cooking by Niki Segnit   £17

4). YOU ARE AWESOME by Mathew Syed

Find Your Confidence and Dare to Be Brilliant at (Almost ) Everything

An empowering manual for any child growing up today, by the mindset author Matthew Syed, this is designed to build resilience in kids, fulfil their potential and become a successful, happy grown up.  Feels like any young child would gain a huge amount from this, particularly any struggling with confidence at all or having a tricky time for whatever reason. My oldest has this in his stocking and I hope Christmas morning will be spent in my bed with this.

You Are Awesome by Mathew Syed  £6.78

 

 

5)  BECOMING MICHELLE OBAMA

My most looking forward to read.

If you give or read one book this holidays I think it needs to be this. Michelle sounding sage and soulful, and I can’t wait for a series of long baths and lie ins to escape with it.

Becoming Michelle Obama

 

 

 

 

 

 

6) THE ART OF BEING A BRILLIANT TEENAGER

Funny, clever and insightful they say about this. A motivational feel-good read that teens and parents of teens are in need of. The potential to reframe situations and mindsets, at a time when the pressure on children can be enormous.

The reviews speak volumes if you want a read:

 

The Art of being a Brilliant Teenager by Andy Cope Approx £7 

 

 

 

 

 

7) WEIRD BUT TRUE 2019 by National Geographic Kids

The National Geographic annual always gets my kids sitting together and eye goggling over the strange and bizarre of the world around us. The original 5, 000 Awesome Facts (About Everything)   is still shelled out often. It’s never a bad one to have on hand in the present drawer as most children would love this. Good one for godchildren too.

Weird but True 2019  £6.50

 

 

 

8) A POEM FOR EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR by Allie Esiri

Poetry can be a tough one to get round to, and this seems to be a decent intro for children, or a nice idea to read one each day together before bed. This lovely book has some of the old classics from Auden to Abraham Lincoln, special dates are recognised and the passing of the seasons, I’m excited to getting this open and read in January.

A Poem for Every Day of The Year  £8.50

 

 

 

 

9) WOMEN IN SCIENCE: 50 fearless pioneers who changed the world

Boys and girls alike will be inspired by these stories of women who did amazing things inter field, who were told they couldn’t, but did it anyway. Inspiring, informative and really beautiful, my 9 year old will love these stories.

Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky  Approx £8

 

 

 

10)  LOVE IS BLIND BY WILLIAM BOYD

And finally one for the grown ups, for you, your husband / partner / sibling / parent, I think it’s a real treat for most people to get a book and  everyone needs a fabulous escape into William Boyd’s world. This is history, romance and travel, “an international saga of love, music, missed opportunities and revenge”, I always love WB.

Love Is Blind by William Boyd  Approx £12

 

 

 

UNDER £30 and not just for Christmas!

Any secret Santa office presents, all the teachers, sisters, in laws, anyone you need to have a few ideas ready for in case of unexpected presents needed, these are all lovely presents I’d like all year round.

GETTING SMASHED

Card games are obligatory for long dark afternoons, or travelling, or just for a family non screen moment! And this is snap but with Avocados so I kinda love it.

Avocado Smash Family Card Game £11.99

 

 

 

 

STAR SPANGLED EARS

Pretty Gold Star drop ear-rings for everyday and a little twinkly for Christmassyness.

Star Earrings £30  £25

 

SPARKLING BOLT WASH BAG

My bag of potions needs an upgrade for sure. Love the sparkles and lightning bolt of this one.

Silver Lightning Wash Bag  £29

 

 

 

ESSENTIAL DRINKS KIT
I bought one of these steel chiller rods in the summer and was blown away by how simple and effective it was at keeping drinks cold forever. It’s such a great present I thought we needed the Christmas version complete with foil opener, champagne stopper and pouch to keep it safe. For all those party hosts, or tricky stockings:
SWEET SMELL OF ECO DEO
Best natural deodorant I’ve found that smells heavenly and works, loving this Cedarwood and Juniper for a Christmas twist ( that Gwyneth was talking about the other day too…):
CLINGFILM be gone – BEESWAX WRAPS
A pack of Beeswax Wraps to get cling film out of your life forever and keep your food deliciously fresh and looking super elegant:

EXPLODING KITTENS

Kittens and explosions….nuff said. I think this may make my daughter squeal. It’s a card game that might be the perfect stocking filler, entertainer, early morning time whittler!

Exploding Kittens Card Game £19.99

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS PUD MACARON KIT

For all those wannabe bakers out there, this fab company gets everything together and sends it as a kit so all you do is bake and none of the faff – which means it’s way more fun too.

Christmas Macaron Kit   £12

 

 

THE COOK / FOODIE:

Kitchenware that will last a lifetime, and all things for the food lover.

 

LE CREUSET SET
If you fancy starting over in the stoneware department, this is a bonkers deal for everything you could need.
BOARD GAME STRONG
A great cheeseboard is an essential for long Christmas meals, or as a great hostess gift, fabulously instant option for a lunch when no-one wants to cook anymore, any which way it’s a winner. This small business has curated some beautiful British, artisanal cheeses, there are chutneys and biscuits to add and its all delivered to your door. From small, medium and feed everyone a luxurious cheese feast, you can find one for all crowds. We may be living off these.
And I have got you a code because you need these:
LIZZIELOVES10 gets you 10% off
STAR BAKER
I’m always asked about this tray when I cook in Stories. I now have three sizes of these Oxo non-stick baking trays, nothing sticks, they’re not coated in horrible things and they’re sturdy, great gold-ish colour and seem to be pretty indestructible given the burnished offerings that have died in mine. Self filling stockings are the way forward!
FRESHEST FISH FEAST
3-5 days fresher than any supermarket offerings, this lovely small business in Cornwall supplies all he best hotels and restaurants in town, so you’d be smart to get a slice of their action at normal people prices.
They’ve put together amazing Christmas options from Buffet boxes to gift, or make your party sparkle, or just have on hand for quick, fresh meals all through the holidays:

CODE for 10% off all orders over £70: INSTAFISH10!

Christmas Seafood Buffet Box£85  £76.50

They also have my top tip for a stress free Christmas, the Kid’s Omega 3 Box, £45 which has 40 portions of ready to go homemade fish meals made by their chef. Fish Pie, Fishcakes, Breaded Fingers, Salmon Mac n Cheese and little fillets to pan fry with a lovely butter. They even have a bottle of Milly’s Kidchup which made it for me! This gem has saved my bacon on week’s where I’m not on my A game for teatime feeding

10% DISCOUNT orders over £70 INSTAFISH10

 

MAKE SOME TREATS
My much loved
are a wow present that are simple to make.
I finally found some pretty card boxes (not plastic bags) to pack any food presents in that are chic and functional, you can always add a bauble to make them even more special:
All these beauties can be made in an afternoon, and are always so loved by everyone I give them to.
GO PRO
A voucher from the best there is at Leith’s Cookery School, where I did an evening class 6 years ago. Used to buy some books, some lovely knives or to go on a cooking course. They do evening classes, online or professional:

 

 

 

JUST THE BEST ZESTER

Microplane is the only way. And will mean you get more fresh flavours in everything. Ginger, garlic, chocolate, citrus and the rest, you need one of these in your drawer.

Microplane Zester

 

 

 

 

BUTCHERY SKILLS EVENING

I gave my husband a Ginger Pig Butchery class before we got married and he still shows off his skills.

ESSENTIAL DRINKS KIT
I bought one of these steel chiller rods in the summer and was blown away by how simple and effective it was at keeping drinks cold forever. It’s such a great present I thought we needed the Christmas version complete with foil opener, champagne stopper and pouch to keep it safe. For all those party hosts, or tricky stockings:
CHOPPING BOARD CHIC
Endgrain Rubberwood chopping board  with laser engraving.
Ever adored Ottolenghi’s latest SIMPLE is just veg and just beautiful:
ENAMEL BOWLS PERSONALISED
Personalised Movie Popcorn Bowl, or crisps or soup….!
Lovely enamel bowls that my kids can throw around without smashing, and they’re not plastic!
CHOCOLATE BOX GOURMAND
A post through your letterbox parcel of the most delicious real chocolate, I have ordered one for myself!
SLOW by Gizzi Erskine
Long nights with more time over Christmas deserve dialling back the cooking rush for pots bubbling and velvety sauces. This book is unctuous.
APPLE CORER & SLICER
I thought this might be a pointless gimmick, I was wrong. Makes every snack time easier.
JAMS, PICKLING and CHUTNEYS CLASS
I went on one of Kylee’s fermenting classes earlier this year and it was fabulous. She has these throughout the year, but is running Christmas Gifting Classes at the moment too:

TURKEY TEMPO

Precision cooking for perfectly done meat. And no rows over the turkey being pink.

Digitam Meat Thermometer

 

 

 

 

 

 

WAFFLE MAKER

Large, stainless steel waffle machine that will be a weekend hang out from here on in.

Large Waffle Maker

 

 

IN CASE YOU NEED A SPARE

There’s a paperback version of my book out that’s a neat travel companion or addition for the in laws…

Lizzie Loves Healthy Family Food Paperback Edition

THE ECO WARRIORS

KNITTING KITS for all skills
Knitting kits from Wool and the Gang using recycled wool make a beautiful hat for beginners or more advanced knitters..
WASHED UP WELL
These Eggs are a little piece of magic. Gentler on everyone’s skin, lighter on the planet and less of a dent in your wallet.
PLANET FRIENDLY YOGA MAT
Revolutionary 100% biodegradable Yoga Mat with profits going to Friends of The Earth:
 
Eco Deluxe Coffee
I came across Kinta Loma when they had just started up over here, and I’ve been stuck them ever since. Not just the most delicious Colombian brew, for proper coffee drinkers, but fair-trade, ethical, family company with compostable pods too!
Try out their Nespresso compatible (decompostable) pod Starter Pack or for those without, the best Kinta Loma Ground Coffee
FOODIE MEMBERSHIP
Give someone a membership of the Soil Association to help improve the food we all eat, and get updates every month on what you’re doing to help the environment, a super easy way to make a big difference:
HOMEMADE SOAP
Making a batch of gorgeous soap is going to be your new favourite thing. Promise its not hard, (I am not crafty at all), and you can make them full of good things and lovely smells, then wrap them up so prettily!
You just need a mould and some soap base:
Or just buy a whole kit:

WASHING WELL

A neat add on to your wash up to keep the water squeaky clean.

Coconut Shower Head with Carbon Filter

Shower Head Carbon Filtered

FOR HER – Eco Luxe

Luxe, for me is one beautiful present that will be cherished, that lasts forever (hints must be dropped):
ORGANIC SILK PILLOWCASE
A beauty sleep upgrade that is Hollywood’s best kept secret, and the height of luxury and means you wake up with less creases on your face and I got you a 10% discount with LIZZIE10
I’ve had mine for 2 months and I can’t be parted. I think it’ll be coming on holiday with me:
 The ZERO WASTE KITCHEN KIT
Just the BEST kitchen gadget invented that started my cooking revolution, it means nothing ever goes to waste as it always turns into a smoothie or ice cream in the mighty Vitamix  (really does last forever, I’ve had mine for 15 years still going….)
It’s expensive but it does the job like no other and I have used mine at least once a day making it approx 1pence per use!
 
ECO FASHION
Mongolian fair-trade cashmere meets high fashion, all of the jumpers form Stripe + Stare are to die for but this bell sleeve is a great combo of cosy and chic, for at home as well as laid back luxe if you’re out and about:  20% off entire site with code: LIZZIE20
 £240  £192
ENGRAVED BRACELET CHAIN
Perfect dainty bracelet to get personalised, add kids names, husband’s or friends…. a real classic, my perfect combo of elegant enough for out and easy enough for everyday:
lizzie15 will get you 15% off the whole Merci Maman site until the end of the year!
£59 £50.15
NATURAL FESTIVE FACE SAVERS
Best combo of gradual tanning drops and a tinted eye cream that will save your face looking fresh and dewy over the sleepless time that is Christmas:
Gradual Tanning Drops  (£30) you add a couple into your moisturiser or face oil and the sunshine returns to your face beautifully, and naturally.
And a Tinted Wonder Eye Cream (£20) that moisturises whilst it covers up the lack of sleep (mine!)
DREAM JUICER
This is top of my list (not in my kitchen sadly). Old school shove and pulp juicers are out. A Masticating Juicer is the future. It means you are cold pressing essentially and therefore more of the good stuff stays in your drink.
This is my total dream:
And for entry level juicers a great value starter machine that’s perfect if you want to get into the celery juice gig. Slow pressed, masticating but not so pricey:
 CLEAN CANDLES 
That smell of woods and hillsides perfectly grassy and bright for winter nights, without filling up on toxins.
10% off with code LIZZIE10 (and anything in their Christmas Shop)
                                                                             £22 £19
WINTER BATH
Eucalyptus and Epsom salts to dive into and clear your head and any sniffles setting in.
BESPOKE BATH SOAK – Diy version
Such a lovely gift, even if you’re not feeling crafty. You can make a whole batch (teachers?) of lovely presents for a fraction of the price of bought ones and without the dubious extra ingredients.
TO MAKE:
STROKABLE PANTS
Stripe + Stare classic gift box of 4 pretty pants with 20% off using code: LIZZIE20. Made from softest stretchy modal that uses 95% less water than cotton production, made from sustainable Austrian beechwood, classic stripes, hearts, monogrammed, with flirty messages and pinks or pretty animals. Anything goes and it’s all VPL free.
CAST IRON FOREVER POT
We had these growing up and I was lucky enough to get two as wedding presents which are used daily, and adored. Cooking in stoneware means you avoid any metallics coating your food, and makes for a way more even cook.
ROLLING BACK THE YEARS
I hate the expression anti-ageing, because that seems to be anti living, but this Rose Quartz Face roller has all those credentials. But what made me fall in love was the incredible refreshing, cooling feeling over an oil or serum, it de-puffs, drains and smooths the face.
£17.99
MY SKIN SAVING SPLURGE
I have used this twice a day, every day since it came into my hands a few months ago and it is magic. Hydrating nectar with epidermal growth factors that truly smooth out lines. It is made by hand in small batches in the US, and they don’t stick around long, so grab a bottle or a mini while they’re here:
10% off with code LIZZIE10 (and anything in their Christmas Shop)
YULI ambrosia Small 7.5 ml: £35 £31  
Giant 50 ml: £180 £162

CRIMSON SLICK

Brand new make-up line from the lovely Organic Pharmacy is divine. A wand of glossy lips in a brilliant red without the dubious ingredients that you normally swallow….

Volumising Red Lip gloss £25

For him – cool new stuff zero junk

Perfect time to replace the wornout tatty stuff, and to get him onto the natural beauty train as he’ll fall in love with these.

TWO STEP FACE
Best in the no crap beauty biz for high grade ingredients.
10% off with code LIZZIE10 (and anything in their Christmas Shop)
 £59.95 £53.95
 INITIALLED WASHBAG
Elegant handmade leather bag made to order with monogramming, that’s perfect to fit all the new natural goodies you’re getting him!
£30
WINE / WATER CARAFE
A beauty of a carafe wth an oak stopper, to fill with wine, or to use as the water holder, with added charcoal sticks so you never have to buy bottled (plastic) water again. Take the chlorine out, and adds minerals, I’m hooked:
£23
Pack of Binchotan Charcoal Sticks to keep your water pure all year round
£18.99
 VINTAGE CHIC
Perfect chic way of tidying up any of his stuff you don’t want lying around! Including bottles of ale.
MAN SWAP
Get him in on the natural beauty game, my husband is a convert….. and this scrub is just the ticket for winter skin needing a sparkle:
Or get him a starter kit for his stocking that will mean he’ll never go back – my husband is a Proverb evangelist now!
GIVE SOME SOLE
Handmade in Portugal I love all things Esska for everyone, but men’s shoes can be so tricky, and she gets these so right plus a spare pair of laces to play with too. 30% off with code: TICKITOFFYOURLIST Esska for Men
HOMEMADE VODKA / GIN
A set of 1 litre glass kilner bottles will tick off lots of presents in one –  you can fill with Lemon rinds and gin or vodka or for cooking, some chilli and rosemary topped with olive oil. The bottles will be loved and re-filled and used for picnics forever more!
TAMING THE STUBBLE
Bergamot Beard oil to keep the most hirsute of faces as soft and lovely as you’d want them.
WEEKENDER MONOGRAMMED
Smart canvas bag you can personalise.
SWEET N SMOOTH
Shaving oil and natural deodorant combo with a cedar wood festive bent.
LIZZIE10 for 10% off this (and anything on this site’s Christmas Shop)

SLICE NICELY

One of the most demotivating things is a stash of blunt, mist mash knives ti get your cook on. A block sitting on your worktop will get you fired up in the kitchen. I won these in a raffle a few years ago and love them.

5 piece Professional Sabatier Knife Block

ECO LUXE BEAUTY

Because if you look hard enough eco beauty can be effective and beautifully luxurious.

For the clean beauty novice as well as those who’ve been on it for a while, my latest discoveries as well as trusty staples, these all hang out in my bathroom:

 

WINTER SUN – A NATURAL FAKE

The first all natural, organic fake tan fresh from Santa Monica, the sun experts. Chocolate Sun comes in three options, I go for medium, and it is the real deal, non streak, no weird smelling gunk and orangeness, just a faint cocoa buttery gorgeousness and a proper glowing tan everywhere!

LIZZIE10 for 10% off:

Chocolate Sun Cocoa Glow

 

 

 

CLEAN UP YOUR CLEAN
Best natural deodorant I’ve found that smells heavenly and works, loving this Cedarwood and Juniper for a Christmas twist ( that Gwyneth was talking about the other day too…):
Perfect switch ideas for those new to naturals, Balance Me have some great staples gift sets that are fabulous value.
And their Vitamin C Repair Serum and Tinted Wonder Eye Cream have been winter saviours for me.
Their Stellar Balm is the perfect stocking filler for everyone to rub on all dry patches and leave lips glistening without eating a load of chemicals. I almost forgot the Collagen Boost Moisturiser is a fabulous daily moisturiser with a bit of oomph.
No more plastic pumps full of washing liquid, there are a new era of beautiful soaps to wash with instead that don’t leave you feeling parched and robbed of moisture:
This luxe Cali brand has a beautiful botanical rose one:
 WINTER RESCUE KIT
My all time favourite discovery of the year in Natural skin that’s changed the game. Josh Rosebrook has a dreamy Winter Rescue gift box with three favourites.
Serum, Spritz and Spf tinted moisturiser that I use instead of foundation.
Perfect if you want to switch up your regime in one go; Spritz, Serum and Moisturise with the very best around. And I got you a code for 10% 0ff LIZZIE10:
Lovely sister-founded brand By Sarah London who believe in transparency so much all ingredients are written on the front, have a lovely Christmas Wellbeing set, bath salts and body oil for relaxing evenings with lovely treats, and I’ve got a special code for you to get 15% off LIZZIE15:
For him and her: Get glowy for Christmas with this brilliant exfoliator scrub that leaves my face feeling truly polished and ready to suck up the hydration. TOP TIP: It says for him but it is for you too I promise.
BROOKLYN’S BEST BOTANICALS
Plant is a hot new from NY delivering beautiful hydrating silk body washes invigorated with oils. Winter drink for tired skin only nine skin friendly ingredients used.
10% off with code LIZZIE10
RETINYL NIGHT FACE OIL
A British label that is punching high in the skincare world but with really great price tags. This nighttime oil is a dream, it has regenerative retinyl, alongside calming, hydrating and evening skin tone properties. Pretty much perfection for the night.
CALM AND CLEAN
My favourite muslin cloth melting cleanser that’s ingredients are good enough to eat, and won all the awards.

WINTER FACE

All the science and effectiveness without the parabens and additions we don’t need to absorb on our delicate faces.

I adore this face oil as an everyday favourite, with a vanilla smell its perfect winter protection and warmth in one.

S5 Replenish Serum for Dry Skin

 

STOCKING FILLERS: Learn, read and do

Little trinkets and treats that are NOT a waste of space to go in:

 

NUT BUTTER POUCHES

Perfect little squeezy tubes of the most delicious Pip and nut butter with a dash of coconut oil. They have been resident in my handbag since they were invented!

Pip & Nut Squeeze Sachets 20 x30g

 

KIDS VS ADULTS THE GAME

We played this on lots of car journeys last year and it looks even better this version. Clever mini box game covering all levels from Peppa Pig to Thomas Edison, we’re supposed to know more of the adult stuff….

Kids Vs Adults Game £4

 

 

PEG ANGELS + ELVES

All the vintage vibes. Get them crafting not sucking lollies on Christmas morning these are so pretty and  creative.

Angel Peg Doll Kit

This treasure trove of a website is run by mother who is also on the war path for plastic, so I love supporting her zero plastic business that is producing such beautiful things.

 

 

 

Elf Peg Doll Kit £2.45

 

 

THE REBELS READ

My daughter (8) loved the first one, a compendium of the trail-blazing women who’ve changed the landscape and their stories in one page. Uplifting, inspiring and entertaining.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2 £13.43

 

 

 

 

 

CHOCOLATE DROPS FOR ALL

For the dairy free or just wanting less sugar and more chocolate deliciousness, these are my favourite stocking stash to keep them chocolate happy without too much crap.

Pack of 15 bags of Ombar Dairy Free Vegan Chocolate Buttons £20

 

 

 

MINI MANI MARVEL

Super clever Nailmatix have created a pretty set of varnishes that are water based, no toxic nasties and come off with soapy water!

Glitter Nailmatic Nai Varnish £6.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

LUCKY LITTLE ONES

Those little creatures to clutch onto in your pocket, that my son always took in to school. Choose from BPA free Penguins, unicorns and clover.

Lucky Little Ones 75p

 

 

LITTLE GAMES NIGHT

For older kids or adults, a little mini game involving fibbing, so mine will love it – that you can play anywhere with everyone.

Fun Games Night In  £6

 

 

STORIES FOR BOYS

Winner of the Book of the year, this is in my boy’s stocking and it’s meant to be an inspirational read. Bite size or a read all day, it looks the perfect Christmas accompaniment when the grown up s are watching too much tv!

Stories for Boys Who Dare To Be Different £5

And if you loved that Number 2 is out:

Stories for Boys Who Dare To Be Different 2 £17

 

MY MY HOW COULD I RESIST YOU?

We missed this at the cinema this year and I can’t wait to watch it over the holidays, I think even the tweeny boy will love it. You get both movies in this , for anyone who wants a double bill.

Mamma Mia 2 Movie DVDs £24.99  £14.99

 

 

 

 

MUST BE READ

If you give or read one book this holidays I think it needs to be this. Michelle sounding sage and soulful, and I can’t wait for a series of long baths and lie ins to escape with it.

Becoming Michelle Obama

 

 

 

 

SWEET SMELL OF HELPING OTHERS

These hand-poured in London candles, Lost In Scent, have such a romantic provenance from travels in wonderful places. And they have just released HIMALAYA, with my favourite deep winter scents of Oud, Vetiver and Sandalwood.

And they are giving £1 of every candle to the charity Childhope so you’re giving twice.

Himalaya Candle by Lost in Scent £22

 

 

STARRY STARRY NIGHT

For all and any ages, a box of glow in the dark stars has some magic.

Box of Glow in the Dark Stars £5

 

 

 

MAKING AND MENDING

A pretty tin of Little Red Riding Hood plasters, that are useful and practical as well as being a massively high scoring present – my kids are obsessed.

Tin of Little Red Riding Hood Plasters £3.95

 

 

And the dinosaur plaster tin for those who like them instead.

Dinosaur Plaster Tin £3.95

 

 

 

 

THE HEALTH JUNKIE

Give some tricks and gadgets to keep you all healthy next year, instead of filling up the cupboards with pointless stuff.

 

 

IN THE MOOD FOR EVERYTHING

Changes the vibe in a room faster than anything else, an oil diffuser is not just a delicious addition to your home but its the best thing for kids rooms when they’re congested, uplifting when you’re knackered and add lavender oil to soothe when you’re ready for bed. This is a nice selection of 6 oils to start off with.

Cool Mist Oil Diffuser £21.99

 

 

MATCHA MAKER TRIO

If you’re intrigued by the gorgeous green stuff or you’re hooked and you want to get it on at home, here is some kit to make a Matcha Latte the easiest thing to knock up at home and keep you going in the afternoon for a cosy drink when coffee is not working out.

Ceremonial Grade Finest Matcha Tea  £18.95

 

 

 

Japanese Matcha Bamboo Whisk and Bowl £19.99

 

 

And I love making it a treat of an elegant ceremony by using pretty glasses.

Set of 2 Double Walled Glasses (dishwasher safe) £18

 

 

 

FROTHING THE DAY AWAY

I finally got this a couple of months ago (when I realised they existed under £50) and it has changed my desk life beyond measure. Turning all milks into a creamy dream ( I use it for Rebel Kitchen’s DF ones and they work a treat) and matchas, added powders all go in to power up your lattes. This now comes in my weekend bag if I’m away too.

Von Shef Milk brother hot and cold £27.99

 

 

GUT LOVING GORGEOUS

This is Apple Cider Vinegar like no other, with the Mother. Which means it is still alive and fermenting and the perfect addition to your morning routine, in warm water. Take a shot neat if you’re in need of a gut lining brilliance. Or just in dressings like regular people. Every kitchen needs this, and the flavour is fabulous.

Willy’s Apple Cider Vinegar 1000ml £9.99

 

 

 

 

SLOWLY JUICIN’

The only way to juice these days, that ensures more vitamins and minerals remain intact is the masticating juicer. This is an amazing value option and perfect if you fancy a celery juice morning ritual…

Aicok Masticating Juicer £89.99

 

 

 

BABY SOFT AND SMOOTH

A dry brush is an easy way to upgrade your bath or shower time routine to add some massive lymphatic drainage benefits, help with cellulite and keep everything as soft and smooth as ever. I’m a daily brusher now and it’s a quick addition that makes a huge difference.

Lymphatic Drainage Massager £18

 

AWAKEN THE ADAPTOGENS

This beautiful brand of magical adaptogenic concoctions was created when the founder needed an extra kick to get her through the day. Thyroid support, hormone balancers and energy enhancing, choose the one that echoes your needs and then try a few more, they are a fabulous add on to any smoothie, latte etc.

Rise and Shine Botanicals £28 £16.80

 

 

HEAVEN SENT LIE DOWN AT HOME!

When do you get to book time out at home, to go and lie down and have a massage from a pro….Book one for you, your husband, your friend who needs a treat, it’s so much more straightforward when they arrive at your house, with the table, theft and you can choose your candles and your own music. I’ve had two in 2 months and already thinking of the next. Therapy at home is bliss!

I’ve got a 20% Discount which makes it cheaper than going anywhere too:

Urban Massage at Home

 

 

 

 

 

THINGS TO DO (NOT JUST MORE THINGS)

All of these could be snuck into an advent calendar, so there are treats to do each day as you go, or just present son the big day.

Without sounding too Hallmark, it’s so lovely to give people things to do, make some memories together over the holidays, not just filling the house with more things! They take up no space and will be with you forever!

 

CLASSIC CHRISTMAS BALLET

DEC 3rd

Magical Ballet performance of The Nutcracker LIVE from The Royal Opera House.

I’ve never taken my daughter to the ballet and am so excited to sit in our local cinema and watch it as though we were from row in Covent Garden. So good to plan some things alone with kids too.

Book fast it’s on DECEMBER 3rd

The Nutcracker LIVE local cinemas

 

 

AN EVENING OF MUSIC AND BEAUTY

22nd Nov – 5th January

Christmas at Kew Gardens is a fairytale of light shows with orchestrated music, like the most magical firework show you’ve bent, with mulled wine and mince pies. We went for the first time last year and booked early to go again. All three children loved it too (10 down to 4)  – writing their hopes on the wishing tree made me cry, you’ve been warned!

Christmas at Kew Gardens SELLS OUT FAST

 

LAPLAND MAGIC

One day we will do this, I’ve heard so many stories of how utterly magical it is. A 3 or 4 day trip to Lapland, all organised for you, including a husky ride, all the arctic gear to wear, delicious meals, seeing the aurora, meeting Santa and all in the winter wonderland of Santa’s homeland. Have a look at the pictures it looks amazing.

Santa’s Lapland Trips from £570 per adult

 

GET YOUR SKATES ON

Another one that’s become a tradition and not because any of us can skate, but its such a beautiful afternoon out.

 

Natural History Museum Ice Rink Booking

 

FISH FOR THOUGHT

Eating is doing in my book, and producing a beautiful array of the tastiest, freshest fish around Christmas would be such a perfect present, or to have in your fridge to feed the masses staying with you if you’re hosting.

A fresher fish you will not find from this eco and sustainability led small biz in Cornwall – they are at least 3 days fresher than the supermarket’s offerings by going straight from market to delivery – and everything I have tried has been heavenly.

I got you a special CODE for 10% off all orders over £70: INSTAFISH10

Christmas Seafood Buffet Box £85  £76.50

Or the Deluxe version with lobsters, dressed crab and caviar which I have my eye on, it will cover snacks, nibbles with drinks time and quick lunches and suppers with elegance:

Luxury Seafood Christmas Hamper  £125  £112.50

 

 

 

EAT OUT AND HELP OUT

If you fancy a Christmas night out you’d be doing some good if you picked form the 300 Restaurants in London that are signed up to Street Smart. An initiative that has raised more than £8 million so far for the UK homeless charities at Christmas.

The full list of restaurants is here and they simply add £1 to your bill, dine and feel pretty fine.

 

FOR THE KIDS

(That Last longer than a month):
And may stop them asking for screens……

 

 UNDERWATER CAMERA
A friend’s daughter had this on our summer holidays and it’s been on my list since as an amazing present for kids into photography, to get them off their phones. It’s small, tough, waterproof and great value for high quality pics.

 

MINI CHEF’s KIT 
Phoenix’s favourite present by far from 2  years ago, I give them to all littles so they can get involved with the chopping and the peeling without the angst.
With smart loops and knuckle covers to really ensure no knife slips matter.
It really has meant he’s wanted to help with all the chopping and hens still at it. Couldn’t love these more.
Le Petit Chef Set by Opinel
Just the Peeler: Safe Peeler£13.79
Just the Knuckle Guard: Knife Finger Guard£7.49

 

THE WEEK JUNIOR ANNUAL 2019
If they don’t get this once a week they’ll love it and if they do they’ll ask for it.
Just added it to my list for my 11 year old, who has been hooked since he was 8.
News, cool facts, and all the political madness in bitesize but non patronising form. Great godchild, niece, nephew present too.

 

ADOPT AN ANIMAL
This is what I’m giving to the small animal lovers in my life:
 Adopt an Orangutan by the WWF, you can choose how much you pay a month from £3, you get updates and cuddly toys and you will be making a huge difference to this endangered species. (You can choose another animal on there, dolphins, pandas, penguins etc)

 

FAIRTRADE FLY TRAINERS
(My son has just added this to the list after saying there wasn’t anything for him!)
Ethically sourced, fairly traded leather and rubber, Veja trainers were named after a Brazilian NGO that supports oragnic cotton farmers in Brazil.

 

ANIMAL BINGO BOARD GAME
An old school bingo boardgame with no plastic and all the animal info to learn, any age can play, we have the Cat one but there’s a few to choose from:

 

NAME IN LIGHTS
Tricky Teens or Tweens couldn’t not love these neon light pieces, a bit disco and bar chic.

 

BAKING BROWNIES KIT IN A JAR
For the cheffy types, again you could make a few of these for godchildren or as lovely party bags instead of the sugar plastic combo..
You just layer up the dry ingredients and tie a ribbon round it.
My chestnut chocolate brownie recipe from my book always goes down well.

Large Mason Jars for filling

 

NATURAL WOODEN TOYS
I wish I’d known about this company when mine were small. Steiner influenced old school toys made of sustainable materials with natural dyes.
 

 

MAKE FLOWERS NOT WAR
Seed Bombs to scatter and create blooms in any empty patch of earth.
These bombs are full of beautiful flowers that butterflies, bees and wildlife will love. No gardening required, just throw and go.
Or grow your own mushrooms! Perfect kit for the urban foodies as you see these grow day by day on 100 expresso grounds!

 

WEEKLY NEWS

A subscription to The Week Junior has been a rollover present from a grandparent to my oldest and now they all read it and love it. Great way of getting a news injection that’s fun:

The Week Junior + Annual

FLOWER PRESS

I used to make wedding bouquets into frames when friends got married as I thought it meant so much having part of your service to keep.

Memories of all the places we were without staring into screens / phones.

PACKED LUNCH BOXES (no plastic)

Hot food that’s not leeching plastic or cold they look way more elegant too.

Stainless Steel Lunchboxes

DITCHING THE PLASTIC

Stocking fillers that are way more than fillers:
BEESWAX WRAPS
A pack of Beeswax Wraps to get cling film out of your life forever and keep your food deliciously fresh and looking super elegant:
BAMBOO CUP MUG AND WATER BOTTLE of BEAUTY
Zero Waste starter kit: Global wake cup make easily the chicest bamboo coffee cups and water bottles. And they’ve got a starter combo that you just should buy:
BESPOKE BATH SOAK – Diy version
Such a lovely gift, even if you’re not feeling crafty. You can make a whole batch (teachers?) of lovely presents for a fraction of the price of bought ones and without the dubious extra ingredients.
TO MAKE:
Bamboo Toothbrushes for the whole family – bristles that work and are biodegradable:
MAKE YOUR OWN SPRITZES
Glass spray bottles to refill for eco cleaning, face misting etc
Old fashioned chic, a set of glass Kilner bottles (1/2 litre) that you can fill with infused oil, vodka, with just a couple of ingredients makes the loveliest present for teachers too:
Personalised Water bottles – so you don’t have to fight for yours in the gym / car etc!
SANDWICH BAGS
Smart, plastic free self-sealing bags that you can cook, wash and freeze. Genius.

ADVENT CALENDARS (late or next year..)

Calendars that will be loved:

‘KITCHMAS’ CALENDAR

A gorgeous  hanging calendar with surprises and treats printed on the back that you can create yourself, or use their ideas. Adorable and zero plastic!

Personalised Calendar

THE LITTLE TIPPLE CALENDARS

We got these last year and they are so lovely. Feels like such a treat to have a mini bottle of wine behind each window, that you savour. 24 new wines to try out which is the bonus and then champagne to celebrate the big day.

Laithwaite’s Wine Advent Calendar £63.99 til Mon 26th Nov

And if you have a whisky lover in your house, like I do, these 30 ml drams each day from all over the world couldn’t be a better way to get festive, either in your evening toddy or sipped over ice, they can be savoured all month and beyond.

Whisky Advent Calendar £145

 

 +None of these ideas are Ads, but some contain affiliate links

Aff Links mean if you buy through them I get a very small % of the price, but the price to you is the same. I think of it as a finder’s fee and am always happy to use these when fashion bloggers find my outfits. xxx

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