Mandy Charlton - Photographer,Writer,Blogger

Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Educating Looby, 3 months in...

Looby building a gingerbread house from the Biscuiteers as part of her home education, Mandy Charlton, Photographer, Writer, Blogger

Christmas days are magical days, especially when it snows prior to the big day, it really makes me feel so much more festive, I think watching the snow fall when you are cosy and warm and everywhere is twinkly and bright, it's my nirvana, couple that with cuddles from Holly Bobbins and a big cup of hot chocolate topped with squirty cream and marshmallows and it's the nearest thing I think I'll get to absolute perfection.

This year has been my favourite countdown to Christmas for as long as I can remember because Looby has been here and we've really been able to embrace the whole countdown from decorating our house together which took many days to building (or trying to build) an epic Gingerbread house from our friends at Biscuiteers.



Let me just say now that Looby and I shall not be entering into any professional competitions anytime soon, it took 3 people to secure the sides of the house so that the walls didn't fall in whilst the roof had to be held on for 5 minutes.  Some people are ace builders of Gingerbread houses, I can say now, I am not one of them but we did end up with lots of tasty sugary icing dowsed gingerbread and the house is actually standing this morning so I think we've achieved our goal.

Just as we were erecting our gingerbread structure another heavy snow shower happened, now I should just say that the rest of the country have had snow days for the last couple of days whilst we in Newcastle have had approximately 2 heavy showers so I was a little shocked when I saw Looby and her friend wheeling 2 major parts of a snowman up our path and we have a chubby short snowman now sitting outside of our door.


So that's been this weeks quotient of art covered and Looby is also working on a horse related project about stabling and looking after a horse which her dad set her and as I write this she's doing 2 hours of science with her tutor after a morning of maths with her tutor, she's exactly where she needs to be with her educational level and the best thing for me to see is just how keen she is to learn just because no one is telling her that she has to.  I think the best and biggest difference about home ed to traditional education is that we are constantly learning, "school" never stops, she'll be writing a blog post at 10 in the evening or we'll be off doing grocery shopping in the mornings where she'll have a shopping list or where she'll work out what we need to purchase for recipes and then we cook together though I must admit, she's not the biggest fan of cooking or of cookery programmes but I feel she'll have enough skills to look after herself when she eventually does leave home one day.

Home education isn't a cheap fix, it requires time, patience and the financial ability to be able to pay for tutors and activities but it's 100% worth it to see how happy she is.  There are some days where I want to teach her things which she doesn't want to know or she just isn't interested in and that can be frustrating but we spend very little time arguing and I have nothing but appreciation for the time we get to spend with each other.

In January we're meeting with the representative from the local education authority and hopefully they're going to give us their blessing that we are doing exactly the things we need to do but you know what?  I have no doubt that it will all be fine because what I have now, is a confident unicorn who is bright and shiny and happier than she ever was, with home education, Looby really has come into her own.
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Monday, December 11, 2017

The week of minimal spending


The week of minimal spending because Christmas is such an expensive time, Mandy Charlton, Photographer, Writer, Blogger

Last week is always going to be a memorable one, I finished my Christmas shopping, I threw the Christmas Party of the year (well in my book anyway, it was the only Christmas party to which I was invited and that was only because I threw it), and I didn't work outdoors at all because of the weather.  Wait, me, have a whole weekend off so close to Christmas?


It's true, I'd already booked Saturday into my calendar as a day off and on Friday I took the wise move to reschedule Sunday's clients because of the cold, it's rare I reschedule due to cold but I have Reynauds and 95% of my clients are under the age of 5, for me, being out in -5 temperatures for 4 hours could actually induce hypothermia and for my small clients, well it's just not fun and it can actually be painful for even an hour.  I love what I do but it's definitely not worth dying for.

So this week after the flamboyant week that was last week and the no working, well this week has to be the week of minimal spending.


I have a veg box due tomorrow, I have a pretty full fridge and freezer and I'm not planning on going out for anything other than therapy, dog walking and tomorrow I have a newborn photo shoot (indoors).  Next weekend, well I think it may warm up a little, I'm due to be outdoors for 5 hours on Saturday and 4 on Sunday, usually, I'm used to January being super cold so I only go out for a maximum of 2 hours at a time.  I'll be watching the weather keenly this week because I don't want to disappoint families so very close to Christmas and I also really need to work, I only have Saturday, Sunday and next Tuesday outdoors doing photography before I break up for the Christmas holidays, yet another reason why I really am having a week of minimal spending.


On the top of my to-do list, make a gingerbread house and when Looby surfaces from her Monday sleep in (she always gets up late on Mondays after doing a full day at the stables on Sundays) that is our task of the day, we were kindly gifted one by my favourites, the Biscuiteers and I'm excited to try and make the best gingerbread house ever!  I've also got the ingredients to make some gingerbread and I want to make fudge this week too although my minimal spend might have to stretch to the fudge ingredients it won't be too much.

Next week is really the big countdown to the most magical day of the year, for me, I'll be honest, it's Christmas Eve, so full of magic and expectation, even now in my forties I believe that anything could happen on Christmas Eve, it's such a special day and I always make the time to go to my local parish church for the crib service, it's the nearest thing to a Nativity play I get to experience now my own children are older and I love that hour to reflect and sing Christmas carols as loud as my lungs will let me.  I usually cook a Christmas dinner for friends afterwards but I'm still not sure what I'm doing this year, maybe it's more fun to not quite know what to expect.

The enormous Christmas shop will surely happen next week too, I have booked my Waitrose slot for the 21st and I need to pop into Aldi and Iceland so minimal spend this week will be followed by stocking up the winter store cupboard and I for one am determined to let the Christmas bubble last for as long as possible, I don't want to engage in real life, I want to relax during Twixtmas, I want to take long baths and catch up on reading books and watching trashy movies, there's no need to rush back into the outside world I feel and this year, I might just have a big enough fridge-freezer to achieve that and on that note, I'll stop writing before this becomes a blog about kitchen appliances *shudders*
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Thursday, December 07, 2017

2017, a year in review



December is that time of year when we look back and reflect on all that's gone before and as I've been lying awake in the wee small hours (sleep and bipolar during December are always a challenge but one I've grown to accept and deal with) I've been thinking about all of the wonderful things that have happened this year.  

This glorious year, full of travel and friendship, a year when I've shot over 350 portrait sessions and around 15 weddings, a year when at times, it's been a challenge just to go on but thanks to a little stubbornness and my steely resolve I've not only managed but in most cases I've beaten all of the challenges I've faced, and I'm not going to lie, sometimes it's required friends to help me through the difficult times but a life with good friends is a life worth living.  Possibly one of the most trying things and something I'm still dealing with was the exit of 2 friends of more than 10 years, in the blink of an eye they cut out not only me but also Harriet from their lives completely, no explanation or argument or discussion or reasoning, we were all of a sudden just dead to them, I still don't understand but thankfully in therapy I'm working on it.

I don't want to dwell on the negative though as it's only one small part of what was otherwise my favourite year.

In 2017 I've visited Madrid,  Palma de Mallorca, Cannes, Nice, Monaco, Ventimiglia, Soller, the southwest coast of Scotland, Northumberland, Bluestone in Wales, and my favourite, Antibes, take me back to Antibes tomorrow, a jewel in the crown of the Cote d'Azur, so much sunshine and easy living.  Most of my overseas adventures were with Abigail this year with the exception of Madrid to where I flew with Harriet, my best friend, and soul-sister, with Harriet and her family I have found family and that's' something I'll be forever grateful for.





2017 will forever be the year I decided with Looby that we would home educate and what an adventure that's been, we've flown by the seat of our pants, and every day is different, some of our learning is so relaxed it's actually happening by osmosis but I don't regret it for a single moment, even on the hard days when I'm faced with a teen who refuses to speak and will only grunt in the way that monosyllabic teens do.





Work this year has been crazy and there were times when it completely enveloped and overwhelmed me but I continue to thrive in business and as we go into 2018 I want to keep building on that, I launched Photography for Life a couple of weeks ago and as yet, people are still scared of this brand new shiny way to look at the way we do photography, by this time next year I will have at least 100 subscribers, It's going to take a lot of hard work but to that I am not adverse.




Christmas this year is a marvellous thing, I've finally got our whole house looking magical, even the bathroom has festive rubber ducks and we must have at least 20 different sets of lights in our rooms.  I also think from a health point of view that 2017 will be remembered as the year I finally conquered Seasonally Affective Disorder, I'm taking 10,000iu of Vitamin D a week, 2 magnesium tablets a day and when I get up in the mornings I spend a couple of hours sitting in front of my SAD lamp, in the last couple of weeks I've seen my energy levels soar and I've accomplished so much, I actually feel like a new woman and along with the CBT therapy I'm having for anxiety and to deal with old wounds I think I might be a whole new woman in 2018.





In 2017, I went on 1 date, had no relationships and I think it might be a sign from the universe that I am pretty undateable but I don't think I mind anymore, I am happy to be single, I am happy not to have to make the compromises that relationships take.  It is of course because I only go out if it's for work or home ed things so my own fault because I'm not putting myself out there but one of my things I'm learning to deal with in therapy is the fact that I am terrified of men, once I've had CBT to retrain my brain I may feel differently, I may want to try dating again and if I do, I'll know it won't make me crazy.  I've also come to terms with the fact that I judge every man against Paul and whilst that happens there's no chance I'm ever likely to meet anyone, I thought I would stop loving him one day but I've dealt with the fact that no, I'll love him to my dying day and again, that's why it's best that I remain single and that's not a bad thing, at least I've had movie love, all-encompassing and at times  fullfilling to my very soul, some people aren't lucky enough to find that at all so I'm glad I did, even if it wasn't forever.






Looking ahead I've no idea what 2018 is going to give me, I know I'm going to Norway in the summer on a cruise when Abigail finishes her GCSE's and I'm sure there'll be an adventure or two with Looby as we continue our home ed journey and I think Harriet and I cherish best friends holiday every year to somewhere we've never both explored.  

It's my Christmas party tomorrow and I only have 4 days outdoors photographing small people and their families before a couple of weeks off, I've just about met my writing commitments for the year and so we are really relaxing now and doing fun things, baking, festooning, partying, reflecting and celebrating.

2017, you were a good year, a great year, 2018, I am coming to you get you.
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Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Biggest Ever Christmas Gift Guide 2017

Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season




Not satisfied with bringing you my gift guide for foodies, mums and Christmas preparations I'm today bringing you my biggest ever Christmas gift guide. You'll find everything from food, stocking fillers, presents for mums, dads, teens and even a couple of things for your four-pawed best friends.  Let's not delay any further and head straight into my biggest ever Christmas gift guide for 2017.

Hofmeister golden lager - gift ideas for Christmas 2017
Hofmeister is an essential Christmas party ingredient. Perfect for all lovers of premium lager, this wondrous golden lager recently won Best Lager at the World Beer Awards (I bet that was a fun night out) and you can get your mitts on a case or two for your Christmas celebrations, Hofmeister, this year's go-to Christmas lager.  Hofmeister is also available in gift packs to give that man (or woman) a special kind of treat this Christmas, available on Moonpig you'll find a fabulous Hofmeister 2 pack with glass or if you are feeling extra generous there's the Hofmeister 5 pack with glass. The perfect gift for friends and family who enjoy a quality, delicious lager.  


Impress press-on manicure. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

An essential for teens who like lovely nails but want a quick easy fix which won't wreck their real nails, this one step gel press on manicure from Kiss comes in an array of marvellous sparkly designs.  My girls might just have to stop me from pinching theirs, and you can purchase them here. A perfect stocking filler idea for teens. 

Zippo lighter - Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

It's no secret that I love candles and I'm forever using so many matches. I have the answer though, this year for those candle lovers this stylish multipurpose zippo lighter is definitely a way to make sure your house is twinkling with candles, lit with the most stylish candle lighter I've ever seen. If you're giving candles as gifts this year, why not add this lighter in and create a mini candle hamper? 

Lunya hamper of Catalan and Spanish food. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season


Speaking of hampers, if your foodie friends are anything like me they'll adore a Hamper from Lunya this Christmas. Lunya offers the biggest selection of Catalan and Spanish food anywhere in the UK and if you are lucky enough to live in either Liverpool or Manchester you can visit their Deli, Bar and Restaurant. I just hope they'll open their next branch in Newcastle. Now go buy a hamper and whilst you are there, I'll have the Boqueria hamper



I love travel and I'm a bit of a geek, so what do you get when you put the two things together?The Geeks Guide to Britain of Course. Inside you'll find places of invention, creation and technological wonder all over our cherished isle. Perfect days ideas out for the geeks amongst us and they're sure to fascinate the kids too. This would make a great gift for a friend or stocking filler. 

Hunter Wellies. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

Hunter Wellies are synonymous with style and fashion as much as they are with being outdoors in the coldest month of the year. Wear them on your tootsies and cut a dash whilst walking the dog or going to a fashionable event. You'll find these yellow wonders on one of my favourite outdoor websites, Tiso, Scotland's original outdoor store, and would make a lovely gift for someone special. 


Jelly Beans Mixed Emotions - Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

If you are looking for a talking point as well as a stocking filler, do check out these Jelly Beans Mixed Emotions. Who knew that sibling rivalry had a flavour or new puppy? We've had many hilarious conversations and let me just say now, anger tastes of cinnamon! Something fun for everyone while they're opening presents on Christmas morning. 


Lonely Planet travel diaries for 2018. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

You just have to look at my desk to know that Lonely Planet publications are my very favourite. I have more books than I've been to countries and I'm constantly planning my next adventure, so it feels only right that I should spread a little Christmas cheer by gifting Lonely Planet 2018 diaries around in the hopes of inspiring my fellow travel junkies to take an extra trip or two away next year. Maybe if I'm very lucky they'll plan one with me! Perfect for friends who are just starting to travel or seasoned travelers. 

Rock and Ruddle hair brushes. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

A good hairbrush is essential for good hair. Our hair is so precious, don't we owe it a decent brush to tame our manes in the mornings? Rock and Ruddle produce glorious brushes of the highest quality, so put one in your teen's Christmas stocking this festive season and say hello to wonderful hair.

Dr Bronners soap - Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

When thinking about our four-pawed best friends this Christmas you kind of owe it to them to bathe them in the best product. I have to declare that Doctor Bronners 18 in 1 hemp pure castille soap is not only perfect for Holly Bobbins, it's also amazing for humans and not only that, I mean this stuff is crazy good, you can use it for everything from washing your face right through to cleaning your make-up brushes and even drains, I don't think there's anything else out there like this. A wonderful and useful gift for dog or cat owners or beauty enthusiasts alike. 

RCA android tablet - perfect for teens. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

The RCA 2 in 1 Saturn Pro 10.1 inch android tablet is perfect for those pesky teens who need to be constantly connected at all times. I gave this to Looby to test for just a few days to get the teenage low down and she loved it. It has a detachable keyboard with trackpad and she found she could do everything she needed to whether it was checking on her latest Insta or watching her favourite Youtubers. If you have a teen who wants a tablet, we'd both recommend this, and this one, well it's become apparent that dad needs a new tablet and so the girls are gifting him one of these.

Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without a tub of Haribo. The best thing is they also do a range of Veggie sweets, this year it's Haribo giant trees, perfect to keep even the peskiest teenage daughter a very happy girl. Add a few packs of Haribo to kids' or teens' stockings for something sweet. 

Biscuiteers dog treats in a beagle tin. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

As many people may know, Holly Bobbins is my favourite beagle in the whole wide world so when I found out that my favourites Biscuiteers also did tasty dog treats I was more than a little excited, that was before I found out they have a beagle on the tin. You can guess who's going to be a very happy beagle this Christmas. 

Dead sea soaps - perfect stocking filler. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

A little Christmas stocking filler you'll be thrilled to find on Christmas morning, these dead sea soaps are essential for keeping you festively sparkling. The Dead Sea has for years been known for its amazing beauty secrets and now you can purchase some of those essential minerals so you'll be beautified and relaxed this Christmas.

Moroccan hair oil - a gift for beauty lovers. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

Whilst on the subject of stocking fillers, wouldn't you like to find some Moroccan hair oil hanging from the branch of your Christmas tree on Christmas morning. It comes in formulas for blondes and another which any colour hair will benefit from, I know what I'm hoping to find in my Christmas stocking this year.

Nelson's Arnicare. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

Christmas can leave you feeling a little battered and bruised so take some time out to relax when you find some Nelson's Arnicare in your Christmas stocking. Nip off to the bath whilst everyone is playing with their gifts and when you emerge, you'll be rested, relaxed and your muscles will thank you.

Impulse body sprays. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

Impulse Body Sprays may well have been around since the days when I was a teen but now I can pass on some new Impulse smells to my own teens. Tropical beach with espresso anyone? These would be great in a stocking or as part of a homemade beauty hamper gift. 

The Master Photographer - the perfect gift for photographers this Christmas. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

For your photographer friends this Christmas, Bob Ryan wants to reprogramme your brain so that you become more successful and crucially, it's going to help you make your business more profitable. Check out The Master Photographer, this is not a book for beginners, but it would be perfect for professional photographers. 

Sushi kit for two. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

If you are a home educator and looking to jazz up your home economics why not gift a sushi kit for 2 and then you can have your very own Japanese cookery lesson. You know the best thing about teaching kids to cook? They'll make you sushi!

Retro pocket games. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

We all crave for simpler times and this is definitely one of those products from yesteryear that will delight the kids and geeks of the now. Retro pocket games are all the rage as we remember the games we played with much nostalgia, it might just be me but I think somewhat the high tech now kind of games are filled with violence and often incredibly complicated so I'll be delighted to gift my geeky teen this at Christmas and you can too, they're available at findmeagift.co.uk


Gluten free stollen by Elizabeth D Bakes. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

Oh Stollen, you old firm Christmas favourite, I love to eat you and gift you but wait, what happens if the person you want to gift to is gluten-free? Well, worry no more because Elizabeth D Bakes does a gluten free stollen everyone can enjoy!

A skateboard for your teens or friends. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

I'm already readying myself for Looby skateboarding past me as she goes from the front door to the back gate on this Enuff Skateboard on Christmas Day and if you have teens who have asked for any kind of wheeled thing this Christmas you would be advised to head over to Skates, just don't forget the protective headgear!

Stormtrooper bluetooth speaker. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

Star Wars fan in the house? I love this Stormtrooper Bluetooth speaker, it's cute, quirky and handy for connecting at any given point to your mobile phone or computer, just remember to play the main theme to Star Wars loudly when it first arrives! A great gift for Star Wars fans. 

Harley Street skincare. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

This may well not have made it into anyone's Christmas gift because I've been using it for weeks and the Harley Street Skincare 24-7 set is simply amazing. I love the serum, I adore the anytime moisturiser with spf20 and when I used the exfoliating cleaners my skin was sparkly after removing all of the dead skin cells. I am a total convert to this stuff. Why not treat the one you love this Christmas or simply treat yourself instead.

Avon night treatment cream. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

It's almost painful to admit but I'll be 44 in February so I definitely need all the help I can get. Vogue actually recommends Anew Reversalist night treatment cream from Avon and if it's good enough for Vogue, it's good enough for me to gift to my friends who are of a certain age.

Grahams Tawny port. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

Christmas and Port go together like Turkey and Cranberry, or in my case a good cheeseboard would not be the same without a glass of port and there's none better than Grahams Tawny port which has been aged for 20 years. You can guess this didn't make it into anyone's stocking other than mine, but it would make a lovely gift for friends and family. 

O'Keefes gifts this Christmas. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

I'm gifting this stuff to all of my hard working friends this Christmas, and I'm keeping the lip balm for myself. The lip balm's an essential especially if, like me, you have to work outdoors in all seasons. You can treat yourself to a gift pack this Christmas or pop them in a loved one's stocking, make sure you check out the full range of O'Keefes this Christmas.

Matcha tea powder, part of my Christmas gift guide. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

Fancy giving yourself a natural little boost this Christmas? Vivid Matcha is a concentrated form of green tea, you can have it in shots or sprinkle it on ice-cream, and it also comes in satchets for a potent brew. This would be great in a hamper this Christmas or as a stocking filler. 

Gingerbread house cookie cutters. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

Fancy popping some cute little gingerbread houses on your mugs of festive hot chocolate this Christmas? Well search no more because I've found the perfect product, this mini house cutter from Ruby Lou's treats will produce the perfect little gingerbread houses which hang on your mug.



Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

If you have a giant iPhone like me then you need both of the above products from Tech 21. The impact shield self-healing screen protector along with the funky and gorgeous phone case will make your phone not only safe to carry around even if you are accident prone like me and it'll also make your phone look devilishly fashionably attractive too! If you have any tech lovers in the family this would make a great gift, as it would for any accident-prone teen too. 

Star Wars Sheaffer pen set. Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

Finding gifts for Iain is always the hardest thing, what do you purchase for a 21-year-old who has Aspergers, doesn't do Christmas and has just started an apprenticeship in IT? Well this year I have found at least one thing he loves, this Star Wars Sheaffer pen set. It's stylish, great for geeks and I won't have to worry about him losing his pen anytime soon! The perfect gift for any Star Wars fan. 

Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Mandy Charlton's biggest ever Christmas gift guide. The only gift guide you'll need to find presents and gift ideas for the people you love this holiday season

And finally, we're back to my beloved beagle. Hemp by Hownd skin, nose and paw balm is essential for making sure her little paws are cared for. Containing hemp it means I can use it for all kinds of things and after a long walk, I'm sure she'll love a little of this massaged into her paws, she does love Doga does Holly Bobbins. It also contains sun protection to make sure that she doesn't get burnt in the sunshine.

I want to personally thank all of the companies who've helped compile this year's bumper Christmas gift guide, I could not have done this without them and whilst this article may contain affiliate links and products gifted to me, I haven't featured anything I wouldn't personally recommend.

If you loved this gift guide you might also like my gift guide for foodies or gift guide for mums
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