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

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Last Minute Gifts and Stocking Fillers


Who can believe we're already hurtling our way to Christmas day?  Whilst it's true that I've been celebrating Christmas since at least September there's no doubt that soon, very soon, it will actually be the big day!  With that in mind, here's my last gift guide of the year featuring stocking fillers and last minute gifts you can buy right now and they'll definitely be with you in time for Santa coming down the chimney.

1. (featured above) it's Christmas for pets too and Holly Bobbins got extremely excited when a small package from her favourite food company, Forthglade, arrived, Holly eats Forthglade anyway so I was happy for her to dive in and she definitely gave 10 barks out of 10 to the whole selection, it's got to be good if Holly Bobbins likes it!


2.  Fancy gifting someone some posh beer this Christmas?  King Cobra have that sorted, one of the only beers to come in a champagne bottle it's double fermented and with an alcoholic content of 7.5 vol, it's probable that you'll only need the one bottle this Christmas.


3. Whilst we're on the alcoholic section of the gift guide, here's some delicious Campo Viejo Cava sent all the way from Spain, the Spanish love this stuff favouring it over Prosecco and you know what, I've had it accompanying Jamón and Manchego, it's not as soft a taste a Prosecco, it's sharper and drier and it will certainly go down well at any party you're having this festive season.



4.  If Cava and Prosecco aren't your think then you need to get yourself some well rounded Barefoot Bubbly, made from Pinot Grigio this is one of my favourite aperitifs in summer and if it's good enough for summer then it's good enough for Santa.

5.  Reusable cups are the big thing at the moment as we all turn our attention to saving the planet.  rCup is the UK's first reusable cup made out of paper cups, it's also completely leak free and I have one on my desk right now!


6.  Now if you've been around on this earth for any great length of time you will know that Christmas just isn't Christmas without a selection box in your Christmas stocking and so this year why not grab a Haribo selection box and remember the classic days of Christmas past.


7. Sparkly, super protective and when I say super protective I mean that, whilst I wasn't going to test the dropping capability I managed to drop my iPhone S Max down the stairs and it was saved by this wonderful Speck case.  I've been using Speck cases now for over a year since they first introduced themselves to me and I really rate them as one of the best protective phone case companies out there.


8. Can't remember where you left your keys, phone, sunglasses?  A Tile which is Alexa enabled will help you to find it,  now I wonder if it's Holly Bobbins proof?  Not that we lose her but she does like to go on wanders for sniffs.  As the website says, "ring your things" just don't expect a full on conversation with your water bottle!

9.  Derwent have lots of ideas for Christmas including this stocking filling hand lettering set, oh how you'll swoosh and sweep when you write out cards and presents for the next 365 days, Calligraphy is the new black you know!


10.  Oh it's a backpack, well not just any backpack, it's a Riutbag this is the perfect backpack for people like me who like to travel and explore new cultures but get a bit scared about pickpockets, especially in Italy and certain spots in Spain, actually even London can be bad for this and if you're carrying your phone/camera and purse, well they're not things you want lifted from your backpack unawares.  This backpack opens inwards, i.e. all of the zips are on the back so there's no chance of anything being pickpocketed and I for one shall be using this on my solo travels in the future.


11.  As 2019 beckons you'll find yourself needing a diary and why not have one with recipes throughout, I remember the Dairy Diary from many years ago and it's still going strong, I reckon mums and grannies everywhere would love this in their Christmas Stocking 


12.  Whilst you're shopping for your dairy diary why not pick up a copy of cook it slowly, essential reading for those of us who find slow cooking  a necessary element to get us through the winter, this recipe book will be well used in my house!

13.  Smith and Sinclair make the most genius gifts that I can promise you'll want them all, from edible fragrances to alcholic gummies and little round disks that will transform a simple glass of Prosecco into the most envied drink at the Christmas party you can be utterly sure that these unique gifts will delight the recipient.


14.  Face masks used to be big in the 80's but now we're in the new century and not only are they still there but there's a huge market for them, my favourites are sheet masks because they're just so easy and convenient to use, great for mother/daughter bonding, couples date or just if you want to feel a little more pampered Skin Republic sheet masks are perfect for this.

15.  Fancy some guilt free chocolate, Eat Your Hat chocolate is organic, free trade and 95% cocoa in this instance, the perfect stocking filler for the chocolate gourmand.

16.  More alcohol, there's kind of a theme but I have to give mention to Mini Vino because if you're like me and can only manage 1 glass on a Friday evening then these single serve cups are amazing, perfect for picnics, parties and dates for one.


17.  The end of the year is for me about reflection and planning for the next year, it's rare I get a lot of time off work being a self employed single mama so this book from Project Love couldn't have arrived at a better time, if you're looking to reassess all that's gone before you and all that's still to come, go pick up a copy of Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019 and start planning your future today.


18. In previous guides you may have noticed, Whisky and Vodka amongst other things, well move over guys because it's Gin's turn and not just any gin, Biggar Gin from the borders of Scotland, perfect with Lime, Lemon or even cucumber, the perfect drink for a night in watching a Christmas movie or too.

 19.  Having white teeth has certainly become a huge industry in the U.K. over the last couple of years and activated charcoal seems to help those of use who have not the most perfect teeth, Procoal activated charcoal teeth whitening powder is 100% British and 100% natural, now don't forget to admire my whiter teeth when you see me in January.
20.  Well Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without sweets and sweets are what Swizzles do best, this year there are large tubs of sweets, large packets of your sweet shop favourites and you can even get your own favourite selection, if anyone wants to know, you can make mine a double lolly, I've been a fan since childhood.

 21. If you are practically perfect in every way then you'll have something in common with the most beloved Mary Poppins, I for one am the biggest Mary Poppins fan and so you can imagine my delight at being able to own her umbrella, I'm fairly sure that this is her actual umbrella but if you would like one which looks exactly the same (maybe with as much magic in it as mine) then you'll find it at blog favourites shop Paladone, home of many mystical and amazing products for the people you love!

22. Odlo make amazing base layers for women and Looby being a rider, needs this so badly to get through the winter, I can't imagine quite how cold she gets out riding horses all through the coldest weather but base layers like this definitely help and you'll find a full range at Tiso, the outdoor store
Thank you so much to all of the companies who've been involved with this years gift guides, it's a process which starts during the summer months and takes many hours to get to publication, all of the items featured were gifted to me and I'm so very grateful because a gift guide without gifts just isn't fun at all.  This article also features some affiliate links.
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