Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Christmas Gift Guide 2014 (For Him & Her)...

I can't believe it's that time of year, AGAIN! It doesn't seem like two minutes since I was writing my Christmas gift guide last year and now I'm a married woman! This is one of my favourite posts to do and also one of my favourite posts to read. I like to find gift ideas for my post that relate to people but are also that little bit different, so finding other unique gift ideas on other blogs that maybe I haven't come across is fab too.

I hope you like the ideas I've come across. Some I've sampled, others I've not, but these gift ideas have been chosen from ideas I've researched myself and ideas that have been sent to me. I had quite a few gift ideas to go through, so these are those I thought were worth mentioning and would make great gifts for this Christmas. I'm going to categorise the gifts within subject rather than price and there will be inexpensive items and more pricier items within each. You will see that most of the ideas will be suitable for males and females, aswell as for varied ages.


Beauty Gift Ideas

1. For the beauty lovers in your life, this high quality, elegant Silver Chic Holiday Set is sure to appeal. This set comes from Tweezerman, the beauty tool experts and contains essentials to add a bit of glamour to a beauty regime. A white and silver sparkle ornamented mini slant tweezer and a matte silver finish eyelash curler are included, both perfect for at home or whilst on the go. I actually have a Tweezerman mini slant tweezer and as I pluck my eyebrows myself at home, it's great having a quality product that has been hand filed to ensure the tips grab every hair that isn't wanted. This would be a lovely stocking filler or a gift for a female friend! This set is available from Selfridges for £32.

2 & 3. Hair styling tools tend to be used quite often and so Christmas is a fab time to buy items like this to replace those that may be on their last legs. If you are buying for someone who is all about their hair, these two products from Diva Pro Styling are current and of a high quality. They are from a new range called Chromatix which are high performance tools available in bright, bold colours. The Chromatix 3400 Pro Hairdryer is powerful and lightweight and has 4 heat settings (including cool shot) and 2 speed settings. It also has ionic conditioning which means faster drying, reduced static and frizz, aswell as added shine. What more could you want from a hairdryer? It also comes with fast dry and slim precision nozzles. The Chromatix Intelligent Digital Styler is a lot more than just a straightener, it'll also create curls and waves. The Korean ceramic floating plates are infused with Argan oil which offer a snag-free, super smooth finish. Both of these items are designed to be long lasting, so they are definitely an investment! They would be great for those already into beauty but also for those that are yet to have their very own hairdryer and straightener. There are so many features to these products that I could go on and on, but if you use the links above for each product you can read more about them there :). The hairdryer is £39.98 and the straightener is £59.99 but you can currently get both products for £80 from Sally Express - what a bargain!

4. This Curling Wand Gift Set from the Total Hair Experts collection is exclusively available at Tesco. I love this curling wand! I have many different curling/waving wands, some big, some small and some different shapes but this is the only one of this shape and size that I have and I absolutely love the curls and waves that it creates! They are so perfectly defined and last such a long time, even without hairspray! Normally when I curl my hair, I have to use quite a bit of hairspray as my hair tends to just drop, but since I've been using this I haven't had to use as much hairspray to keep the curls in and I've been able to take the hairstyle through to the next day where my hair has a lovely, beachy wave to it. Normally, after all the hairspray, my hair is a right mess when I wake up the next day and I'm straight in the shower to wash it, so I was pleasantly surprised! I'm not sure why this seems to be the case, but it is :). The ceramic coated wand adds a lovely shine to the hair and the set also comes with an accessories pack, consisting of three hair clips, a tail comb, a compact mirror and a protective glove all kept together in a black, quilted zip case. There's lots more info here and you can buy this set for £25.00.

Food and Drink Gift Ideas


1. Domaine de Canton is the world's first ultra premium ginger liqueur. It's handmade in small batches by hand and therefore isn't mass produced, making it a really unique and special gift. I love ginger in general, but especially within drinks. The warming feeling you get from a ginger drink is so comforting whether alcoholic or non alcoholic. This liqueur would be lovely in small amounts over ice but my preferred way of drinking it is within a cocktail. Each bottle should come with a little booklet which hangs off the bottle lid. Inside it gives you lots of cocktail recipes so you can experiment and find your favourite way of drinking this liqueur. My favourite is the Strawberry Ginger Martini, which consists of Domaine de Canton, vodka (or gin), strawberries and a lime wedge. On the product website it even gives you ideas for ways to include it in food recipes! Males and females alike, if you know someone who has a taste for ginger, then this will more than likely be a pleasant surprise as a gift and something they probably haven't seen before whilst out and about. The liqueur is currently £31.75 at The Whiskey Exchange.

2. Merangz 'Christmas Decadence' Bites Box is a luxury and indulgent box of 6 dipped merangz. These aren't just any old meringues, this limited edition version, created especially for the Christmas season contains 6 yummy merangz that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and have been dipped or topped with layers or sprinkles of Irish whiskey gold, dark chocolate and Sicilian orange, brandy soaked fruit Christmas pudding, vanilla sherry trifle, praline champagne mousse and peppermint dark chocolate. The quality of the merangz matters to the company, which is why they work with local farmers for the best quality eggs and separate the eggs by hand, before whisking in gently heated sugar and adding natural flavours, essences or reduced fruit and slow baking. The first time I saw these I was delighted as not only do I love meringue in general but I'd never seen anything like this before and I instantly knew they'd be great for my gift guide. Not only would these make a great gift but if you're having a Christmas party, I think having them on display for people to taste would definitely make your party food stand out from the rest. You could even take them to a party and wow the host! The dark chocolate and Sicilian orange is my favourite. Chocolate and orange is an amazing combination but mix that with meringue and it's on another level. They have lots of other options that you can check out here, but you can currently get two boxes of this variety for £12 from The Little Round Cake Company.

3. A fresh wasabi gift is definitely something different for the foodie who already has everything else. The Wasabi Company sells wasabi which is produced by the only wasabi farm in Europe. There is lots of different options available on The Wasabi Company website where you can purchase wasabi or wasabi rhizomes on their own or you can build your own box where you can include all the things you need to become a wasabi expert overnight. A Wasabi Plant is available to buy, which the recipient can grow themselves. This will result in the plant producing large, heart shaped leaves which can be finely chopped into salads, sauteed or used as wraps and garnishes. The stems can also be chopped into salads like spring onions. After a couple of years, wasabi rhizomes will appear which can be grated into a paste. So, although a long process, you'll get a lot from this gift idea! Wasabi has a crisp, clean heat and is great with sushi, in marinades for steak, in salad dressings and even with ice cream! I love how unique this idea is and if you do know someone who likes wasabi, they are sure to be thrilled with this. Prices vary according to the size of wasabi you want to buy or the gift box you want to create, so have a look here and you can see the different prices.

4 & 5. These two beautifully boxed gifts are from a company called Biscuiteers and are absolutely perfect for the upcoming festive season. Firstly, the Iced Christmas Biscuit Tin contains 9, thickly iced Christmas themed all spice biscuits. The image doesn't do this little beauty justice to be honest. If you were to see the tin, it's something you want to be careful with, it's not something you want to just rip open (not that you can rip open a tin, but you know what I mean :)). The delicious biscuits are encased in tissue paper and fill the tin in layers, they aren't just thrown in. You can tell a lot of time has been taken to ensure these biscuits are not only made perfectly but packaged just as well. I love that the icing is made from icing sugar (my favourite type of icing!) and not roll out icing. It's melt in the mouth, sweet icing but not sickly which I often find roll out icing can be. This kind of product is not only great for a gift but also to have available at a party or just if you're going round someone's house during the festive season. It's gorgeous! This biscuit tin is available from the Biscuiteers website for £39.50. The second product is the Say Cheese! Biscuit Tin and if Christmas Day evening isn't the perfect time for a cheese board then I don't know when is! Again, this is a perfect gift or a little something to take round to someone's house for everyone to try. This tin contains one pack of 10 Caraway & Parmesan hand baked button biscuits, one pack of 10 Rosemary & Parmesan hand baked button biscuits, a sealed heart of creamy organic cheddar and a jar of hot pear chutney. Mmmm! Some people will like this just for the tin, ha ha, it's so sweet with the little mice with their cheese, biscuits and wine. This biscuit tin is £35.00.

6. For the tea lovers in your life, Teastorks offers single or subscription boxes of real tea. They source top quality loose tea from around the world, put them in pyramid bags which release the flavour perfectly and send your tea in a box that fits through the letterbox. You can choose just a one off box as a gift for someone or set up a subscription so that your chosen person receives a selection of chosen teas weekly, every other week or monthly. The choice is yours! This is so appealing to me, I love tea! I like regular builders/breakfast tea but also lots of herbal varieties too. My favourite selection of teas from this brand is 'enlightenment', which contains 5 inspiration chai teabags, 5 meditation sencha green teabags and 5 peppermint eclipse teabags. I like all of these varieties so this would be my perfect choice. They even have popcorn tea! Prices start from £4.95 but vary according to your selection and whether you're buying a single box or a subscription. You can view the different options here on their website and read more about their teas before you make a decision here.

7. This Sweet & Savoury Christmas Selection from The Bay Tree Food Company contains 7 individually portioned jars which are sure to get the recipient alone or their family too through the festive season. I love these little jars as they aren't too much to just be sitting in the fridge for weeks, they are like little taster jars which encourage you to try something new. The jars in this selection are cranberry sauce, spicy tomato chutney, onion marmalade, cider and horseradish mustard, raspberry jam, morello cherry jam and whisky marmalade. All have been made in the West Country. I could imagine this being a fab gift for a mom, dad, nan, grandad or someone who has a few people within their family. There's products in this selection that can be used for breakfast (morello cherry jam on toast), lunch (cider and horseradish mustard on a sandwich), dinner (cranberry sauce with a turkey dinner) and even dessert (raspberry jam with sponge). You can get this set for £7.29.

TV Themed Gift Ideas

1 & 2. Doctor Who fans or just people that love to collect teapot sets are going to love these items. The teapot, milk jug and the sugar bowl are all separately sold items, they don't come together. The detailing of the three items includes the famous police sign. The teapot is made of light china for ease of use, whilst the milk jug and the sugar bowl are made of high quality stoneware and are more recently released than the teapot. The teapot holds just over two mug-fulls of tea, so perfect for a couple of hot drinks in one go, which is often what you fancy as the first one always seems to go too quickly! You can buy these items from the BBC shop, with the teapot priced at £19.99, the milk jug priced at £8.99 and the sugar bowl priced at £14.99.

3 & 4. DVDs are great gifts at Christmas and are often greatly received. Miranda Hart is one of those comedians that doesn't mind making fun of herself and I personally loved her series 'Miranda'. A stand up show wasn't something I was necessarily expecting from her but something I was definitely interested in having a look at. Miranda Hart: My, What I Call, Live Show is something I'm actually getting for my sister this Christmas, as it's something she's asked for. I expect it to be fun, silly and just chilled out, easy comedy that you don't have to think too much about. A fab gift for those that love comedy, stand up shows or the Miranda series. You can buy it from the BBC shop for £13.49. Him & Her - The Wedding (Series 4), sounds like it's just a one off special but as the title shows, it's actually the last series of Him & Her. This was another one of my favourite shows when it was on. It sounds boring, as it's basically about the lives of Steve and Becky, a couple who are young, unemployed and lazy. However, it's actually a funny situation comedy. It's hard to describe but it's just simple, easy comedy that you won't be able to stop watching and having a giggle at. Becky's sister Laura is definitely my favourite character, she's one of those characters that you love to hate. She is rude, spoilt and mean but she plays the character so well it's hard not to love her. I don't think it's essential that you watch the other three series before this one but it will help as you'll get to know the characters and I'd recommend it anyway for the laughs! This DVD is actually based on Becky's sister Laura's wedding to her Fiance Paul. It's funny from start to finish with Laura being a real bridezilla and Steve getting up to no good with plenty more going on in-between. It's available from the BBC shop for £13.99 or using the link above you can buy series 1-4.

5. The Top Gear Winter Gear Box Kit is perfect for anyone that has their own car, especially if they are a fan of Top Gear too! This 5 piece set includes, screen-wash, de-icer, an ice-scraper, demisting pad and a headlight sponge. This will be perfect for the cold months ahead. I love it when I see novelty but useful gifts like this and have people in mind that I know will love it :). It's available from BHS for £12.

Home/Lifestyle Gift Ideas

1. For anyone that loves London, these prints would be perfect! Place in Print was established by Ed in 2013 as a spin-off of South London Prints, a design studio specialising in the creation of limited edition artwork, depicting landmarks and other features of South London. Ed wanted to build upon the successes of SLP and create new collections and ranges beyond the limits of South London. I love London, it's one of mine and Si's favourite places to go. They have lots of prints on the website, including London typographic maps and London Underground stations but some of my faves come from the London visual puns range. Although all the prints are fab, I think these would definitely grab someone's attention when they were to walk into a room where one was displayed. Above you will see the Wimbledon print and the Westminster print, cool huh?! They have plenty more of these in the 'place names' section on the website. The prints are priced at £35 for just the print, £40 for the print to be mounted and £50 for the print to be in a white, black or wood frame.

2. These tea towels by Nicole Phillips are unique and will definitely stand out from any other tea towel the recipient may have. I love the slogans and they have many options on the website to choose from, including rhubarb and custard, large fish and chips and strawberries and cream. All are similar to the ones above where you have images and words that just match together so you know exactly what is being stated. I love the Yum or Yuck tea towel above and I must say it's definitely yuk for me, what about you? The other one above, as I'm sure you've all guessed is Sage and Onion Stuffing. I haven't seen tea towels like this before and they just stood out to me, so I wanted to share them with you. I'd love to know which one is your favourite from her range! Nicole's products are made in Great Britain and feature hand painted artwork offset against a stylish stripe background. Tea towels are £12.95 and are made of high quality fabric.

Hobby/Interest Gift Ideas

1. For those people that love cooking or want to learn how to cook better, the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School has lots of different cooking courses on offer. You can see what they have to offer here and you can purchase vouchers as a gift, whether it be for a full course amount or part amount so the recipient can choose their own course. Vouchers are valid for 12 months from the issue date. When I was considering this for my gift guide, the course that stood out to me the most was the 'Getting Ready For University Course'. I can imagine everyone knows someone who will be starting university in the coming year or even moving into their own place for the first time. This 5 day course covers basic healthy cooking, including basic cooking techniques, how to choose ingredients, how to use leftovers, how to budget and manage money. Anyone on this course will leave with an apron and a folder of easy, cheap but nutritious recipes. Participants will cook both individually and in pairs and will be shown how to plan and cook cheap, delicious, nutritious, filling meals. They will cook their own lunches and have prepared dishes to take away with them at the end of every day. Sounds fab doesn't it?! The course is currently being updated on their website so there isn't a current price, but you can contact the school for more information as advised here. As you probably guessed from the name of the school, it is based in the heart of Edinburgh city, so it would be ideal for those who live near to the cookery school or are able to travel.

2. Don't be fooled by the simple image of some cuff-links as these aren't just any old pair of cuff-links. These cuff-links are made from parts of a recycled skateboard. Thrashion Ltd is a 100% skater owned and run diy business. They make jewellery, accessories and homewares from recycled skateboards which are used in their original state, so every scratch and ding is incorporated into the items to represent the character of the deck, meaning each piece is individual and unique. I love companies like this that recycle one item to make a completely different one and I think these pieces would make great gifts for the skater boy or girl that you know! They have necklaces, rings, cuff-links, bracelets and more on offer. Check out their range. When explained, I think a gift like this will really wow someone :).

3. Dogs seem to be a favourite and much loved pet and I'm sure you know someone who owns a dog that you want to buy a gift for this Christmas. This Off The Leash Diary is published by Frances Lincoln with Rupert Fawcett designing the artwork. This week to week layout diary, with plenty of space for notes too, features black and white illustrations throughout and are sure to keep the recipient amused...they sure made me giggle! The diary is flexibound and is really well made, definitely something to be proud of having and writing all your important dates and notes in. You can purchase it for £9.99. There are two other products in the Off The Leash range, which are a Postcard Book (£6.99) and a Chunky Notebook (£7.99).

4. Vinyl Me, Please is a monthly record club where each month you get a 'must have' record sent to you, along with a cocktail recipe and an exclusively commissioned print. In addition, you'll also get access to The Standard, which is a weekly music digest highlighting the best new music and gear from artists and brands that you need to know about. Each month, they also give away music prizes to one lucky member via their Golden Ticket Giveaway. If you know someone who has a record player (although this could be another gift if you're feeling extra generous :)) and is open to the kind of music that they listen to, this would be such a lovely, unique gift. You can choose to purchase a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription and have the first box delivered to you as the buyer. You can then change the address on the website so the recipient receives the rest of their subscription first hand. Prices vary according to which subscription you buy, but you can find out more about buying a Vinyl Me, Please gift here.

5. Retouch Power is the world's first cosmetic power bank that you can use to charge your smartphone and tablet on the go. Two designs are available, a lipstick and a blush. Both are capable of over 500 cycles of charge. These are sure to amaze as someone reaches into their bag for their sleek make-up inspired charger. There is also a mirror inside of the blush unit, perfect for any last minute touch ups! The Kissable unit is £29.99 and has 2600 mah (milliamp hour - strength of the battery) and will recharge most smartphones and tablets at maximum speed. The Blush unit is £39.99 and has 4200 mah, so you can recharge over 2-3 smartphones from a single full battery, an Iphone 5/5s nearly two times from a single charge and even recharge Ipads, other tablets and USB devices at fast speeds.

So there you have it lovelies, my Christmas gift guide for this year. I've worked really hard on it so I hope you like it :).

What is your favourite gift idea from those featured above?

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

Comment below, I'd love to hear what you think!

Thanks so much for reading!
Gem XxOo
* Images courtesy of Tweezerman, Diva Pro Styling, Tesco, Domaine de Canton, Merangz, The Wasabi Company, Biscuiteers, Teastorks, The Bay Tree Food Company, BBC, Place In Print, Nicole Phillips, Edinburgh New Town Cookery School, Thrashion Ltd, Frances Lincoln, Vinyl Me, Please and Retouch Power.

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