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October 2017

Not Long Now! Start Saving on Christmas Purchases

Christmas is getting frighteningly close. Of course, if you think it’s the most wonderful time of the year, you’re probably getting excited. But there’s a lot to organise too so it can send you into a panic. If you didn’t start buying presents back in January, there’s still plenty of time to get all you need. But you don’t want to overspend because you’re in a rush. Consider these tips to save some money this Christmas.

Collect on All Your Loyalty Points

If you’ve got a few store loyalty cards that you never fail to swipe, now’s the time to collect on them. Many of us swipe our cards when we shop but forget to actually use the points we collect. You could have a good few points on different cards, and your Christmas purchases will often get you a few more.

Avoid the Urge to Splurge

You really want to impress with your presents, so it’s understandable you might want to spend, spend, spend. But the important thing to remember is that it’s the thought that counts and sometimes cheaper and even homemade presents can be most thoughtful.

Spread the Cost

If you’re worried about the expense of Christmas, spread the cost of it, instead of going on big shopping trips. You can use a credit card, benefit from “buy now, pay later” deals, or just buy everything slowly in the runup to Christmas.

Talk Your Way into a Good Deal

You might be surprised by how far some smooth talking will get you. Put on your best smile, and a little politeness could get you a long way.

Infographic Design By Sunny Good Vibes -A Guide To Haggling

Celebrity Engagement Rings

celebrity engagement rings

Instagram is great for seeing celebrity engagement announcements. I have to admit, I do like seeing who is going to get married to whom. The photos are usually close-ups of the huge, sparkly, gorgeous celebrity engagement rings and let’s face it, these are what we want to see!

77 Diamonds, the London-based jewellers, take note of the rings celebrities buy for their significant other. The majority of us are influenced by these celebrities and lots of people make purchases based on what celebrities are buying.
They have published a report on the Celebrity Engagement Trends in 2017 and it made for interesting reading.

Researchers looked at 100 high profile celebrity proposals over the last few years to see how trends are changing.

Celebrity Engagement Rings – Favourite Metal

The favourite metal in 2013 -2015 was platinum. this changed to white gold in 2016 and to yellow gold this year.
The cut of the diamond also changed. From 2013-2014 the cut of choice was the oval. It’s now the Emerald cut.

engagement ring


It’s hard for us ordinary people to imagine wearing a ring that cost 1 million pounds but this was the average price for a celebrity engagement ring in 2016.
I’d be far too worried to wear anything that cost that much!

Festive Proposal

It’s the time of year when elaborate proposals are planned. There’s something about the festive season that brings the romantic out in people! It’s the most popular time to pop the question and being a Whovillian I can understand why!

First Time Proposals V Second Time Proposals

On average, it takes celebrities around 3 years to propose for the first time when neither has been married before.
This drops to 28 months for couples who have both previously been married and to only 14 months when the second time proposer is proposing to a first timer.

Ring Values

Talking about second marriages, it seems second timers are more willing to shell out, even more, money than they did the first time around.
The average ring value when both celebrities are marrying for the first time is £453,300,00 while it soars to £2,746,983,33 when both have been married before.

If Only Money Could Buy Love

the old adage about money not being able to buy love is true. Celebrities who are no longer married spent on average, £821k on an engagement ring while those who are still together only spent around £489k.
I think celebrities should be taking note of this study then maybe more of them will stay together and not have to fork out the eye-watering amounts for second timers!

Instagram Announcements

As mentioned, Instagram is rife with engagement announcements. Photos with the hashtag, #EngagementRing has nearly 2 million posts.
Earlier this year Holly Marie Combs posted a photo of her gorgeous engagement ring on Instagram. She’s my favourite actress from Charmed and Pretty Little Liars so I was very pleased to see her happy news 🙂

Holly Marie Combs engagement ring Instagram
Instagram – @thehmc

Another actress from Pretty Little Liars, Janel Parrish, posted a photo of her ring this year as well. It’s beautiful.

Janel Parrish engagement ring Instagram
Instagram – @janelparrish

I wonder which celebrity will be planning to pop the question this festive season. I guess we just need to keep an eye on Instagram to find out!

This is a collaborative post

Six Years – Harlan Coben – Book Review #44

Six Years is another Harlan Coben novel that kept me in suspense for most of the book and then left me satisfied at the end.
I can’t really say too much about it because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone so I’m just going to put the blurb here from Goodreads.

Six Years

Harlan Coben, the master of domestic suspense, returns with a standalone thriller in the vein of #1 bestsellers Hold Tight, Caught and Stay Close that explores the depth and passion of a lost love . . . and the secrets and lies at its heart.

Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd.

But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for . . . but she is not Natalie. Whoever the mourning widow is, she’s been married to Todd for more than a decade, and with that fact everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life—a time he has never gotten over—is turned completely inside out.

As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can’t be found or don’t remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake’s search for the woman who broke his heart—and who lied to him—soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on carefully constructed fiction.

Harlan Coben once again delivers a shocking page-turner that deftly explores the power of past love and the secrets and lies that such love can hide.

I’m taking a break from thrillers for a while now. I’ve got a pile of Christmas fiction to get through. I’ve been waiting for October to be done before starting on Christmas stories. As there’s only a couple of days left, I’m starting my first one today; it’s Debbie Macomber’s The Christmas Basket 🙂

Harlan Coben Six years
Goodreads reading challenge 2017 44 books read
For more book-related posts, click here

Vintage Christmas Reindeer Design at Asda

Lately, I’ve found myself drawn to vintage Christmas designs. I fell in love with some reindeer glasses from Asda so I bought 8. I also bought a matching Christmas mug.

Vintage Christmas Reindeer

reindeer Christmas glass - Vintage Christmas

I’m a little bit addicted to buying Christmas mugs. I think I now have enough to have a different mug every day in December!

reindeer Christmas mug - Vintage Christmas

They also have cushions with this designs. I haven’t bought any yet but they’re on the list!

reindeer cushion vintage Christmas

reindeer cushion vintage Christmas

Other items in the reindeer range include a milk jug, shaped mug and egg cups 🙂

reindeer milk jug asda

reindeer egg cups asda

reindeer mug

Last year Ant bought me a super soft Christmas blanket from Asda. I love it and wasn’t able to put it away with the rest of the Christmas stuff. I seem to have lost it to Kaycee recently so I now need a new one.
I’m crossing my fingers and toes that Asda will do a vintage reindeer design super-soft blanket!


Please note: I haven’t been asked to write this post. I love the reindeer design and wanted to share 🙂

Book Advent – Planning Ahead For Christmas

Next week in the charity shop, I’ll be doing a book display that features children’s Christmas stories. I’m doing it early because I want to give people the chance to collect 24 books before December 1st. The idea is to wrap 24 different books in […]

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Sports Direct – Christmas Gifts For A Fiver #sdfiverchallenge

Did you know Sports Direct sold things other than sporting goods? I certainly didn’t and I can’t tell you how surprised I was to find a whole range of Christmas gifts on there. What’s even better, is that loads of them were a fiver and under!

Sports Direct Toys & Gifts

I was seriously impressed with the range of toys and gifts they had. I have 12 nieces and nephews for whom I buy Christmas gifts. As you can imagine, it can get quite expensive. I really wish I’d known about Sports Direct sooner. I’ve already done most of my Christmas shopping but I was still able to a cross a couple of people off my list.

My little niece, Megan loves Frozen. This 3D Frozen puzzle is only £4.99

Frozen 3D puzzle from Sports Direct for just a fiver

And for one of my older nieces, for whom I usually struggle to buy, I saw this nail buffer, again for just a fiver 🙂

Nail buffer from Sports Direct for just a fiver

Stocking Fillers

I’m always on the lookout for stocking fillers and these bubble wands were just a quid. A quid! I would expect to pay 3-4 pounds for something like this so I had to snap up a couple at that price.

bubble wands

bubble wands

There are loads of character toys, games and puzzles, lots of fairy items from the Irish Fairy Door Company, Star Wars toys, craft and science kits and latest crazes such as fidget spinners. All for the great price of a fiver or less!

I’ll certainly be checking Sports Direct first when I start my Christmas shopping next year!

This post is an entry for BritMums #sdfiverchallenge Christmas Challenge, sponsored by

Banana Ice Lolly Recipe – Kaycee Cooks

Here’s another of Kaycee’s recipes from her old blog, Kaycee Cooks. This banana ice lolly recipe is more of a summer recipe really but we’re a bit weird here and love ice cream no matter the weather!

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5 Gift ideas to get for someone who enjoys home improvement projects

Gifts are always great. They help us bond better with the people we love, by making them feel appreciated. They are also great for developing new relationships!  While many of us are used to flower-like gifts, it can be a tricky affair finding a gift befitting a person who is into home improvement. A bouquet of flowers or a ring definitely won’t cut it with such a person. But don’t worry, as we have compiled for you a list of 5 gifts ideas for such a person. Any of these gift ideas will be perfect for the home improvement enthusiast in your life.

cutting wood with a chansaw - gift ideas for DIY people

  1. The Husqvarna 450 rancher chainsaw

A person who is into home improvement projects most likely loves minor logging, as they try to find the best timber for the job.  That’s why gifting such a person a Husqvarna chainsaw would be much appreciated. In case you are wondering why the Husqvarna 450, well, that’s because it’s not only powerful, but also very safe to work with. It is also small, which makes it quite effective to use around the home. To give you an idea of how good it is, the Husqvarna 450 has received a very positive toolboss review. They don’t just hand out those reviews, which makes this product the perfect gift for a person who is into home improvement.


  1. The black and Decker AAW100 Wrench

Most people who are into home improvement are usually DIYers as well.  They love fixing beds, furniture and numerous other stuff around the house. What better gift would you give to such a person other than the Wrench? It’s the perfect do-it-yourself tool!  The AAW100 is so adjustable that it can work with any nuts and bolts around the home. It’s also small, which makes it convenient for you to carry, without giving yourself an extra burden while trying to offer a gift.


  1. An Easybloom plant sensor

A person who is into home improvement most likely has a thing for gardening. After all, if you like a nice looking home, then chances are you are into gardens and flowerbeds too. That’s why a home improvement enthusiast would appreciate the Easybloom plant sensor. It is designed to check the environment, and determine which plants best thrive in a given environment. This would save the home improvement person you are looking to gift, time and money that they would otherwise use; hiring soil and climate experts. That’s a cost saving that anyone would appreciate.

close up of a drill bit

  1. A Black and Decker Cordless Drill

A home improvement person most likely finds themselves having to drill screws here and there. They also most probably have to deal with falling screws in the drilling process, which can be a waste of time.  That’s why gifting such a person this drill would be very much appreciated. It’s not only cordless, allowing for versatility, but also has a magnetic tip that holds screws in place. It’s the perfect gift. Besides, it’s quite affordable and won’t leave a dent in your pocket.


  1. The Husqvarna Homeowner protective chaps

Home improvement people, especially the DIY type are usually at risk of injuries. That risk is even heightened if they have to work with chainsaws. That’s why it would make sense to think of gifting them a safety pad, like the protective chap. This product is designed to protect from chainsaw injuries by causing the saw to jam if it comes into contact with its fabric. This is one product that will endear you to the person you are looking to gift. That’s because it’s a symbol of care. Who doesn’t love it when they feel cared for?


This is a collaborative post

4 Ways to upgrade your shower as a DIY project

Starting a DIY shower project can be tricky. Trust me, there are a lot of people who fail to upgrade their shower because they take for granted the whole process. Some people end up with malfunctioning showerheads because the one they got wasn’t compatible with the pipes. There are also people who end up with a tighter bathroom because they added too much to an already small space. If you don’t want to suffer the same experience as them, then allow us to enlighten you with 4 foolproof tips when doing a DIY shower upgrade.


  1. Compatible showerheads


There are many stylish and attractive showerheads available today. And surely, one would be excited just by looking at it and would be tempted to buy it immediately as it may go out of stock or be snatched up by someone else. If you have similar tendencies as these impulsive buyers, then you can counter this attitude by having a checklist with you at all times. Take note of all the important functions that the showerhead must have. Do you need it to be detachable for better reach? How about the size? The spray control? All of these important aspects must be covered before you buy a showerhead. And since you are not a professional plumber, then there is no harm in being extra careful and meticulous.


  1. Ventilation of you shower


Installing a proper ventilation is also a great value-project for your shower. Bathrooms must be cool, we don’t want foul odours to linger and affect our shower experience. Thus, installing a proper ventilation is a must. It can be in a form of a window or an exhaust system that will regulate the air surrounding your bathroom. Installing it is fairly easy. As you go around and shop for an exhaust system, most attendants will teach and explain to you the essential tips for installing the system. Plus, should you forget or get confused about the instructions, then there is always a manual to help you.


  1. Walk-in showers


If you want to create a walk-in shower area in your bathroom then we strongly recommend you to do using glass doors and walls. Smoked glass walk-in showers make the shower area cooler and brighter compared to just having curtains. Furthermore, glass doors are easier to clean and maintain. You can pre-order a glass door set from home centres that include the door and its frame. Remember to take note of the right dimensions of your walk-in shower area so that you won’t encounter troubles once you start.


For more information and designs about walk in showers UK, then you can easily find a plethora of ideas and pictures of stylish and efficient walk-in showers on the internet.


  1. Replace the tiles


Bathroom and shower area tiles are very susceptible to wear and tear. They are very prone to mould and grime buildup since they are wet most of the time. Additionally, tile gutters in the bathroom get cracked and discoloured faster compared to the other tiles around our houses. Thus, it is also a good idea for you to replace the flooring in your bathroom for a more comfortable shower experience. There are many tiles and even vinyl tiles that are specifically designed for bathrooms in the market today. These specially designed floorings are made up of materials that can last long and decrease the effect of moulds and grime buildup.

This is a collaborative post

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