Christmas · Crafts

Quilling Homemade Christmas Cards

Quilling Homemade Christmas Cards - Finished CardGiven the fact that it’s been a REALLY sucky year for most of us, Christmas will be a nice distraction from everything else. This year, us and our extended family have decided to keep the gift giving to just the kids of the family, so that we can make it all the more special for them. However, that doesn’t stop me from creating extra special Christmas cards for everyone, and this year I’ve even learned a new skill to help me – quilling!

Click on the image to see the quilling in action!

When I was researching the type of card I wanted to make, I stumbled across some festive greetings using quilling. For those who don’t know, quilling is a paper craft with uses coiled strips of paper to create shapes and patterns. I had a quilling kit when I was a tween and I loved it then, but I’d basically forgotten everything I’d learned by the time I tried it again. I also planned to use a graffiti font on the card, but my printer went kaput, right at the most inconvenient moment. *eyeroll*

As well as quilling strips and some papercraft tools, I used an 8x8in blank greetings card, some tacky glue (it’s stickier and dries fast for crafting), a gold marker, some gold edging stickers, mini Christmas bells and some Christmas pompoms. I also used a compass, ruler and pencil for sketching out the rough shapes before I stuck anything on.

Quilling the TreeQuilling Homemade Christmas Cards - Creating the Tree

I started by making the quills for the tree by coiling a whole strip tightly, then allowing it to unfurl a little. I then glued the loose end in place with a tiny dot of glue, held it until dry and then pinched one end of the coil of paper to create the shape. To create the star and tree pot, I shaped them after coiling in a similar way, and then I used the gold marker to write the message on the front. Finally, I just stuck all of the other bits on in the right place!

Adding the Text

Quilling Homemade Christmas Cards - Gold WritingIt took me a little under half an hour, from sketching out the final design to everything being done, and I think the overall effect is well worth the effort! What’s more, I really enjoyed making the card and I can’t wait to make a whole load more to send to the special people in our lives. I’m thinking of making a different design on every card, but that might just be a stunning case of me biting off more than I can chew, as usual!

I absolutely love making handmade gifts and cards for people. Now that I have a new skill, I’ll definitely be doing more of it. Have you ever tried quilling? Are you making handmade cards or gifts this year? Leave me a comment below telling me all about it, especially if you have inspiration for my next design!

Christmas · Home

5 Christmas Gifts for New Renters or Homeowners

I know that 2020 has been a bit of a weird year and it’s definitely caused problems for people who were planning to move to a new home, but for many newlyweds new, uni students and anyone else who managed to actually get their own property this year, they’d definitely appreciate some swanky homewares for their Christmas gift.

One thing that I’d strongly recommend is that you make sure you check to see if there is a voucher code for the website before you buy anything at full price. With that in mind, I’ve put together a little gift guide to show you some of the things that I think any new-nesters would love:

Lifewit Clothes Storage Bag Organiser

 Lifewit Large Capacity Clothes Storage Bag Organizer with Reinforced Handle Thick Fabric for Comforters, Blankets, Bedding, Foldable with Sturdy Zipper, Clear Window, 3 Pack, 90L, Grey Something I’ve noticed about more modern properties is that they don’t always have an airing cupboard, unlike older houses which needed somewhere to store the bulky water tank. This means that people struggle for places to store things like bed linen and towels which can take up quite a lot of space. That’s why these storage bags make a great gift for someone who’s just moved into a new place – they look great and are the perfect place to store linens, coats and other stuff you don’t need every day.

Lifewit Laundry Basket

Lifewit 72L Freestanding Laundry Hamper Collapsible Large Clothes Basket with Easy Carry Extended Handles for Clothes Toys, Grey A laundry basket is often one of those things that people forget to buy when they move into their own place and end up keeping their dirty clothes in an old IKEA bag or something similar! This laundry hamper is not only practical but also looks really nice and would be the perfect thing for any home.

 

Luncia Casserole Carrier

LUNCIA Double Decker Insulated Casserole Carrier for Hot or Cold Food, Lasagna Holder Tote for Potluck Parties/Picnic/Cookouts, Fits 9There’s nothing better than receiving something warm and homemade for dinner that a kind friend or family member has made for you when you first move into your own home – and what better to deliver it in than a gorgeous thermal food carrier?! This casserole carrier looks great and is perfect for anyone who loves cooking or does a lot of potluck dinners with friends and family!

Sunavo Double Infrared Burner

SUNAVO Hot Plates for Cooking, 1800W Electric Double Burner with Handles, 6 Power Levels Stainless Steel Hot Plate for Kitchen Camping RV (Ceramic) Not every kitchen has fitted appliances and purchasing all of your white goods plus a cooker for a new place can cost an absolute fortune. That’s why this double infrared hot plate would be brilliant for a couple, single person or even a student who doesn’t have their own kitchen (check their Halls of Residence rules though, as some don’t allow hot plates). It’s got two rings for cooking and performs just as well as a fitted hob.

Wolfwise Telescopic Ladder

WolfWise Aluminum Telescopic Extension Multi-Purpose Ladder, 12.5FT, 330lbs Capacity This may seem like an odd one, but you’d be really surprised at the amount of people who don’t own a decent ladder. When you move into a new place, a ladder is essential if you want to get into the loft, put up light shades and hang pictures, cleaning gutters or anything else that requires a lift! This telescopic ladder is great because it folds up super small and doesn’t take up a lot of space.

 

Christmas · Toys

Remote Controlled Christmas Gifts Your Kids Will Love

Remote controlled gifts have always been a hit with my kids and they’ve had everything from cats which purr to tarantulas which scare the living daylights out of Maureen as they skitter across the floor. With this in mind, we’ve been looking at some of the remote controlled toys which are on offer this year, ahead of the Christmas season, and we thought we’d share five of our favourites with you, in the hope of inspiring your festive purchases:

SGILE RC Drift Race Car

SGILE Remote Control Car Toy for Boys, 2.4 GHz RC Drift Race Car, 1:16 Scale Fast Speedy Crawler Truck, 2 Batteries for 50 Mins Play, Toy Gift for Boys Girls

Powered by a strong motor, the rc car can drift and reach upto a speed of 18km/h, giving you a thrilling drift experience. Equipped with two 6V 600mAh rechargeable batteries that provide a total power play of 50 mins and designed with an easy-to-learn remote controller with quick and precise response, this remote controlled  car is the best gift choice for beginners.

SGILE Programmable Intelligent Walk Sing Dance Robot

SGILE RC Robot Toy, Programmable Intelligent Walk Sing Dance Robot for Kids Gift Present, Blue

As well as being controllable via a remote, this funky little robot can actually sense gestures through a sensor on its chest and will resond to your hand waves and swipes! It’s also programmable, giving kids the option to input up to 50 motion commands so that they can see their own imagination in play. It’s easy to charge via USB and can give up to an hour of play on a single charge.

SGILE Remote Controlled Dinosaur Smart Programmable Interactive Robot

SGILE RC Dinosaur Robot Toy, Smart Programmable Interactive Walk Sing Dance for Kids Gift Present If you’ve got a kid in your family who is dinosaur obsessed, then this remote controlled T-Rex is the perfect gift! Not only can the robot dinosaur fight, he is also a talented performer; he can dance with different prerecorded music. You can use remote control to switch between two modes: slide & walk, woth multiple other functions to offer tons of fun to your kids.

SGILE Robot Dog

SGILE Robot Dog ,RC Dog Toy Interactive Intelligent Walk Sing Dance Programmable Robot Gift for Kids

Perfect for the smaller kids in your family, this robot dog is the cutest remote controlled pet around. The pooch can be programmed by the owner to perform a number of tasks and is easy to control – he’ll walk, dance and do all sorts of other fun things. It’s the ideal gift for anyone who wants a dog but doesn’t want to deal with cleaning up after a real pet!

SGILE Remote Controlled Stunt Car with 2 Sided 360° Rotation

SGILE RC Stunt Car Toy, Remote Control Car with 2 Sided 360 Rotation for Boy Kids Girl, Green This remote control car combines the classic RC format with something new and exciting! The stunt car doesn’t just go backwards and forwards – it can flip, spin and do all sorts of exciting stunts. Perfect for girls and boys age 6-12 who love anything a little bit crazy! Designed with an easy-to-learn remote controller with quick and precise response, this remote controlled car is another great gift choice for beginners.

Christmas · Vaping

Christmas Vaping Gift Guide

Christmas Vaping Gift Guide Presumably if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you’ve come across this blog post through performing a Google search like “Christmas vaping gift guide”.

Maybe you’ve got a difficult-to-buy-for friend who you know is into vaping. Or maybe a certain someone in your life has been trying to quit smoking for years, and might have expressed a casual interest in e-cigarettes, only to seemingly ‘never get round to’ exploring it for real?

You get the idea – this blog post is very much for helping you to land the perfect present – or several – for this kind of person. So, let’s get started with suggestions!

A vaping starter kit

As the term “starter kit” suggests, these products are the “ground floor” of the vaping world – the kind of thing someone might buy if they’re only just getting acquainted with e-cigarettes or wondering what the fuss is all about.

Plus, with the most affordable vape starter kits giving the purchaser change from two tenners, they’re priced well for a Christmas gift budget.

The UK store Shisha Vibe, for example, stocks popular starter kits from such renowned vape-industry brands as Aspire, Smok, Lost Vape and Innokin, so that your recipient can make the smoothest possible transition to life as an e-cigarette user.

E-liquids

One thing that unites beginner and experienced vapers alike is an appreciation of e-liquids. They’ll always be running out of them, and a few bottles are an interesting, cheap and risk-free present, in that it’s hardly the end of the world if your recipient isn’t hugely enthusiastic about the flavours you select.

In any case, given the vast range of e-juice flavours available on the market – from almond, aloe vera and apricot to vanilla, waffle and yoghurt – there should hopefully be only a small chance of the person who receives your present being unappreciative.

Tanks

When you’re browsing vaping online stores, you’re likely to see references to terms like ‘mouth to lung’ and ‘sub ohm’, including in relation to tanks.

Basically, they’re references to two different styles of vaping, ‘sub ohm’ also sometimes being called ‘direct-to-lung’ vaping. Mouth-to-lung vaping, or MTL, is the style of vaping that most closely mimics the experience of smoking cigarettes. This unsurprisingly makes it a go-style style among those are only just getting into vaping, or who miss the sensation of smoking.

Meanwhile, direct-to-lung (DTL) – or sub ohm – vapers are those who like to blow clouds while vaping. The ‘sub ohm’, by the way, comes from the fact that a DTL kit needs to have a coil resistance of less than one ohm; MTL vapers, meanwhile, require a tank with restricted airflow and a coil with somewhat higher resistance – typically more than one ohm.

You can probably begin to see, then, the importance of first determining your recipient’s favoured style – or likely favoured vaping style – before buying a sub ohm or MTL tank for them.

Other vaping accessories

If you know enough about vaping and your intended recipient’s preferences to have the luxury of being a bit more adventurous with your purchase, what about some coils, pods or even a tool kit?

The above is certainly not an exhaustive list of possibilities for buying someone close to you a vaping-related present this festive season. Nonetheless, it will have hopefully given you some invaluable inspiration.

Christmas · Education · Kids

BrightMinds – Educational Gifts for Kids

Being a parent at Christmas can be a tough job. If Burrito Baby had her way, all of her gifts would be things that Husband and I consider cheap, plastic tat which will probably be chewed up by Maureen before New Year because it all gets left on the floor! Also, as you’ll know if you read this post, Sausage is getting  to that ‘hard to buy for’ age, which makes buying presents even tricker. We’ve always tried to find a balance between three things:

  1. Stuff they actually really want.
  2. Stuff which is good quality and will last longer than a few weeks.
  3. A combination of gifts which are fun but are also educational in some way.

Both of the girls are really fascinated by science. Just a few weeks ago, Sausage came home from school absolutely buzzing because she’d used a bunsen burner for the first time and she seems really engaged by things she’s learning in her lessons. BB isn’t quite at bunsen burner level yet, but she’s developing a deep love of all things science, mostly anatomy and nature.

A while ago, BrightMinds got in touch and asked if we’d like to pick some things from the website for the girls for Christmas, and I realised that it’s basically a whole site, dedicated to things my kids would LOVE! BrightMinds specialie in STEM toys (science, technology, engineering and maths), as well as wooden toys, role play & board games that are fun to use but also encourage learning and development.

BrightMinds - Learning Resources Anatomy Models: Set of heart, brain, body and skeleton

We opted for the Learning Resources Anatomy Models which consists of a set of heart, brain, body and skeleton models, giving children gain a deeper insight to the workings of the human body. Children learn as they build each of the models using the step by step photo illustrated assembly instructions. It’s a bit like a puzzle, but taking it to a whole new level!

I just know that both girls are going to love these and that it will hopefully help to continue to foster their love of science. At the moment, BB is adamant that she’s going to be a doctor AND a vet (hello, tuition fees!) and these models might be the thing that inspire her to make a choice. I haven’t opened the boxes yet, as I want to save them for Christmas, but you can see them through the window on the front and the quality and level of detail looks excellent.

I think these make such a great gift for the scientifically-minded kids in your life and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them. The best part is, you can still place an order all the way up to 23rd December for next day delivery, which mean you’ve got plenty of time to get some things ordered before Christmas. Don’t forget to take a look around the WHOLE Brightminds site for other STEM toys, arts and crafts kits, books and a whole load of other educational gifts which are so vibrant and fun, kids will forget they’re learning!