Alternatives to Toys for Christmas

I don’t know about you, but sometimes it feels like we’re drowning in toys. Sausage is older now, so her interests are changing but Sausage is still firmly in the “circle every toy in the Christmas cataogue” stage. This year, I’ve been trying to think of things that they would love for Christmas which won’t take up much (if any) space in the house, and I’ve had some decent ideas so far, which I thought I’d share with you today:

Swimming Lessons

BB has a pool at her school, but it’s outdoor which means they only swim between Easter and October and the rest of the year they don’t use the pool at all. I was thinking that BB would probably love to have swimming lessons and that her grandparents could club together and pay for her to have lessons for a year. There are some Seriously Fun swimming lessons for babies and children out there and I think it would make a great gift.

Zoo Experience

A couple of years back, Husband arranged for me to go to Wingham Wildlife park to have an up-close experience with the raccoons and coatis and it was genuinely one of the best presents I’ve ever received. I’ve been in love with raccoons for years and getting to feed them was just phenomenal. Both of our girls are animal mad and I think they’d be just as thrilled with a keeper experience as part of their Christmas present.

Subscription Box

One of the (very small) things that bugs me about Christmas is that you spend silly amounts of time and money buying specially selected gifts and by January, a lot of it has been used up or forgotten. A subscription box would last all year long, giving monthly surprises and you can get lots of different types, to suit every kid. Some of them even have experiements inside, making them low-key educational without the kids even realising that they’re learning as they go!

Magazine Subscription

Like a subscription box, a magazine subscription is the gift that keeps on giving. BB is a MASSIVE fan of magazines (usually for the plastic rubbish attached to the front!) but I think she’d be so happy to get her favourite magazine in the post every month. Magazines are also good because they help to give kids in interest in reading. Sausage is old enough to enjoy a much wider array of magazines now, too, like nature photography, crafting, colouring and even music.


My kids are both at an age now where they love getting cash or vouchers for Christmas and birthdays because it means that they can go to the shops and choose stuff for themselves. Sausage even has her own contactless debit card now, and she LOVES having mney in her account so she can use her card. There are a few shops that the kids love, where they can buy things like books and stationery so getting them vouchers would definitely be a hit – plus, I don’t mind finding space for books!

Pregnancy · Review

Project B – Pregnancy Wellbeing Boxes Review

Now that I’m officially ‘in the family way’, the reviews on this blog are starting to get a little different and today’s review is the first of many pregnancy related products that I’ll be testing over the coming months.

Project B is a month subscription box which starts during month 4 of pregnancy and goes right up until month 10, when you’ll receive a ‘Congratulations’ box after giving birth. The idea of the boxes is to give pregnant women a monthly gift, full of pregnancy-friendly treats, which promote wellbeing and give her something to look forward to.

I really like the idea behind these boxes; pregnancy can seem like the longest nine months of your life and if you’re having a nice, uncomplicated pregnancy, the bits to look forward to (like scans) can seem few and far between. Having a box land on your doormat once a month full of nice little treats would be a great distraction from ten months of waiting.

My box arrived yesterday and this is what was inside:

Project B Month 1

1. A bottle of WaterBaby Pregnancy Care drink (retails for roughly £1 per bottle)

2. Nakd Strawberry Crunch bar (average of about 70p per bar)

3. FemFresh Deodorant (retails at about £2 for a 125ml can, this was a promotional 50ml size)

4. Pai Bergamot Lipbalm (£7 from Amazon)

5. Cocoa Butter Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks (the 50ml size would retail for about £1)

6. Pregnacare Pregnancy Vitamins (a 90 day supply would cost £7.77 from Amazon, this was a sample of a weeks supply, so would cost roughly 60p)

Because of my diabetes, a couple of these products were off the cards for me entirely; the Nakd bar was very high in sugar and although Sausage enjoyed it, it didn’t represent much excitement for me. The water also contained 11 grams of sugar, which meant that it was also off the cards. The WaterBaby water was a good idea in that it gives you all of the vitamins you need every day, but I’m not sure that I’d spent around a pound a day when there are pregnancy vitamins for far less, which contain more. Also, the taste of the water itself was odd; Husband compared it to the 90’s alcopop ‘Metz’ and from the tiny sip I had, I felt it has a rather bizarre, oily texture to it.

The vitamins were a nice inclusion, but a weeks worth in a monthly box seemed a little spartan. The Palmers Cocoa Butter is a great product and I’ll definitely use it, but I suspect the bottle will last a very short time, especially as my belly expands! I won’t even mention the FemFresh, other than to point you towards this post, which will give you my full and frank opinions on this type of product!

My favourite part of the box, by farwas the Pai Bergamot Lipbalm. It’s clearly a premium product and the price of it makes up for 50% of the total cost of the box. It’s a lovely product that will last me over the winter. There were also a few information cards included with useful information about pregnancy at the stage the box is intended for.

So, would I, as a pregnant woman, subscribe to the Project B boxes? If I’m honest, I’m not sure.

The products come nicely packaged and the overall idea is a good one, but if I had spent £14 on this box I fear I would have been rather disappointed. I reckon you could buy the contents for around ten or eleven pounds, and although the information cards are nice, there’s nothing on them that a very quick (and essentially free) Google wouldn’t tell you. Sure, the packaging is pretty, but again, isn’t worth £4.

I’m trying not to be overly negative about the boxes as I do actually like the idea and concept, as I said above. It would be a great gift for a friends or relative and as a pregnant woman myself, I’d love someone to subscribe for me, but I still think the contents of this box leaves a little to be desired.

Subsequent boxes may hold untold treasures, who knows? But based on box one, I’m not overly enamored. I know that my diabetes is an issue and that the Project B folk can’t please everybody, that’s fine, but a little more thought into the products would have gone amiss.

What do you think? Am I being too demanding? Would you be happy with this little package? Let me know.