Christmas gift ideas 2020

Do you ever get stuck for a Christmas present idea for that special someone?

I am super excited to share with you some wonderful ideas for Christmas gifts, particularly for those you may think have everything or that you sometimes struggle to buy for. I have tried all the products and will give you my honest and unbiased opinion of them all. It’s great to support small businesses, especially in these uncertain times, and some of these are run by really small teams or families from their home and I’m sure each and every one of them would appreciate our support. To top that, some of these products are phenomenal! Our guide includes products from Wrendale Designs, Popupblooms.com, Binary Botanical, Neve’s Bees, Natur’Alley, Bunch Skincare, R10 Labs Skincare and PhoneHug – all completely lovely and original so please read on!

Wrendale Designs

Wrendale Designs are actually a personal favourite. Inspired by the English countryside and outdoors, you can choose from an abundance of stationery, kitchenware, tinware, soft furnishings and accessories. Just take a look at this beautiful scarf!

Beautiful Wrendale Designs scarf in soft lightweight fabric.

Anyone that receives a gift like this, presented in such a special way, is going to feel like a million ducks. The Wrendale Designs scarves are lightweight and the fabric is sumptuously soft. There are a number of gorgeous designs to choose from in some perfectly pastel shades. Each beautiful scarf measures 70cm x 190 cm and comes in a lovely ribbon tied gift bag. This gorgeous lightweight scarf will add a touch of colour to any outfit. I just love this ‘a dogs life’ scarf in wild truffle, especially as it features my favourite springer spaniels, among other dog breeds. I also have my eye on the beautiful pale blue bees scarf and the honeycomb coloured woodland scarf too. Aren’t they just completely adorable?

As well as scarves, they have a huge range of country themed products, ranging from small items such as key rings and stationery through to kitchenware, tinware, soft furnishings, accessories, home and garden products, pets accessories, gifts, oh there is so much to choose from!

The range is really good quality too, you really need to take a look. Take a look at the beautiful range of products available

I love the fact that their website is so easy to navigate, for example if you are looking for gifts, you can choose gifts for bakers, gifts for book lovers, gifts for gardeners, gifts for dog-lovers. Of course you can also search for a particular product or type of product too.

At home we also have some storage tins and the bread bin – which is superb quality as well as being cute and it is really easy to clean. My mum has a selection of the mugs and they are so cute.

I would definitely recommend you take a look at their website and would love to know your faves!

In the current times, particularly, supporting small businesses is so so important.

Popupblooms.com

“I don’t like fresh flowers,” said no person – ever! Did you know that you can actually subscribe to a flower subscription service? Ahh just imagine getting beautiful hand picked seasonal blooms delivered regularly. What an absolutely wonderful gift idea. Popupblooms offer this service with flower subscription gift vouchers available for either a 3 or 6 month monthly delivery of a box of flowers that can be arranged by the recipient – this beautiful box of flowers is accompanied with a list of the flowers plus a a ‘hints and tips’ guide on how to create a stunning bouquet – what a fab idea. If you would rather have your bouquet arranged by an expert, that is an option too. The gift vouchers are an email gift voucher, although of course you could print this off as well so you have something to physically gift the recipient.

I was over the moon when I received samples carefully selected by the lovely Paula who runs the company. I received a stunning ready made, hand-tied bouquet, which was super-easy to unwrap and just pop in to a vase. I love the fact that the blooms are carefully chosen by a florist to complement each other and are in the seasons colours.

You will receive information about your bouquet and how to care for it too.

Now I’m not holding my breath to be nominated flower arranger of the year. Whenever I buy myself (or get gifted) flowers I’m usually a ‘cut the ends of and plonk in a vase’ kind of girl. Well actually to be fair I do try my best to balance out the different types of flowers to make the arrangement look as pretty as possible. How wonderful then, to receive a beautiful box of well-packaged flowers, with a list of ingredients – so I know what the flowers are – together with a guide to getting artistic and creating a display that luxury florist would be proud of.

It is great to know also that when popupblooms.com contact the recipient to set up when the subscription will start, they will always ask if there is a type of flower the customer doesn’t want, for example due to allergies. This is an absolute winner as a pet owner I know that any type of lilies can be fatal to dogs and cats so always avoid these in flowers that I buy.

Absolutely exquisite choice of flowers from popupblooms.

Please visit the popupblooms website for more information on their Flower subscription service and other services that they offer.

Binary Botanical

If I told you that you could enjoy a light refreshing beer – even if you don’t particularly like beer – that is refreshing and delicious and actually doesn’t really taste like traditional beer, rather a tasty combination of wine and cider, with an almost Prosecco like feel… a high intensity of tropical fruit flavours, think raspberries, white peaches and passion fruit, combined with elderflower, pepper and rosemary… what would you say?

I would absolutely say hello to Binary Botanical and cheers to that!

Binary Botanical is a refreshing different and delightfully tasting low calorie alternative to beer. Perfect for any occasion and designed to be enjoyed with a meal, or any other occasion – in our opinion!

Good Living Brew Co was started by a woman brew master who wanted to create a beer that could be enjoyed with food. Binary Botanical is available in a choice of 4% or zero alcohol. Both are best served chilled in a stemmed glass or as a simple low calorie cocktail with a slice of orange and fresh mint. It is a perfect base for cocktails, we are sure that you could even create a Christmassy version!

Photo courtesy of Binary Botanical. I would love you to try this and pretty much guarantee you will enjoy it, it’s refreshing and delicious!

See the Binary Botanical website for more information.

Neve’s Bees

We love the ethos behind this company! Starting as a hobby, beekeeping and making ‘lotions and potions’ has now evolved into a family run business producing 100% natural products made from beeswax, plant oils and butters and essential oils from flowers, barks and seeds. The thing that strikes me is the passion behind the business and how much they love making these beautiful products.

Neve’s Bees produce a wonderful range of entirely natural and vegan products, with nothing artificial in sight. There is something for everyone, ranging from lip balms, handmade soaps, hand salves, foot balms, even pet salves for your four-legged friends. Dog Paw Balm and Snout Salve are completely natural and ‘lick safe’ what a paw-fect idea!

We loved the Intensive Peppermint Foot butter! This amazing product is perfect for refreshing and moisturising your feet and just right for when you have been on your feet all day or out and about enjoying the Great Outdoors. Simply massage this cooling peppermint scented foot balm onto your soles, heels, toes and nails to soothe and really refresh your feet. It instantly makes your feet feel softer and smells divine, as you can imagine. As well as beeswax, it contains sunflower oil, apricot kernel oil and shea butter, as well as natural oils to relax the muscles and keep your feet healthy and fresh.

Neve’s Bees luxurious and completely natural products. Wonderful peppermint foot butter and gorgeous orange and lemon cuticle butter. Mmm. Spot the person who couldn’t wait to open and smell the product before taking the photos!

We all love to have super-soft smooth lips, so the Neve’s Bees Bee Happy Lip Balm Gift Box is a definite winner! This eco-friendly present contains a lemon and lime lip balm, a sweet grapefruit lip balm and a honey vanilla lip balm, each in an 8ml slider tin in a brown paper packaging gift box. The lip balms contains beeswax from the happy and much loved Oxfordshire bees, organic shea butter for moisture, organic apricot kernel oil to soothe and nourish, organic jojoba oil for smooth soft lips, organic coconut oil for a natural sheen and organic essential oils to add a lovely smell – and taste!

Lovely products accompanied by Happy Vibes postcards. Neve’s Bees Lip Balm Gift Set, a beautiful present for someone special.

Neve’s Bees offer free delivery and will make a donation from each sale towards the BBOWT (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust) to help preserve our wildlife and beautiful countryside for generations to come.

Visit the Neve’s Bees website to appreciate all the lovely products available, including individual items and special chosen gift boxes, all making a lovely present for someone. What’s more if you sign up to their website, you will receive 10% off your first purchase!

Natur’alley

Another wonderful natural skin care company. This really makes us contemplate, why do so many of us slather chemicals on to our skin when the same, if not better, results can be achieved by using nature’s ingredients?

Natur’Alley was founded during the first lockdown of 2020 and state that they have always had the mental and physical well-being of their customers at the core of their business. Huge amounts of research and development have gone into discovering the healing properties of essential oils, butters and other ingredients from across the globe. The products are plant based with completely natural ingredients.

Image courtesy of Natur’Alley. Your body is your temple – take care of it and it will take care of you.

One product that I absolutely love is the Natur’Alley face balm. On the website it is described as “A must have for any skincare routine! Soft velvety application with no greasy residue. Our face balm has been formulated with it’s own unique blend of natural butters and oils, and absolutely no chemicals whatsoever. Take a few minutes for yourself and simply massage the fresh Rosemary & Palmarosa scented balm into your face. Then all that’s left to do is sit back and let our face balm do all the hard work. The ingredients have been selected for their well known properties such as aiding in the reduction of fine lines and blemishes and giving the skin a more plump appearance. Directions for use: Take a small amount of balm with the fingertips and gently massage into face using circular motions.”

I found that the face balm was lovely and smooth to apply with a wonderful scent and actually, after one application, you can feel the difference in your skin. My skin felt soft to the touch and just smoother, for want of a better description. You only need to use the tiniest amount too as the consistency allows it to spread really well so you can feel it absorbing into your skin.

At the current time of constant hand washing and hand-sanitising their hand balm is a winner too, is instantly nourished my skin, including the tops of my hands and made them feel soft and smooth.

I love the fact that the ingredients for all of their products are available on the website. Visit the Natur’Alley website to see their range of lovely products, including face balm, hand palm, beard balm, body butter, foot balm, body soap and candles. At the moment there is a code on the website giving you 20% off your first order!

Bunch Skincare

I’m so thrilled to have discovered these natural skincare companies, the next on my list is Bunch Skincare.

Bunch Skincare is a relatively new small business, founded by Gosia who says, “During my teenage years, I spent most of my pocket money and lots of time on studying beauty pages of glossy magazines and trying all sorts of skincare and make-up products and indulging in buying the fragrance. One thing led to another and I secured a placement on MSc in pharmacy course. The pharmacy course proved to be a perfect combination of science, technology, and experimentation. It provided me with in-depth knowledge of chemistry, human biology, pharmaceutical botany, and pharmacognosy just to name a few topics. But the highlight of the course was pharmaceutical formulation! I thoroughly enjoyed studying the theory behind and then making various potions, creams, solutions, tablets and many other products. There was something fascinating in being able to combine ingredients and formulate products that until now I could only see on the shelves of a pharmacy or beauty shop! And here I was, making it all myself! How cool was that?!” Her passion led her to create Bunch Skincare.

I am a huge fan of facial oils so I was delighted to be gifted this little beauty in a glass bottle – Organic Antioxidant Face Oil. Bunch of highly active botanical ingredients, including oils, antioxidants, and essential oils specifically blended for the needs of dry, tired, and mature skin. This antioxidant organic face oil may help regenerate, nourish, comfort, and revitalise your skin. It can be used on all skin types to give much needed antioxidant boost to help protect from pollution or get it in top condition for a big event.

Apply daily to freshly cleansed/toned skin before your moisturiser. It can be used on damp or dry skin. Use a few drops and massage in, using an upward circular motion, and taking care around the delicate eye area. Inhale the herby aroma before gently massaging the oil in. A little goes a long way, the bottle should last for a very long time. Suitable for women and men.

Photo courtesy of Bunch Skincare. Antioxidant Organic Face Oil feels wonderful to apply and I felt gave my skin a healthy glow.

Visit the Bunch Skincare website to view the full range of products, which each list the essential ingredients, all ingredients included, information about how to apply each product and the aim of the oils. It was lovely to receive a small packet of wildflower seeds with my oil, so I can grow my own bunch – I am looking forward to sowing these seeds and seeing the flowers that bloom too!

R10 Labs Skincare

A fantastic skincare company focusing on men’s skincare – don’t let the men in your family miss out on all the wonderful natural skincare products there are out there, they are catered for too!

R10 Labs was founded in 2012 with the sole goal of creating the highest quality skincare products, without limitations or exceptions. Welcome to R10 Labs, a naturally new approach to skincare. From the island of Madagascar to the Brazilian rainforest, they have scoured the planet in the search for all the hidden treasures mother nature has gifted mankind; after all, to create something amazing, you have to start with something amazing. After spending countless hours and many sleepless nights researching, developing, tweaking & testing their unique formulations at their headquarters in Leeds, with the help of leading skin care experts, did they perfect what they set out to create from the start, 100% natural skincare packed full of concentrated botanical extracts to maintain, repair & improve skin.

Now to start with lets talk about the scent, each product is uniquely scented and honestly they smell so good and fresh. For example the R10 Labs deep cleansing body wash (which incidentally won the beauty shortlist 2019 best body wash in the male grooming category.) features their proprietary LiquiCrystal® Technology with gentle sugar based cleansers to power through dirt & excess oil whilst protecting your skin’s natural barrier. It smells lovely and it’s not surprising as six different concentrated citrus extracts have a natural antibacterial action to help fight unwanted body odour. Pharmaceutical grade Activated Charcoal draws out dirt & impurities from pollution whilst purifying the pores (just try not to splash it on the side of your shower as it is quite a dark colour.)Pure Olive oil ensures your skin stays supple & soft, never dry & tight. The body wash contains 100% natural ingredients, cruelty free and suitable for vegans and completely recyclable packaging. It is suitable for sensitive skin and formulated with the guidance of expert dermatologists. Containing no harsh chemicals, it has gone down really well in our household!

Last but by no means least on my list is the brilliantly innovative

PhoneHug

PhoneHug® – a funky, beneficial phone accessory, super-grips your phone to you… for those who love the outdoors and adventure.

Basically PhoneHug does what it says on the tin, it hugs your phone, what a fantastic idea! So an absolute must have for anyone that leads an active life, whether that is cycling, running, walking, boating, skiing, sky-diving, festivals, touring, in fact any activity where you need to keep your phone attached to you. It’s brilliant, you can attach your phone via a karabiner clip or the PhoneHug cross-body lanyard and you will have no worries about dropping or losing your phone. Even if you are not that active it’s awesome, personally for me it’s great as I love being out and about and when I try to take arty photos at different angles sometimes I feel like I need to grip my phone for dear life to avoid it dropping in the sea or over a bridge, do you get my drift? This is the perfect solution!

If I had one of these before, perhaps my phone wouldn’t have been dropped so many times! PhoneHug is very flexible, fits your phone snugly and can be wiggled about so you can see most of your screen.

It gives you a little extra security too regarding phone theft, if your phone is physically attached to you, there is no chance somebody would be able successfully remove it from your bag or pocket.

It’s a clever little creation, made of silicon which grips your phone really well. I thought it looked too small and would not being able to fit to my iPhone XS, but it’s brilliantly stretchy and fits perfectly!

It comes in a range of colours so I’m pretty sure your favourite will be there! Take a look at the PhoneHug website to buy or find out more!

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