Hello 2018, my fifth year blogging (+ giveaway)

Hello! I know, I'm super late in writing this. It's my first post of 2018 and we are 16 days in - oops! I think I got a bit too comfortable not really doing much blog work over Christmas!

On Sunday, Mum of a Premature Baby turned five years old! I honestly can't believe that, a) it's been that long. Time goes so quickly! And b) that I kept it up! Usually I get bored very quickly so I've surprised myself by doing something continuously for five whole years.

I just wanted to say a massive thank you to anyone who reads my blog posts or follows me on social media. It's so lovely to know that people are interested in reading what I have to say and take the time to like, comment and interact. You're all awesome!

I have a wee giveaway for you all too! Last year, you might remember that I did a Zomlings Twitter party and had some prizes to give away. If you weren't lucky enough to win some Zomlings goodies then, now's your chance! I have a massive Zomlings bundle up for grabs.


All you have to do is fill in the Gleam widget below. Good luck and don't forget to read the T&C's!

T&C's:
  • The giveaway will run from 16th January until 4th February 
  • One winner will win everything pictured above
  • Open to entrants aged 18+
  • UK residents only 
  • One entry per person
  • No automated entries
Zomlings bundle


About my Year: 2017

I don't usually do tag posts but Cassie from Lily's Little Learners tagged me in a questionnaire all about the past year. I thought it looked fun and a lovely way to look back on the past twelve months.

1. What did you do for your birthday this year? 
My birthday was on a Thursday this year and Chris had to work so it was a pretty regular day! I picked C up from preschool and went to my parents house where my mum and sister were (dad had work!) where I got presents and we ordered a pizza takeaway! Nothing too exciting but nice all the same.

2. Whats the biggest thing to happen to you this year? 

As awful as this sounds, I don't think anything huge has happened to me! My partner did learn to drive though so it's been great having a family car. Seeing him drive has made me eager to learn myself so hopefully by this time next year, I'll have my own licence. 

3. What was the biggest thing to happen for your child/children this year? 
C started big school! He is loving it but we do have some struggles. He's received his statement of special educational needs too. As for E, I've applied for her nursery place! 

4. Could you pick a favourite week of the year? 
Chris took a week off during the summer and we did as much as we could pack in. As we had a car, we were able to travel further afield and my favourite day of that week was when we visited the beach. We had to bribe C out of the water! 

5. Do you have a favourite photograph of yourself from 2017? 

This photo from back in March of myself and my two children. Although it was only taken nine months ago, both children look so little in it! I feel like they've grown so much. 

As for me, I'm lovely my, then new, glasses and my Panic! At The Disco 'Miss Jackson' lyric tee. 

6. What was your best day out? 
Aside from the beach day that I mentioned above; myself, Chris, C and E visited Cavehill with Chris's mum, his three brothers, sister and our niece. It was so lovely to have a day out with the entire family as we don't get to do it very often. 

7. What is the best film you have seen this year? 
It has to be the Beauty and the Beast remake! It was one of my favourite animations and Emma Watson was the perfect Belle. Is it weird that I have a crush on Luke Evans as Garston?! 

8. Is there anything you wish didn't happen this year? 
Nothing at all. Nothing bad happened at all in my life. Even if I did have a rough patch, I'd never want to change anything. I'm definitely a believer of "everything happens for a reason." 

9. What would you like to achieve or improve for 2018? 
My organisational skills. Every year, I buy a planner, use it for a week or so then never look at it again. Everything seems to snowball with deadlines and I worry I'm missing appointments so I definitely need some organisation in my life.

10. How will you be celebrating/did you celebrate New Years Eve?
I will have a glass of wine in hand and be eating baked camembert with crusty bread. 

Happy New Year!

Christmas Gift Ideas for Men

Buying for men is my least favourite thing to do at Christmas time. I'm not a man, so don't know what men like and if I ask my other half what he wants for Christmas he'll say, "Nothing, I don't need anything." Cue internal scream.

I've got a few little gift ideas that might help if you are struggling to buy for the man in your life too.

Moustache Wax

My partner is quite proud of his facial hair and I've noticed that quite a lot of men these days choose to wear a beard or moustache. This moustache wax is a gorgeous mix of lime, basil and sweet orange and it's perfect for getting their moustache looking fab.

You can purchase this from Handmade Soap Co for €9.95.

Body Wash set

Christmas isn't Christmas without some smellies! Stray away from the Lynx sets that no one really likes receiving and opt for a more exciting set like this Ocean Escape one from Fatface. You get a body wash and body spray for £8.00.

Fatface also do some lovely checked shirts and accessories like Christmas themed socks so they are definitely worth checking out if you've overlooked them!

Valet or keepsake box

My partner will come home from work and empty his pockets onto the arm of the sofa and it really winds me up. These little boxes are great for keeping their bits and bobs in and they are beautiful.

Each box is lovingly handmade and finished with five coats of 100% Tung oil then clear beeswax polish. They are made from Wych elm wood with a gorgeous red leather interior.

You can purchase these from artNM on etsy for £195.

Bluebeards Revenge Cut-throat Razor Kit
If your man isn't one for facial hair, this set is great! I love the packaging which has a little bit of humour and states that it's for real men. The set includes a shaving cream, post-shave Balm, doubloon bristle shaving brush and a cut-throat replaceable blade razor.

You can purchase this from Bluebeards Revenge for £34.99.

Zippo Hand Warmer and Hip Flask
It's been so cold this year already that we've already had snow so there's no perfect time than now to gift a hand warmer and boy, would it be appreciated! It has a gorgeous stainless steel finish and stays warm for up to 12 hours. It's reusable with Zippo lighter fluid too.

You can purchase this from Zippo for £21.99.

If they want to keep warm another way, a hip flask is another great gift for a classy man. It also has a stainless steel finish and holds 3 fl ozs.

You can purchase this from Zippo for £13.78.

Cafetière
Great for any coffee lover! It's an easy way to make good tasting coffee at home from ground whole beans.

Again, it's stainless steel and comes with a plunger to filter the ground coffee from your drink. It holds up to six cups too!

You can purchase this from VonShef for £18.99.

Encona Carolina Reaper Chilli Sauce
Does your man like a bit of spice? Why not test him with this chilli sauce?

The Carolina reaper chilli is the hottest in the world and even matches weapons-grade pepper spray! It's more 25 times hotter than a piri piri chilli too.

Maybe they'd be brave enough to give it a go with some leftover turkey this Christmas?

You can purchase this from Tesco for £1.49.

Harry Potter Playing Cards
How cool are these?! The cards come in an embossed gold tin featuring the Hogwarts crest and each suit is inspired by the houses; Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Slytherin and Griffyndor. The perfect gift for any Harry Potter fan!

You can get these from Find Me A Gift for £7.99.

(This post contains items that I have received for inclusion in this guide.)

Christmas Gift Ideas for Women

We are very close to Christmas now and I always struggle with buying Christmas presents. I want to buy the perfect thing for the recipient and ensure that they love it. I've put together some lovely ideas that you might not have thought of buying but would make lovely gifts.

Personalised Wine Glass
GiftsOnline4U is the place to go if you are buying a gift. They have a huge selection of items for men, women and the home and they specialise in bespoke items, personalised to you. You can search items by occasion or who the recipient is and you can find everything from engraved pocket watches and torches to personalised cheeseboards and wine gifts.

I wanted to showcase a personalised wine glass in my gift guide this year because it's definitely something that I would like to receive and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I am partial to a glass of wine - or two! - at the weekend so the idea of one personalised to me is lovely.

You can choose to have whatever you like engraved into it (up to 40 characters across two lines) so it makes an extra special gift for a lovely lady in your life. It's so well made and the engraving is beautiful. It arrives packaged in a dark coloured box which makes it easy to wrap! GiftsOnline4U even include a little packet of sweets with your order - such a lovely touch.

You can purchase this wine glass from GiftsOnline4U for £19.99.

Personalised Mug
If the person you're buying for isn't a wine drinker, how about a personalised mug? I absolutely love this one and the addition of stars is adorable. You can get any name and drink printed and it's become my new favourite mug to use - I do love a double choc mocha!

You can purchase this mug from MSMugs for £14.50.

Hairbrush
These designer hairbrushes are like none I've seen before. The bristles are totally natural and work through your hair beautifully. You can get lots of different designs - some personalised too - but I love a bit of leopard print so I adore this one.

They are available in handbag sized at £20 and large at £30 from Rock and Ruddle.

Walkers



The way to a woman's heart is through sweet treats - at least it is in my case! I absolutely love Walkers Shortbread and it doesn't feel like Christmas without having some in the house.

Walkers have some lovely Christmas themes boxes this year. The gingerbread men and tree shapes are so cute but I'm mostly excited about the Spiced Orange and Cranberry mince pies. I'm not usually a fan of mince pies but these flavours are divine!

You can find these at all good food retailers.

Chip mug
The Beauty and the Beast obsessed is still strong and you can guarantee that you will always see some sort of merchandise in any shop that you go into.

This Chip mug is so cute! It's ceramic, great quality and the detailing is fantastic. Chip has always been my favourite so it brings a little nostalgia.

You can purchase this from Find Me A Gift for £12.99.

(This post contains items that I have received for inclusion in my gift guide.)

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