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Get your man one of these top watches for Christmas…

Whether you’re married or simply together, a watch is the perfect Christmas present for your other half.

With approximately 60% of us now using our phones to see the time rather than the traditional wrist watch, I definitely feel it’s time to revive this classic style, and it’s the perfect opportunity to do something really special for your loved one. The equivalent of diamonds for women has to be a shiny new wrist watch for men.

Most guys love gadgets, and we certainly shouldn’t be relying on our phones in all aspects of our lives. I know we can’t seem to lift our heads up from them most of the time!

In terms of watch buying, it’s definitely worth looking for the really high end watches that will last absolutely YEARS and show that quality too. Whether you go for brand new, or second hand through reputable showrooms such as www.watches-of-switzerland.co.uk, there is so much choice.

To take it back down to basics, and give your other half something he will treasure for years to come, here are some amazing styles:

Omega Seamaster Men’s Watch

This stainless steel masterpiece is in the typical sturdy Omega style. In fact, it’s a watch specifically for divers and water resistant up to 300 metres so you know it’s going to last.

With the beautiful and stylish navy dial along with the flashes of red and white for the hands and detailing, this is super sleek; the type of watch most men will love if your hubby happens to be fussy.

The face is scratch resistant sapphire crystal with a self-winding Co Axial Escapement movement.

top watches for men this christmas

Bentley B05 Unitime

This might be a bit of a mouthful, but this black stainless steel watch is not only stunning but one for the gadget king and globe trotter too.

With the sleek black colouring and automatic timing keeping this convenient yet stylish, this is for the business type who doesn’t stop, but how exactly does it work? Powered by an innovative Manufacture Breitling movement with a patented mechanism, the Bentley B05 Unitime displays the time in no fewer than 24 countries.

The James Bond style gadget with the ultimate user-friendly mechanisms…

Bell & Ross BR 123

The technical name isn’t the only futuristic element of this Bell & Ross. The whole look and feel of the Bell & Ross brand is like something out of a sci-fi movie and perfect for those husbands and partners that love the slick and simple approach to jewellery.

The dial, and whole watch, is a dark mysterious grey with the movement being a convenient automatic.

The case material is PVD which gives it that carbon space-age look. This might look very space-aged, but there is also an element of aviation here. With the modern approach to such a classic style, this takes its inspiration from the pilots of the 1940s.

best watches for men this christmas and beyond

Maurice Lacroix Pontos

All of these have had a futuristic feel to them, but there are also some absolutely stunning traditional style timepiece out there if your other half prefers the traditional patterned leather strap and simple face. In fact, this is a timeless classic that often goes with absolutely everything.

I love this Maurice Lacroix Pontos because it mixes the beautiful traditional style with a modern twist.

The gorgeous deep blue dial colour along with delicate detailing and crisp stainless steel casing is perfect for the guy with ultimate class. With great functionality, simple design and the little dashings of creativity, this is a watch for the fashion conscious and traditionalist.

Tag Heuer Carrera

Another made from sturdy stainless steel built to last, this men’s automatic watch with leather strap include a chronograph as well as date.

Classed as a sports watch, this has durability and is water resistant for up to 100 metres (if your other half happens to be a keen swimmer).

Unlike many functional sports watches, this is also amazingly stylish with the traditional black leather strap and clear sleek dial face.

It doesn’t matter whether your hubby or other half likes sport over style, functionality over fun or traditional over trendy, there are so many styles out there to suit your partner. Whilst most aspects of fashion is definitely still catered towards the females, a stunning watch is where your fella can really come into his own and express his quirky individual sense of style.

Why not organise a trip to your nearest showroom and let him pick it out for himself?

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Christmas decorations for under £20

Christmas decorations under £20
Check out my Polyvore board Christmas decorations under £20 for all links

Christmas is only 40 days away and if you are looking to give your home a Christmas makeover without breaking the bank, it might be worth checking out the Christmas decorations at The Works. I checked out everything they’ve got on offer and have come up with seven of my best buys for you – all of them for under £20 and one for each day of the week:

1. This Santa and sleigh model is a great little project for children and their parents and adds a festive touch to your mantel piece or window sill. You can leave it in its natural finish or paint it in Christmas colours.

2. I adore this wooden advent calendar. You can fill it yourself and really add a personal touch to your advent depending on the surprises you hide. The possibilities are endless as you can add anything from chocolates and toys to mini vouchers or advent activities.

3. This festive light up Christmas tree is the perfect addition to any home at Christmas time. It looks traditional and elegant and would make a lovely Christmas decoration switched on or off.

4. I know, I know wooden letters are everywhere at the moment, but these are just £2, so I really couldn’t resist adding these to my favourites. They’re in the ultimate Christmas colours, have a lovely snowflake design and would look cute on a mantel piece, window sill or sideboard. There are different words available too.

5. Everybody loves a chalkboard right? Well, at least I do, so I couldn’t help but show you this adorable little gingerbread man chalkboard. It’s super cute, an absolute bargain at just £1 and a great addition to your hallway, kitchen or maybe mantelpiece – I can imagine it would be quite cute to write a Christmas countdown on it each day.

6. In the UK, people put up their Christmas trees much earlier than in Germany, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have some sort of green in our homes. Around the first advent, it is quite common to go for a walk in the forest and pick up fallen branches of Christmas trees to take home. Simply pop them in a big vase and add some of these adorable mini tree decorations for some Christmas flair before it’s time to put up your tree.

7. This Colour Your Own Christmas Poster is a great little activity on a rainy afternoon or weekend. It gets you in the spirit for Christmas, keeps little ones entertained and makes a fun Christmas decoration with a twist – probably not one for the living room, but definitely good fun on the kids door.

How do you go about Christmas decorations? Do you buy them or do you get crafty and most importantly, have you got a special colour scheme? Do let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear how you decorate your home for Santa.

This is a promotional post.

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Fortune Finders with Money & Co

win money with fortune findersWant to win £10,000?

Why not have a go at Money&Co.’s online Fortune Finders game? This will feature six online hunts over ten days. Participants will have the chance to win an investment fortune of £10,000 and five prizes of investment worth £1,000.

How to play:

Playing is easy. During each hunt, participants must decipher clues in order to find the hidden gems that look like this one below on the Money&Co. website:

Each gem provides a unique code and participants must obtain the codes from all six hunts to have the opportunity to win the £10,000 grand prize. People will be able to unlock secret entry forms for the mini prize draws of £1,000 which will become available every two days.

Why are Money&Co. launching the hunt?

Money&Co. are simply launching the hunt to show how easy it is to invest money on their site. They want to promote one simple message: that making money shouldn’t be so hard.

Where to play it:

The game is easily accessible on smartphones, tablets and computers as it is browser based. This means you can hunt for the treasure wherever you are. Updates about the £10,000 Fortune Finders can be found on Twitter by following @MoneyandCoUK and by using #10grandhunt. Money&Co. can also be found on Facebook, and a Twibbon has been set up so that everyone can load the gem onto their social profiles. You can start discovering gems from Wednesday 12th November by clicking on this link

Get playing everyone!

What better way to start your investment activity than with £10,000? And it’s fun too, so you don’t have much to lose.

This is a promotional post with an image from Andrea via Flickr

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Personalised Christmas cards from minted.com

minted.com website

It’s no secret that I’m a massive stationery addict, so when minted.com got in touch and asked, if I wanted to check out their range, there was no holding me back. I’m always on the hunt for new stationery products, in fact I picked up two today, but in the run up for Christmas, I’m not only scoring the shops and internet for myself.

I love giving stationery products as gifts to my friends and family. Everyone loves a new notebook or diary, right? Anyway, let’s get back to minted.com who have an absolutely amazing website. It’s easy to manoeuvre, beautiful on the eye and most of all, full of character as behind the website is not a face-less team of designers, but a whole bunch of talented creatives who design beautiful stationery products from Christmas cards and birthday invitations to modern art prints, diaries or planners.

minted.com personalised stationery and gifts, personalised planners

I was really impressed with the enormous range of products and I loved that you can see who each of them was designed by – not only because I’m incredibly nosy, but also because it’s a great way to find out more about the designer and their other pieces. For instance, I found an art print that I really liked, clicked on the artist’s name and was sent straight to a section dedicated to their work. Not great for my bank balance admittedly, but amazing if you really like someone’s style and want to get a selection of their pieces.

A little something I can share with everyone, even those who I don’t buy a Christmas present for this year, are beautiful and personalised Christmas cards and minted.com offers an amazing range of them with styles to suit all your needs: quirky and funny ones for close friends, traditional cards for the older generation or beautiful photo cards for those who you haven’t seen in a while.

minted.com personalised photo christmas cards

Personalising your Christmas cards is really easy. You simply click onto the Christmas card design of your choice, choose the type of card you would like (flat or folded) and upload the photos of your choice. You can rearrange them as often as you like, change the text on the card, mix up colours, backgrounds or give your Christmas card a creatively cut edge – there really are no boundaries to your creativity. You can even select how thick you would like your paper to be and make your envelop stand out by personalising it.

minted.com how to make your personalised christmas card

All in all, I’m super impressed with the range available on minted.com. If you want to read how I like the products that I have picked, pop back over in the next couple of weeks and check out my review. Until then, check out the minted website yourself and if you are thinking of sending personalised Christmas cards, make use of a fab offer available until Monday (12 November 2014) – pick the cards of your choice and use the code CHEER25FS for $25 off and free shipping when checking out. Until then: Ho Ho Ho and merry pre-Christmas time!

Do you send Christmas cards to friends and family? Do you go with traditional cards, do you make them yourself or do you get creative with photo Christmas cards? Let me know in the comments below…

Disclosure: I have been provided with store credit for the purpose of a review.

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How to organise your home office

If you are running a business from home, storage might be an issue for you. You might have to consider stock, if you are selling in an online shop, paperwork, your work space and the dreaded archives for tax, banking and all the things that you need to run a home office.

If you prefer to keep as little as possible in your office, (you know they say Clear Desk, Clear Mind), there are companies such as www.warehousestoragesolutions.com who provide archive solutions for you, but of course you can also store your paperwork  at home and keep your office organised by using some simple tips and tricks.

Here are some ideas for you:

1. Use a filing system for current paperwork

how to organise your home office - mail system

Keep your desk clutter free by installing a mail sorting system. This  way, you avoid piles of paperwork on your desk, keep track of what has come in, what needs to be filed or replied to and what can be recycled. At the begin of each day, take 5 minutes to go through your sorting system and complete necessary tasks or file your paperwork. Mail sorting systems are widely available and a really inexpensive organisation tool, that will make you more productive and keep your desk clean.

2. Use over the door storage

how to organise your office with over the door storage

Over the door storage is probably the cheapest storage solution out there. Door pocket organisers are cheap, lightweight and you can pick them up from pound shops, IKEA or other high street stores. They’re incredibly versatile and you can store everything from paper clips and pins to highlighters or post it notes in them – perfect, if like me you are a hoarder of stationery products.

3. Hide your cables

how to organise your home office - hide cables

I don’t know about you, but I think visible wires and cables can really destroy the look and feel of a room. They look messy, unorganised and if you don’t feel comfortable in your home office, you will automatically feel less productive. Avoid the unorganised mess and hide the cables under your desk in a stylish cable box like the one pictured above. It will made unplugging certain gadgets much easier and also avoid your cables getting tangled and breaking.

How do you keep your office organised and tidy? Share your tips in the comments below!

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How to get kids to drink water #MrMenEvian

Water is the healthiest drink out there. It quenches thirst without adding unnecessary sugar and chemicals to your children’s body. It’s cheaper and always available, but how to get your kids to drink water, if they prefer sweeter or flavoured options?

For lots of advice, tips, tricks and lots of information on the health benefits of water for children and how to get them to drink water, join me for a Twitter party with BritMums, Ocado and Evian tomorrow, 6 November 2014, between 13 and 14 PM. We’ll be discussing ideas, will tell you how much water kids of a certain age should drink and how to get them excited about it.

Join the conversation using the hashtag #MrMenEvian and you could win 1 of 10 £25 shopping vouchers. More details on the terms and conditions over on the BritMums blog.

Luckily, Amy prefers water over anything else, but for those not so lucky, why not try it with a little bit of bribery? I’ve created a cute little reward chart that tracks the water intake of your child and allows them to record how much water they drink every day.

For children between 3 and 8 a fluid intake of 1 litre a day is recommended, so five 200ml cups a day will be enough to keep them hydrated for the day. Based on that, I have created the reward chart below. It shows 35 rain drops for the entire weeks, e.g. 5 rain drops for each day of the week.

Print the chart off, laminate it (if you like) and let your children track their water intake with a sticker on each rain drop or a tick with a wipeable pen. Agree on a reward for milestones reached and watch them up their water intake in a fun and playful way. Water cups with their favourite characters or fun straws can be an additional motivation for them to drink water.

water reward chart for children, track your childs water intake, get children to drink more water, drink water

Do your kids drink water or do you struggle to get them interested in it? Have you got tips on how to get them to drink water or more water?

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Dance into the holidays with L’Occitane

Do you know how companies always come out with the most beautiful adverts around Christmas time? One of my favourite companies L’Occitane has done the same thing and their new Christmas advert is truly magical. Have you seen it yet?

I first came across L’Occitane when I was pregnant with Amy. I received a beautiful set full of mother and baby products and I fell in love with the brand there and then. The products smelled beautifully and the shea butter was incredibly nourishing and moisturising. From mother and baby products, I moved on to L’Occitane’s handcreams and my entire family are hooked – well, at least all my female family members. They come in an incredible range of scents from Rose to Zesty Lime, are the perfect size for your handbag and make super cute stocking fillers.

But it doesn’t stop there, as you’ve seen in the video above. L’Occitane has so much more to offer. They sell the most beautiful gift sets (take note, Santa!) and what I like most about them is that they’re so timeless. You know how you can sometimes get sickly sweet scented beauty products for teens and real granny smells for the older generation? L’Occitane have created scents that smell beautiful no matter how old you are and that’s something that I really like about the brand.

That’s not all though. Especially around Christmas, L’Occitane bring out stunning gift sets, beautifully wrapped and the perfect solution, if you are after a last minute present that looks like you’ve put a lot of thought and effort into choosing it for the recipient. Plus, there are some fabulous offers on at the moment!

Do you like giving and receiving pamper gifts for Christmas? Have you ever tried any products from L’Occitane? If so, what’s your favourite product?

Disclosure: This is a promotional post written on behalf of L’Occitane.

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Facebook, get your act together!

Facebook’s community standards have always been questionable. I mean who bans breastfeeding photos but allows pornographic images? It really baffles me. I was however absolutely gob smacked when I saw a series of REALLY disturbing images in my timeline. The photos, who had originally been shared by a guy from New York, had several thousand likes and shares and showed a dead baby covered in blood. The baby looked like it was a newborn, merely a couple of hours or days old, and it was dumped on the side of the road or in some sort of bush. It was the first thing I saw that day and the image didn’t leave me all day.

I was disturbed, disgusted and instantly reported the images thinking that they’d be removed within minutes of Facebook receiving my report. Wrong! A couple days after filing my report, I received the following message:

facebook agrees with disturbing photos of dead baby in a bush

What on earth is wrong with Facebook? How can it be alright to spread images like that when children as young as 13 years old are allowed to have a Facebook account? Some parents let their children onto the website at an even younger age. I know I absolutely wouldn’t want Amy to see it: not now, not when she’s older. Not at all to be honest and I find it wrong that Facebook supports that these images get spread around the internet.

There was no escaping from them either. It wasn’t in a private photo album, no it just popped up in my timeline and it left me thinking about it all day. What I found even more disturbing is that until now over 200k people have shared the photos – without any reason. They weren’t connected to a news story that might have helped to raise awareness or educate. No, it was purely disturbing and wrong?

Have you had a similar experience? Do you think Facebook’s community rules work and what should and shouldn’t be shared online?

PS: I have decided not to share said images on my blog because I find it wrong to share something as graphic like that on my personal blog. If you really desperately want to see them, send me a message and I can share a link, but I won’t pop anything on the blog.

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How to teach children to play fair and share in 5 steps

Fairness and loyalty are two of the most important characteristics to me. I am fiercely loyal to my friends and family and I can’t deal with injustice – I have to stand up and say something, if I see that someone isn’t treated fairly.

Fairness and loyalty however are also characteristics that are close to us as customers and consumers. If we spend our hard-earned cash on a product or service, we hope that the service provider values our custom no matter how long we’ve been shopping with them and no matter how long we’ve had our wages paid into our account with their bank.

NatWest agree and that is why they have started their Hello/Goodbye Campaign, a campaign that ensures that all costumers are treated equally. This means, that you are offered the same great deals as a new customer, that you won’t have to go online to search for the best deal and that you won’t be sold deals that get more expensive by the day. Thumbs up, I say! It’s great that a bank practices values that are so important to me as a person and a mum.

How to teach children how to play fair and share

Playing fairly, taking turns and sharing with their little friends isn’t something that comes natural to children, but is something that they have to learn throughout their childhood. Of course, you can give them guidance and help them along the way – gently and without creating bad feelings between the children involved:

1. Remind them of rules before they start to play

2. Encourage positive behaviour by giving feedback “Great sharing”, “Aren’t you playing nicely, well done”

3. Offer reassurance when you see a conflict arise, e.g. “It’s your turn soon”, “After Lola is done, it’s your turn”

4. Look for solutions together, e.g. “You both want to play with this. What can we do now?”

5. Distract, if the situation escalates, e.g. “It’s Toby’s turn now, why don’t we play hide and seek meanwhile?”

How do you encourage your kids to play nicely and share?

I’m working with BritMums and NatWest on this project and have been compensated. All opinions are my own.

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Halloween at Windmill Hill City Farm

Windmill Hill City Farm Bristol 1

We love Windmill Hill City Farm, so when we found out that they were organising fun activities for Halloween, my friend Liska and I thought that it would be the perfect place to take the kids to get into the mood for the scariest of all festivities.

We met at the farm at around lunchtime with the idea to have a quick spot of lunch before letting Amy and Aaron roam around, but the two had different plans and happily fed the ducks before exploring the farm.

tree climbing at windmill hill city farm

They climbed trees

hiding behind bushes at windmill hill city farm

and hid behind pushes

skeleton trail at windmill hill city farm

They spotted skeletons in the trees

pigs at windmill hill city farm

and watched the pigs.

Windmill hill city farm halloween

They admired the sheep

Massive spider web at Windmill Hill City Farm

and pretended they got caught in a spider web.

Windmill Hill City Farm Bristol Loch Ness Monster art installation

They found the Loch Ness monster made from rubbish

hollowing out a pumpkin

before picking their pumpkins, drawing on their designs, hollowing it out

pumpkin carving at windmill hill city farm

and handing it over to us mummies for the final touches.

Amy showing off her carved pumpkin

Amy was very happy with her little friend.

We had a fantastic day, glorious weather and great fun playing and exploring. So much so that we were the last ones to leave. After a late lunch, we headed over to the farm’s playground and the kids had an absolute blast running wild, climbing and playing in the sand. It was beautiful and so warm that you could easily forget that it’s actually autumn.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

If you live in Bristol or surrounding areas, why not check out the farm. You find more info here.