Wednesday 6 December 2023

How to pick the perfect Christmas gifts for your older children!

I always say that when my girls were little children it was so easy to buy Christmas presents for them. They would mark things off in the Argos or Smyths catalogue, the selection of toys was huge and they would write letters to Santa asking for various things which would give me more ideas. Now they are older things have changed and it is so much harder, gone are the days of dolls houses and Peppa Pig toys now it's always a struggle what to get them especially when my youngest Ellie says all she wants is clothes! She doesn't need anymore clothes!!

 Teenagers and young adults are a whirlwind of changing tastes, evolving interests and go through a sprinkle of unpredictable fads. One day they're loving a particular band, the next day they're obsessed with a certain TV show. How on earth are we supposed to keep up?

Christmas Presents

Here are some ideas on how to pick the perfect Christmas presents for teenagers and young adults.

Stealthy Observation!
Teenagers and young adults might not spell out their interests but they definitely leave clues. Pay attention to the posters on their bedroom walls, the books on their shelves or the conversations they're having with friends. Just by peeking at my girls computers and in their bedrooms I can see this year they are all about Taylor Swift, books and Grey's Anatomy.

An online wish list!
In the age of technology wish lists have gone digital. Whether it's Amazon, a favourite online store or a dedicated wish list app. These not only save you from guessing but also ensures they receive something they genuinely want. My girls have both sent me wish lists from Amazon which really help!

The Power of Practicality!
Gone are the days when a sparkly toy would be enough. Teenagers and young adults appreciate gifts that seamlessly fit into their daily lives. Think practical yet thoughtful. A cosy blanket for those chilly evenings, a subscription to a streaming service like Netflix or even a stylish planner.

Experiences Over Stuff!
Material gifts are fabulous but experiences are something special. Consider treating them to a day out, a fun workshop, concert tickets or a weekend getaway. These memories often leave a longer lasting impact than physical objects and it's a great way to spend some time with your child. I have already bought Becky tickets for a show that she wants to see, it's just a shame she has to wait until the middle of next year.

Go Old School with a Twist!
Bring a touch of nostalgia into the mix. Consider reviving a childhood favourite but with an adult twist. Maybe it's a revamped board game, a classic novel in a gorgeous edition, or a throwback to a shared childhood passion. It's a sentimental journey with a grown up flair.

Gift Cards!
When all else fails, go for the fail safe option, a gift card! While some may argue that it lacks a personal touch, let's face it teens love choosing their own treasures. Go for popular retailers or platforms that offer a wide variety of options. It's a win win situation and they'll thank you for it.

Do you find teenagers or adult children hard to buy for?

Tuesday 5 December 2023

365 Days Of Gratitude. In November I was grateful for...

I have seen many people on social media list something every day that they are grateful for and thought I would join in and have on my private Facebook account every day and I thought I would share here too.

I did this for the whole of last year and it has really made me realise that even on the bad day's I have something to be grateful for. 


In November I was grateful for:

Day 305 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful that Ellie eventually got to college after the bus broke down this morning.

Day 306 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful that the kids extra advent calendars arrived and they look good. I was worried about buying them off Shein. A rubber duck one for Becky and a Crystal one for Ellie. 

Day 307 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for Christmas music on one of the music channels on the TV. I do love Christmas songs but of course will be sick of them come December.

Day 308 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for spending time with family. We have had a lovely evening.

Day 309 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for a fun time out at the pub.

Drinks at the pub

Day 310 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful that Stu has fixed the oven door again. I thought I had fixed it a couple of weeks ago but nope. This time I hope the door stays on!

Day 311 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for freshly painted nails. I've gone purple this time.

Day 312 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I was grateful that I forgot to book a slot for the food shop with Tesco so I had to use Asda for a change. I got quite a few things to put away for Christmas and some bargains too.

Day 313 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful that my Terry's Chocolate Orange advent calendar was delivered with the food shop! I can't wait until December to start opening it.

Day 314 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful that Becky had a great night away. She went to see the Dirty Dancing stage show and yes, she had the time of her life. lol

Day 315 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for The Big Bang Theory. On a Saturday I always watch Friends but it doesn't seem the same since Matthew Perry died. I have got into Big Bang and I love it!

Day 316 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful that my dad always thinks of me when he's shopping. Today I got a big bag of onions and a pack of bacon.

Day 317 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for the pork and black pudding sausages that we had for tea. They tasted amazing!

Black pudding sausages

Day 318 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for a day with Becky. She has been so busy lately it feels like I've hardly seen her.

Day 319 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for fleecy socks. If my feet are warm, I am happy!

Day 320 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful that my parcel from Boots has finally been delivered, I was expecting it on Tuesday but it seemed to be on a go slow.

Day 321 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I was grateful for getting lots of jobs done around the house. 

Day 322 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I was grateful for a fun night out with friends and family. We had lots of laughs.

Day 323 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for a day of doing nothing. I needed it! No hangover but I am very achy from the rodeo bull riding. lol

Day 324 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for an early birthday delivery from a good friend! A bag of afternoon tea goodies! 

Day 325 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for the best birthday! I have been well and truly spoilt rotten. We had a nice meal out and I still have cake to eat yet!

Day 326 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful that Stu had an extra day off work to help with the jobs around the house. Had a productive day. Got the housework done, xmas decorations up and put Becky's new bed together.

Christmas baubles

Day 327 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful that Becky found me some of the Christmas Pudding Crisps in town. They might seem a strange flavour but I love them!

Day 328 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for the heating. It has been so cold today! I know, we're not even in winter, we have worse to come and I will be complaining about being cold then too. hehehe

Day 329 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I was grateful for the return of Doctor Who! I loved the episode! 

Day 330 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for Stu doing the cooking.

Day 331 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for online shopping! Got everything in my basket for the Christmas food shop. It's not coming until the 23rd but I am being organised this year.

Day 332 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for spending some time with Becky. She is so busy at the moment so I cherish the time we have together.

Day 333 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful that I had nothing to do this afternoon so I could watch the new episodes of Squid Game: The Challenge! It was brutal with so many twists but so good!

Day 334 of #365DaysOfGratitude
Today I am grateful for Stu saving up his bonuses from work so we can convert them to vouchers and use them for Christmas. I got most of the alcohol and fizzy pop delivered today.

What were you grateful for in November?

Monday 4 December 2023

Our weekly meal plan! 4th - 10th December. #MealPlanningMonday

Our weekly meal plan

Last weeks meal plan mostly went to plan but I messed up. We were supposed to have the fish goujons from Gousto on Thursday but I swapped things around and by the time I came to cook the fish on Friday it was past it's use by date and wasn't smelling too good. It was totally my fault. I need to take more notice of the dates of what I get from Gousto because I know the minced pork didn't have a use by date until the weekend. I think from now on I will plan the meals and not set a day that we are eating them on.

I am enjoying all the Christmas meals from Gousto and I am trying to try all the one's that really appeal to us. I don't usually choose the meals which cost £1 or more per portion but this week I did, the Honey Mustard Pigs In Blankets were just too tempting. I have all the Gousto meals planned right up to just before Christmas. It sure is making meal planning easier.

We don't have much on this week apart for the usual college for Ellie and work for Becky and Stu. Stu said it is so busy at work at the moment with it being the run up to Christmas. Everyone wants to buy a phone to give to someone. hehehe Becky is not looking forward to work tonight, she had a busy weekend. She went to a Taylor Swift club night thing and didn't get back to her hotel for coming on for 2am and was a little hungover and tired yesterday. She said she needs another day to recover but doesn't have it. Eek. hehehe

On the menu this week we have:

Gousto - Stuffing Crusted Chicken With Buttery Veg And Onion Gravy.

Gousto - Pizza-Style Loaded Beans On Toast.

Gousto - Creamy Mushroom Pie With Balsamic Roasted Sprouts And Mash.

Gousto - Honey Mustard Pigs In Blankets Brioche With Stuffing Fries.


Lasagne and garlic bread.

Sunday lunch out.

What are you eating this week?

Sunday 3 December 2023

Ice in the garden! #MySundaySnapshot

It certainly has got colder over the past week, each morning has been frosty but yesterday there was the most frost I have seen without it actually snowing! I thought someone had been through my back garden with silly string as all the spider webs had frozen! It looked pretty amazing! 

Iced cobwebs
Ice in the garden

My Sunday Snapshot linky