Christmas Shopping for Label Lovers

Try as you might, there’s no avoiding it, most teenagers will always want to go with the fashion or peer pressure having the right labels. My eldest 2 are no different, while they’re not so utterly consumed by keeping up with the Jones’ (no Kardashians here, it’s Devon. Give us a few more years and we’ll be there.) having the right trainers will always give them bragging rights. It’s just it can be rather expensive for us parents, don’t get me wrong, my eldest is old enough to get his own. But we’ve recently had that Christmas list conversation and gone are the Lego kits, it’s now all about the fashion.

If that sounds familiar, then keep reading as I’ve got a suggestion on how you can help tick off some of that Christmas shopping list without making a massive dent in your credit card. So let’s just say that your teen (or partner, should add that it’s not just confined to them) is throwing massive hints at a few designer clothes? Then I can totes recommend Get The Label for a starting point.

It’s like an Aladdin’s Cave of goodies which my boys went crazy for. I may or may not have indulged in a new gym outfit while browsing too, (believe me, if you’ve got the right tools for the job, it does help, starting with a pair of leggings which don’t fall down and a crop top that won’t ride up. True story.)

I've got a suggestion on how you can help tick off some of that Christmas shopping list without making a massive dent in your credit card.

My eldest teen has a thing for coats. You know that phrase about a woman never having too many shoes, (that is a thing isn’t it? or did I make that up? ) well his mantra is A 17-year-old boy can never have too many coats. And remember, you read it here first if that is ever quoted anywhere else. So anyway, I’ve indulged that thing with a new bomber jacket.

Middle teen isn’t so clothing label conscious, (yet)  it’s all about the trainers for him. We’re pretty much at the point where I can no longer fob him off with cheaper look-alikes, or sharpie markering a logo on a sensible pair (yes, I have actually done that.) Luckily he found a pair of Addidas trainers nearly half the rrp. I have no doubt we’ll be heading back over there next month as this boy grows like bamboo so I have a deep-rooted aversion to buying him things full price when he’s only getting a couple of months wear out them.

I've got a suggestion on how you can help tick off some of that Christmas shopping list without making a massive dent in your credit card.

And lastly my little wee man didn’t go without either, he’ll be looking dapper this Christmas in the cutest Ben Sherman t-shirt and jeans. I know he has no idea what a designer label is, and given the choice would rather be dressed as Chase from Paw Patrol. However, there are the odd occasions when I do like to make an effort with his outfit and not dress him like a typical 3rd child of a mum who’s happy for him to take full control of his outfit, just as long as it’s clean and weather appropriate.

To top it off, at the time of writing this, I’ve just noticed that there’s a great Black Friday offer over on the website too.

I've got a suggestion on how you can help tick off some of that Christmas shopping list without making a massive dent in your credit card.

This is a collaborative post with Get The Label

Quick And Easy Makeover for a Dark Bathroom

One thing  I’ve learned from living through a big house renovation project is to get advice and opinions from other people. It’s been a few years now since I completed mine, and there are a few things I wish I’d done differently, one is not taking out a few windows. I mean, seriously, what was I thinking? Thanks to poor decision-making (there may have been a good reason for it, but if there was I don’t remember) I have a windowless shower / bathroom room.

I’m not completely irrational, I did install a fan to help with the steam, but this also means that each time a person goes in there, which is fairly often being our downstairs loo, the fan goes on. Which can be quite annoying when that person forgets to turn the light on when they leave!

and guess what, I’ve found an easy fix for that problem……

We now have a new Lumino led illuminated mirror installed when we need a light in there but not the fan! And the easy thing about it is it’s battery powered so no need to call out an electrician to install it. Although I did call on my stepdad and his drill to help out.

It creates a subtle, cosy glow and a pride of place feature in our once stark and bare shower room. I used the opportunity to update the colour scheme in there too before the mirror was fitted, it’s amazing how quickly a room dates! Gone are the boring cream canvas and stark lighting, it’s been replaced with a cool, but modern olive green, making my white sanitary wear stand out, and warmed up with dark ornaments and wooden towel holders to warm it up.

Going green was a big leap of faith for me, I’ve been stuck in a grey and white phase for a few years now, but I fancied going brave in the bathroom, dramatic and cosy was my motivation, with a darker backdrop to help the illuminated mirror as the centre piece, as well as giving a classy feel to the room.

And I’m actually really, rather pleased with the results!

My super easy bathroom makeover with a new Lumino led illuminated mirror. And, even better, it's battery powered!


This is a collaborative post with Lumino


Baileys Bread and Butter Pudding

I’ve not been eating many puddings lately, my sugar intake is always on the high side so I’ve tried honing it in a little to see if I feel any healthier, but I do miss a good stodgy Sunday night pudding treat. So when a whole loaf of fresh bread needing using up pronto I decided to give this much loved old fave, bread and butter pudding, a modern twist by adding some Baileys into the mix.

This isn’t the first time I’ve experimented with traditional recipes and my favourite christmas tipple, and it’s subtle enough for the whole family to enjoy. I actually cooked up this batch on a Sunday morning and consumed most of it with my sister as we sat around the dining room table digging in and putting the world to rights. The best way to eat food I’d say.

Anyway, I’ll cut to the chase; here’s my take on Baileys bread and butter pudding….

this recipe for Baileys bread and butter pudding is the perfect Sunday afternoon dessert, or just dig in & share straight from the dish when warm



  • 100g butter
  • ?half loaf bread, crusts left on
  • 85g raisins
  • 3 large eggs
  • 250ml whole milk
  • ?150ml double cream
  • 150ml Baileys liqueur
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • 25g  caster sugar
  • 25g demerara sugar


  • Heat the oven to 180C, 160C fan, gas 4.  Grease an oven proof dish with butter then use the rest to spread on the bread and cut each slice into triangles. Arrange the triangles so that they overlap in the dish, scattering over the raisins between the layers.
  • beat the eggs and mix with the milk, cream, vanilla extract, Baileys and caster sugar, then pour over the bread. Lightly press down so that the bread absorbs the creamy mixture.
  • Sprinkle over the demerara sugar and bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden and the pudding is just set. Serve warm with single cream or custard for pouring over. Or just dive in with a spoon fresh from the oven!

this recipe for Baileys bread and butter pudding is the perfect Sunday afternoon dessert, or just dig in & share straight from the dish when warm





Thoughtful Christmas Stocking Fillers

There’s nothing nicer than giving someone a variety of thoughtful gifts, and what nicer way than to present it in a cute little stocking. I personally think it’s a great way to show how much thought you’ve put into your gift. The only problem being is that you could get carried away and blow your budget but there really is no need to go OTT. Instead, why not show how much time and effort you’ve put into your gifts?

Start by getting a really nice stocking, one which can be used over and over again, like this personalised pure wool one from Woolovers Choose one main gift then think about some little added extras, each with a little meaning. Maybe a quiet night in bundle? Choose some chocolates (or chocolate shower gel!) , bubble bath or bath bomb, face pack, maybe some fluffy socks, a DVD and a small bottle of wine.

love this idea for a gift of a quiet night in as a stocking filler

Think of inexpensive gifts which the recipient wouldn’t think of buying for them selves, if it’s for a busy mum, maybe pop in IOU voucher for a few hours childcare one afternoon or offer to have their child / children over for a sleepover. Mums  are notorious for not putting them selves first and a quiet night in gift like this will give them the go ahead to have a night off and recharge.

Maybe the lucky giftee is a dog lover. Think about little things which will make those winter walks a little sweeter; some new gloves, a torch, welly socks,  a poo bag carrier (my coat pockets are full of poo bags, having them neatly stored in one place would be much nicer.) heated hand warmers or an ergonomic dog lead which is much easier on the hands on a cold winters morning or an iTunes / Google Play voucher so they can download some music to listen to while out and about.

That should give you some ideas, think lots of little touches to raise a lot of smiles.


This is a collaborative post 


The Outdoor Festive Touch On A Budget

If you were to go up into space in December I’m pretty sure that my village out shine out in multicoloured, like one big blob of fairy lights. You see it’s one of many times everyone comes together as a community to out on a show for anyone who fancies an early evening trip out. The main street is adorned with trees protruding from houses, pubs and shops all decorated with white fairy lights and a smattering of brightly decorated window displays.

Then as you venture up through the streets the houses are festooned with all manner of Christmas themed lights. It’s really quite a sight to see. I remember being picked up from school once, and driven to Blackpool to see the illuminations but my little village of Beer in Devon can easily rival that as the locals pop on their competitive streak to out do their neighbours (think Grinch style healthy competition.)

So as you can imagine the pressure is on or your left sitting in the dark in every sense of the word and looking like the grumpy kid who didn’t want to join in with the party.

Not usually the competitive type myself, I prefer to join in but admitted defeat long ago knowing I would never be able to match some of the amazing light shows which begin to pop up late November. It’s a tricky balance of I tried, I really did, but I don’t want to remortgage to keep up with the Jones’ and invest in a set of lights paralleling the price of a small car.

Giving your house the Christmas festive touch can be achieved on a budget, here's what I managed with just a few sets
So with a bundle of multifunction string lights carefully positioned on my laurel bush, some coloured icicles hanging form my bay window and a battery operation star garland and shooting star in my bedroom window I’ve managed to join in with the festive feeling for less than £25 from the LEDHut (Must add that the battery operated decorations are a godsend as I ran out of plug space.)

So there you go, outdoor Christmas decorating can be achieved on a budget. And I, personally, am more than happy with the finished result.


This is a collaborative post