Friday, 20 December 2013

2013 Christmas Gift Inspiration

Here we are with less than a week until Christmas, it still gives us some time to purchase those last minute Christmas gifts though. I thought now would be the perfect time to share some ideas that I have been accumulating over the past couple of months. All of which I have first-hand experience with and can offer my own personal experience against.

There are a number of different categories I would like to share my views across so let’s start with toddlers and toys.

For the majority of these selections you will be able to read a full review by clicking on the appropriate links. I hope this helps if you are looking

Toddlers and Dream Toys for Christmas 2013.

Each year there are new toys that compete to become the dream toys for Christmas. This year I have experienced one of the toys that are set to be incredibly popular this Christmas. The Furby Boom. Even I have been enjoying this virtual toy that now has it’s very own app. There are endless possibilities with this toy and I have noticed them on offer at Tesco for £54.99 rather than the RRP of £59.99. 

While on the topic of animatronic toys, the Emotion Sugar the Seal pet has been a big hit around our house. Retailing at £59.99 it is on the more expensive side and does not offer the same levels of play value as the Furby but if you scout around for some offers and maybe read our full review on this toy, you can help Santa decide if this is a yes or a no toy.

The next couple of sets are from Fisher-Price a brand I have always loved since becoming a Mummy. They have some new sets that are going to be incredibly popular this Christmas… Firstly the Thomas and Friends All Around Sodor is a toy for the train enthusiast. It’s electric and puffs around the tracks when the appropriate buttons are pressed. I liked how their were a number of phrases, and that Thomas’s eyes actually move around, and his mouth opens and closes as he talks to you. I found the track to be a great size and even liked the price of £39.99.

The Little People Animal Farm is the second Fisher-Price set, and I knew that this toy was going to be a hit before I had even introduced it to Leo. This play set is perfect for encouraging the imagination and gives so many different play options. It retails at £39.99 which can seem pretty hefty, but it is built to a solid standard and will survive toddler play.

Chocolates and Treats for Christmas 2013

Now we all know that we like to indulge at Christmas, chocolate and a few beverages seem to go hand in hand. Christmas is all about good company and amazing food, so it would be completely obscene to not share some tasty treats in the Christmas 2013 gift selections.

Hampers are always a great way to keep to your budget and bestow a rather great gift on those nearest and dearest to you. Lakeland have a fantastic selection of different hampers to cater for all of those different tastes this Christmas, and we can certainly vouch for their Chocoholics Hamper that retails at £39.99.

Or if you had a smaller budget and wanted to gift some luxury chocolate this year, look no further than Hotel Chocolat and their Christmas Goody Bag that offers a selection of all of their favourite treats for £18.00.

Sent With A Loving Kiss is a brand I hadn't heard of before, but after trying their Santa Baby Chocolate Slab (£21.99) I was really impressed. This chocolate is a great gift thanks to the memorable tin that you can have personalised with a message to the recipient. It will be enjoyed long after all of the tasty chocolate has been devoured. 

Board Games and Family Fun

I love the excuse to get silly at Christmas, pull out the board games and just enjoy everybody’s company. I find that each and every one getting involved in the festive fun brings something new to the table.

Dobble is a fun and exciting game that is going to get my entire family around the table this year, each card has a series of different illustrations on and the trick of the game is to find the matching illustration on the next card. It's not as easy as it sounds though you see... Each picture is in a different size and position on each individual card, so you have to keep your eyes pealed in order to win the card!

Can you  locate the next illustration before your opponents? Or will you be like me and suddenly blinded by all of the other illustrations?

I am exceptionally slow when it comes to looking at each of the Dobble cards, but I intend to improve over the Christmas holidays. There will be lot's of opportunity! Dobble retails for £12.99 and would make a super stocking filler. 

 Not all of this year’s games are based on the traditional board game. This year I have seen a new type of game that is set to be increasingly popular in our digital age. iPieces are board games that you play with your iPad. Yes it is all true. 

Your iPad doubles up as the play mat and you use the pieces in the indivdual packs as your counters or game pieces to play the game. My favourite game is the iPieces Air Hockey, but there are so many different titles now available to play. They are really handy to travel with as they fit in a compact box that doesn't take up much room at all. 

There are titles for both kids and adults alike:

The prices vary and start from around £9.00. 

Technology for Christmas

Now I don't usually delve into technology. I use it in my day to day routine and as long as it does as I need it too, then I am a happy lady. When it comes to Christmas though, technology is under every Christmas tree. Since the arrival of the tablet, we have all hopped on the band wagon and there is now a nice selection from different brands which of course provides us with flexibility within the price brackets. 

I was recently sent the Toshiba Excite Pure to try out, now for me I have never actually used an Android operating system first hand. It has a decent sized 10 inch screen and I found it easy to use, but did miss it not having a back camera on occasion.

I found the battery life not to be pretty good, and that was after using it on and off throughout the day. I think the price of £249.99 provides a reasonably priced tablet that will be perfect for social networks, browsing the internet and streaming multimedia.
Disclaimer: I have received the above items for the purpose of this feature, but all views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own. I have not been compensated for writing this post. These are items I wanted to share.

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