Christmas Gift ideas: A Countrymans take

It’s that time of year when our thoughts turn towards the festivities to come!

As a family we all LOVE Christmas and we absolutely make a huge occasion of it. We love everything about it, dressing the trees (Yes we have more than one), decorating the outside of the house, buying the presents and the food, the nights snuggled up in front of the fire, watching Harry Potter Movies we’ve seen a million times before, eating as much chocolate as you can, and in my case sampling the odd schooner of Otima Port!

It usually falls to me to buy the gifts as I really do enjoy the process, yes I find it stressful but I love it when you find that perfect something for a special someone. Now I don’t spend mega bucks (mainly because I don’t have them to spend!) but I do take a great deal of time thinking what people would like and enjoy receiving. Yes I may get it completely wrong sometimes but again, with the amount of thought that goes into my gifts it is definitely that that counts!

I’ve found some lovely little shops, crafters and bespoke items this year and alongside some more familiar ones I wanted to share a few of these with you all and maybe give you a little inspiration:

Amazing handmade jewellery and gift ideas! We had George’s christening cuff made here; I’ve also bought some beautiful silver jewellery items and several other Christmassy things like Santa’s Special Key and George’s 1st Christmas Bauble. Highly recommended!

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I’ve purchased a lovely sea glass necklace from here; I love the concept of recycling the sea glass found locally! I’ve always been a huge beachcomber and have a small collection of sea glass I’ve collected over the years.  I can’t think of a better way to use the glass than make stunning jewellery with it! I’ve got my eye on a sea glass ring next! (HINT HINT SANTA!)

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This company supply a gorgeous selection wooden items for everyone! Lovely colours and the stacking rainbows are beautiful.  We’re having a ‘Believe’ Sign made for George’s room!

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These chocolates are quite simply stunning! When I first saw them I couldn’t believe my eyes!  They are on my Christmas wish list and I am certainly going to order some as gifts!

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Love these plant pot feet, I first found them at RHS Chatsworth and totally fell in love with them. They do loads of different designs but the Hunting scene ones are my favourite. A lovely gift idea.

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For that special little someone why not treat them to some beautiful new outfits from these amazing people! The ethical and organic cotton is super soft and washes and wears incredibly well. We fell in love with their Camper Van print but their new Vikings design is our Favourite from the Autumn/Winter collection.  I just wish we had a girl to treat to some of their lovely girly things too!

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Another idea for that little someone is some Blade & Rose Leggings! We have the Bus and Tractor ones for George and love them! Super comfy and soft and what’s even better is they come in a huge variety of designs! There are even special Christmassy ones!

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Know someone who wants to help the Bees? These are the perfect little stocking filler all wrapped up in a lovely little hessian sack. Another thing on our Santa List!

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Another lovely little stocking filler, socks that stay up! Great for little ones and bigger ones too! Lovely company with excellent customer service!

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So many LOVELY things to choose from here! Gorgeous outfits for the big day and some lovely toys too! We never fail to shop here without picking up something for George! Another great thing is they do vouchers so if you’re stuck what to get someone with a little one just get a Voucher and let them decide!

I adore David Austin Roses, there are so many great gift ideas here or you could even arrange a day out as a Gift! This will be featuring in a future blog post all about grown up days out!

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This company was shared by a blogger friend of mine and coming from a horsey background the moment I saw them I loved them! They just screamed quality! Such a stunning idea and the craftsmanship is outstanding! Perfect for horsey relatives or friends!

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I love my burner from this company, so much so I bought one for my little boys Godmother as a thank you gift! They really are a special gift and the scents you can get are amazing. My personal favourites are Forest Mist and Cotton Caress.

These gorgeous wooden coasters and wall art are absolutely lovely and come in a few different designs! Our eyes were caught by the lovely Fox coasters.

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A hamper is always a lovely gift to give and receive. I love making up my own hampers and usually end up back at Maxey’s buying all sorts of things to fill them to the brim with loveliness! Preserves, Chutneys, Pastas, Biscuits, Spirits even Lip Balms and Hand creams. You can make a hamper up using whatever you like! I’ve done them in Buckets, Baskets, Garden Planters and all sorts. You also don’t have to stick to the traditional savoury type ones, you could do a sweet one, pampering, gardening, doggy, kitty, horsey whatever you like!

blur focus jam jars

These are a fantastic gift for someone like me who’s trying to be more Eco conscious! You use them instead of Clingfilm and they’re re-useable saving on plastics and great for the environment! They come in some lovely designs and different sizes to suit your needs! They even have a Turtle Charity Design donating 10% of the profits to Surfers Against Sewage.

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For something a bit different, have a look at these lovely quote leaves we found at My Visible Object! I discovered them at RHS Chatsworth and stupidly didn’t buy any whilst I was there, I ended up ordering two when I got home! I bought the Gertrude Jekyll and Audrey Hepburn ones best but could quite happily have more!

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We love our Farmer Christmas book and he has a new one out this year! Perfect for adding to a Christmas Eve box! George is sure to like it!

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Lovely little shop in Newark, Nottinghamshire stocking all manner of Country Attire! Stockists of Joules, Dubarry, Fairfax & Favour, Cath Kidston to name but a few! There really is something for everyone here and again Gift Vouchers are an option!

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These are wonderful gifts, certainly something a little bit different, and with so many designs to choose from there’s sure to be one you fall for! We did!

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These North Pole style personalised baubles are just adorable! We has these made up a few years ago.  I shall be ordering a new one to commemorate George’s 1st Christmas!

Customised North Pole Baubles
Our families customised North Pole Baubles

Want to really treat someone special then you can’t go far wrong by getting them a day at Eden Hall.  I love the Thermal spa suite, the Caldarium and the Rose infused steam room.  You can buy a gift card or Treatments and it’s the perfect way to say I love you! My personal favourite treatments are Clarins but they do a wide selection of others and you could even add on a luxury afternoon tea! The brownie points are well and truly in the bag with this one!

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How about commissioning a special stick? These are exquisite; the craftsmanship is second to none! Have one made of a loyal companion and give it as a gift, I couldn’t think of anything better!

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So that’s just a few gift ideas, I’ve got plenty more and if you’ve got a great idea you’d like to share why not go to our Facebook page and leave us a comment!

Baby Buys

Baby Keepsakes

To me there’s nothing better than looking back through old photographs, boxes of keepsakes and tiny baby clothes to bring back all those wonderful memories, memories of giving birth, bringing them home, their firsts and family holidays.

I’ll freely admit I’m a bit of a hoarder but this once it has come in rather useful having kept a large amount of my eldest sons clothes, toys and baby gear for 12 years! Now George has some old school favourites to wear that I simply love and they look brand new!

The main thing for me is that I have some things to show the boys when they’re older, something to prove just how much they are loved and how cute they both were! I even want to ensure they both have things they can pass onto their children as my parents have done for me. (Biggest problem with that for my parents is that I seem to breed boys!)

There are the obvious keepsakes but we have a few other special items I wanted to share with you, so here’s my list of our favourite baby keepsakes;

• Baby Book – We have the Guess How Much I Love You on for George but my eldest also has one. This is a lovely way of keeping all the information you want to pass on together in one place. Georges has family trees, firsts, growth charts etc etc and I love it. There’s something really satisfying about filling it in, therapeutic and gives you a great sense of pride.

• Hospital Bands – A traditional one but a good one. We have both boy’s hospital bands and keep them in their Memory birth born careadorable baby beautiful child

• Lock of Hair – From the first haircut. Again traditional but another good one.

• Going home outfit – This is lovely to get out and look at how small they once were! I looked at George’s only the other day and even at 7 months I can hardly believe how tiny he was!

• Baptism/Naming Outfit – Now this depends very much on your own style and beliefs 16473628_1234960026612082_7203837108739959227_nbut we are Christians and I wanted both my boys to be christened. My eldest wore a beautiful white Linen suit which I purchased from Verbaudet 12 years ago! I still have it saved in his memory box and I still love it! But for George we wanted something different and we had a Christening gown handmade for him by the amazing Mandy at First Blessings Etsy. This will be his family heirloom and it is so precious.



• Baptism Bracelet – This was something I did without my partner knowing, it was a Georges Christening 16.09 (46)surprise and although he ‘doesn’t do jewellery’ even he had to admit George’s was something special. I had a bespoke solid silver cuff made for George with the phrase ‘Mighty Oaks from Little Acorns Grow’ by the amazingly talented Dudley & Roo. I am so in love with it! I’ve since purchased more items for myself from her and the quality is exceptional!

Baptism bowl – Now this I found on Etsy and I fell in love with it instantly. It is a cIMG_6748eramic bowl used by the vicar to physically pour the baptism water over baby’s head. It is fully personalised with a 14ct Gold cross. You then write in ceramic pen on the back who has been christened by it and the date. It’s quite simply the sweetest thing to pass on. The very brilliant Clarey Clayworks based in Indiana U.S.A made it and helped get it imported into the UK for me. Well worth it!

• Photobook – I do one of these for the whole family annually without fail. But for baby I do their first year as one along with any Special events such as their baptism. Wait until Photobox have a on sale or a great offer on and go for it!

• A memory box – This is quite simply a cardboard archive box which we fill as the children grow with pictures, mementos from trips, or anything that can hold a memory for them. Each child will have more and more boxes as they grow (I think my eldest now has about 4!)

• Favourite Clothes & Toys – Ok so you may not have another baby like me 12 years after the first but you may have grandchildren one day, you can show them what their parents wore and liked to play with! How cool is that!

And there you have it, memories that will hopefully last a lifetime and more!