Showing posts with label christmas gift ideas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label christmas gift ideas. Show all posts

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Christmas Candles - A Great Gift Idea or Not?

Christmas Candles - great gift idea or not
I wanted to review a few candle gift ideas for Christmas as I always thought that candles made great gifts at Christmas time.  In fact in my mind candles and Christmas are synonymous with each other, but I wasn't sure why.

I decided to google why we always think of a Christmas candle (just in case it was just me!) and found that there's a lot of debate over whether or not candles make a great gift idea or not.   Apparently a lot of people think you shouldn't give candles at Christmas time - what do you think?  I'd love to hear your thoughts below.

I have always enjoyed being given a candle and I have thought of giving a candle many times although until this year I haven't actually done so before.

Why Christmas Candles


>Apparently candles were used way before we even celebrated Christmas.   During the ancient winter solstice celebrations candles were lit as a way of remembering that spring would soon come.

The earliest records of candles being used at Christmas apparently dates back to the middle ages where a large candle was used to represent the star of Bethlehem.

I think the reason that I think of candles and Christmas together is because many cultures put a candle in the window at Christmas time combined with images of the first Christmas trees with candles on them.

The most well known origin of lighting a candle in the window for Christmas is the catholic Irish tradition - this dates back to the 17th century at a time when the catholic religion was being suppressed in Ireland under British rule. The family would put a candle in the window to signal any passing priests that they were welcome, the authorities were told that the candles were to welcome Mary and Joseph into their homes - this was believed to have been an Irish superstition and worked.

Since this time the custom has spread and is said to be a sign of welcome for anyone who may be passing so that they could share whatever the family had for Christmas as no one should go without at this time of the year.

I have also heard that the lighting of a candle in the window is to represent family or people who are close to the family that cannot be there for the celebrations either because they're serving their country overseas or even because they've passed away.

Fragrant Candles

There are so many lovely 'smelly candles' as my daughter calls them, available as a gift that it's hard to know what to give someone. My favorite one this year is the Spiced Vanilla Chai candle. This is a slow and clean burning, hand-poured coconut wax blend candle that smells divine.



Another popular fragrant candle to give is one from the Yankee candles range.

Unfortunately not everyone likes the same fragrances so this isn't a gift that you can give just anyone!

Decorative Candles

Decorative candles are totally different and are a great gift idea whether you choose to give the shorter, fatter candles or the taper candles, these can be gorgeous. A lot of decorative Christmas candles also come with their own holders which are really good.

I used to use candles a lot, but I must admit that since becoming a mum I have been more aware of the dangers of an open flame which is why I love the different LED lit decorative candles that are available. I think these are definitely the best holiday candles if you don't know whether someone likes fragrant candles or not.




This is my favorite LED candle design for Christmas - I love the Robin Redbreast, but there are lots more to choose from if you prefer other styles of candles from personalized photos to peppermint stripes, vintage designs or more - Christmas LED Candles.

Do You Use Christmas Candles & Which is Your Favorite?


Do you have a tradition of Christmas candles and do you like the idea of a candle with a flame (with fragrance of not) or one of the LED lit candles.  I would love to know.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Gifts For Writers Reviewed

Ideas For The Writer On Your Gift List

writer gifts
Writing Gift suggestions image from Pixabay.com
With Christmas coming closer by the day, I thought I would review some ideas for gifts for writers today. You probably don't have many on your list but if you have just one you might not be sure what would be useful to give to them. 

Something that is relatively easy and won't hurt your wallet very much is to get a few notebooks; you know like the ones the kids use in school. Add some pens and pencils and wrap them up as a gift. Now, you might be thinking that this seems a little old school because they most likely use a keyboard to write their stories. Well, yes but those notebooks come in pretty darned handy. I can never have enough of them! I used them to jot down ideas but I also use them to start to define my characters. I will use a page to jot down the physical characteristics, personality traits and the name of the character. It makes it much easier to refer back to while I am writing. Jotting this all down in a notebook helps me to visualize the character and breaths life into their existence into my crowded and addled brain. Trust me, a writer will appreciate getting them.

Last Christmas one of my daughters gave me this book and I really loved it!

I admire Stephen King a great deal and my daughter knows that. Now, I don't read his horror books because quite frankly I am sure he would scare the daylights out of me. What I admire is his absolute genius with words. I digress. The reason I think this is a good gift for a writer is that Mr. King talks about his process and his history as a writer. He doesn't go into the real mechanics of writing in the book. It is like he says, there aren't really any classes or books that can teach you to write. You either have it in you or you don't. What he does share are the struggles of a writer, especially in the early years. He talks about the number of rejections he received in the beginning and how he didn't give up. Sure, in his early years of writing, he hoped to make money but as any writer will tell you, there is more to it than that. There are stories in you that you just have to get out and you just keep at it. Anyway, I truly think that any writer would both enjoy and benefit from reading this book.

Another gift idea for the writer is a whimsical mug that has some sort of saying about writing. I particularly like the one below for the authors of fiction:


I am quite sure that your writer will get a chuckle out of this one every time they pick it up to drink their coffee or tea while writing. Our characters are really no different than those imaginary friends that we had as children. You may not be able to hear them or see them but they are very real to us. It may sound strange to people who don't write fiction but to an author it makes total sense. In order for us to be able to make them come alive with our words; they have to exist in our psyche.

Another option for a mug for that writer on your list is this one:

This one really made me laugh! Authors have to do a lot of research when writing a book. Well, let's  say that they should do research. When I was writing my first book and wanted to use poison to kill someone; I did a lot of browsing on types of poisons. As I was talking my ideas over with my husband he made the comment, "Babe, you better hope that nothing suspicious ever happens to me and the cops start looking at your browsing history!" We both laughed, but he had a point. Seriously!

Something else that every writer should have is a Thesaurus. The writer on your gift list may already have one but a second one would be appreciated; I am sure. You can find one in a local book store or even in the school supply section of your favorite store. It might be something that you could add to those notebooks and writing utensils as a gift.

Of course, you could get books that have to do with the mechanics of writing. My guess is; they probably already know the mechanics, though. It is like Stephen King intimates; the ability to tell a story is inside you or it is not. A person can know all of the ins and outs of grammar and punctuation but if they don't have a story to tell; what good is it?

There are all sorts of little writing aides in the form of books and game like activities that are supposed to help with story ideas. I have a few that have been given to me as gifts. They are kind of fun to use. I find them helpful in just practicing writing. I guess I look at them as sort of an improv type of activity like a comedian might do on stage. They don't really help me come up with an idea for a book but they do help me use my imagination to just write something. I do keep them because you never know when you might read through what you have done and come up with a plot in the future.

Well, I hope I have sparked some ideas for you if you have a writer on your gift list this year. Let me know in the comments if you have some other ideas. 



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

A Novel Gift for a Sudoku Fan

Novelty gift idea for sudoku fan
If you know someone who loves Sudoku (and don't we all have at least one person on that list?) then you're probably sick of buying them Sudoku books and no doubt they already have (or don't like) the electronic version of Sudoku.

Let's review other ideas for s Sudoku fan and there are a couple.  A gift that I thought looked really neat was one of the Sudoku mugs (mind you I always think a mug is a cool gift idea) that's available, but from experience these really don't seem to be appreciated as much as an actual puzzle book.

What is left?  Well there are some  Sudoku calendars which look really good.  I have debated getting these, but so many people just use their phones instead of a physical calendar  these days.

This leads me to another idea - something very unexpected and a very novel gag type of gift.

Introducing the Sudoku Toilet Paper!


Reviewing a Puzzling Gift Idea



Now I have to be honest I can't claim credit for this gift idea, it comes with a little story.  My boss passed away a couple of months ago and we had to clean out his office and we came across some Sudoku toilet paper.

One of his friends called in as we were still sorting through things and noticed the toilet paper and told us that he'd given it to him as he loved to do Sudoku.  I immediately asked where I could get some as I thought it would be a great idea for my mother.

The paper seemed good quality and I personally think it makes a great gag gift, but also if you're going to be in the 'little room' for a while why not exercise your 'little grey cells' at the same time!

I give it a big thumbs up as a novel gift idea for a Sudoku fan and if you're a fan and on my Christmas list - surprise!  You're getting toilet paper.

The only question now is - can I find a toilet paper holder that has a pen/pencil holder attached because you just know that you'll forget your pen when you want to solve the puzzle and I don't think it's fair to try and do Sudoku in your head!

Novelty, gag gift idea for Sudoku and puzzle fans
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What do you think a great gift idea or not?

If you prefer Suduko books or you want to give one as well then Cynthia reviews one of her favorite (like her I prefer the pen and paper form of Suduko to the electronic ones and this book sounds awesome!)

Brain Games 10 Minute Sudoku Puzzles Book ReviewBrain Games 10 Minute Sudoku Puzzles Book Review
The 10 Minute Sudoku Puzzles Book satisfies my love of Sudoku really well, it's also a ring bound book which I appreciate as it is easier for me to use when traveling or waiting for appointments.

If you're thinking wow that's a great idea, but I don't know anyone who likes Sudoku then you might be pleased to know that you can get all kinds of novelty toilet paper (who knew?) and what better gag gift for a work colleague or your best friend?

More Gift Ideas


You can find lots of different gift ideas here at Review This from gifts for tea lovers, vegan teens, cat lovers, writers and more.  Be sure to check out our Holiday Gift Guide (by clicking the picture below) or just search gifts for lots of great ideas.

Holiday Gift Guide





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Christmas Wrapping Paper Reviewed

Gift Wrap For The Holidays

Christmas image courtesy of Pixabay.com
As I write this review this morning we only have two days until it is Thanksgiving here in the United States. After the turkey and stuffing have been devoured on Thursday, my thoughts and deeds will turn to decorating for Christmas and wrapping gifts to put under the tree. 

My wrapping paper supply has dwindled down to almost nothing so I have been looking for some Christmas Wrapping paper to use this year. I often go with a theme for the paper that I use so that it looks nice under our tree. For some reason this year I am drawn to plaids. In the past I have used whimsical Santa paper or vintage patterns and even Victorian themed papers. The plaid will be something different for me and our tree.

I think that something like the image shown above will look nice under the tree this year. I particularly like that each roll is reversible which will give me the option of adding even more variety. The rolls are 30 inches wide giving plenty of area to wrap gifts. The paper set is a Hallmark product so I won't have to worry about flimsy paper that tears easily. Don't you just hate that? You are wrapping a gift and the paper rips from just brushing a corner of a box.

Another thing that I like about going with plaid gift wrapping paper this year is that it shouldn't be too difficult to find ribbon and bows to coordinate on the packages. I can see that a few of the plaid patterns have some blue in them. I can't tell you how many bows that I have stored away that are pretty shades of blue but don't normally work with Christmas wrap. Looks like this year I can use up some of those neglected little blue bows. Hooray!

So, how about you? Do you theme your gift wrapped packages under the tree or do you just use what is on hand for an eclectic look? There is no right or wrong way, it is a matter of preference I think. As much as I love giving gifts to my loved ones, the real gift that can't be wrapped is the joy of being with your family for the holidays. 



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Gifts for Your Vegan Teenage Daughter

gifts for a vegan teenage daughter
Photo by Lou of Lou's Designs
When your teenage daughter becomes a vegan there's a lot of adjusting to do in order to accommodate her diet, but just when you think things are going well - boom!  It's her birthday or Christmas and you have to come up with gift ideas that fit in with her vegan ethos!

So, what do you get your vegan teenage daughter as a gift?  Well if you look at a number of different gift ideas for vegans they seem to revolve around food - items like a spiralizer or a nutribullet, not really something a teen living at home would appreciate!

In this post I want to review some of the gift ideas I'm contemplating for my own vegan teen and hopefully that will help other people searching for a vegan friendly gift idea.

Gift Ideas Your Vegan Teenage Daughter WILL Love!




Vegan Jewelry

There are some awesome pieces of jewelry which I know my own daughter would love, but I particularly like the pieces of jewelry that declare their stance.  If your daughter is a little quieter or more introverted about her ideals then this piece may not be the best one for her!



There are lots of other types of vegan jewelry available including vegan leather or vegan suede wrap bracelets and/or choker necklaces, wrapped beaded jewelry and many others to choose from.

Lush Bath & Beauty Products

My daughter and her cousins absolutely love Lush - I think of it as their generation's Body Shop!

Lush's natural products are great to use and they have vegan products available as well - my daughter had a selection of bath bombs given to her last year by her (also Lush devotees) cousins.

She has since added to her selection of Lush body products from body scrubs to face soaps, shampoos and more, despite this I know she'd love more of them - this seems to be something they can't get too much of!


Vegan Dreamcatcher


Although my daughter does have a dreamcatcher it doesn't stop her looking at other ones and apparently you can have more than one!  This is a gift that I gave to my eldest niece a couple of years ago that is still finding it's way onto teen's gift lists.

There's lots of different dreamcatchers to choose from, but I do think this vegan dreamcatcher from Etsy would be a very popular choice.


Cotton Mandala

Mandala Photo by Lou16

Mandalas are very popular and can be used in a range of different ways.

My daughter has a gorgeous one that she puts over her bed like a bedspread (as you can see in the photo)  Her best friend, however uses hers as a wall hanging.  You can even get circular mandala style beach towels as well!

The range of mandalas available are amazing and it's really hard to choose just one to feature.  I do like the colors in my daughter's existing one, but she would like another one so that she can swap them out when she want's a change!



Vegan Chocolate


Let's face it most teenage girls love their chocolate and it's not always easy to find vegan chocolate, certainly not as easy as regular chocolate.  I think when my daughter first became a vegan this was one food that she really missed having, although we've found a few ways of indulging her sweet tooth with cacao energy balls and the like.




Of course you don't have to give them a box of chocolates, you could give them a gift bag with lots of different chocolate bars and other vegan candy for them to indulge in.

Gifts your vegan teenage daughter will love
Image by Lou16
Vegan T-Shirts or Other Clothing

There's lots of different pieces of vegan clothing that you can choose from, but with every teen they seem to have their own style and if their mom chooses something then it can't be cool!   The only piece of clothing that it seems safe to buy a teen without getting the exact details from them seems to be a t-shirt.

Now you may have a different relationship with your child so go ahead and buy them whatever type of clothing they'll wear, but for my daughter I'm trying to decide which funny vegan inspired tee will make her smile!




Vegan Cosmetics, Make-Up Brushes, Nail Polish

Unfortunately my daughter does have a bit of teenage acne so she's always looking for skin products to help with that.  As well as turning to a vegan diet she has been moving towards natural skin care and now likes to embrace vegan products (especially from Lush!).

She does have some cosmetics that she does use, but I know she wants to get vegan products when she buys any more.   She already has a set of vegan make up brushes, but if she didn't I would make up a little gift box and add brushes, cosmetics and even nail polish.

Stop the presses!  I've found a couple of brushes that she could add to her existing set that are also vegan, one is a double sided concealer brush which looks amazing.  The other one is for applying powder and sounds like it would do a much better job than the brush she is currently using.  You can find both of them through Arbonne, just click here.

What teen wouldn't love a 'beauty' box, especially an all natural, vegan based one.


Vegan Clutch or Bag

There are lots of different types of vegan bags that you could get as a gift for your teen depending on their personal style.  My daughter loves the clutch style of purse and I think she'll totally flip for some of the cork clutches you can get like this one...





Vegan Mug


A mug isn't always something you think of for a teenager, but my daughter does like statement mugs so I thought one that says something funny or espousing her world views would be a great idea.  There are lots of mugs that she would probably like, but I decided on the one below.

It's basic and a message that she'd really like without being OTT.-  the colors are also pretty cool.




Now I do believe that mugs make great gift ideas whether the recipient drinks hot drinks or not.  When it comes to your teen you can add other things to the mug to make a cool gift, here's a few ideas -


  • Fill with vegan candy
  • Gift with a selection of herbal teas, coffees or vegan hot chocolate mixes
  • Vegan cake in a mug ingredients and recipe - this is a very popular option.  You can get a recipe, print it off for them (or write it out) and include all of the ingredients either bagged up in the mug or already mixed together in a mason jar with the mug.  Here's a cool recipe for a chocolate peanut butter vegan mug cake.


Adopt an Elephant

As vegans inherently love animals the idea of adopting an elephant, koala, polar bear or panda in their name is always a great idea.   Bev wrote this great article about adopting an elephant and I think my daughter would love this.

Like Bev's granddaughter my vegan teen absolutely adores elephants, so much so that she's talking about volunteering to look after injured elephants in Thailand during her gap year.

Gift Ideas for a Vegan Teenage Girl
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I hope you've found some great gift ideas for the vegan in your life and please feel free to share these ideas with other people who are scratching their heads trying to think what to buy.  I do think that other vegans besides teenagers would probably also like some of these gift ideas.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.