[ad] Valentine’s Day with Fosse Park

Sitting outside Primark fosse Park

When I say this campaign was a really good one, I really mean it. One that I could share a little love to those around me whilst getting to fly back over and spend time with friends and family at the same time? Amazing.

This campaign was all about Valentine’s Day. But, not the romantic lovey dovey type. Instead, it was one right up my street. One about sharing love to three different types of love. Love that we should also be celebrating on Valentine’s Day and a campaign that fits in perfectly with the Spanish celebration.

Valentine’s Day, this Friday 14th 2020, is known as día del amor y amistad in some South American countries and mainland Spain. That means, Valentine’s Day is known as Day of Love and Friendship. Friendship. Something that a lot of us forget about when it comes to Valentine’s Day each year. A time of year when understandably if we’re alone we find it upsetting.

I think my favourite thing about this campaign was being able to celebrate the type of love that, admittedly, without this campaign I wouldn’t have thought about celebrating. But you should definitely think about it.

Drinking coffee at marks and Spencer Fosse Park
Having coffee with mum at M&S Cafe Fosse Park before shopping

Don’t get me wrong, I know that it can get tiring having one event after another, but it doesn’t have to be extravagant or anything crazy. Just a simple gift or a simple message is enough to make those around you smile. And, if you can, nothing will make your friends, family or other half feel happier than just being present. Being around, and being actively present is one of the best gifts you can give.

So, thanks to Fosse Park, my undoubtably favourite shopping centre in Leicester and one of my top favourites in the U.K., I was able to head back to Leicester for the weekend and spend time with a few of my friends and family. It’s currently going through some major refurbishments at the moment, and the plans look pretty incredible. I can’t wait to see how it comes together.

So, whether it’s your secret crush, best friend or long-term love, Fosse Park has the perfect gift waiting for you in store. With free parking and open late on weekdays (store times vary), you’ve still got time to find the gift they’ve been waiting for.

I was able to treat one of my work friends to some goodies, my mum to a new outfit, fragrance and jewellery as a pick me up and get Alex a Valentine’s Gift. On top of that, I was able to pick out some new outfits to freshen up my spring wardrobe. We all know how much I love Outfit when I’m back!

Shopping at Fosse Park with recycled bag

I headed to Fosse Park on Saturday morning and, just as ever, it was relatively busy. But when I say busy, I mean there’s lot of cars parked. But wandering around the shops, browsing is breezy and relaxed. I often wonder where all the people are when you see how busy the car park is, but I guess that’s the extent of the shops they have on offer.

Bags and fragrance from Fosse Park

I was very kindly given £50 to spend in Boots and £50 to spend in Primark, I was then also provided with a £100 Outfit voucher as a thank you for the work I’ll put in. I picked Boots for the great array of beauty and fragrance options. I knew that my work friend was interested in the Pixi brand and Alex is keen on fragrance and skincare, so I knew that was my best bet. Luckily, there was also a 15% off fragrances event too which worked out perfectly.

Enjoying shopping at Fosse Park leicester

Primark? Well, how can you go wrong? Plenty of outfit choices, a homeware selection plus the little Knick knacks knocking about make for great budget friendly gifts.

I’d chosen Outfit as my wardrobe refresher as it’s my favourite shop at Fosse Park. Topshop and Miss Selfridge clothes are always the most flattering on me and fit well. The quality definitely is fantastic too. I’d set out to spruce up my outfit with a few new style tops to go with my own jeans that I’ve got, plus I’d seen a few gorgeous spring dresses that I knew would be cute with my Dr Marten’s. I had a plan!

I’d also set out to pick out Alex’s card from W H Smith this year. Although I didn’t have a voucher for there, it made the most sense. They have such gorgeous cards and wrapping paper without having to make another trip out.

Family Member

Mum trying different clothes Fosse Park

Showing love to my mum was one of the easiest to buy for. Even easier that she was there to be able to pick out her own bits and pieces. I decided to opt for a red jumper from Primark paired with the shaping black jeans from Primark. We then found a really nice necklace from Freedom at Topshop at Outfit for £12.50 to go with it. I also picked out Elie Saab Girl of Now.

Elie saab girl of now perfume flatlay

We both loved the fragrance when we smelt it a few months ago so with the 15% off at Boots event I definitely couldn’t resist! Just over £30 for a 50ml bottle of eau de parfum. Bargain.

A Friend

Pixi beauty at Fosse Park Leicester

Who else knows the struggle than your work colleague? Admittedly, I found this the hardest to buy for. How do you pick just one friend? Do I go for my high school friend who I’ve been friends with and been through pretty much everything with, the friend who I can always rely on? Do I go for one of our closest current friends? The one who’s got a baby and the one I always nip in to see when we’re over? I guess in the end, I picked all three.

Mel opening Pixi beauty at la Falua

Pixi glow tonic flatlay

For Mel, she’s been after Pixi for quite a while. She saw my Instagram story glow up after I used Pixi Glow Tonic and is a skincare fanatic like me, so when I saw Pixi on offer in Boots I knew it would be a great choice. I decided to get her the same bottle as the one I’ve been loving.

Mel with Rio

Could I leave the other two out though!? Definitely not. Instead I treated my high school friend to some lipglosses and my other friend to some cake. Nobody is getting left out!

My Love

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Valentine’s Day has started to take a back seat since we’ve moved to Spain. Maybe that’s because we live together or because our money just sits together. But, either way. We’ve not been the greatest at celebrating Valentine’s.

A few years back, we used to always do the whole gift shabang and book somewhere on holiday, but now half term is a thing of the past for me, we’re not able to do that like we used to. Although we do still do a small gift and have a meal, we’ve not really done it like we used to, so this year that’s going to change! We’re making an effort.

For Alex, I found the male version of a perfume by Calvin Klein that I love in the sale. There was the Calvin Klein Eternity Gift Set with a Body Wash for less than £20 in Boots. I then picked him up a graphic baby yoda T-shirt from Primark for £8.

We’re also hoping to get away for either a night away at a spa hotel or take a road trip for the Valentine’s weekend.

Spring 2020 Outfits

I picked up a few outfits to freshen up my wardrobe whilst I was at Fosse Park. I love heading back to do my shopping at Fosse Park purely because it’s so relaxed. There’s no queues for the changing rooms, there’s lots of space in store and it’s super clean.

I’ve always been a massive fan of spring dresses. I can never wait for spring to come around to wear a nice floaty dress and pretty colours after wearing jumpers! (Even though I love when I get to put my jumpers on after a long summer!). I also wanted to find some nice going out tops. The style that would go perfectly with a pair of nice jeans and a glass of rose wine sitting by the harbour.

I would call it a success! I found all what I wanted, and more!

I know a lot of you love to see the clothes that I picked out, so I’ve added a little photo reel below. Each caption has the shop and the price. Hope you like them!

I’ll be sharing photos of me wearing the clothes out and about so make sure you follow along on Instagram to see where we go but here’s a little changing room sneak preview!

Miss Selfridge dress from Fosse Park mirror selfie
Miss Selfridge at Outfit £30
Topshop brown dress from Fosse Park mirror selfie
Topshop at Fosse Park £29
Trousers and orange top primark from Fosse Park mirror selfie
Primark at Fosse Park £3 vest top £7 trousers
Black cord dress pinafore from miss Selfridge from Fosse Park mirror selfie
Miss Selfridge at Fosse Park £10 (in the sale)
Low rise top with jeans from topshop from Fosse Park mirror selfie
Top Topshop at Fosse Park £19

Father’s Day Gift Ideas 2019

I’ve put together a budget-friendly idea or two for what you could treat your dad or grandad this Father’s Day 🖤

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With just a week to go until Father’s Day 2019 on Sunday 16th June 2019 I wanted to share some Father’s Day Gift Ideas for those who might be looking for some inspiration. After receiving such good feedback from my Valentine’s Gift Guide and my Mother’s Day Gift guide with people telling me how helpful they were and still are, I thought it would be a great way to share some ideas and revisit some old recommendations which are still just as good today!

Buying for men is one of the most difficult of tasks, there’s no other way to put it other than finding the perfect Father’s Day gift is hard. Relentlessly trying to come up with new and impressive gift ideas and suddenly it comes to a week before and you’re racing against the clock to find something that isn’t a pair of socks or a handkerchief… again. 

I’ve put together a budget-friendly idea or two for what you could treat your Dad or Grandad this Father’s Day which is very quickly approaching.

MoonPig

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For lots of gift ideas perfect for Dad’s and Grandad’s be sure to check out the Father’s Day Gift Ideas available on Moonpig.

We managed to get my Dad at Small Everyday Hamper from Moonpig and it’s a fantastic gift. The hamper comes in a beautiful wicker basket that had to be almost prized out of my hands. It looks perfect for a beach day picnic or for a family picnic in the park.

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Containing lots of family favourites, the hamper comes equipped with plenty of yummy treats, such as oatcakes, fudge, tea, chocolates and my absolute favourite biscuits: shortbreads. With very little effort, it’s a gorgeous ready made gift that looks like you’ve put 1000 x more thought in it than you have (which says a lot because we know you’ve put thought otherwise you wouldn’t have been googling Father’s Day Gift Ideas!). 

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If you’re looking for a superb gift for father’s or grandad’s then you definitely won’t go wrong with a hamper like this one! There are plenty more hampers available at Moonpig so be sure to have a rummage through their site and see which one would be perfect for your father!

 

Mapiful

mapiful valentines gift venice flatlay

I’ve posted about Mapiful in each and every gift guide I’ve created because they truly are something special. They’re a great way to surprise your loved one with a surprise trip or to capture the memories of that family holiday years ago. Another perfect way to share a Mapiful in the uniquest of ways is to send them a map of where you live, if you live across the miles it can be a lovely reminder of where you are.

We have a lovely New York and a Venice Mapiful and they’re both absolutely beautiful. They brighten up the room and add a touch of luxury, they’re a fantastic gift for Father’s Day.

Truprint

For as long as I can remember I’ve turned to Truprint to find the perfect sentimental gift. Whether that’s a photo book or a canvas. Quality and ease of access around the website are just two of the reasons why I’ve continued going back to Truprint, year in year out. Long before I ever had a blog, or even knew what one was, I used to make photo books for different family members, for Christmas, birthdays or special occasions like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

Truprint have recently gone through a rebrand focusing on being true to life and telling your true to life stories, it’s so lovely to have such a real, unfiltered approach to memories and life in general.

Documenting dadventures and filling them into a photobook is a great idea for Father’s Day and one that I have bought as gifts in previous years. A beautiful photobook captures the memories and is a gift your loved ones will cherish.

The Fragrance Shop

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Who doesn’t love the gift of a gorgeous scent?

Jimmy Choo Blue is the essence of a strong, masculine figure. Reminiscent of a liquor flask, it’s curved at the back and screams sophistication in the subtlest of ways. The dip-dye blue bottle is elegant and powerful and stands with purpose on the dressing table.

Jimmy Choo Blue is my favourite fragrance that Alex has, so I’m very grateful to The Fragrance Shop for recommending it to us. It has a masculine invigorating scent with delightful pepper, wood and earthy tones. It’s almost captivating the essence of the true, outdoorsy man.

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If you picked up your Mum the Jimmy Choo Fever from my Mother’s Day Gift Guide, then you’ll be delighted to know that the male equivalent compliments it wonderfully. It’s the subtle his and hers outfit!

I absolutely recommend Jimmy Choo Blue as an impressive gift for Father’s Day. You can pick it up for £45.50 on The Fragrance Shop website!

Indulge Beauty

cooking mens gift set

Perfect for the man on the go, Indulge Beauty, part of The Fragrance Shop umbrella have the ultimate starter kit that contains everything the man in your life will need to keep his grooming regime at the top of its game.

cooking mens gift set

The Ecooking men’s starter kit is a little set of 5 essential products for men’s grooming. It is filled with everything they would need for daily skin and hair care. The products are all organic and free from parabens and dyes.

Philips

philips one blade hair and body review

If there’s something every man needs in their life, it’s a good shaver. The Philips Face + Body is a high-quality shaver for Alex that was both affordable and does the job, well!

The Philips OneBlade is undoubtedly the best shaving experience Alex has had and I’m sure the man in your life, whether that’s your father or your grandfather will definitely appreciate the gift of a good shaving experience. The Philips OneBlade, it works excellently with the one blade, both wet and dry.

An American Tourister Suitcase

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Shop American Tourister

For the well-travelled amongst us, a brand-new suitcase is always welcomed. The four-wheeled Herolite Spinner 75 is a perfect gift for the travel lovers who are heading off on a holiday. Weighing just 2.2kg, you’ll be shocked at just how light it is, meaning extra weight for them to pack what they want to take (and bring back!). 

The design of the American Tourister Herolite Spinner 75 is innovative, sleek and fashionable with durable materials and plentiful space. It really is a fantastic travel companion.

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No detail has been missed with good packing options, which includes an interior mesh pocket and cross-ribbons in the bottom compartment to keep everything in place. There are two roomy front pockets too.

RRP: £105-£125

I hope all that are celebrating have a wonderful Father’s Day! Lots of love to my own dad and grandad on Father’s Day 2019!

Hasta luego,

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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas 2019

I’ve put together a budget-friendly idea or two for what you could treat your Mum or Grandma this Mother’s Day which is quickly approaching.

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mother's day gift ideas 2019

With just a week to go until Mother’s Day 2019 on Sunday 31st March 2019 I wanted to share some Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for those who might be looking for some inspiration. It can feel all so monotonous getting a bunch of flowers or a selection of chocolates so I wanted to share a small selection of products that I have tried, tested and loved. A few ideas that after trying them out myself, I know Mum’s and Nan’s will love them.

malcolm murphy mother's day gift guide
Hair by Malcolm Murphy Hair

After all, Mum’s and Nan’s do so much for us and are always there to lend a helping hand, but what are you supposed to do when your mum deserves a 7-night holiday and all you can stretch to is a card and some chocolates? Doesn’t matter though, mum’s will still love it. Aren’t they the best?

I’ve put together a budget-friendly idea or two for what you could treat your Mum or Grandma this Mother’s Day which is quickly approaching.

Mapiful

This July, we’ll be heading off to New York as a family and to say I’m excited would be an understatement. For as long as I can remember I’ve craved packing my bags and jetting off to the big apple, taking in the sights that have been a major part of my online life. I’ve longed to see for myself the sights made famous by Friends and Gossip Girl. Places I’ve grown up watching through the big screen, like New York Minute and Devil Wears Prada, it’s a real sense of surrealism to think that in just a few short months, I’ll be there. It seemed fitting to mark this with a Mapiful map.

mahattan mapiful map

In our home, we have a Manhattan and Venice map. Venice to symbolise where we got engaged a few years ago and New York to symbolise the first long-haul travel together that we’ll be taking. It also looked the most beautiful out of many different options I put together.

mahattan mapiful map

For Mother’s Day, I’ve ordered my mum the same map so they can have a New York map up at home. My mum had commented that she liked our maps and it seemed a good idea to have matching ones to mark the long-haul trip to New York in summer. Places hold so many memories so it’s nice to think that the map will be a constant reminder of the memories made in the USA this summer.

Truprint

For as long as I can remember I’ve turned to Truprint to find the perfect sentimental gift. Whether that’s a photo book or a canvas. Quality and ease of access around the website are just two of the reasons why I’ve continued going back to Truprint, year in year out. Long before I ever had a blog, or even knew what one was, I used to make photo books for different family members, for Christmas, birthdays or special occasions like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

truprint canvas mother's day

Mum’s and Nan’s love sentimental gifts and what better than a selection of the highlights of the year beautifully displayed in a high quality photo book or their favourite photo mounted onto the wall on a high-quality finish canvas?

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Another fantastic gift option is the magic mug. Adding a photo of your choice, Truprint create a mug where the photo almost by magic appears when hot water is added. What better way to remind our loved ones that we’re still around by having a subtle reminder of us all when they have their morning cuppa? Surprise, we’re back. 

pictabulous photo canvas cavalier king charles review canvas print

You could also opt for a beautiful artist canvas made like the one we had for Rio from Pictabulous, as part of the Truprint group. They have a team of artists who will design you the perfect canvas, happily making alterations until it’s exactly how you want it.

The Fragrance Shop

jimmy choo fever fragrance shop

Mum’s love a good fragrance and what better time to treat her to a new scent than Mother’s Day? Fever by Jimmy Choo is a great fragrance to treat Mum to this Mother’s Day 2019. Fever is a feminine and light fragrance that was launched very recently in 2018. With base notes of sandalwood, combined with the heart notes of Vanilla orchid and Jasmine topped off with Grapefruit, Lychee and Plum Nectar it’s a sweet fragrance that she’s sure to love.

mothers day gift guide jimmy choo

Jimmy Choo Fever is a perfect fragrance for those that like to have an inner playful energy, whilst maintaining subtly and almost a sense of shyness, innocence and delicacy. It isn’t an “in your face” fragrance, but on the other hand, you know it’s there. It’s maintains a very good balance. It’s that fine line between floral and woody and it sits on the line perfectly.

jimmy choo fever pefume and flowers

The bottle of Jimmy Choo fever itself is beautiful. It’s an intense deep plum bottle which lets the light through to appear like a gem on the dressing table. Topped with a gem on the top, it wouldn’t look out of place next to the jewels. The metallic plum effect allows the light to mirror and emboss to create a wonderful spectacle.

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A 40 ml bottle of Jimmy Choo Fever from The Fragrance Shop retails at £42.50.

Michelle Obama – Becoming

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There has never been an autobiography that has spoken to me quite like this memoir by Michelle Obama. The former First Lady’s warmth, caring manner and wit bursts through in this outstanding candid account of her life, both inside and outside of the White House.

I have laughed, cried, even sobbed maybe, felt inspired, felt angry, all whilst turning the pages of Becoming. Each page beholds something else that will either make you want to get up and make a change, hug your partner or do whatever it is you’ve been holding back on. She tells the stories of her life growing up, from those very early piano lessons in the downstairs apartment, growing up in a predominately black school after the white dispersion to the suburbs, and she retells the story about her life with her husband, Barack Obama.

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Yin and Yang, she tells it. The complementarity alliance with Barack, her former intern. The way his lack of planning rubs her up the wrong way. The tale of how she struggles to find her own identity instead of being the happy, smiling wife looking longingly at the future president. She bares the tale of how his political commitments turn him into a “human blur, a pixelated version of the guy I knew”, and why “almost home”, wasn’t worth keeping the kids awake for. She shares the tribulations through life, work and everything in-between. If there’s one book we can rejoice in and connect to, it’s this one.

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Becoming is funny, engaging and frequently inspiring and when Michelle retells the story of her father’s early death from MS it turns bitterly emotional. I haven’t yet reached the end of Becoming, but I have loved each chapter for different reasons. My favourite part is during a trip to Hawaii, their daughter hits a fever and Barack, the strategic non-planner has to decide whether to stay with the family, or take that aeroplane journey to cast his vote on tighter gun laws. It’s one of those moments where you’re passing through the words hoping that Obama does the right thing, yet what really is the right thing? The future of America and the fate of American democracy can wait. This is family.

 Becoming by Michelle Obama is published by Penguin Random House. To order a copy for £13 (RRP £25!) go to Amazon UK.

I hope all that are celebrating have a wonderful Mother’s Day 2019.

Hasta luego,

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2019 Valentine’s Day: Useful Gift Ideas for Him and Her

Whether you’re looking for a gift for your girl pals, or you aren’t sure what to get for your significant other, I’ve searched far and wide across the internet to find out what really are some of the best gifts to get for Valentine’s Day 2019.

gift ideas for valentines

Every year there is an evident amount of negativity that circles Valentine’s Day and this year, I want it to be positive. I want to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a way in which we can. Last year, in the chaos of having to find an apartment in less than a month, Valentine’s Day got overlooked. This year, I don’t want it to. I want it to be special.

Whether you’re looking for a gift for your girl pals, or you aren’t sure what to get for your significant other, I’ve searched far and wide across the internet to find out what really are some of the best gifts to get for Valentine’s Day 2019.

Gone of the days where we head to the local card shop and pick up a novelty gift and a card. I just don’t see the point in it. We pick up a mass-produced card that has all of these mass-produced words and a picture of a bear on the front holding a bunch of flowers and a box of heart-shaped chocolates. It all heads to the dustbin less than a week later. What’s the point? It just seems a waste.

This year, I’ve compiled a list of useful products for him and her for Valentine’s Day. Products that will last and last. Products that they’ll love. Whether that’s something to brighten up the home, a new fragrance or something a little bit edgy, it’s certain to brighten up their Valentine’s Day. After all, they deserve it. (Or Alex certainly does for putting up with me year in-year out!)

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Some of these products are expensive and luxurious, some are sentimental and lovely and others are affordable yet awesome. I’ve tried to vary the ideas to suit everybody’s budget, everybody’s needs and everybody’s likes. But, after all, we can’t please everybody!

So, without further ado: here are my recommended gift ideas for Valentine’s Day 2019.

The products mentioned below were gifted to me. I was not paid to post this. Some products that were gifted to me have not been included as I didn’t find them suitable.

Sentimental Gifts

A Mapiful Poster

mapiful valentines gift venice flatlay

 

Shop Mapiful

Imagine a way to capture your special place with a custom-made map or poster. A unique gift that you can put up in your home to remember the place where you fell in love, first met or even got engaged. With Mapiful, it’s possible. The world is at your fingertips.

Back in 2017, Alex got down on one knee on a secluded island just off of Venice. Out jumped a photographer ready to capture the entire thing. I had mentioned, a few years before, that when somebody proposes to me, they better have a photographer ready and waiting so that I have the entire moment to capture. Well, Alex delivered.

engagement in venice with san marco in the background

We had a photographer capture the entire day. We have photos of Alex on one knee and my initial reaction, plus we had a photo shoot with my family around San Marco and on the gondola. They definitely make for some lovely keepsake photos.

When I saw Mapiful, I knew I had to bring the magic of Venice to our home. You use their easy to use the online site to type the place you want to see, I nearly chose New York or the Magic Kingdom, they all look so beautiful and there are so many special places! Once you’re happy with the amount of zoom in and the design you’re after, there are plenty of choices, such as Pantone and night time mode too, so take a look to see which one suits your home the best, it’s then a case of waiting for it to arrive.

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My Mapiful map for Alex arrived within 5 days, which was perfect. It comes well packaged so you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged in transit. It’s a stunning map and definitely the best quality and looking one I’ve come across on the internet!

Use the mapiful discount code imlaurenbate10 at the checkout for 10% off!

RRP: 50€

A Love Book

Create your Love Book online

Looking for a personalised gift book that says why you love them? You might not have been before, but you definitely should look at one now. One of the most romantic gifts you can give is one that you have personalised and highlighted so many different reasons why you love them and stick with them every day.

It’s one of those books that is so sentimental and thoughtful, that it may just bring a tear to their eye, it brought a tear to Alex’s eye! We love looking through ours – there’s a page that says “re-read this book if you’re ever mad at me so you forgive me quicker” and that’s a great one to add it! I also love the travel and kayak aspect of it – it feels so much more personal. Another page we love is the “you know every sports stat ever” because if you know Alex, you’ll know this is so true to him!

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Love Book online just captures the whole meaning of Valentine’s Day. Sure, we tell each other we love each other regularly, but isn’t it nice to have a day dedicated to just rekindling why the love is there? Showing appreciation. Showing love.

Telling and showing someone why they are so special has never been easier than creating a love book. Each LoveBook is a custom made book of little reasons why you love someone. You can customise the book as little or as much as you like.

For Alex, I opted for the hardcover colour book, which allowed for a more in-depth customisation of the characters (us!). There are plenty of ready-made pages to add into your book, plus the option to add your own custom pages. No two LoveBooks are the same!

Add as many pages as you like with no alteration to the price!

Get 15% off with the LoveBook discount code: lbatelbvday15

RRP: €33+

1 Second Everyday Pro Subscription

1 second everyday reflection 2018 post

Download 1SE 

I have shouted a lot about 1 Second Everyday and it’s for a very good reason. The video diary has been hands down the best app I ever paid for. You can read about my 2018 with 1SE by following this link: 2018: A Year in Review – 1 Second Everyday.

The priceless app mashes together second-long snippets of your life into a compelling movie. A movie that you’re the star of. With built-in reminders, simple editing tools and aesthetic design – it’s everything you need and more to build your own memorable narrative.

We all have subscriptions here and there, whether it’s Netflix or music. But, 1SE is one that will truly benefit you if you’re serious about your video diary.

There are some incredible features and I’d urge you to try the 14-day free trial to see what you think. My favourite features are definitely the longer snippets, the unlimited backup and the addition of royalty free music!

Toiletries

The Perfume Shop

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Shop Black Opium with EXCLUSIVE YSL BAG

One of the most anticipated fragrances right now is the Black Opium Eau de Parfum by Yves Saint Laurent. Black Opium is a compelling fragrance with tones of black coffee, white florals and vanilla. It’s the ultimate glamorous woman’s fragrance.

The bottle is a bold black with decorated with sequins that give the impression of the ultimate rock girl.

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I would recommend buying Black Opium for your loved one from The Perfume Shop this Valentine’s. We all love a little gift with our goods, well, with the purchase of any Black Opium fragrance over 50ml at The Perfume Shop, they are gifting an exclusive free YSL pouch and miniature mascara.

RRP: £72+

Indulge Beauty

cooking mens gift set

Shop Indulge Beauty

Perfect for the man on the go, Indulge Beauty, part of The Fragrance Shop umbrella have the ultimate starter kit that contains everything the man in your life will need to keep his grooming regime at the top of its game.

The Ecooking men’s starter kit is a little set of 5 essential products for men’s grooming. It is filled with everything they would need for daily skin and hair care. The products are all organic and free from parabens and dyes.

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The set contains:

Hair and Body Soap: A lightly refreshing soap that can be used for both hair and body. With uplifting citrus scents, it leaves skin, hair and the scalp well-groomed and nourished.

Cleaning gel: A deep cleansing face and body bursting with fresh citrus fragrances. It leaves the skin cleansed and moisturised.

cooking mens gift set

Beard and Body Oil: A little bottle of oil is the perfect essential in the house. A multifunctional oil can be used in so many different ways, not just the beard or the face. Suitable for footbaths, nail oil, body oil and even massage – it’s a handy little beauty essential.

Face Cream: Something Alex was in desperate need of! A deeply moisturising and nourishing facial cream suitable for all ages and skin types. The cream works quickly into the skin and is non-greasy. It’s suitable for daily use.

e cooking mens gift set

Wet Wipes: Women are almost known for being the ones stocked up with wet wipes, but these wet wipes draped with aloe vera extract will make the man in your life consider packing wet wipes! The soft wet wipes cleanse and moisturise the face. They’re also good for cleaning up after dinner, on the go!

The set is packed in a practical transparent bag that complies with airline regulations, so it’s perfect for taking in your hand luggage. Better still, the bag is produced with EVA material which is degradable, therefore ethically for the environment.

RRP: £43

Scent Addict Subscription

scent addict hq review valentine gift subscription perfume

Shop Scent Addict

Instead of one fragrance, why not treat them to a subscription of fragrances? Keep it fresh and keep it new by changing up which fragrance you have each month. The best part is you’ll continue sampling different fragrances so if you’re not keen on one, you haven’t spent out on a full-sized fragrance!

They are 8ml in size, which means they’re a perfect trip essential. For £12 a month, Scent Addict, brought to us by The Fragrance Shop, will deliver a beautiful atomiser bursting with your choice of fragrance, straight to your door.

They come in such gorgeous containers and they’re perfect for popping in your bag for on the go or putting in your hand luggage. I’ve been looking for ways to carry perfume around with me, as I didn’t want to carry my bulky fragrances, but also didn’t want just a boring smelling fragrance, so, the scent addict testers have been ideal.

scent addict hq review valentine gift subscription perfume

 

Scent Addict sent Armani Stronger With You for Alex and Giorgio Armani Sí For Her, Eau de Parfum. They’re both fragrances that I have loved for a while. I decided to go for the His and Hers for the first sample.

Sí Passione is my daily go-to fragrance which sits on my bedside table,  so it made sense to go for Sí For Her. Although different fragrances, I knew it would be a scent I’d love. The highly feminine fragrance is suitable for both day and night wear and has a floral scent, that oozes sophistication. It isn’t too overpowering which I really like. It is a real classy fragrance with tones of vanilla, it’s soft, delicate and not too sweet. It is light and airy that sits delicately of the skin.

Alex, however, was sent Armani Stronger With You, not that he had any clue about it until it arrived! I am a big fan of the Armani brand and their fragrances and I’d recently smelt Stronger With You at the airport, so I thought it was a good bet to opt for that one, and what a good bet it was!

Armani Stronger With You has mixed reviews online so I was a little bit nervous before it arrived as I wasn’t sure if Alex would like it. It’s a woody outdoorsy fragrance that has evident sweet smells. There is a burst of pink pepper and cardamom balanced out by the sage and amber wood tones. It is paramount of an autumn walk, I think. It is a lovely fragrance!

£12 per month

The Fragrance Shop

agent provocateur perfume valentines

Shop The Fragrance Shop

Inspired by the curves of a woman, Pure Aphrodisiaque is a beautiful looking and equally pleasing perfume that is both seductive and sultry. With a sweet fragrance, it still retains the sensuality that is known and loved by the lingerie brand, Agent Provocateur. If you’re into a light and floral scent, then Pure Aphrodisiaque is a splendid choice.

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Though light, the fragrance lasts on the skin throughout the day. It’s a really good fragrance for daily wear. I’m such a big fan of switching it up and changing my fragrances daily, so I’ve loved adding this one to the rounds. It isn’t my favourite fragrance, but it’s a great daily wear scent!

agent provocateur perfume valentines flatlay

agent provacteur perfume valentines gift

The scent itself is fresh and fruity with tones of amber, mandarin, pear and rum. It has a certain elegance surround it. The notes of wild orchid and jasmine harmoniously bring it together with the floral essences which just oozes Spring goodness.

RRP: £65

Philips OneBlade Face + Body

philips one blade hair and body review

Shop Philips

If there’s something the young man needs in your life, it’s a good shaver. We had been looking for a quality shaver for Alex that was both affordable and of high quality. It seems counterproductive to splash the cash on a shaver that doesn’t do the job or spend out on cheap shavers that constantly need replacing adding to more and more cost. Plus, we didn’t really want Alex’s face looking like he’d been dragged through a thorn bush either! We needed to find a quality, affordable yet efficient shaver. That’s when we found the Philips OneBlade Face + Body.

The Philips OneBlade is undoubtedly the best shaving experience Alex has had. He has really sensitive skin which usually poses a problem with harsh products and shaving. It wasn’t uncommon to see him with breakouts or red irritated skin with cuts. However, with the Philips OneBlade, it works excellently with the one blade, both wet and dry.

philips one blade hair and body review

Alex is one of those who doesn’t need to shave that regularly. He is able to leave it a few days (sometimes weeks!) and he still looks good. It must be love. He’s known to try different things quite often, whether that’s growing his hair long, or growing a bit of stubble – so the OneBlade is perfect for him as it comes with a three stubble body comb in 1, 3 and 5mm. It allows for precise trimming to exactly where he wants it.

The OneBlade shaver works at a fast-paced 200x per-second cutter which makes a smooth, gliding finish trimming face and body hair that grows in any direction. It makes shaving efficient and comfortable. Great for Alex who is always on the go!

The long-lasting battery is a definite highlight, the battery holds 45 minutes worth of styling and requires 8 hours of charging. The blades need replacing every four months, blade replacements retail at a very affordable £13.49!

The Philips OneBlade Face + Body comes with the shaver, 4 stubble combs, 1 body comb, 1 x blade for the face, 1 x blade for the body and the UK 2-pin bathroom plug.

RRP: £59.99

Slip Silk Pillowcase

slip pillowcase silk flatlay tiffany perfume

Shop Slip

Give the gift of the most luxurious beauty sleep they’ll have ever had before by switching out the cotton pillowcase and replacing it with a laboratory tested, dermatologically approved silk pillowcase. Since switching over to a silk pillowcase, it’s made me want to switch out the sheets and duvet for silk too.

After spending the weekend in Edinburgh, four days and four flights were pretty intense. Let’s not forget the lack of worthy sleep. So, when Monday evening came around and I was able to switch the pillowcase to Slip and try out the face mask, it was very welcomed. With no exaggeration, it’s the most valuable sleep I’ve had for a long time, perhaps even ever.

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A Slip silk pillowcase allows your skin to glide. The cotton scratches and tugs on your facial skin causing premature stretching and sleep stretches, whereas a silk pillowcase doesn’t. Whilst sleeping on a cotton pillowcase, it dries out your skin and hair and causes knots and twists which causes bed head, which is actually damaging your hair in the long term. When I woke up after using the silk pillowcase, there wasn’t any bed head, at all!

It’s perfect for tying together with your skincare regime too. Due to the reduced friction, it absorbs significantly less face cream than cotton pillowcases, meaning the skincare regime your doing stays on your face, where you want it!

Backed by celebrity hairstylings, dermatologists, beauty experts and even some well-known supermodels and celebrities (take a close look in the back of a Kardashian bedroom shot and you’ll see slip!) and now little me. The Slip pure silk pillowcase is part of your beauty regime. It’s beauty, not bedding.

engagement ring and slip silk pillowcase

I’d definitely recommend pairing the pillowcase with an eye mask too. It was delicate on the skin and actually blocked out all of the light. The best part was when I woke up, it was still on my face, where it should be! So many times I’ve given eye masks a try and either the light is visible under my eyes where my nose is or it’s been lost somewhere in the bed. A silk eyemask and silk pillowcase are the key to the perfect sleep. Beauty sleep exists.

Slip pure silk sleep masks and pillowcases are 100% pure silk, inside and out. The original silk pillowcases, authentic is always best. Be aware of cheap imitations.

RRP: $50+

WUKA

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copyright: WUKA

 

Shop WUKA

WUKA wear is the world’s most comfortable, hygienic, luxurious and eco-friendly period underwear. Give the gift of a comfortable period that doesn’t stain the bed! Saving on bedding too. It is a complete tampon and pad replacement. You can wear it up to 8 hours on light days, 4-6 hours on your heavy days or all night. It holds at least 20ml of period flow or light leaks – around 4 tampons worth. Previous customers have run marathons in a heatwave, gone to school and slept peacefully in a pair of WUKA.

I have recently got my hands on a pair of WUKA’s with the matching bralette and they are so comfortable, flattering and functional. No more ruining Boux Avenue! When they arrived I was very pleasantly surprised with how flattering the bralette is. The underwear has a protective layer inside which sounds strange when you’re touching it, but when you wear them, they’re so comfy and you don’t hear the rustling sound!

The bralette is super comfortable and it’s been one that I’ve started wearing regularly. It has a flattering, comfortable feel and looks beautiful too. I’ve definitely been converted. They would make a fabulous gift.

RRP: £23.99+

BIODERMA

I have raved about BIODERMA since trying them out before Christmas, which you can see here: Bioderma , and I’m absolutely sold that they’re the best for my highly sensitive skin. I have seen a drastic improvement in my skin and the little bumps on my forehead are now pretty much non-existent.

The BIODERMA Hydrabio H2O Reverse Pump (RRP: £19.50) is a gentle yet deeply cleansing cleanser that is dermatological micellar water – we all know how much I love micellar water now!

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It is formulated to give a no-rinse cleanser that lifts dirt and makeup away from the face without upsetting our natural skin balance. I especially like that it takes away water-resistant makeup so easily too!

It works to combat tight and dry skin and performs a deep cleanse to leave skin fresh, calm and comfortable. I have been in love with BIODERMA since first trying it out and coming from somebody who had trouble finding products thanks to their super sensitive skin, I have found BIODERMA to be an absolute godsend.

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BIODERMA Sensibio Eye Contour Gel (RRP: £15) is a major gamechanger in the whole sleepy eyes, dark circles and sensitiveness. It provides daily decongesting, soothing and hydrating care for the eye contour area. It works to reduce puffiness and erase fine lines and works to increase your skins own tolerance threshold. Plus, with it being from BIODERMA it’s ideal for any skin type.

Whenever I wake up with sore or tired eyes, I apply a little of the gel after using the Sensibio H20 and massage gently until it’s absorbed and it gives instant relief from discomfort and irritation. It is suitable for contact lens users and it’s okay to use as a base layer under make-up!

Travel and Luxe

An American Tourister Suitcase

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Shop American Tourister

For the well-travelled amongst us, a brand-new suitcase is always welcomed. The four-wheeled Herolite Spinner 75 is a perfect gift for the travel lovers who are heading off on a holiday. Weighing just 2.2kg, you’ll be shocked at just how light it is, meaning extra weight for them to pack what they want to take (and bring back!). 

The design of the American Tourister Herolite Spinner 75 is innovative, sleek and fashionable with durable materials and plentiful space. It really is a fantastic travel companion.

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No detail has been missed with good packing options, which includes an interior mesh pocket and cross-ribbons in the bottom compartment to keep everything in place. There are two roomy front pockets too.

Another key feature of the Herolite Spinner 75 is the TSA padlock which allows for worry-free travelling to the USA.

RRP: £105-£125

An Afternoon Tea at The Colonnades, Edinburgh

afternoon tea at the colonnades

Book An Afternoon Tea

For a taste of luxury and an afternoon tea that they’ll remember, a trip to The Signet Library is a perfect choice. With delicate sandwiches with seasonal goods and light and airy cakes to make your mouth water, they are sure to love the entire experience in the historical, beautiful setting. The ambience and atmosphere will be nothing short of luxurious and memorable.

RRP: £35pp

A Romantic Getaway with Flybe

flybe plane

 

Search for Flights with Flybe

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s than sneaking off on a romantic getaway? Alex and I loved to go away on Valentine’s Day when we used to have February half term. It was a perfect time for cheaper flights if you nip off a few days before and it really felt like a luxuriously romantic gift.

Flybe flies to gorgeous locations across Europe which would be perfect for a romantic getaway. You could be jetting off to Paris, Vienna, Prague Berlin, Geneva or Edinburgh to name just a few.

Whilst I was writing this, I took a look at some of the prices on the Flybe website, flying from Birmingham (BHX) to Paris (CDG) was only £118 per person for a four day getaway over Valentine’s!*

Don’t forget, Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday this year, so you would only need to use two days of your annual leave to have a four-day romantic getaway!

*correct at time of writing [7.1.19]

Google Pixelbook

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The Pixelbook is a perfect gift for those who love to travel and need a nifty premium Chromebook. The luxurious Pixelbook comes at a price, starting from £999 it’s a beautifully designed piece of equipment which is certainly well-suited for on the go. It’s super thin and light, which can be placed in your hand luggage – ready to go wherever you are – whether that’s for work or play, it’s sure to be the ideal travel companion. Due to its pressure sensitivity and tilt support, it’s great for pairing with the Google Pixelbook Pen to create high-quality pictures on various apps such as SketchBook. See the world. Paint the world.

RRP: £999+

Books

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Two Can Keep A Secret

I absolutely loved The Breakfast Club and Pretty Little Liars was a gripping TV show, right until the last season of course, so I was excited to hear about Karen McManus’ books.

I have been really struggling to get back into reading recently, even though everyone will tell you I was such a Matilda when I was younger. I started by buying One of Us is Lying and it’s such a gripping novel that it got me wanting to read the second. A small town that keeps losing its homecoming queens? What exactly is happening in the picturesque town, nestled on the Canadian border? You’ll have to grab your copy of Two Can Keep a Secret to find out!

Stationery

Mr Wonderful

mr wonderful planner pens and flowers flatlay

Shop Mr Wonderful

Organising is one of my all-time favourite things. I just love sticking stickers and highlighting tasks (and adding things to my todo list that I’ve already finished so I have more things to cross off!).

getting organised with a mr wonderful planner

 

Mr Wonderful is a well-known established brand out here in Spain and it’s one that I knew about very quickly working in a school. It seems everybody is in love with Mr Wonderful and it’s not difficult to see why.

The aesthetically pleasing stationary is perfect for those who like to organise. They certainly look quite instagrammable too!

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I have recently got my hands on a desk calendar, weekly planner and a travel photo album. The card is so thick and durable which reassures me that once I start sticking photos or using my Stabilo highlighters that they’re not going to get ruined. I am really enjoying my planning with Mr Wonderful and I can’t wait to get stuck in with adding photos from our America trip in summer! All of the products come with stickers – and let me tell you – they are gorgeous!

mr wonderful travel album scrapbook and flowers flatlay

If you’re not celebrating Valentine’s, these gifts would be perfect for birthdays, anniversaries or even Christmas too! They are products that I have absolutely loved using recently and for certain they will bring a smile to your loved one’s faces. I hope it has given you some great gift ideas for this forthcoming year and I look forward to looking out for more gift ideas for you all to consider later on in 2019!

Hasta luego,

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Pinterest:

romantic valentines gift ideas for him and her

Products mentioned in this gift guide were given to me as product samples to try out and feature.

 

 

 

Christmas Gift Guide – Gifts for Him 2018

Shopping for the important men in your life isn’t something that should be last minute. Whether you’re looking for a gift for your dad, your son, your brother or your boyfriend, you want to get something thoughtful that will wow them.

Shopping for the important men in your life isn’t something that should be last minute. Whether you’re looking for a gift for your dad, your son, your brother or your boyfriend, you want to get something thoughtful that will wow them.

Photobooks, accessories, DVD’s, clothes, tech gadgets and books are a good place to start. To help spark some gift ideas, I’ve put together a list of fantastic gifts for the men in your life.

*contains affiliate or sponsored products*

Daniel Wellington Watches

Buy HERE!

daniel wellington watches diary of a spanglish girl benidorm discount code

Give an affordable, yet classic and sophisticated Daniel Wellington Watch for the man in your life as a Christmas Gift. Men’s watches have never looked so good. The Daniel Wellington Sheffield is a beautiful watch that Alex hasn’t taken off since he got it.

Ladies, treat yourself to a Rose Gold Watch too whilst you’re at it, Daniel Wellington also stock watches for women that are so stunning and timeless. The Daniel Wellington watch straps are interchangeable so you can switch between different watch straps, today Rose Gold, tomorrow classic white.

Daniel Wellington Discount Code: A Daniel Wellington watch is a perfect Christmas gift! Don’t forget you can get 15% off with the code “LaurenBate” when applied at checkout.

daniel wellington discount code promotional

A Kanken Backpack

Buy HERE!

kanken backpack and essentials kits perfect for christmas men

Kanken backpacks are suitable for both men and women. The best backpacks for men need to be durable, fashionable, well-constructed and long-lasting. Kanken ticks all of those boxes!

The Kanken backpack is great for everyday use and is water-resistant too. Made of Vinylon F, it’s extremely durable and will certainly stand the test of time battling against the elements.

The crossover straps mean that the backpack evenly distributes the weight between your two shoulders, allowing you to not only improve your posture and save back pain but also allows you to carry much more than before! As a result, you feel comfortable, and a bit of a boost of ego too!

The main compartment has a large capacity. It also comes with a comfortable seat pad which means your back stays straight and aligned, but also nothing uncomfortable digs in!

There is also a heavy duty zip and a reflective logo on the front. It’s perfect for everyday use and travelling!

The Office DVD Boxset

Buy HERE!

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“Is The Office worth watching” I hear you cry. Don’t worry, it’s taken us this long to watch it too. If you’re a fan of humour and sitcoms, which let’s face it, who isn’t? Then The Office will be perfect for you.

Starring Steve Carell, The Office is an American television series that aired on NBC from 2005 until 2013, lasting nine series. It’s based on the UK version starring Ricky Gervais.

Following the everyday lives of office employees in Pennsylvania, it highlights some of the drama and hilarities that go on inside an office. Let’s face it, the office is where some of the best tea is spilt!

Steve Carell is a great lead actor and the show is fantastic. It would definitely bring a smile and some laughter this Christmas. We’re halfway through Season One and I can’t wait for cosy weekends binge-watching the show!

Amazon Echo Dot

Buy HERE!

I never knew how much I needed an Amazon Echo Dot until I started writing the Gift Guide to include the Amazon Echo Dot. I’d seen it on the Great British Bake Off ad, but wow, I’ve sold it to myself.

Alexa play “Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

The Amazon Echo is a smart speaker that remains a solid favourite amongst many in the sea of smart speakers. The Amazon Echo really brought the craze for voice-controlled speakers to life. Original is always best.

The Amazon Echo is a solid speaker with an AI Smart helper. Alexa really is the addition we all need to our home. It is a low-priced techno-piece that I’m sure the men in your life would love.

What’s best? This is an amazing gift for less than £50.

Get the Amazon Echo Dot here: Amazon Echo Dot

Levi Jeans

Buy HERE!

You can’t go wrong with a pair of Levi jeans. They’re long-lasting, good quality and worth every penny. If you’re wondering what to get men in terms of jeans, then Levi’s are definitely the way forward.

30 & Under Book

Buy HERE!

PLEASE NOTE: This book is only available on Amazon.com so it is in dollars and would need delivering from the US! I would suggest getting the Kindle version if you are in Europe.

We recently got the 30 & under book, which is a selection of short life advice from outliers under 30 and it is fantastic.

It’s packed with life hacks to succeed in your career and well-being, daily habits to adapt and the routines of the most successful people under 30 years of age. There are short interview entries from Forbes List under 30’s, top athletes, entrepreneurs, influencers and contestants from shows such as Shark Tank and Top Chef.

The book is incredible for giving that boost of motivation. It really makes you want to get up and get stuff done. They’re short yet powerful which makes picking it up and reading it so easy. You can have a read of an interview in the morning before getting up or on the commute to work. It’s a great book for picking up and saving another for another day.

“Explore the world around you. The people around you. The cultures around you…”

I also really rate the quote that is added for each person inside. There is a large font quote with a cool background which grabs your attention whilst skimming through.

There is also a section that asks them what advice they would give to their 17-year-old self. There is some really interesting and inspiring advice that is given which would be great for somebody just finishing their A-Levels, or a little off their chosen path, who are seeking a little direction.

Truprint

Buy HERE!

It’s the moments in life that matter and Truprint know that. Men love sentimental gifts too and just imagine their face when they see a beautifully curated high-quality photo book filled with all of your favourite memories.

You can also add little embellishments and text to really bring your creation to life. If you hurry, you can also get 40% off by adding MOMENTS40 at the checkout!

Find Me a Gift

Click HERE to buy!

The Scratch Map is perfect for the man in your life who loves to document his travels. Or, that little gift for your living room, we won’t tell if you don’t!

Keeping track of travel has never been easier, looking gorgeous on a wall in the living room or bedroom, it is a great conversation starter, whilst looking beautiful and rustic. Changing colour when scratched off with a coin, it’s a fun activity to do to share your travels and add a touch of travel to your home decor.

It also features lots of cool travel facts that you can reveal when you’ve visited them!

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The Travel Trivia Game is a great Christmas Day activity and fun for all year around. Bored on the plane? This small trivia game tests your knowledge of travel trivia from around the world. The travel lover and trivia lovers in the family will love this game!

We played this game recently and absolutely loved it. There are some super difficult questions so it will really test their knowledge of the world! With questions ranging from medium to very difficult, it’s sure to test their travel trivia this Christmas! It’s one you’ll definitely pull out when the friends come over to impress them with your travel knowledge! After you’ve revised, of course!

travel trivia game find me a gift

El Camino Bracelets

Buy HERE!

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The travel lover will love an accessory where they can wear their travels on their wrist. Help them to retrace their steps this Christmas and bring their love of travel to life with El Camino Bracelets.

You can pick out their travels, whether that’s oceans, cities or countries, you can build the mark they have made on the world and share that with them. You can also get a Merry Christmas step as Christmas novelty.

If you’d rather they picked their own steps, you can purchase a voucher from El Camino which allows them to shop freely online.

The El Camino is a beautiful bracelet that they’re sure to love.

Merry Christmas,

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