Review: Christmas Gift Ideas from Treat Republic

Treat Republic is the place to go for handpicked and personal gifts.


We all have one person that seems really hard to buy for, Treat Republic make gift shopping a breeze, there’s something for everyone and with well-defined drop down menus it didn’t take me long to find a few ideas for a good friend of mine. I was lucky enough to be offered two Treat Republic gifts to review, I chose two gifts that appealed to the homemaker, a solid oak cupcake treat board, and metal robin watering can, having made no secret of my love of robins earlier this week!

As a blog with an eco-focus I like gifts that are handmade, long lasting and sustainable. Wooden gifts are made to last, and Treat Republic sourced this lovely treat board in solid oak from Hop and Peck, a UK based designer who hand makes all of their products from sustainable wood. Although the price is a little more than I would usually pay for a gift, at £25.99, the quality really is reflected in the price, and I would expect to use this for years to come. It’s a sweet pared back alternative to the ubiquitous cake stand, small enough to store away but pretty enough to keep on display and is multi purpose, serving as a generic chopping board as well as a display board. I was impressed by the finish, finished with Danish oil like my kitchen worktops! This would make a lovely gift for a special friend, perhaps team it with some baked goodies you’ve made yourself too!


This lovely watering can really caught my eye, like the board it’s made to last, sturdy and functional and really very pretty too, the feet are really cute! I’m imagining this rustic little robin redbreast outside in the snow awaiting the arrival of spring, but for now he’s been helping me keep on top of my bulbs and offering an encouraging eye as the winter pruning commences. A great price at £15.99 I would pair this with some pretty gardening gloves for my friend who has everything, because it’s such a pretty alternative to the standard green plastic watering can!


Disclaimer: products featured were received free of charge, all views are my own

Capturing memories

Thanks to the ever generous Mammasaurus for a fab tute on creating galleries in WordPress, it worked!

Something that’s come up a lot in my reading around motherhood for my dissertation has been capturing memories of and for little ones. Something everyone does in different ways, be it blogging, photos, writing letters to their little ones…

I do a silent sunday photo post every week, but you might not know that I have also taken a Sunday Photo of Joss every Sunday since the 6th May 2012, the day our darling girl was born. Here’s a selection of them, and 18 months on we’re still going, I think we’ll do them until she doesn’t want to anymore. I feel a mammoth tiled gallery of Sunday Photos coming on when I get them all uploaded in one place!


Toddler play, simple fun on a rainy day

When Joss napped this morning I got my stash of washi tape out (I love this stuff!) and used it to decorate some different lengths of tube cut from toilet roll inners. I bought a huge bag of 250 straws and popped her down on this rainy afternoon with the colander, 10 colourful straws and the tubes. First we talked about the colours of the straws, then she tried brushing them through her hair, and blowing through them, an hour later she was still playing, wearing the tubes as bangles and putting the straws through the colander tubes, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Pinterest is an amazing source of play ideas, at 11am I wasn’t sure how we’d entertain each other for the day, but at very little cost we enjoyed a really fun afternoon indoors!


The fun continued whilst I cracked on with a spot of washing up too!


Save the Blow Dry – I review the Queen of Shower Caps!

I love a good haircut and blow dry but with a messy tot at home I often end up washing that lovely blowdry out because of daily showering. I haven’t come across a good shower cap that protects without giving me a bad case of flat hair. I was really pleased to be offered the chance to test a new product on the market – Save the Blowdry’s Moisture Eliminating QUEEN of shower caps!


With a soft micro weave terry towelling inner and protective pthalate free outer cover this is a great two in one product.

As well as zapping humidity and condensation you can turn the cap inside out and use it to keep your favourite hair treatment locked in to give even better results.

What do you think, shower cap chic? Couldn’t resist modelling it for you dear reader!


Whilst I didn’t rock this as effectively as the fab 50s lady on the packaging it did give really great results, keeping my blowdry going from a hen afternoon through to a hen party the following evening, which saved me £s and meant I enjoyed a great night out feeling confident that my hair was frizz free and fresh. Although I have relatively short hair there’s plenty of space for a longer or more voluminous hairstyle.

Using this to lock in my favourite Lush conditioning treatment was a real treat too, there’s something about a luxurious shower cap that makes me want to enjoy a spot of pampering, so whilst my hair was drinking up the treatment I painted my nails and relaxed for 20 minutes, bliss!

This product retails for £14.95, I think this is a luxury bathing product so priced at the right level, and importantly each sale makes a contribution to Khandel Light charity – Every Save the Blow Dry sold through their website directly funds a fortnight’s safe drinking water for a family in the desert region of Khandel, making a basic, but vital difference to people living with constant drought, where temperatures soar to 45 degrees.

I received this product for free to review, all views are my own.

Festive books from Egmont, a cuppa and a cuddle

I think robins are my favourite birds, so pretty and festive, I love to see them at this time of year. This sentiment is shared and captured beautifully in a book we settled down to review this week, Little Robin’s Christmas by the multi award-winning Jan Fearnley. We loved her book Mr Wolf and the Three Bears, whenever we go to the library Joss picks it out and I think this book will be as popular!


A gorgeous heartwarming tale that’s full of the true meaning of Christmas Joss loved Robin,’tweet tweet’ and has started to recognise Santa in pictures so this was a really rewarding read and we had a chatter over each page, pointing out snow, trees and Robin’s friends. It’s the story of how the robin got his red breast, and it’s a really delightful tale.


Beautifully illustrated this was a joy to pore over with a cuppa for me and a cuddle for Joss, who liked it so much she took it away to her little chair to look at the reindeer some more!


Next up this week was Michael Morpurgo’s Christmas Stories; for older children so Joss and I are tackling this one slowly, but what a brilliant read for adults and children alike!


I was delighted to see Quentin Blake’s illustrations, as well as Michael Foreman, Emma Chichester Clark and Sophie Allsopp, I love Blake’s work and as you may remember from our recent visit to the Laing Art Gallery with the Blake books and dog murals, so does Joss!

I devoured this copy myself in one evening and as well as tugging the heartstrings former Children’s Laureate Morpurgo brings the spirit of Christmas to life, I think that this timeless book will become a favourite throughout November leading up the the Christmas period for years to come! Our favourite story is probably The Goose Is Getting Fat, will Gertrude be rescued from her fate?!


I received a free copy of both books from Egmont UK to review.

Christmas crafting part 3 – refreshing an old toy

I spotted this little pull along toy on a Market stall for £2, a sweet little mouse playing a xylophone, in need of a new ribbon and a touch of paint. At first I was just going to freshen up his nose, but I’m working on repainting a toy kitchen for Joss so thought I’d try my hand at a smaller project first. I think it looks sweet, but I need to work on my brush skills!

Here’s a before and after shot, I just need a nice shiny red ribbon now!


What’s the story – weeeeeeeeeee!

This photo really makes me smile, my girl is growing up so fast.

For weeks Joss has been going down the slide at the park holding my hand, at first she was wary, and then I’ve been too nervous to let go, I probably am a bit ‘helicopter’ but hey, she’s my first baby and I only have one pair of hands. This weekend we visited a local park and with Daddy at the top an me at the bottom to help her down she made the descent alone, and what a brave big girl she was, it was a big old slide and her grin says it all really!


Christmas crafts part 2 – fabric gift bags


I have a few gifts I’ve made and some I’m planning that needed a little work on their presentation, like the Christmas fudge I will be doing mid December.  Rather than buy posh cello I’m using plain, and I decided to spend an evening getting to know my new sewing machine and making some gift bags from fabric scraps, some ribbon and I’ll make a nice tag for each one, ten minutes of cutting and pressing and ten minutes of sewing and I’ve made six for less than £1!