Tag Archives: Gifts

Get Fathers Day Wrapped Up In An Instant

11 Jun

Father’s Day is drawing closer so I thought I’d share some fun and funky treats that I think are awesome gift ideas for Fathers Day.

Here’s my top 5 contenders… I’m counting down here with number 1 being my top pick.

At number 5… A 12 Week Beer Subscription For Dad from BeerBods

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Price – £36 (12 Week Subscription)

Product – BeerBods offer more than just a case of beers to your door but instead an online resource (plus a case of 12 beers delivered at your door). The idea is for BeerBods to deliver dad 12 bottles of bear then for dad to drink and share (just one bear a week) with the online BeerBods community. Each week BeerBods tell dad what beer to drink and the story behind it as he drinks it. Dad then shares his thoughts with the BeerBods community!

A great gift for beer loving dads who are quite opinionated when it comes to a pint.

4) Personalised Silver Hand Stamped Word Ring From – Boutique To You

Price – £45

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Product Info – Personalised Silver Hand-Stamped Word Ring that comes beautifully gift boxed. The personalised silver word ring is made to order and you can choose whatever word you wish to be stamped on it. How about the name if his child? I thought it would be a great gift for Father’s Day if dad has more than one child. If each child buys dad a ring then these would equal a great stacking set!

3) Personalised Tax Disc Cufflinks From – Firebox

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Price £29.99

Product Info – What a fun and funky gift idea for any dad. Following in the great personalised apparel tradition of monogrammed hankies, and your Mum writing your name on the tag of your jumper, Firebox bring you these Personalised Tax Disc Cuff Links. I think they are Awesome.

2) Why My Daddy Is Brilliant (Personalised Book) From ‘Not On The High Street

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Price – £15.95

Product Info – More than a card, this beautifully illustrated twelve-page book is a wonderful way for children to show their love for daddy. From favourite hobbies to why they make them smile, the book has been especially written for children to say why they love the ‘superhero’ in their life. It even features blank frames for them to draw their own illustrations in or stick their favourite photographs in! Whether it’s as a family memento or a bedtime read, this book will forever be a reminder of a child’s love for their own ‘superhero’.

How can any daddy be anything other than chuffed with a gift like that.

In the number one spot it’s the gift I’ve chosen for that of my own father…

… 1) Dinner at one of three Marco Pierre White’s London restaurants (tasty 3 course meal for two and a cocktail too) Brought to us by ‘Buy A Gift

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Price – £50

Product Info – The personalised gift website lets you purchase an experience voucher, activate it and then from their you simply book your reservation with one of the three restaurants on offer, My choice being that of London’s Kings Road Marco Pierre white restaurant. Whats more this fantastic 4 star rated deal is currently on special offer, allowing costumers to purchase this yummy fathers day treat at just £50 instead of £101 making it just under half price for three courses of fantastic fine food.

Here’s whats included for that very special price…. The Kings Road Steakhouse & Grill is a traditional steakhouse in the heart of Chelsea, serving a mouth-watering range of classic steak cuts, as well as a wide variety of timeless English dishes – making it the perfect place to enjoy an indulgent meal for two! You’ll be treated to three courses from a menu including the finest quality steaks, roast meats and fish mainboards in the area, as well as a refreshing Champagne cocktail each

This is the perfect gift idea for the hard to buy for dad who has everything, or one who just appreciates a nice bit of steak (as I know mine does).

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to write this by any of the above brands. I just wanted to share some great potential gift ideas with you all.

Review – Monster High Skultimate Roller Maze (3D -addition) On 3DS

21 Apr

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Monster High 3D Skultimate Roller Maze is currently the game of choice in our house. With a 10 year old daughter who is indeed monster high bonkers, what else would you expect.

Alice-Sara was made up at being given the opportunity to review a game based on the wacky monster high characters. She already has a huge collection of the dolls… Near on 50 to be exact so she of cause liked the idea of seeing them come to life in a 3d game.

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Roller Maze reminds me of super Mario cart and I love Mario cart! However, instead of little mushrooms sat behind the wheel of little cars, we have freaky but somewhat awesome leggy monsters on roller skates racing one another around various different courses.

Skultimate Roller Maze, allows you to Pick your favourite Monster High character to race the crypts of Monster High and other schools. Along the way you must collect power-ups while trying your best to avoid other monstrous obstacles.

Each character has its own unique abilities designed to help them win the race.

FEATURES
Race as Your Favorite Monster High Character Each with Unique Abilities
Compete on Multiple Treacherous Courses with Distinctive Themes from Your Favorite Monster High Episode
Customize Your Character and Team to Scream to Victory
Capture Monstrous Pick Ups to Help Your Team
Unique Gameplay Modes to Keep the Racing Spirited
Discover Freaky Hidden Items as You Race Your Team to Victory
Choose Multiple Difficulty Settings to Match Your Skull Skill

If like Alice-Sara, your child is a monster high fan, they certainly won’t be disappointed with this game. Having the release in 3D makes it all the more exciting.

Alice gives this game a big fat 8 out of 10… More courses and music would be an added bonus but on the whole its really great and we love it.

Monster High Skultimate Roller Maze (3D) is available to purchase from most well respected UK retailers now!

Disclaimer: We were sent the game free of charge for the purpose of this review. Nonetheless all opinions are honest and that of my own and my daughters.

Thank Goodness Its Over

2 Jan

Firstly, let me start by wishing you all a very happy new year. Here’s hoping all your hopes and dreams are granted this year.

We may only be in the first few days of 2013 but what an eventful few days these have been… Well in our household anyway! With the children still off school it sure hasn’t been quiet!

Little man’s routine has gone totally off course and once again as a result I have a child who sleeps all day and is awake all night. Yes, I do drag his backside from his pit most days but when you’ve spent most the night awake yourself it is kind of tempting to let him sleep. One, your able to get stuff done and two… Have you ever tried dragging a 12 year old boy from his bed? Especially one who has the tendency to wake in a super foul mood? I rest my case!

Still, its to be expected I guess! Christmas and New year does tend to interfere with the body clock of a child on the autism spectrum. OK, he isn’t the best of sleepers generally, its just that bit worse these past few weeks. That’s why I’m kinda glad its all over now… Well it will be once the children are back at school. I don’t wanna sound all ba humbug, I actually love this festive time of year though I also love a little normality in the house (not that we are your average family on most days but I guess you get my drift).

So… Let me tell you a little about our Christmas and New year…. There was lots of fun in our house. Christmas itself was really pleasant. Yes, dinner was a tad later than expected, but it was actually really nice and chilled. That’s as chilled as Christmas can be! I know for some it can be a really stressful day. Especially when you have a child on the autism spectrum who likes everything to run like clockwork. However, this year we managed an almost stress free day. Keeping things small really helped. There was no huge family dinner, just me and the kids and their father. We briefly popped to my mums in the morning which was really short and sweet, then we sat watching Christmas TV with a load of Quality street within reach. Dinner did ran a little late as mentioned but I blamed the Turkey! It had clearly been living in another time zone when living as it had no intention on playing by the rules and cooking in accordance with the timescales so clearly stated on the packet. Little man did get a little stressed at this point but so did I. Maybe it was a mix of his Aspergers traits and that of hunger. I’m guessing it was more of the latter as I know I was close to starting on the pudding I’d prepared at some point.

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As mentioned in a previous post, that of Boxing Day didn’t go so well. With no schedule as such little man was handed a dose of the post Christmas blues and handled this in the only way he knew how… With a Good old fashioned meltdown… Little man style.

As the days passed, Little man kinda felt as if he was in limbo. The week between Christmas and New Year is a hard one for little man and I can kind of understand why. I swear, even I was unaware of what day it was occasionally. With money spent up on Christmas I found myself with nothing else to do but watch television and even I was getting pretty bored of this. What with one day being a holiday and the next day not, supermarket opening times still up in the air and not knowing if the rubbish would be collected or not (not great when you have a bin full of turkey bones, rotten veg and a truck load of gift wrap) you can’t blame him for the confusion… or me for the lack of schedule planning.

As for New Years Eve, well, this was spent with my mum. Just myself, mother and the children. So again a pretty quiet family affair (that’s if you don’t include the noise that was coming from little mans direction)!

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You see, little man gets somewhat excitable when it comes to New Year. He is petrified of fireworks, but only when stood beneath them, so the prospect of watching them on the television is one of great excitement for him. As the stroke of midnight grew closer little mans excitement was growing off the scale. He had come up with this wild and somewhat bonkers idea to do his own countdown for the benefit of his youtube channel (have I not yet mentioned his growing fascination with creating videos for youtube? Another time maybe). Anyway this meant that he wasn’t only sat filming the mental piece clock but that of the TV. As the stroke of midnight finally came we were not only greeted by the sound of the fabulous London firework display on the TV as well as a somewhat loopy firework hating barking dog running around mums living room but the sound of little man as he commentated the whole thing in his own unique style (sweet you may thing but you were not the ones reaching for the Paracetamol so early on in the night)!

So… There you have it. With all the festivities well and truly over I’m just about ready for the year ahead. I have our holiday to butlins in April to look forward to but before that I have a monster high themed sleepover/party to organise for a very excited 9 soon to be 10 year old daughter…. The joys of being a kid!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas too…. Heres to a splendid & wonderful 2013.

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#silentsunday

30 Dec

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Ikea stocking fillers in aid of Save the Children & UNICEF

19 Dec

IKEA are back again with their annual Soft Toy Campaign! For every soft toy and children’s book sold between October 21st and December 23rd 2012 the IKEA Foundation will donate €1 to UNICEF and Save the Children, to support worldwide education programs, ensuring more children around the world can go to school. This yearly campaign has so far raised a total of €47.4 million since 2003 and has helped improve the lives of more than eight million vulnerable children.

I’m writing today to share a couple of the items included in this years campaign, and what with it being under a week till christmas and the final week of the campaign, I urge you to get yourselves down to Ikea to take advantage of the brilliant, reasonably priced toys while raising much needed funds for UNICEF & Save the Children.

The two items we were sent came from the KLAPPAR CIRUS range of toys. This range is bold, bright, and reasonably priced, all the things I like in a soft toy.

We reviewed the KLAPPER CIRKUS Finger puppets that can be brought for just £4.99.

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This is a fabulous stocking filler, a traditional toy that reminds me of those you purchase at Christmas markets. The puppet stand is made from brightly coloured card so not the most durable but all the little finger puppets are beautifully stitched felt with lovely detailing and considering there are eight of them, a fiver seems little money to pay for this set. These puppets are bright and fun and the toddler absolutely adores them.

We were also sent KLAPPAR CIRUS – Soft Toy Rabbit which cost just £4 to buy.

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This super soft white bunny is ultra cuddly. His of a nice size and good quality. I love his floppy ears and long whiskers. What gives him that something extra is this bunnies sense of style. He looks dashing in his purple glittery jacket and top hat and reminds me somewhat of the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.

Again the toddler loves this toy and the white rabbit has now become a permeant fixture to the end of his bed.

For £4 the soft white rabbit makes a lovely Christmas gift for very little money.

Other toys in the ikea soft bear campaign include soft toys and books for as little as £1.

Here’s a few other ideas for those Christmas stockings.

VANDRING HARE – Soft Toy Rabbit £5

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VANDRING IGELKOTT – Squeaky toy hedgehog £2

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VANDRING – Book ‘The Hedgehog Leaves Home’ £5

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I love this statement made by Ikea! It really sums up what the campaigns about and while you should pop along and buy your child a soft toy from them this Christmas…

“At IKEA, we believe all children deserve the right to simply be children – free to play, learn and develop, that’s why we work hard to give millions of children a better start in life. By buying a Soft Toy from IKEA this Christmas, not only are you giving to your child, but also to millions of underprivileged children around the world.”

I was not paid to write this post but did receive two toy samples so that we could share our honest feedback on these products. All words are my own and have not been Influence in any way.

Homemade Vintage Christmas Gifts

11 Dec

Christmas is a really expensive time. There are so many gifts to buy which adds up to a considerable amount of money.

However, Not everything has to cost the earth. We Can actually give really special gifts In a cost-effective way.

It’s all about being creative and using your resources. Plus homemade gifts can be much more special. Its shows that you put thought into your gift and that means more than the price tag.

Here we have a simple upcycle gift that’s perfect for the lady who loves everything vintage and shabby chic.

Vintage inspired Jewellery stand made with vintage Queen Ann Tea set

Tea set brought from Auction as part of a huge box full of china for £3

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First choose a selection of vintage style saucers and side plates these must descend in size (around 3 is good) you will also need a tea cup and 2 Miniature Glasses for example… Sherry glasses.

Other items you will need is a glue brush and some good strong Adhesive (I’m using Mosaic adhesive).

Make sure all your saucers, glasses and tea cup are clean. Also be sure to check your chosen china isn’t some vintage Antique find that’s worth a small fortune.

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Right now to assemble your jewellery stand.

Step one… Start with the largest of your 3 plates and chose a glass. Stand your glass upside down and glue around the the bottom of your glass. Now carefully place your saucer/plate decorated side down, on top of the base of the glass being sure to place the base in the centre.

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Be patient and hold firmly for a few minutes.

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Wipe of any excess glue that may have come out from the sides of your glass onto your saucer.

Step two… Once you feel the plate is now strong enough stand up the right way so it looks as though the glass is just stood in the centre of your side plate. Now very carefully glue around the glasses rim and place your second plate that is smaller than your first on top of the glass. This time you are gluing the glass to the centre base of the plate. Again hold firmly and wipe of any excess glue.

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Step 3… Once your plate is strong enough take your second glass and add the glue to the rim of the glass. Now place onto the centre of your plate. This can only be stuck to the decorated side of your plate. Hold and wipe of excess glue.

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Step 4… Now glue the rim of the same glass and place the base of your smallest saucer on top.

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Step 5… Lastly glue the base of your chosen tea cup and place it on top of your plates decorated side.

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To finish add a pretty vintage gift tag tired with twine and dangle from the teacups handle.

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Finished!

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This blog post is an entry into the Tots100/Experience Days Christmas Craft Competition”

Tots100 Experience Days Competition

Help your child with Aspergers to get the most out of Christmas

3 Dec

1 – if like my little man you’re child with Aspergers isn’t big on surprises then simply don’t surprise them! I used to hate that little man used to get anxious about what I was getting him for Christmas. He would worry himself sick that I’d get it all wrong so now he buys his gifts with me.

2 – Plan well ahead for Christmas Day. If possible try to spend Christmas at home so there isn’t to much change.

3 – We all know its the month for advent calendars. Little man can’t help but to open all the doors on day 1, just to munch the chocolate (sweet tooth like his mother).This year we are trying the LEGO Advent calendar and given he can’t eat the Lego this is working out pretty well.

3 – Let your child become involved in the overall planning of the day. Make a visual timetable together and let them hang it in their bedroom at least 3 weeks before the date.

4 – if your child has extra sensitive hearing and therefore freaks out every time someone decides to pull a cracker, then why not introduce an alternative to crackers. I shared a post on my sister blog mummy of many talents where I made cute table flavours made with a paper doyley and ribbon. You can pack this out with cracker treats and paper crowns so no one loses out.

5 – If your child is a fussy eater then its worth making a separate meal plan for them. however, do encourage your child to try some of what your serving up. Little man has gone from only eating a small selection of Christmas dinner to most of what we eat which makes dinner time a much each time.

6 – Don’t be surprised if your child with Aspergers just laughs in your face when you announce that Santa is watching to see if his been bad or good. Little man was just 4 years old when he informed me that he knew Santa was a fictional being. He told me it just didn’t make sense and was not logical for a man with a white bead and fat belly to be able to deliver presents to every single child in the world, let-alone fit through their chimneys. Yes, it broke my heart but this is the way he is and I expect this (as long as he doesn’t ruin it for his siblings)!

7 – don’t over do the tape when you wrap the Christmas presents. Little man struggles more than most as he has difficulties with his fine motor skills and he becomes all fingers and thumbs as he sits frustrated as he tries to rip the paper of his gifts… I then have to sit unwrapping the gifts I’ve spent the night wrapping.

8 – Little man has a lot of trouble sleeping and Christmas Eve is no exception. If your child takes melatonin then try to stop giving it to them around 5 days before Christmas Eve. This means that when you reintroduce it come Christmas Eve the body is more excepting and it therefore works much better (after all there is nothing worse then meltdowns on Christmas Day).

9 – Let your child have time to unwind and relax doing what they want on Christmas morning. Don’t be offended if your child offloads the gifts to their bedroom and then wraps the duvet around them why they settle on the sofa watching cartoons. Little man does this. Its not that his not excited about his gifts its just that he needs time to unwind and fully wake up before opening anything… Things will soon liven up so just enjoy the peace and peel the spuds.

10 – Don’t forget batteries! Every child will throw a wobbler if you do, but the child with Aspergers just don’t get how you forget and meltdowns can be mighty.

11 – Avoid doing the food shop with the kids in toll. Its bad enough taking your child with Aspergers to the supermarket but if you take them at this busy time you’re just asking for trouble.

12 – I’ve been trying for years to stop little man asking family and friends how much they paid for his gifts and where they brought them from. Its just that he can’t help but know it actually eats him up inside if he doesn’t. Family have come accustomed to his probing and we try to not make to much of a big deal of it now. My mum will go as far as leaving the prices on for a peaceful life.

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Baker Days Letterbox Cake Perfect For The Festive Season

1 Dec

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My mum is a very special woman, not only because she’s my mum but simply because she’s a fabulous one. she has been there through all the struggles with getting little man diagnosed and statemented, plus she helped me through the tough discrimination case I ended up filing against his old mainstream school. That’s why I feel I could not possibly thank her enough.

When I was asked if I wanted to review a Baker days letterbox cake I couldn’t think of a more deserving recipient then my mum.

All I had to do was choose my design, flavour and message. Baker days did the rest and two days after confirming my order a beautiful Baker days letterbox cake that was so lovingly packaged in its own tin with a personalised card and mini party pack, popped through my mothers letterbox.

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Using the website was easy (except the fact I was spoilt for choice)! There are over 400 designs so it was never going to be easy. Baker days cater for all occasions and can supply party and cupcakes as well as the letterbox cake I sent to mum.

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Whats more they are able to personalise your chosen cake with your special message and even a photo if desired! Plus order by 1pm and they can safely deliver your cake the next day (normal delivery is free, however, next day delivery will cost more).

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Without the next day service, mums cake still arrived in an impressive two days. I was shocked but impressed when she called to thank me.

The letterbox cake supplies its recipient with 4 nice sized potions of beautiful fresh cake. Its cleverly packed to fit through the standard letterbox so you don’t even need to worry if anybody is home to take the order.

Mum loved her surprise letterbox cake the only problem we had was cutting it… It was just to pretty to want to spoil.

We eventually got over it… and the cake that was of course chocolate, went down pretty well with a cuppa.

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You can check out Baker days who offer free delivery by clicking Here

Glow In The Dark Paintings

29 Nov

As mentioned I’m keen to get our falling down house in order and create little man a sensory room.

I’ve shared my ideas here on the blog before… Just check out this post.

As a result I was contacted by a lovely online company called Switch The Lights Off who create art that glows in the dark.They have a particular interest in autism and a percentage of each sold painting goes to the National Autistic Society.

They so kindly offered to send little man a glow in the dark painting and Alice and the toddler received a glowing door plaque each.

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All art is personalised and every piece is hand painted. Little man was sent a canvas painting of a funky punk sporting a fantastic Mohican. This image is aimed at teens and older children but there are a host of other images to chose from and I’m sure there is something to suit all ages and tastes.

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We choose for little mans image to be painted in gold so it looks great even when it isn’t glowing. When the lights are switched off the image of the punk and that of little mans name look amazing as it glows a Magnificent green.

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Both the paintings and door signs are perfect for any child’s bedroom especially that of a sensory room. Your painting can be super charged with a UV Torch that literally has it glowing in seconds.

I love how each painting is personalised and hand painted. I admit I was sceptical at just how well these would glow but… WOW, I’m really impressed with the results.

What the brand told me (Diane & Steve from ‘Switch off the lights’ )…

“We are very passionate about these products and really want them to work.
The beauty of this artwork was that it was founded from an idea from Steve’s daughter, who wanted a painting that glowed in the dark whilst she was going to sleep.

We want to help mum’s & dad’s with their children in getting them to sleep. Most of us at one time or another have had nights where we are dropping asleep at the ends of the child’s bed, whilst little one is still wide awake.

We know it can be quite a big problem sometimes getting them to settle at night. So we hope these paintings and door plaques will benefit in some small way to help.”

These really are unique and special. Both younger and older children can enjoy a glowing piece of art work given the great selection of designs on offer.

Alice’s door plaque looks ultra trendy with her glowing name displayed on a pink plague, in a really groovy graffiti styled way! Its Sick ( or so she informs me)!

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Harley’s is blue and the writing style is really bold and glows fantastically.

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These would make a great Christmas presents for children who like that something a little bit different.

A great idea for any child’s sensory pad too… So, a fabulous gift idea for a child on the autism spectrum. Plus don’t forget, when you buy, ‘The National Autistic Society’ are given a contribution off the sales to help them to continue to do the fantastic and much needed work they carry out.

To check out more design visit the online store by clicking Here

A Comfy Treat For Mum

9 Oct

It’s nice to have a treat every now and then and given its the second year of our Santas Little Helpers feature I was asked to review some super Luxurious pyjamas.

I hold my hands up, if I’m not leaving my house then I’m living in comfy pjs. Now for this reason I do consider myself as a bit of a pyjama expert. I’ve heard people state “Oh just get me any pyjamas there only for bed” you should see the look of horror on my face when I hear that.

I love pyjamas they are my safety and comfort net. But before I go on its important to state that no… I do not go out the House in them. I can’t stand it when I spot women out and about sporting pyjamas, especially down at the school, It’s just not classy ladies.

I still want to feel comfortable when at home whether it while I’m sleeping (which I get very little off) or just lounging around the house. Everything from the fit to the material matters to me. Now I haven’t got loads of money to spend on expensive pyjamas but when I do buy some, I buy one’s that are designed to last more than one wash, ones I feel were really worth the money when I spot them sat folded in my draw a year on.

So, the pyjamas I was sent are called Cyberjammies which are sold by that of “The Pyjama Store” and they are quite simply lovely.

Cyberjammies are designed with comfort in mind and this very stylish Cabaret Pyjama Set is no exception.

Cyberjammies are designed for anyone in need of a good night’s sleep and I’m really in need of one of those.

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At £45.00 you may have a mini heart attack but once these Cyberjammies arrive in there own draw string bag, you will discover that for the sheer quality and comfort they offer this isn’t so much after all. These pyjamas will last you for years (judging you don’t grow or fluctuate in weight). They are made from the softest material and both top and bottoms are 100% cotton. These are thin but somehow amazingly warm too.The trousers are the ultimate in super comfort and hang like a pyjama bottom should… Allowing your skin to breathe.

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I somehow wished this was a catalogue and I could provide you with one of those little fabric attachments stuck by the image of the garment (do you remember these)? Only it is hard to put into words how nice this fabric really is. Not even the picture can display just how luxurious these are!

It just seems the more I wash them the more comfy they become. They don’t shrink, bubble or fade… They remain soft and lovely.

I do love them and feel that many other women will. These are an ideal Christmas gift and I’m so impressed I’ll be ordering more.

Now do ignore these images if you like! I’m not such a photo person these days and trying to get a full body shoot by yourself doesn’t always lead to the most flattering images.

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Readers of the book can get free delivery from the Pyjama Store by using the code ABWAFreeD
To check out these Pyjamas and others drop by the online store and have a nosey!

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