Last Minute Homemade Gifts

Last Minute Christmas Gifts

Run out of time to order presents? Only got evenings left when the shops you want aren’t open?

Home made gifts are brilliant! Here are a few ideas.

Cookie mix in a jar:
Put the following dry ingredients in a jar.
* 210g plain flour
* 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 100g caster sugar
* 340g milk or white chocolate chips
* 110g dark brown soft sugar

Add a ribbon and attach a card with the following instructions:
In a bowl mix 170g butter, 1 1/2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract together. Add the dry mixture. Put tablespoons of the mix onto baking trays. Bake in a preheated 190 C / Gas 5 oven for 8 – 10 minutes.

Shortbread biscuits
Preheat oven to 190 C or gas 5. Beat 125g butter and 55g of sugar together. Stir in 180g of plain flour.
Roll out the dough and use cookie cutters to make the biscuit shapes. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes and then bake for 15-20 minutes.
Wrap the cooled biscuits in brown paper and decorate with red ribbon.

Flowery Soaps
Line ice cube trays with cling film.
Melt as many bars of clear soap in a Pyrex bowl over a pan of hot water. Pour the melted soap into the ice cube trays. Decorate them with small flowers, bits of lavender and other fresh smelling herbs.
Set the soaps in the fridge or freezer. Once set, turn out of the ice cube trays and wrap them in tissue paper.

Have fun getting creative!

5 Must Haves for Babies First Christmas

Yes, I know it’s only October. But October is nearly over and Christmas is less than two months away. Instead of the usual gift guide I have put together a list of categories to give you ideas if you are stuck for gift buying. My Amelia will be 7 months old at Christmas. My partner and I have already agreed that we are not going to spend a lot as she won’t really understand and will be spoilt rotten by her uncles, grandparents and all our friends. Below are five things Amelia will have. All of them are priced under £20 and are perfect for little ones.

1) A Keepsake
We found this gorgeous ‘my first Christmas’ bauble in Clinton Cards. It is similar to a snow globe and has space for a photo. It’s really pretty and is a perfect reminder of Amelia’s first Christmas to hang on our tree every year.

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2) A Bed Time Story
I’m a firm believer in a bed time routine. Once Amelia starts getting sleepy we bath her and give her her bedtime bottle. Our perfect story book is Find My Name in the Alphabet Train by Dr Niamh. It’s so well designed, colourful and is personalised with your little ones name. The character inside is also designed based on eye colour, hair colour and skin tone so your little one can actually find themself in the book . In the back you can choose a message to have written. It’s also something to keep in a memory box once your little one has out grown it. It’s available here.

3) Something to Play With
Amelia has plenty of toys but as she gets bigger and is learning she needs more stimulating things. I found these wonderful wooden puzzle sets on studio, they come in a wooden box which is personalised with your little ones name.

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4) Something Warm and Cosy
For this category I picked a lovely soft pink dressing gown. Again this is personalised with her name and from studio. I think the personalisation on the gifts makes the presents extra special as they are for Amelia only.

5) Something to Eat
I haven’t bought this one yet but it is going to be a small selection box. One of the wonderful things about Christmas is the chance to eat a lot of yummy things that aren’t as readily available the rest of the year.

***  I was sent ‘find my name in the alphabet train’ for the purpose of this post. All opinions are my own  ***

Baby’s First Christmas

Amelia will be 7 months old at Christmas. What on Earth do you get a seven month old? I know so many first time mums that have gone crazy and spent hundreds of pounds on gifts for their little ones only to find that on Christmas day their babies are more interested in the boxes and the wrapping paper than the presents inside.

So what have we decided to do for Amelia?

For us it’s not only Amelia’s first Christmas, but our first Christmas in our own home so it’s exciting. However we have decided that we are only going to buy her a few things and put aside the rest of the money we would have spent so that next Christmas when she is walking and more interested she can have more gifts.

Of course we could go into a toy shop and spend hundreds of pounds and we could just as easily spend a fortune on pretty dresses. But for one they don’t mean anything to her yet and for two she has reflux. That pretty £55 Spanish dress would be vommitted on in less than ten minutes and most likely stained beyond help.

Amelia has the following gifts so far:

1) three story books

2) a Minnie Mouse blanket

3) a Winnie the Pooh bib, sock and hair bow set

She will also have an outfit or two, a teddy and a few small toys i.e ones for in the bath and a shape sorter.

The quantity of parcels under the tree is by no means an indicator of how much our princess means to us. We don’t love her any less because we are not going to buy her expensive dresses and toys beyond her understanding. We just want to wait to buy her all those things until she’s a bit older. She is spoilt rotten by her nannies and already has a walker and a jumperoo. We want to wait and see what Titch is interested in, whether there is a colour she prefers or a character on the TV that she loves.