Trash Pack series five is here. Our kids' version of our generation's Boglins and Garbage Pail Kids, the Trash Pack are sold in 'blind bags' or sets of five. The new releases come in their own yellow toilets, which my son found hilarious. He's at the anything gross is awesome stage, so we will be asking Santa for a sprinkling of Trash Pack blind bags in his Christmas stocking. Available in Tesco, Toys R Us and Smyths.
Baked in Belfast is a good old cottage industry based in Northern Ireland. Suzanne creates handmade & hand painted plaques and decorations, and all year round plates depicting Belfast landmarks and phrases.
The BakedinBelfast.com Christmas collection arrived at our house yesterday, much to my son's delight he had two snowmen, due to Suzanne knowing his nickname too. We've chatted on Twitter for a few years and my son Michael is also known as WeeSmyth, so he had a snowman ornament of each name for his own tree in his room. Thank you, Suzanne!
We also got a Welcome to the Smyths' ceramic heart, totally cute. The main tree isn't up in our house until Saturday, but this will be on there. Fancy your own family bauble? Get in contact with Suzanne on Twitter.
Now Christmas isn't Christmas without some sort of special jam or chutney making an appearance to 'oohs' and 'ahhs' of 'try a bit of this with your Brie'. Baked in Belfast is your stop for these treats too. As well as regular flavours, there are cocktail inspired jams, Christmas infused chutneys and sweet chilli flavours to zing up your cheese and crackers game. Which will you go for?
A real, full-size Christmas tree for, well, sort of for a fiver. From 7th December you can pick up a real tree from Ikea, Belfast, for £25 and they'll give you a £20 voucher to spend in the new year.
We took advantage of this offer last year. You pay inside and get a token, take it to the tree lot in the car peak and pick any tree, big, small, 6ft or 3ft, and the staff take your token and give you your £20 voucher for after Christmas. Now this isn't even a '£20 off if you spend £100' type voucher, this is an actual £20 voucher you can walk in and spend on anything come January. So if you usually buy bits and pieces in Ikea anyway, it kind of means you're getting a real Christmas tree for just a fiver out of pocket.
Last December we got our Ikea tree on the 1st, and it lasted really well. Very little needle drop. So we will see you this Saturday morning, if you too decide it's too good a deal to miss.
I can never be a HandpickedCollection.com team member. To be one of their experts you need exquisite taste, an eye for stylish gadgets and an understanding of which gifts for which friend or family member.
I don't have good taste. I live for kitsch for goodness sake. I'm about neon fake fur and glittery plastic stag heads. So when I want to find something pretty as a gift for an aunt, or my lovely Mother-in-Law, Handpicked Collection is a handy place to start.
This week they sent me a cosy pair of 100% cashmere arm warmers which will go perfectly with my cape coat that doesn't cover my lower arms.
The second gift Handpicked Collection sent me was this tiny key birdhouse. We only have one car key, which my husband and I share, so putting the key in one place in the hallway so it didn't go missing (I lost it in my shoe last week) is a great idea. It now goes straight into the birdhouse when we walk in the door.
Handpicked Collection is packed to the virtual rafters will gift ideas. Here are some more clever, kooky and cool items in stock now, some with 20-30% off at the moment too.
Click to take a closer look and search on HandpickedCollection,com to buy.
Crazy, bearded genius that he is, Bob Done will be painting personal mini-tattoos based on people's loves and likes depicted in their Instagram feeds. Bob started the hashtag #DoMeAPaintingBob a few weeks back, and if you reposted his image with the hashtag, a few days later a little personalised painting would pop up in your feed.
I love mine, a cupcake castle, because I love buns and home interiors.
Want a chance to get your own, unique Bob Done doodle? Visit his Instagram feed for details, post a pic with his hashtag and tune in for his 24 hour paint-a-thon this week.
There are several online takeaway websites, but Takeaway.com stands out to me for two reasons. Firstly, their free app actually works really well, and if you're on a smart phone it can pinpoint your location and tell you which restaurants near by will deliver to your current position. Very handy if you're at a party somewhere and don't know the postcode. You can also manually enter a delivery address, and pay using card. This would be a cool idea if you've a son or daughter at university who needs a good feed turning up on their doorstep.
My favourite Indian in town, The Green Chilli, is on all the various takeaway sites, so I was pleased to see they were part of Takeaway.com too so I could order Indian takeaway tonight. If your local area has many restaurants signed up, you can narrow your search by selecting just the type of food you're looking for.
Once you've filled your basket with all you desire, you can next pick a delivery time. I was ordering around 5pm, so I didn't pick as soon as possible, I chose 7pm when I knew I'd have our son settled for the night.
Your method of payment can be cash on delivery, the traditional takeaway route, or you can prepay with a card, or with Paypal. This I was very impressed with and is the second stand out unique point against other similar sites. Until now, if I've had money stuck in Paypal and no card or cash money, the only place I've been able to get food from is Dominos. Now my local favourites are available with Paypal payment, I'll be using Green Chilli even more often.
You can also pay for your order with Bitcoin if you order via the website instead of the app.
Roll on 7pm. My food ended up arriving at 725pm which was a little odd as Green Chilli are never late, I wonder is there a Takeaway.com specific driver? Or was I just unlucky tonight with a new delivery driver? Anyway, the food was still warm and still as delicious as ever.
Thank you, Takeaway,com, for letting me sample your service.