Sunday, 21 December 2014

Personalised Finger Print Family Tree Poster

I am familiar with Find Me A Gift and have used them for novelty gimmicky presents before but I never realised how many lovely gifts they have for the family and home.  It’s not just about quirky bits for hen nights or secret Santa’s but really well thought out gifts for any occasion.

I was sent the Personalised Finger Print Family Tree Poster and I absolutely love the idea!  You are sent a poster with your chosen surname on and you can then complete the tree with your fingerprints, the poster comes with the inkpads (in two shades of green) and then everyone in your family can help make the leaves.  You have quite a few options to tailor your poster, you can pick from three choices of tree (Ash, Birch or Mahogony) and five choices of frame colour (if you opt to having the frame included), so it will fit in well with the d├ęcor in your home.  If you just wanted the poster itself it costs £5.99 for A3 and £4.99 for A4.  We have not had a chance to put our finger prints on yet as my eldest has been feeling under the weather but I cannot wait till we do ours.

It is such a wonderful gift and the fact it’s so personal to your own family makes it extra special.  We were sent the framed version, which is an extra £8.99, its well worth paying that as the frame is a decent quality and finishes off the gift rather nicely.  Lots of people these days like to trace family history so making a finger print tree could become a treasured item to pass down to other members of your family in the future.

The finished tree will be something we cherish.  I think its charming having wall art that is this unique to your family, its not something you will see anywhere else.  I will definitely shop at Find Me A Gift more often now I know they stock such remarkable gifts.

Scruffs Review

My hubbie was sent one of the Scruffs polo shirts to introduce us to the brand.  I had not heard of Scruffs before but my first impressions were very positive.  The polo shirt looked lovely and felt like a quality item.  The website says that it is “Workwear” and the polo shirt certainly felt like it was hardwearing.  It has been washed numerous times already, hubbie really likes it so washes and wears it then repeats the process so its either on him or in the wash!  It has not made it as far as being left hanging in the wardrobe.

I doubt you could return to your regular workwear brand once you have seen what Scruffs offers.  They are an established company that have been running since 2003, I can see why; they have managed to make clothes with a great design and superior function.  I do not even think that the Scruffs brand should be restricted to trades people, lots of individuals want clothes that will help them look good and keep them comfortable in all conditions.  We live in Wales and just a walk to the shops can expose you to extreme weather! 

I would definitely order more items from the site, some of the products are priced very reasonably, like hoodie’s from £29.95 and the polo shirt sent for review £19.95.  I have seen a fair few items that hubbie would look great in; the Crew Neck Knit in particular would be my favourite.  The design is very modern but with a hardwearing and practical twist, it is fully lined to offer more protection so if your working outside you can look stylish but also be warm.

The Bottle Opener Belt would make an interesting gift!  Why settle for a plain old belt when you can have a dual purpose one, you can hold your jeans in place AND open a well earnt bottle of beer at the end of the working day, all for the reasonable price of £11.95!

You can search the website for your closest dealer so you can still pick up some Scruffs items in time for Christmas.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Happily Ever After

It can be tough saving up the money for a deposit to buy a house, whether it’s your first step onto the property ladder or the forever home you’re yearning after.  You have to scrimp and save each pound and try to find the required sum of money that often seems completely unobtainable at times!

If your renting it’s a good idea to check TSB’s mortgage repayment calculator to see if owning your own home will work out cheaper.  It might not always be the case but for me I think it’s a sensible investment for the future regardless.

We had to make sacrifices to save up our deposit, socialising and nights out were very rare and luxuries unheard of.  We kept a tight reign on our household budget only spending money on essentials (food and bills) and it was rewarding seeing the savings slowly build up.

It’s easy to lose track of some purchases like presents or remembering how much your current borrowing is costing you.  We have a spreadsheet with all our expenses listed and I regularly check it to see if I can make any savings.  We shop around for insurance products and when contracts are close to running out negotiate better deals.

It’s worth keeping an eye on energy prices and see if it’s in your interests to switch provider.  Hubbie is a fan of Quidco, so we get cashback on most of our online purchases and we are quite happy using own branded products at the supermarket if it means we have more money to squirrel away.

Hubbie has had to learn to do lots of DIY, paying out for home maintenance can be very expensive but the more you can do yourself the better!  Plus he has got more skilled as time has gone on, its amazing what you can learn just watching video's on YouTube, although he does get a bit dusty bless him!

I think having a budget is the best way to analyse if your spending more than you earn.  It’s easy to get carried away at certain times of year especially Christmas but if you know that you only have so much to spend it keeps you on the straight and narrow and hopefully away from the shops!