Christmas Gift Guide: Chocolate

christmas chocolate from CadburyWell it wouldn’t be Christmas without chocolate would it? This year we have been checking out some of the lovely chocolates and chocolate related goodies like biscuits and cakes that contain, you’ve guessed it, chocolate. It’s been a tough task, but someone had to do it and we’ve enjoyed being your taste testers.

Cadbury always have a good range of products for Christmas and our favourites were the Tree Decorations and the Advent Calendar.  What we tend to do is obviously use the Advent Calendar in the run up to Christmas, but spread the Christmas fun out a little more by eating a tree decoration for each of the twelve days of Christmas.  Buy a couple of packs and you can give a few extras out for good behaviour (or as bribes even).

christmas chocolate productsMars have some products that involve chocolate, but aren’t chocolate bars if that makes sense.  There’s the fab Galaxy Treat Cake which would be great for a Christmas party as you’d get quite a few portions out of it and it tastes fantastic.  We like the Teasers spread which would be fab as part of a special Christmas breakfast – as you’ve probably guessed it’s based on the Malteasers chocolates and has all the wonderful flavours of one of my favourite sweet treats.

christmas cracker chocolatesWouldn’t these Mini Chocolate Crisp Crackers look wonderful on a Christmas table?  I like the idea of using them as stocking fillers too.  Each box contains 6 crackers with 2 chocolates in each one, so that’s plenty for the table and you could use them as an after dinner treat, while you are waiting for the Christmas pudding.

 

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Are Men Better At Christmas Shopping Than Women?

men are better at xmas shoppingIntel have commissioned some consumer research with some really interesting findings this Christmas shopping season. According to the survey by Intel, men spend more than women on gifts to the tune of £100 more.  Women often end up splitting their budget between their partner and the children, with over a third spending more on the kids.

Another interesting fact is that 62% of us will shop online (I certainly will be for the most part, although I love the idea of selecting each gift lovingly from an independent store, there isn’t time when you are a busy mum).  A lot of those online shoppers will be checking out the Black Friday offers.  Black Friday reductions and offers are a big part of the Christmas shopping scene in the US and it looks like the trend is establishing itself over here too.

I don’t know about you, but like 60% of Brits I’m already worrying about finding the right gift.  It seems though that this year to right gift is a tablet with a third of us hoping to find a sleek tablet in our stocking this year.  I have to admit waking up on Christmas Day to a tablet of my own would be lovely.  The great thing is though, Nine to Three Thirty has a super stylish Acer Iconia A1 tablet up for grabs for one of our readers.

Enter via the Gleam widget below.

Competition Terms and Conditions

1. No bulk, third-party or automated entries.

2. Entrants must be UK residents aged 18 years or older.

3. The winners will be chosen by a random draw.

4. The winner will be notified by email and will have a week to claim their prize. Should they fail to respond within this time, an alternative winner will be selected.

5. Promoter is responsible for fulfilling the prize and full contact details of the winner will be passed onto the promoter.

6. Competition closes on 4 December 2014.
Acer Iconia A1 Tablet Giveaway

 

 

 

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Christmas Ice Rink at Webbs of Wychbold

learning to ice skateI’ve been meaning to take H ice skating again for so long.  We went to an outdoor rink in a local park a few years back and it was a total disaster because not only could H not skate, but I couldn’t really either on their horrible plastic ice rink.  When Webbs of Wychbold invited us along to try out their outdoor ice rink, I was a bit worried that perhaps I’d lost the knack of skating and it wasn’t just the fault of the nasty plastic.  It was quite a relief when we got on the ice to find that all those teenage Saturday mornings skating round and round our local rink hadn’t been wasted.  I could ice skate and quite well. Result!

banana ice skating aidI knew before we went that H would struggle to keep his balance.  Balance is not one of H’s strong points and we have been struggling a bit with roller skating.  Luckily Webbs have 2 frames available for trainee skaters.  One is like a zimmerframe which helps you keep your balance on the ice.  H found this a bit of a struggle, so we swapped ours for a banana.  This meant that Mummy had to do most of the world, but H still got to go on the ice and get some of the sensations of skating as his skates were still on the rink surface.

What I really liked about the Webbs’ rink is that it is:

  • Real ice
  • It’s outdoors, but there is a clear roof.  You get the feel of being outside without the downsides of the weather.
  • Skatehire included in the price.
  • Skateaids available for learners.
  • The sessions are about the right length: 45 minutes.  Long enough to have a good go, without being too long and getting bored or tired.
  • There’s plenty of other things to do and see at Webbs so you can make a longer trip of your ice skating session.  There is a playground and a garden, plus the most enormous garden centre with pets, fish, toys, food hall, cafe, Hobbycraft and more.

paper cups with gloved hands onAnother plus point for me was the cafe next door to the rink.  I was quite warm after the skating session because I’d been doing all the skating, but you soon cool down once you stop.  It was lovely to pop next door to the cafe for an apres-skate hot chocolate and muffin session.  We really loved the gloved hands on the hot chocolate paper cups too.  I think we’ll be back.

 

 

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NattyMat Review and Giveaway

nattymatWhat’s your routine for after a swimming session?  After showing and drying my body, I use my towel to dry my hair and keep wet hair off my clothes (wearing it turban style) while I get dressed.  Once that’s done I turn my attention to getting my feet dry before I put shoes and socks on by standing on my towel and using it to dry my feet.  Next up I put the wet stuff in a plaky bag and off we go.  This works reasonably well, but it’s not ideal.  My feet aren’t that dry as I’m putting my trousers on.  If the floor is very wet, my towel gets soaking wet and it always needs washing after use. Plastic bags often develop a hole (and they won’t be giving them away so freely soon).

NattyMat have come up with a solution.  The mat arrives as a zipped up semi-circle.  You unzip it and it become a circular towelling mat, just the right size for standing on.  Once you are dry and dressed you pop your wet stuff inside and zip it up.  No more leaking plastic bags.  It’s a really simple idea and it works really well for us.  When you want to wash it you just it in the washing machine at up to 40 degrees and air dry (don’t tumble dry). The fabric side is made from super soft bamboo which feels great on your feet.  Another use for the NattyMat is as a portable seat when you are outdoors for a quick breather when you’re walking or a impromptu picnic stop.

Readers of Nine to Three Thirty have the chance to win 1 of 2 NattyMats.

Competition Terms and Conditions

1. No bulk, third-party or automated entries.

2. Entrants must be UK residents aged 18 years or older.

3. The winners will be chosen by a random draw.

4. The winner will be notified by email and will have a week to claim their prize. Should they fail to respond within this time, an alternative winner will be selected.

5. Promoter is responsible for fulfilling the prize and full contact details of the winner will be passed onto the promoter.

6. Competition closes on 10 December 2014.
NattyMat Giveaway

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