#ChristmasGiftGuide English Heritage Christmas Shop

Christmas is approaching fast, so make sure you’re prepared with gifts this year. At English Heritage Shop we’ve handpicked a selection of historically inspired gifts, which will make for a gift to remember. We have options for women, men and kids, so no matter who you’re shopping for you’re bound to find something.

You can also get 10% off all orders over £35 when you use code ’10AFF35′ at checkout. Code expires 5th January 2020. Excludes Barbour range, sale, Outdoor Play & Outdoor Fun lines and Gift of Membership.

Christmas Gifts Category Image 2019 new

The English Heritage Guide to London’s Blue Plaques

The official, illustrated English Heritage guide, with over 950 of London’s most interesting inhabitants and their former homes brought to life.

Our Price £17.99 – Click here.

the-english-heritage-guide-to-londons-blue-plaques

Santa’s Express Train Set

Bring a touch of Christmas cheer into your home with this Santa’s Express Train Set. Including a wagon full of presents, a closed van full of secret gifts and an oval shaped track, this set is perfect to set up around the base of your Christmas tree. It is powered by a mains plug and has a RM motor so the train can be set to go on its course day after day. This set makes a great Christmas gift for any train lover.

Our Price £55.00 – Click here.

santa-s-express-train-set

Pillow Fight – Medieval King’s Sword

Become a fearless medieval warrior and have the ultimate pillow fight with this Medieval Kings Sword. This historically accurate sword is a super soft pillow, making it perfect for indoor and outdoor play – with no actual casualties!

Our Price £12.00 – Click here.

medieval-knights-king-s-sword

English Heritage – Heritage Mead

Celebrate England’s rich history with this award winning 1-star Great Taste 2014 traditional honey-flavoured mead produced exclusively for English Heritage.

Our Price £10.50 – Click here.

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Cottontail Wooden Dolls House

Your little ones will love using their imagination to create stories and act out scenarios with this cottontail wooden play cottage. The unique dolls house is home to white bunnies that sit on the design outside of the cottage.

Our Price £95.00 – Click here.

cottontail-cottage-with-furniture

Drinking Horn with Stand

Enjoy your favourite beverage in this drinking horn. The extravagant drinking vessel comes with its own stand, perfect for display. It is crafted from cow horn using traditional methods of manufacture that have remained largely unchanged for more than 250 years.

Our Price £36.00 – Click here.

drinking-vessel-with-stand-horn

Oxhorn Moustache Shaped Beard Brush

This moustache shaped brush is perfect for someone who is passionate about facial hair. The brush is made from natural wild boar bristles and has an oxhorn and beech wood handle. Crafted from ethically sourced and renewable resources, it is a welcome addition into any daily grooming routine.

Our Price £35.00 – Click here.

moustache-shaped-beard-brush

Stonehenge Sitting Bear Ornament

Take home a lasting memory of your visit to Stonehenge with this sitting bear ornament. The intricately crafted teddy bear sits on a block that is engraved with the word ‘Stonehenge’ to create a very cute souvenir.

Our Price £5.00 – Click here.

stonehenge-sitting-bear-ornament

Large Handmade Chessboard with Case

Challenge your opponent to a luxurious game of chess with this handmade chess board. It is hand crafted from walnut veneer and synthetic mother of pearl, to create a true collector’s piece that will also look great on display in the home.

Our Price £565.00 – Click here.

chessboard-50cm-on-case-black-eco-m-of-p

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TwoLoveBirds and the Festival of Yule Coloring Book

TwoLoveBirds and the Festival of Yule Coloring book is a charming coloring book that features 25 unique pictures that will enchant both adult and child alike.

Two Love Birds Coloring Book

But what is the TwoLoveBirds project? The TwoLoveBirds is a pagan-run project that aims to create pagan-themed material for parents to use as educational tools. It features the adventures of two little birds, Tcheep and Pit, as they explore their very pagan world together.

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Buy it from Amazon here.

Buy it from Smashwords here.

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Follow the author, Michael Daoust. Click the links below to see more awesome artwork, and musings from the mind of the author!

Follow on Instagram.

Follow on Twitter.

Find Michael on Wattpad here.

Unhinged and Unenlightened – Author blog.

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Please Give me a Dog! #AdoptDontShop

It has been just over three months since our dog died. We had him for eleven years, and he was found on the streets in North Wales, lost, lonely and nervous. It took some time for us to realise how badly he had been treated in his early years. We discovered that he was terrified of loud noises such as smoke alarms and oven timers. He would descend into a full-blown panic attack, and we would have to try and calm him down and reassure him. He was frightened of water, to the point where we ran his first bath and he hid in a corner of the room, trembling and hyperventilating. We eventually coaxed him into the bath and gradually reduced his fear of water. By the time he died he had visited lots of beaches and swam in the sea, and he was a regular visitor to the local river at home.

Please Give me a Dog! #AdoptDontShop

I decided it was time to find another dog for our family. We miss the crazy activity, the noise, the exuberance and the cuddles. Our house is too quiet. So we visited the city dogs’ home where Baxter came from. They had very few dogs in the kennels, and those we did enquire about were deemed not suitable for families with young children. It became a common phrase when we visited other animal charities and another city dogs’ home. Even though we explained that our children have grown up with nervous dogs, not just Baxter but other dogs in our family, the authorities would not take a chance or allow us to prove our worth for rehoming an abandoned dog. I understand their approach, and I want to keep my children safe, but I also want the chance to rehabilitate another dog that needs a loving family. And we were not given that chance. I had no idea that it would become such a hard task.

#AdoptDontShop

We were advised to find a puppy or a dog under twelve months old. Well, these dogs are snapped up very quickly by families just like us, and we do not have the time to trek out for twenty or thirty miles to visit other dogs’ homes. All we can do is weekend visits when we are available and keep hoping to find the right dog. But I hate waiting. I need a dog now! We have this wonderful, loving, spacious home, with everything that a dog needs, and we are not allowed to bring one home. Hopefully that will change very soon, as we are currently applying for a dog, but I don’t want to get my hopes up. We must pass a home check, and that might involve additional costs for dog-proofing the garden. There are lots of hoops to jump through before we are even considered for rehoming an abandoned dog. And yet, I could visit a breeder tomorrow and buy a puppy. It is easy for national charities to say #AdoptDontShop and #ADogisforLife. I totally agree. Now let me rehome the dog!

#ADogisforLife

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Why we Need our NHS #WATWB

Today is Black Friday, but I want to talk about We Are the World BlogFest (#WATWB). The small story of humanity that I wish to share comes from our National Health Service in the UK, and more specifically, the Royal Stoke University Hospital. I was born in this hospital back when it was known as the North Staffordshire hospital, and most of the old buildings are gone, replaced by new, modern structures that can cope with growing demand for healthcare, medical research and rehabilitation. This hospital has seen me through many surgical operations to treat my genetic eye disorder, it cared for my grandparents during their final days, and it saved the life of my father-in-law when he had a cycling accident that left him with an acquired brain injury. I was referred to Manchester hospitals about fifteen years ago, but my family have all received treatment at the Royal Stoke during the past ten years and beyond. We have been visiting a family member in the hospital just this week. It is almost a second home of sorts.

Why we Need our NHS #WATWB

When I talk about the hospital, I do of course refer to the people within the hospital. I have always found the front of house staff to be helpful, polite and courteous. The nurses and doctors are very efficient and friendly, clearly devoted to their work. We can always ask questions and have them answered without dismissal. And let’s not forget the porters, cleaners and housekeeping staff, who will ensure our patients’ beds are properly made, that their room or ward is clean and well stocked and will offer refreshments and a friendly face to anxious visitors at the bedside. I know that we have heard lots of bad stories about NHS hospitals in the news media, but my experience has been one of hope and positivity. We are all human, whether we are a doctor, a nurse, support staff or civilian. We all want the best outcome for patients that are treated in hospital. Sometimes those patients will not be going home, and all we can do is work together to make them as comfortable as possible. Let us take a moment to say Thank You, NHS. Thank you to everyone at the Royal Stoke University Hospital. You are always there when we need you.

Harplands Hospital SpookyMrsGreen

We are the World BlogFest (#WATWB) focuses on positive stories no matter where they’re found. It is all about spreading peace and humanity on social media. All participants post on the last Friday of the month, sharing a positive news story that contributes to making our world a happier, safer, and better place to live.

You can find more about #WATWB over on Belinda Witzenhausen’s blog.

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Giving Thanks for Lessons Learned

This week our American friends celebrate Thanksgiving, and I like to give thanks for my blessings as we slip into the dark season. My family is experiencing more trauma, but it was expected, and we can get through this. I am thankful to have a large, loving family. We may not see each other regularly, but we keep in touch using social media and the “Nanna” hotline. When one of us is suffering, the others are there to offer love and support. It might seem overbearing to some, but it is our way of showing that we care. And I send love to my mum, my aunts and especially my uncle at this difficult time.

We have almost reached the end of another decade, and as I look back over the past ten years, I realize that I have been through a lot. This decade saw me through my thirties (with a couple of years to spare!), and I have achieved many of life’s rites of passage. I got married to my long-term fiancé. We are still happily married, but it has been a rough ride. We like to challenge each other every day, even when we don’t mean to, but our love is strong, and we refuse to give up when events try to separate us. I have experienced two healthy pregnancies resulting in two very healthy, happy daughters. Having seen how fragile life can be in its early stages, I cannot express how thankful I am for my beautiful children. We have loved and lost several pets during the past ten years, including five turtles and our beloved dog.

Baxter Timothy Beardface Green

Then there are the other challenges of life. My husband and I have battled through work and financial troubles. It is slowly improving, but the economy is tough and there is always room for improvement. I have developed my experience as a qualified Reiki practitioner, and I intend to continue deepening my practice during the next ten years and beyond. I have been steadily growing my small business, and while it is a long way off being a sustainable career, I can see the improvements and the results of my hard work. And then there are my books. I am still writing book 6 in the Redcliffe novels series. This will conclude a project that has taken ten years to write and publish, but which also took ten years to grow in my mind before I dared to write even a word on the computer. I was a reluctant author, but I am so very glad that I achieved a life-long dream.

Support Small Business this Black Friday

And so, we look forward to 2020 and a fresh start. We will say our goodbyes before the year is out, and we feel great sadness at this time. Life and death are so closely entwined, and we drift between darkness and light so frequently that we often fail to see it. Instead we look to the light. We seek the promise of a new adventure, a new experience, and a new challenge. We let go of what no longer serves us, and we move forward with hope. Love drives us to achieve and grow. I am thankful to be alive, and I am thankful for my wonderful family and friends. I am thankful for you.

Giving Thanks for Lessons Learned

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Letters from Santa this Christmas

Santa Claus is super organised this year! My daughters received their letters from Santa early last week, only days after writing their Christmas letters. Santa’s letters came from Lapland Letters. My girls had been to their Grandma’s house for tea, and when they came home, I showed them a very special envelope that had arrived from the North Pole. They went to bed a little late that night!

Lapland Signature-01

 

The activity packs include a Christmas card that you can colour in and gift to a loved one, a postcard you can send to Santa, and even some Christmas Wish stars that you write your wishes on and leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve. As an added bonus, Santa had included a packet of reindeer food for each child, which they were very excited about. Of course, it was the letters from Santa Claus that were the main attraction. Each letter is personalised for the individual child, and my elder daughter was very proud to receive praise for her leading role in the school summer play. My younger daughter was similarly proud to hear that Santa knew about her passing her first ballet exam earlier this year. These small touches make a huge difference.

Letters from Santa

Finally, my girls were delighted to discover that they are on the Good Child List for Christmas gifts, and they have the certificates to prove it. Staying good up until Christmas might be tricky, but my girls do like a challenge…

Letters from Santa at Lapland Letters

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The Toy Shop for Grown-Ups from EE Mobile

Who wants a shiny new phone for Christmas? I found the toy shop for grown-ups! If you buy one of these select plans, you can choose a free gift: either a 43″ Toshiba TV or Nintendo Switch 2019 edition. Pretty nice, eh?  Here are your options:

Samsung A40

10GB for £0 upfront and £31 per month (essential)

Samsung A70

10GB for £0 upfront and £39 per month (essential)

Samsung A80

10GB for £0 upfront and £49 per month (essential)

Click here to purchase now!

EE Mobile Deals

Android P Smart

10GB for £20 upfront and £28 per month (essential)

Android P30 Lite

10GB for £0 upfront and £34 per month (essential)

Android P30 Pro

10GB for £0 upfront and £59 per month (essential)

Click here to purchase now!

EE Mobile Deals NovemberAre you Team Jack or Team Danny? Sign up now and receive your FREE copy of It’s Complicated from #TheRedcliffeNovels series set in Cornwall, England.

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Good Riddance, Mercury Retrograde!

Hello, my witchy friends, how are you? I am very happy to say good riddance, Mercury Retrograde today! Now, I’m not well educated on planetary alignments, astronomy and astrology, but I dip in and out here and there. I hadn’t heard about Mercury Retrograde until a few years ago, when it came up in discussions on social media. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, this is a cycle where the planet Mercury appears to move in reverse alongside the other planets, Earth included, possibly affecting the gravitational pull. Scientists will say it is a natural phenomenon and it doesn’t mean anything, but you can read about it extensively online.

Good Riddance, Mercury Retrograde! SpookyMrsGreen

Witches and magical folk, however, believe otherwise. We have learned that during the cycle of Mercury Retrograde, which in this instance began on 31st October and ends today, 20th November, things invariably go wrong. We notice it mainly in the area of communication and boy have I learned the hard way this month! My internet connection has been dropping out randomly, working a lot slower than usual, and freezing completely on some occasions. My smartphone has had a few strange moments where it just doesn’t want to work, and everything goes blank. Even our TV had a little funny episode last night, and I had to switch it all off and reload it. I could go on and tell you about our dodgy WiFi doorbell, but I will leave it there. And it wasn’t only technology. A massive breakdown in communications left me feeling rejected and upset when I tried to adopt a homeless puppy for our family. I am still searching, still being told no by those in charge, still refusing to give up the search.

I don’t know why this is connected to Mercury Retrograde, but it is something I heard about in discussions and it made sense to me. It especially makes sense this month, and I will be very happy to move forward and experience some more joyful interactions and hopefully less stress with technology and communications. See you on the other side.

Communication Breakdown SpookyMrsGreen

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Why I Need to Pay Attention to Myself

I joined the social network for A Chronic Voice earlier this year because I needed to find people who understand what life is like with chronic pain. Today I have written a post using the November link-up prompts, to show my experience of living with a chronic pain disorder. Click here to find other blog posts from fellow chronic pain sufferers, or #spoonies as we call ourselves online.

Chronic Voice November Link Up

Paying

Initially I was going to describe my experience of paying for medication. It was only last month when I discovered that the NHS offer a payment plan of just £10 per month, and you can order as many prescriptions as you need to. I currently use three different types of eye drops, so that is going to come in very useful. But then I thought about the issue of paying attention to my condition. Today, for example, as I write this post, my eyes feel sore. Yesterday they felt fine. I have removed a few ingrowing eyelashes, and I did cry earlier which made them sore, but I never can tell from one day to the next how they are going to be. All I can do is pay attention to my symptoms and try to correlate based on what I do, where I go, and how much medication I use, to record the fluctuations and flare ups.

Attending

I do not have any hospital appointments to attend for the foreseeable future. My doctor requested a nine-month check-up after my visit in September, but she wryly suggested that it would be more like twelve months before I return, such is the delay in processing patients at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. Who knew so many people had so many problems with their eyes?

Why I Need to Pay Attention to Myself

Organising

This is beginning to overwhelm me, and I’m not even thinking about Christmas yet! We receive a lot of letters from school regarding various charity events, PTA events, special outings or visits that require parental consent, and all sorts of random stuff. Last week I felt quite stressed trying to collect enough pound coins and fifty pence pieces to send in with each of my daughters, along with the correct forms. Then I had to remember school photographs this week, which meant the girls needed to look neat and tidy (which they do anyway, of course!). And now I’m organising several family birthdays that crop up close together. Phew!

Plunging

I don’t feel much like plunging into anything right now to be honest. I feel depressed because I miss my dog, and I recently had a very traumatic encounter with an animal charity that I tried to re-home a puppy from. They decreed me unfit based on a brief telephone call. Now I am sitting at home alone, missing my therapy dog. Fortunately, I have access to my friend’s dogs, and I got to go for cuddles and a walk with my Labrador friend Echo last week, and my Cockapoo friend Mabel this week. My friends know how to look after me. And yes, I am still searching for a dog. I will happily plunge into a new relationship with a pet, but especially a canine one.

Knowing

I have ignored my intuition recently, and it bit me on the backside. As my reiki journey continues, and I prepare to embark on 3rd Degree Shinpiden training, I will make time to reinforce my spiritual practice. I know when I need to slow down and rest. I know that it is ok to admit defeat and step back from societal demands. Daily life is stressful, even when we do regular, repetitive tasks. As we approach the Christmas season, I know that I will take time out when I need to.

November Link-Up A Chronic Voice #Spoonie

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Exclusive Special Offer with LEGOLAND Holidays

Psst! Are you planning to book a special family holiday at LEGOLAND Windsor in 2020? Check out these exclusive special offers, only available until midnight on 18th November. Legoland Holidays have launched their early booking offer via a hidden link, meaning there are better discounts on the hidden landing page than going directly!! Click here to access your exclusive special offers now.

Legoland

They have opened up all of 2020 and there is an added discount offering up to £72 extra off based on a family of 4 vs their main site!! Bookings include 2 days entrance into the Park, overnight stay and breakfast.

We have cherry picked the best prices for staying at a Hotel near the Park, based on 2 adults and 2 kids.

Days Inn Fleet – inc breakfast

£127 – Mar 13/20/27 Apr 26 May 1/15 1/15Jun 5/12/19/26

£139 – Mar 15/22/29 Apr 24 May 3/8/10/17 Jun 7/14/21/28 Jul 5/12/19 Sep 2/3/4/13/20/27

School Holidays £152 – Apr 6-9 May 22/26-28 Jul 24-31 Aug 1-5

Holiday Inn Express T5 – Inc breakfast & kids under 12 eat free at the hotel

£158 – Mar 13/20/27 Apr 24 May 1/15 Jun 5/12/19/26 Jul 13/20/27 Sep 2/3/4/11/18/25

School Holidays £170 – Apr 6-9 May 26-28 July 24-31 Aug 1-7

Mercure London Heathrow – Inc breakfast & kids under 12 eat free at the hotel

£167 – Mar 13/20/27 Apr 24 May 1/15 Jun 5/9/12/19/26 Jul 10/17 Sep 11/18/25

save-72-free-digipass-d1

Or for just £243 you can stay on Resort at the LEGOLAND Resort Hotel which includes Free Digipass worth £35, FREE parking, FREE LEGO Gift and evening entertainment. There are a few dates cheaper than this.

£213 – Mar 23rd Apr 21/22/27/30 May 4/14 Sept 7/10/14/17/21/24/28 Oct 1/5/8

£225 – Apr 20/26 Sep 13/20/27 Oct 4/11

£243 – Jun 2-4, 8-11, 15-18, 22-25

Get it booked, and get planning your fabulous LEGOLAND adventure!

Free-for-All Friday SpookyMrsGreen

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