Saturday, 22 March 2014

Mum's the word: Mother's day gifts

As always with my gift suggestions, I lay no claims to encompassing all tastes and ideas. I merely write a list of things that I have bought and happy to recommend or like the sound of and would be a happy recipient of (not that it's going to happen, as my dear husband doesn't read my blog). I don't intentionally do it all as girlie but it reflects my personality and my tastes. So apologies to all Mummies who love cars and gaming gadgets, as I am not going to include these things on my list. If you read my blog, you know how much I love books, tea, chocolate, pretty china, my garden among other things...

Tins and jars are my not so secret passion. I collect tea tins and have lots of jars where I keep dried rose petals, pulses, tea, short pasta etc etc. If you share my passion for tea and jars, I found just the right bundle for you. Teapigs have obviously had me in mind when they released a Tea and Jar Bundle: a storage jar and 2 packs of tea (which is available in everyday brew, peppermint leaves and as a limited edition for Mother’s Day – chamomile flowers and jasmine pearls). I have tried quite a few of Teapigs teas, and they are all excellent quality. The tea temples are see-through mesh tea bags which are bio-degradable. Put a tea temple in a cup, pour the freshly boiled water and watch how the tea leaves unfurl, it is truly a mini-miracle.

Photo of Teapigs tea & jar bundle is reproduced with kind permission from Teapigs

I love making gingerbread, and have been admiring the art of Biscuiteers for a long time. Every season they come up with new novelty ginger people. Their craftsmanship is superior, and their gingerbread creatures are adorable. Just look at this pretty Fleur Jolly Ginger with an intricately piped bouquet. Simply gorgeous!
And if you were a lucky recipient of Biscuiteers tin of biccies in the past and kept a tin, there is a lovely competition What's In Your Tin, inviting you to submit the photos of how you reuse your Biscuiteers tin. You could win a stunning Venice Collection with the carnival mask, gondola, Lion of St Mark and other iconic Venetian images, all as tasty biscuits, of course.

Photo of Fleur Jolly Ginger is reproduced with kind permission from Biscuiteers
We have tea, we have gingerbread, but if you are a Mum of boys who are always happy to graze, then we need a serious stash of biscuits. Every time we stay in Italy, we buy Mulino Bianco Galletti and Cuore di Mela. On a few occasions we brought them back home with us, but they don't endure the bouncy trips in suitcases easily, and often end up as crumbs. Imagine my delight when I discovered there is a shop called Nife is Life which sells all our favourite Italian cookies and other sweet treats among many other Italian food products here, in the UK. I would stalk them if they start selling the Italian chocolate brand Venchi as well.

From the other foodie gifts, I will never say No to a jar of jam or marmalade from The Artisan Kitchen. I have tried a few of the award-winning The Artisan Kitchen products, and they are all excellent. Believe me, once you finish your toast with Italian Peach & Wild Elderflower Jam, you will lick your fingers and reach for more jam. This delicate sweet jam will make your toast sing. And will transform a plain croissant into a food of gods. That's what the Olympic gods must have been eating.

Talking of beautiful aromas, I recently received a gift of Cocoa Juvenate Revive Hand Cream. Until wonderful Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog nominated me as a blogging Mum to receive a gift from Hotel Chocolat, I didn't know they had a range of cosmetics made with cocoa. I am a firm believer in the moisturising properties of the cocoa butter. When I was pregnant, I used the cocoa butter stick on my tummy religiously. Both of my boys were ten-pounders at birth, yet I didn't get a single stretchmark. I think the cocoa butter helped a lot. I am not keen on very strong-smelling cocoa products, that's why I loved the cocoa butter hand cream from Hotel Chocolat. It has a subtle delicate aroma, and it does a great job of moisturising. The cream absorbs at once and leaves my hands all soft, smooth and nourished. And if you think about it, it's chocolate without the calories. Hosanna!

I have recently come across Premurosa on Twitter, and liked their idea of sending thoughtful letterbox gifts. That sounds marvellous. Who doesn't love nice things coming through their letterbox? As a busy Mum, a proper bath is a bit of a luxury for me (typically I am lucky if nobody knocks on the bathroom door when I have my quick shower). But if I treat myself to a bath, when kids are at school and nursery, then I would love nice smellies like these Lavender bath melts and heart shaped soaps. They are made with organic ingredients. And they would look lovely in any bathroom.

Photo of Lavender bath melts and heart shaped soaps is courtesy of Premurosa

Latest in Beauty is a perfect solution for ladies like me, who love trying new cosmetics and are wary of buying full size products in case they are not to our liking. For Mother's day LiB has released an Ultimate Pampering Beauty Kit which is bursting with gloriously tempting goodies. There is a Face Stockholm lipstick (full size) which will transform you into a Hollywood diva like Liz Taylor, L'Occitane repairing shampoo and conditioner to boost your hair's health, Maddi Alexander bath oil which looks very posh and luxurious, among beauty goodies. The kit is very reasonably priced at £14.95 plus postage.

Photo of Mother's day Ultimate Pampering Beauty Kit is reproduced with kind permission from Latest in Beauty

Books have always been my first love, since a very early age. Books tend to breed in our house, there are so many, we have overflowing book shelves in every room of the house. The Book People is often my first port of call, when I consider buying new books. Their prices are very competitive, and for cook books, for example, are unsurpassable (they often beat the amazon prices). If you subscribe to their newsletter, they have offers of free delivery regularly, and their selection caters to every taste and age. These are some of my recent acquisitions:
When Fraser Met Billy by Louise Booth is a mother's account of the bond between her son Billy who has autism and the rescue cat Fraser.
Delia Smith doesn't need an introduction. This book, Delia's Cakes is simply splendid. You will be licking the pages with photos of stupendous cakes.
I am a big fan of Philippa Gregory, and have most of her books. Her historical fiction is pure escapism. Fools' Gold combines mystery and romance.

Charity shops are another excellent source of books. Just the other day I got Delia' How to Cheat at Cooking for £3.49 (hush, don't tell my husband, I have to hide my cooks books, as he thinks I don't need any more. He's right, of course.)

Many little flower shops and big supermarkets sell potted hyacinths in spring. Once in bloom, the flowers last for a couple of weeks and add so much colour to the house. And the delicate perfume is exquisite. You can plant them in the garden afterwards and be rewarded with the lovely bloom each new spring. I know you are supposed to dig the bulbs out for winter and keep in a dry space, but I haven't done it, yet my hyacinths never fail to reappear in March for the last few years. So, spend three pounds or so, and have your gift give you pleasure for years to come.

Of course, you don't have to spend a penny to make your Mum feel special. Make a card, offer her a cup of her favourite tea or coffee, bake some biscuits, call her if she lives far from you, or help with the house chores if you live together... I will be just as happy with hugs and kisses from my boys.


  1. That 's a lovely round-up of Mother's Day gifts Galina. So glad you enjoyed the hand cream.

    1. It is amazing, this cream. :) Thanks again for thinking of me!

  2. Thankyou for sharing you have a brilliant blog :)