I don't know about you but the dreaded virus has once again made me quite disorganised for Christmas this year, between isolating and restrictions I am desperately trying to catch up before the big day. Over the next few days there will be quite a few gift guides coming to my blog so keep your eyes peeled for ideas. This post will focus on last minute gifts for mums:



Non-fiction books*

There are so many good non-fiction books out at the moment. Fans of 'This Morning' will enjoy Holly Willoughby's new book, 'Reflections'. In this book Holly shares how she deals with moments guilt, anger, self-doubt and detachments. It's full of helpful advice and tips on how to be more centred. 


Another book that would make the perfect Christmas present is 'Big Panda, Tiny Dragon' by James Norbury. It's a mindful journey involving 2 friends and is ideal for anyone struggling with life at the moment. The story is inspired by Buddhist philosophy and spirituality and contains beautiful illustrations. It's a book that can be enjoyed time and time again.


Both books are available from all good book retailers. 

Sleep Masks

Most mums I've met really value their sleep. One product I love to use to switch off before bed are Spacemasks. They currently have 3 different scents available, Jasmine, Rose and Chamomile. They come in a box of 5 and can be purchased here, SpaceMasks. At the time of writing this post, they were priced at £15.



Fiction books*

2021 has been a great year for fiction. There's been so many amazing books released that it's quite overwhelming trying to decide which ones to read.

'The Night She Disappeared' by Lisa Jewell is one I would recommend. Even though I haven't read it yet, she is one of my favourite authors always producing fantastic reads. I am aiming to read this book by the end of this year so you'll have to pop over to my book Instagram account to keep an eye out for the review. Here is the blurb for the story: 


Midsummer 2017:
 teenage mum Tallulah heads out on a date, leaving her baby son at home with her mother, Kim. At 11 p.m. she sends her mum a text message. At 4.30 a.m. Kim awakens to discover that Tallulah has not come home. Friends tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a pool party at a house in the woods nearby called Dark Place. Tallulah never returns. 2018: walking in the woods behind the boarding school where her boyfriend has just started as a head teacher, Sophie sees a sign nailed to a fence. A sign that says: DIG HERE . . .



Another fiction book I recommend is 'Just Haven't Met You Yet' by Sophie Cousens. Sophie is the author of the bestselling novel 'This Time Next Year'. Here is the blurb: Laura has built a career out of interviewing people about their epic real life love stories. When she picks up the wrong suitcase at the airport, Laura wonders if this could be the start of something that's written in the stars. From piano sheet-music to a battered copy of her favourite book, Laura finds in the bag evidence of everything she could hope for in a partner. If Laura's job has taught her anything it's that when it comes to love, you can't let opportunity pass you by. Now Laura is determined to track down the owner of the suitcase, and her own happy ending. But what if fate has other ideas?

You can buy both of these books from all good book retailers.

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Treats

Charlotte Tilbury has fabulous beauty products. Their magic cream is honestly incredible. I've used it religiously for years. A great set to choose would be 'Charlotte's 3 Magic Steps to Perfect Looking skin' which is currently priced at £90. This includes a full size Magic Serum Crystal Elixir and a travel size Magic Cream Moisturiser and a travel size Magic Night Cream. The gift set can be purchased here, Charlotte Tilbury




Diary*

Every mum needs a diary to try and stay organised. Danilo have got a good range of diaries that will fit in a handbag. If you're around the same age as me then you'll appreciate how much I love this Mean Girls diary. It's such an iconic film. The diary is vibrant and full of plenty of Mean Girls pictures and quotes. Basically the diary is so Fetch!!!




A Watch
A new watch is always a nice gift for Christmas. Olivia Burton do a huge range of beautiful watches. There's literally a design for everyone. This one has to be my favourite.






Coffee*

A mum can never have enough caffeine, it's literally an essential item for us, the stronger the better. Black Insomnia make insanely strong coffee that actually tastes nice. They have a big range including ground, beans, bags, pods and more. I am loving their ground coffee and it has certainly helped to keep me awake and alive whilst work has been ridiculously busy.



Calendar*

A calendar is a must for a busy mum. The Calendar Club has a massive range of calendars including family and couple planners. I love the planners that come with stickers to mark out special events such as birthdays. National Geographic have a stunning range of calendars ranging from animals to countries. The pictures are so beautiful that they could be used as prints afterwards.





What gifts are you hoping to receive this year?

*Please note that items that have been marked with a star have been gifted to me for inclusion in this gift guide*

 This time of year there is nothing better than curling up under a blanket with a hot chocolate or a mulled wine, reading a festive story with the twinkling lights from the Christmas tree in the background. 

There are so many wonderful Christmas reads on the shelves this year so I've picked a selection of the best festive reads to help you decided what to pick.



The Postbox at the North Pole - Jaimie Adams*

I adored this book. it's everything you'd expect from a festive story and more. It certainly put me in a Christmassy mood and I felt wrapped up in magic.

 The story is about Sasha who finds herself heading to the North Pole Forest to help her dad after hearing he had a heart attack. Sasha and her dad have a strained relationship. He is usually travelling the world and avoiding ever going home, especially at Christmas time. At the airport she is greeted by Tav (a handsome man who works for her dad) who strongly believes in Christmas magic and spirit. One of his many jobs is to care for all the reindeer in the forest. Sasha can be described as a bit of a grinch when it comes to Christmas but could all that change when she spends time with her Dad, Tav and from responding to Santa letters at the post office? 

This is such a heart-warming novel. The characters are perfectly written, flawed but relatable. There is fantastic chemistry between Sasha and Tav. The backdrop of this wonderful story is amazing. I literally want to stay in Candy Cane Lodge. I was able to conjure up the most serene images of the North Pole Forest. I felt the cold, I saw the snow and I smelt the cinnamon. This may be my first Adams novel but it won't be my last. 4.5/5 



The Christmas Bookshop - Jenny Colgan

Carmen works for her local department store but is made redundant. Her mother coerces her perfect, can't do anything wrong, very successful sister Sofia to allow her to live with her in Edinburgh. There, Sofia finds Carmen a job at a run down bookshop that needs saving before the end of the year. Can she use her design skills to save the shop and save its owner Mr McCredie from bankruptcy. It's a story of love, family and hope. It also has the most gorgeous cover.



Baby it's Cold Outside - Emily Bell*

Norah Jones is known for two things; she shares her name with a famous musician and she us always single. Facing another Christmas alone she remembers a promise that her and Andrew (someone she previously fell for) made to each other 10 years earlier which was that if they were both still single on Christmas Eve 2019 they'll wait under the clock at Bewley's Cafe on Grafton Street in Dublin. If fate is on their side and it's meant to be then they'll meet each other there. Her best friend Joe is there to support her every step of the way. Will Andrew be at the clock? Will there be a few Christmas surprises along the way?



Underneath the Christmas Tree - Heidi Swain

Wynter Trees is the home of Christmas but for Lyza Wynter, it's a millstone around her neck. The Christmas tree farm was her father's pride and joy but now he's gone, she can't have anything to do with it. Her father's business partner decides to retire and she must go back to handle the transition to his son Ned. When Liz arrives she discovers the business is flourishes under Ned's stewardship and she's happy to help him for the Christmas season but then she has other plans. Will the place where she grew up make her change her mind? 



The Arctic Curry Club*

Maya has to uproot her life and accompany her boyfriend Ryan to the Arctic. She soon realises it's not all busy rides and northern lights. She's in sub-zero temperatures, 24 hour darkness and has a distant boyfriend. In her loneliest moment she opens her late mother's recipe book and cooks Indian food for the first time. Soon her confidence grows, she makes friends and gains a job as a chef. Life suddenly seems to be looking up. However, the aromatic cuisine reminds her of her enigmatic mother and memories of her childhood in Bangalore. Can Maya face the past and accept a future in the Arctic? With a demand for a curry club and her being the one to run it, will she stay?



A Winter Wonderland - Isla Gordon

Myla might be the world's least festive person because everything bad happens to her around Christmas time. She ends up losing a bet and finds herself committed to a seasonal job in Lapland. The job entails 10 weeks in below zero temperatures and lots of Christmas spirit. Even though she's cynical she soon realises that Lapland has more to offer than Santa Claus including a very good looking elf. Will a little love under the northern lights be enough to change Myla's mind about Christmas?



You can find all of these books at all good book retailers.

I am currently making my way through reading all of these books. To read my reviews once they are published, make sure you are following my book instagram account by clicking here, Kerry Louise Norris Reads


*Please note items marked with an Asterix have either been gifted to me for inclusion in gift guides or to review, either as a physical book or an e-copy*.







Photo by Sava Bobov on Unsplash


It might be a while before you decide to get back on a plane, but there are many people already thinking about when they will get the chance to travel again. Throughout lockdown, there are were stories about people using their time to learn a new language. Of course, that will become handy if they decide to go on vacation in a different country. 


If you found yourself taking this step, it could be a great way of starting 2022. However, learning a new language can seem like a daunting task at first, but the benefits of learning a new language are endless - be it social or professional. 


In addition to this, you can learn about new cultures and find yourself with an edge over other foreigners for employment opportunities if you choose to live in any of these countries. So, if you're thinking about traveling, here are five languages you may want to learn before you travel to these countries. 


Japanese 

Japan is a great place that is filled with culture and history that spans generations. Since the rest of the world has been exposed to Japanese culture through popular culture, there are many people who are interested in visiting the beautiful country. While some people in Japan do speak English, it is suggested you learn some Japanese if you decide to visit. 


This is because it will be a lot easier for you to learn Japanese customs and social prompts that will help to make your stay a relaxing one. 

Swedish 

Sweden is one of many great countries that make up Scandinavia. Visitors who want to experience Swedish with its icy ski slopes and rich culture may find it easier to do so by learning Svenska. While Swedish is another country where a large majority of its citizens know English, most signs and many products and people still use Swedish, so knowing the language will come in handy. 


With so much beauty and northern history for you to experience, if you're interested in learning Swedish before your vacation, It's worth it. It's fun and will help you feel more at home during your trip!


Korean

South Korea has made the biggest impact in recent years, with the world falling in love with its music, food, and culture. This love of South Korea has blossomed into more people learning about the culture and its language. South Korea stans can Learn Korean with Memrise or other language apps. So they can easily understand not only the people but their favorite K-pop song or K-Drama whether they decide to visit the beautiful country or not. 

French 

France is one of many countries in Europe that is popular among tourists. Many people visit France each year to experience the culture, history, and art as well as the easy-going ambiance of the French people. Learning French can make your visit even more pleasurable, and you can enjoy your vacation. 


These are just a few languages that you may want to learn before visiting their countries of origin. You could learn these languages to make your visit more immersive or expand your chances of getting work if you decide to move to these countries.


*This is a collaborative post*

Running a family can be expensive. In fact, it can be really expensive. Most months you find that more money is going out than coming in, making you wonder where it’s all going. 


Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this, but it requires getting smart about how you’re spending money. You need to let go of any frivolity and simply focus on what matters


Feeling confused? Don’t be. In this post, we take a look at some essential tips for keeping your family bills to a minimum. 


Go Thrifting


Unsplash - CC0 License


Thrifting sounds like something from the 1930s - and it is. But it is also one of the best ways to get the things you need at stunningly low prices. 


Thrifting is basically all about finding items in good condition and discount prices. You can do this for practically anything - from cars to grocery shopping. 


Thrifting is the perfect solution for families with growing children. Often, you can kit them out with donated clothes instead of buying them new at the store. 


Get Smart With Home Energy Usage


The energy efficiency of appliances is much improved compared to where it was ten years ago. Manufacturers have really found excellent ways to reduce energy usage and slash bills. 


Lighting has changed a lot too. Alexa smart bulbs, for instance, use LED technology and let you control them remotely. You can also tell Alexa what color or style of lighting you want and she will oblige. Using smart lights in the correct manner will help to cut your energy bills tremendously. 


Negotiate With Your Service Providers


Have you ever noticed that your utility and service provider bills seem to go up every year? If you have, you’re not alone. Companies will do whatever they can to raise your bills over time. That way, they can earn a premium. 


Falling into this trap, though, isn’t inevitable. There is always room to negotiate. Just look online for cheaper prices and then threaten your current provider with switching to a cheaper tariff. Usually, they will put you on a better deal - even if it might not quite be as good as the cheapest on the market. This way, you can stay with the same company, eliminating the hassle of moving. 


Go To A Discount Grocer


Many people go to the same stores over and over again out of habit. But are they getting the best prices? Usually not. 


Some people don’t like the idea of going to budget stores because they think that they will get lower-quality produce. This, however, isn’t always true. If you inspect the packaging, you often find that it is identical to that of the premium stores. So by shopping at discount outlets, you aren’t sacrificing anything in terms of quality. 


Make A Family Budget Together


Family expenses can soon add up. That’s why it is such a good idea to budget together so that you can work out what you really want. This process is helpful for children who don’t understand the idea that if you spend on one item, you forgo the ability to buy another.


*This is a collaborative post*

There are all sorts of reasons why you might feel nauseous. It might be something that you ate or it could be caused by illness. A lot of people also feel nausea as a side effect of taking medications, especially antidepressants. This can be a big problem because you need to keep taking your medication but the nausea gets in the way. Taking more medication on top of what you are already taking may not be a good idea, so you should look for natural alternatives instead. These are the best natural remedies for dealing with nausea caused by medication. 


Image From Pixabay CCO License

Ginger

Ginger is a natural, spicy root that has been used to cure nausea for centuries. The simplest way of making use of ginger as a treatment for medication-induced nausea is to eat some pickled ginger right before or shortly after taking your medication. You can also make a simple ginger tea to drink whenever you are feeling sick. 

Peppermint

Peppermint oil is another natural way to treat nausea caused by medication. The easiest way of using peppermint oil for this purpose is to take a few drops under the tongue every time you feel sick. If that isn't effective enough, try making some peppermint tea and drinking it until the feeling has passed. 

CBD Oil

Cannabidiol oil, or CBD oil, is a natural alternative to prescription medication for nausea. It is made from marijuana that has been used in many studies as an effective treatment for nausea and vomiting related to taking medications. CBD oil is non-psychoactive, so it doesn't have the same effect as marijuana. You can purchase CBD oil online for a reasonable price and try it for yourself to see if you get results.


If you don't like the idea of using oil underneath your tongue, you can get CBD in all sorts of other forms, like edible gummies. These are often a better option because they are easier to administer. 

Apple Cider Vinegar 

Apple cider vinegar is a natural, inexpensive way to help relieve nausea. Try drinking one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with water when you feel sick. You can also add some honey to make the drink more palatable. People often use apple cider vinegar before eating too because it improves digestion and prevents any nausea and bloating. 

Try Alternative Medications

Always speak to your doctor before making any changes to your medication routine. If you feel sick every time you take a certain kind of medication, ask if there are other options available. It is possible that what you have been prescribed isn't the best option for you and something else might suit you better without making you feel nauseous after taking it. 


Make sure you get enough rest and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Taking medication doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your health, but if nausea is a side effect that bothers you, try out one of these natural remedies for dealing with it. They are cheap, effective, and readily available at most grocery stores. 


Blogger Template Created by pipdig