Choosing Christmas Presents for Partners

How do you organise Christmas presents for your significant other and yourself? For us the focus has always been on the kids for present buying and when it comes to each other we’ve either split whatever is left in the Xmas budget between us to spend on what we will (for example I bought new curtains, cushions and accessories for the lounge one year and Roy bought a fancy monitor thingy for his PC).

A few years ago we decided to just tell each other what we wanted and then let that person go out, buy it and wrap it. Since I really fancy women’s watches, I decided to go for something that is both stylish and functional. Not very spontaneous but at least I haven’t yet been bought a Playstation for Christmas instead of something I really would like

THIS year we have gone completely barmy and have set up Amazon wishlists for ourselves and have been adding things as we go along. The idea is that throughout the year each of us adds items we find and like. This way we know we will get some of the things we really fancy but not which ones. Of course we don’t have to buy from there as shopping around for deals and slightly different versions or extras are part of the fun.

My wishlist at the moment had Roy in stitches but didn’t exactly surprise him.

There is a bright pink ceramic pig moneybox, a lovely dotty oven glove set, lots of pencils, pens, highlighters and an obscene amount of different coloured and shaped post-it notes. I have a couple of books and DVDs in there, a vegetable spiralizer, a wireless remote key finder (sick of losing my keys!), a watch, some Command adhesive hooks and more.

This might sound like an odd list but they are all things I will use, love and enjoy. This sort of system works really well because instead of writing “a watch” on a list Roy can see what style of women’s watches I would choose for myself. He is very much into D&D, the roleplaying game and we host a group here twice a month. I know and understand D&D and have even played once or twice in the past but “some D&D books” would snooker me! We get what we know we will like or a variation of it and all is good.

How do you work out what to buy your partner for Christmas? Do you have a system like ours or are you more spontaneous? I’d love to know!



Are Windows the Key to Slashing Heating Bills

Once upon a time in a house not too far from where I live now lived a young girl called Nicki. She shared a big attic bedroom with one of her sisters. Being in the attic meant that Nicki could enjoy lots of light from the two window however her teenage self didn’t necessarily enjoy dragging herself up from her bed or chair to close the VELUX® blinds when the sun moved. (Teenage Nicki could be a lazy little irk at times!).

If Teenage Nicki were a teenager now she would no doubt be begging (whining at in a sullen voice) her parents to visit their money tree to buy some remote control window blinds such as those found in the VELUX webshop instead of having to physically move and open and close them herself.

Teenage Nicki is long gone however the older version (me) no longer lives in the attic bedroom of her parent’s home. I do still love windows though, letting lots of light in and I have a definitely have different interest in VELUX these days, rather than thinking of them simply as a company that makes the window coverings that I once had to open and close manually (perish the thought).

I have a fondness for both interior design and saving money. My particular bugbear at the moment is the amount of money my energy company wants from me and I am looking for long term solutions to this as opposed to short term benefits such as switching tariffs or changing energy provider (or introducing anything that looks hideous and spoils how my home looks).

I have been introduced to some interesting information on the VELUX website regarding sustainable living and how to create a healthy and balanced indoor climate. I have to say that the video on the site is excellent and well worth a watch (may be found here) as it really made me think about my windows in a whole new way. I will be making big changes over the coming year to the way I use energy, heat my home and power things as our energy bills, like most people’s bills have spiralled out of control in recent years.

If you are looking for more info on saving money on your heating bills it may be worth reviewing how well your windows are insulated as well as looking at other ways to reduce your energy usage without having to lay out a huge amount of money first.

If you have any hints and tips for myself or other readers on insulating your home, saving money on heating or simply reducing gas and electricity usage please do leave a comment. I am on an inspiration hunt at the moment and am determined to cut my costs in a family and design friendly way!



*This post has been written and published in collaboration with VELUX