Alternative Valentine’s Day Cards


*Translation: Love yourself

A Yorkshire style ‘Happy Valentines’ from Hello Walls! In case you want to spread the love a little further we’ve complied our favourite alternative (no soppiness allowed) Valentines cards…


1. I want to stroke your beard £2.10, 2. Calculator Boobies £2.95, 3. this card has no purpose £2.02, 4. You’ll Do Card £2.00, 5. Just The Way I Am £2.87, 6. You da bomb card £2.20, 7. Inhaler £2.69, 8. I Dig You £2.40

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Christmas Gift Ideas For Cyclists

I love my bike, I’ve even got the bell to prove it. But a bicycle lover needs accessories, and if they’re anything like me they’ll love anything vaguely related to the sport.

Safety can be stylish and Cyclechic has a fabulous selection of helmets, that would make even those of us who are particularly precious about our hair styles forgive the inevitable ‘helmet-hair’ condition. Practical presents are good but there are plenty of other stylish cycle related gifts out there too. Here’s my pick of the best lycra free gifts for the bike nut in your life…

And whilst we’re on the subject of transport you might want to check out Kath’s gift ideas for stylish commuters…


I love cheese and bicycles

Cheese And Bicycles Side Plate £25


Crane Suzu Bell £10.50, Snowflake Spoke Reflector £5.99, Brick Lane Bikes Cycling Gloves £14.99




Bicycle Yellowstone Fabric Bag £10.50,  Washbag Pedal Power Bicycle £25



Merino Bicycle Bobble Hat £34, Sawako Furuno ladies bike helmet Leopard £84



Bicycle inner tube small feather earrings  £4.50, Glam Bike Chain Necklace £36, Woodcut Bicycle Necklace £12.47



Reflective bow by night in red £14.99, Lflect reflective shoe flap £18



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A Gift Idea For Stylish Commuters

I’m a dedicated user of public transport, but I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not the most glamourous method of travel.

At this time of year buses and trains are rammed with commuters more concerned with wrapping up against the horrible weather and avoiding the bugs of fellow travellers than looking stylish en route.  Perfect hair and make up gets a battering as windows steam up with the collective body heat of soggy, frustrated passengers.

Small luxuries bring a sliver of pleasure to the daily routine, and by treating yourself to something like a lovely hand crafted leather travel pass holder, you can inject your daily commute with a bit of style.

travel pass holder with zigzag design

Liz bought me this cracking specimen from an Etsy seller called Tovi Sorga last Christmas.  Not only has it replaced the standard issue plastic pass cover which was falling apart, but it also makes me feel a cut above the rest on the 97 bus, and I’m sure I’ve clocked a few envious looks from fellow passengers (or they could have just been giving me the side eye for inadvertently pushing in front of them in the queue…).

Torvi Sorga also make a whole range of other leather goods in bold prints and graphics that would make great gfits (I won’t mention the C word yet, but if you’re organised enough, go for it).

iphone case with swallow design

Leather iPhone case – Swallow and Leaf

Tovi corrie earrings

Leather earrings – Minimal Geometry No.2

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Gift Ideas for Hosts With The Most

I’m not really convinced about the term ‘hostess’ gifts. It’s a bit 1950’s / Stepford Wives-ish and makes me think of the dubious ‘hostess’ badge that was on offer when we were Brownies in the early 90’s. I recall that it consistented of Liz and I making tea and sandwiches for adults, whilst holding polite conversation. Somehow I don’t think that the badge was on offer for the guys over in scouts…

In my mind host/hostess gift is basically a ‘thank you for feeding me / putting me up’, and the generosity of the gift is usually relative to the amount of time you’ve intruded on their hospitality. Take note: if you are someone who intends to stay a couple of days and is still crashing on your friend’s couch 6 months later, you owe you some serious gifting (or, you know, maybe some rent).

Booze, usually wine, is the obvious answer, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Plus it can be hard to buy for someone with an intimidatingly well stocked wine cabinet.   It also helps to get a bit creative if you’re staying for a longer stint and want to splash out to treat your hosts who may have saved you a hotel bill. So here are a few alternative ideas, and you can find the full Pinterest list here.


1.  Day of the Dead – Tequila Añejo 50ml £12.50 (+£6 p&p/collect in store) 2. Whitby Bone China Mug – Indigo £8 (£3.25 p&p) 3. ARV BRÖLLOP Serving stand with lid, clear glass  £15 (collect in store only) 4. Chocolate & Macadamia Biscuits £9.95 (in store/ £4.95 per delivery)  5.  Jersey Pottery Sardine Run Small Jug £19 (in store/£5.95 p&p) 6.  Raspberry Infused Gin £18.50 (+£6 p&p/collect in store)  7. Garden Recipe Cards £14.50 (£5.95 p&p/collect in store) 8. Pitt Cue Co. – The Cookbook £10 (free p&p) 9. Sinatra Stoneware Green reactive glaze platter | £30 (+£4.95 p&p) 10. Marbleised Servingware (Oval) £24 (in store/£8 p&p) 11. Amber vase £5.49 (+£4.79 p&p)

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Gift Ideas: Wedding Presents for Couples

Wedding season is nearly upon us again, and I generally stick with my golden rule of wedding gift giving which is: get the couple stuff they’ve asked for. 

Whether they’ve gone to the trouble of compiling a gift list, or are just asking for donations towards their honeymoon or a charity, heeding their instructions is always a safe bet.

That being said, you do get some couples who don’t ask for anything in particular and often, even with those couples that do, you sometimes want to find an additional something extra to go with their registry gift or donation.   This is when you encounter the nigh on impossible task of buying a gift that is genuinely suited to a couple, and doesn’t just default to the taste / preference of the member of the couple you know best (very easily done).

Homeware is generally not a good idea for risk of duplication, and also risk of subjecting a friend/family member to your taste, which they might have to politely live with until they can plausibly blame destruction on cats/kids/movers.

Here are a few alternative suggestions:

For the honeymoon….

White and Brown leather passport covers

1. For regular jet setters, leather passport cases are stylish and also practical, as they stop passport getting so creased and bashed that airport security look at you suspiciously: Left: Leather golden stars passport cover approx £15  Right: vintage leather passport cover with free personalisation approx. £24


Rolled grey stripe towel

2. These stylish Hammam  beach towels (approx. £16) are ideal for those honeymooning in a beach-y destinations (they’re also very lightweight so good for suitcase packing).


Cover of national geographic traveller magazine

3. A subscription to National Geographic Traveller magazine to inspire further travels (if you have Tesco clubcard points saved you can buy it with just £8 of vouchers)

[See more gifts for travellers, foodies and homebodies under the cut….]

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Easter Gift Ideas For Kids

When buying Easter gifts for little people, I try not to default solely to chocolate gifts. This is partly in sympathy for their parents and the effects of overzealous sugar consumption, and partly in the interests of value for money in the longevity of the gift (and also Yorkshire thriftiness in looking at what % of your money is paying for chocolate and what % for packaging…).

Here’s my round up of crafty / educational / wearable alternatives to Easter eggs, though I would recommend they are accompanied by a small chocolate treat so you’re not pegged as the killjoy aunty/uncle.

round up of Easter gifts for kids

Clockwise from top left: Baileys Home | Flower Press £8.50 (s) £15.50 (l), Paperchase | Easter Sticker Pack £4, Etsy | Handmade needle felted bunny brooch £22 (approx.), Not on the Highstreet | Chalkboard T Shirt £19, Jellycat | Tiggalope Sheep £15, Amazon | Play to Learn Hide ‘n’ Squeak Eggs £4.49


6 images of Easter gift ideas for kids

Clockwise from top left: Not on the Highstreet | emporary Finger Tatoos £5, House of Fraser | Baby`s animal friend t-shirt £7.20, Etsy | Make Your Own Rabbit Toy Craft Kit – Sewing Kit £18, Marks & Spencer | Easter Windmill £5, Amazon | Knuffle Bunny £5.03, Cuckooland | Melt & Make Chocolate Easter Kit £12.99

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