Quirky Gifts For Teens With Qwerkity

Presents for teenage kids are notoriously hard to buy for, with my fourteen year old son being the hardest of all.

I should be happy with the fact that he rarely asks for anything but when it comes to birthdays and Christmas it can be a real pain as I don’t even know where to start.

I always end up with the usual video games, smelly sets and chocolate which gets boring for me to buy so must be really boring for him to receive.

Luckily inspiration came my way in the form of a great website that has a whole host of different gifts for teenagers  that would please even the trickiest customer!

Archie’s room is usually awash with piles of rubbish and dirty clothes so what would fit in more perfectly then a stool disguised as a stack of pizza boxes.

The incredible cardboard stool pizza box is a super cool stool make of corrugated cardboard that fits together in nine easy steps.

It is just as easy to fold up as it is to assemble and can hold up to an unbelievable 200kg.

This would be such a cool addition to any teens room and has been a real talking point for all his friends.

Let’s just hope he doesn’t decide to recreate one with real boxes!

* I was given this stool for the purpose of this review and they are all my own honest opinion.

Melting Snowmen Christmas Presents

One of my favourite gifts to make at this time of year is chocolate bark. You can use a mixture of so many different  ingredients and it is completely up to you what combinations you choose.

This year I got a resounding ‘no’ when I suggested it again for teachers presents.

I took to the Internet and found a great recipe for melting snowman that I knew would change their mind.

All the recipes I found were American so lots of the ingredients were unavailable over here.

I managed to change things around a little and here is how we made them.


Melting Snowmen

  • 6x200g bars white chocolate with krispies
  • Small amount of orange royal icing 
  • Black sweet beads
  • Handful pretzels 
  • 10 rolos 
  • Shallow baking tray
  • Grease proof paper
  1. Break up the chocolate into a heat proof bowl and melt over a pan of boiling water.
  2. Line a baking tray with greasproof paper and spread the melted chocolate across the whole tray.
  3. Place a rolo side on into the chocolate to create a hat.
  4. Place on two black beads to make the eyes and three more for his buttons.
  5. Roll a small amount of icing to create a nose and place this on the chocolate too.
  6. Lastly break the pretzels into small strips and put onto the chocolate for the arms.
  7. Put the tray into the fridge and allow to harden for a few hours.
  8. Cut into sections and place into cellophane bags.

      The Wicked Uncle Challenge

      Number two is the hardest child to buy for.  He never asked for much for birthdays and always has a very sparse christmas list.  In a way this is commendable and a welcome change the the catalouge sized requests we get from the others.

      When Wicked Uncle set us the challenge to pick a grown up to buy a gift for I knew that number two would be the biggest challenge of all my little ones!

      My poor sister was my chosen grownup and was a little daunted by the task ahead.

      She was actually really plesently surprised that the online toy shop was jammed packed with so many goodies that her challenge was going to be easier than she thought.

      The site offers you the option to select the gender, age and type of area that is best suited which narrows there search down perfectly.

      Number four is a techy teen so when she came across the x-cam quadcopter drone she hoped it would go down well.


      Delivery  was super quick and when the big parcel arrived number four looked super happy to get a special gift through the post, the delight filled his face as he opened the box to reveal his drone.

      After charging he headed straight to the garden where he spent ages perfecting his flying skills and trying to capture images of his younger brothers playing on their scooters below.

      From the selection process of the purchaser to the reaction on the children’s faces Wicked Uncle have got the whole experience sussed!

      This will 100% be my go to site for christmas presents for all the family and I have a feeling  the christmas list from number two may be a little longer this year!

      *we were gifted this drone in return for the review. They are all my own, honest opinions. 

       

      Christmas In July With Tesco

      Dressed in my new summer dress and sparky gold sandals I stepped out of the hazy heat of the London streets straight into a snow covered winter wonderland!

      No I hadn’t found Narnia-I was experiencing my first Christmas in July event with Tesco.


      The snowy trail lead me straight into a room adorned with pretty decorations that would look perfect in any home on Christmas Eve.


      One of the biggest parts of Christmas for me is the food and Tesco have got this down to a tee with scrumptious chocolates and biscuit selections to share with guests, easy to prepare party food and all the trimmings for the main celebrations.


      I’m always looking for something different to fill my teenage sons stocking as he is the hardest person I know to buy for.  This year Tesco have come up with some wonderful chocolate truffle sprouts that are quirky to look at and delicious to eat!

      With two allergy sufferers in our house Christmas is a tricky time as the majority of goodies are out of bounds.  This year the party selection includes a vast range of products that are free from the majority of the main allergens that can be  popped into the oven and ready super quick which is just what you need at such a busy time of year. 

      I can’t wait to try out the pulled pork bites, crispy cheesy stars and the chicken tikka bites.



      I hosted Christmas for the first time last year and although it was more than a little stressful I throughly enjoyed it have found lots of things I will add to my table this year.

      We are a huge family and everything needs to be on a grand scale but I was really impressed with the Christmas dinner in a box that offers the full works for two for only £25.

      Procecco for me is good at anytime of year but a must at the Christmas table and at only £10 a bottle for this fabulous sparkling wine with flavours of apple, white flowers, citrus, grapefruit and honey you really can’t go wrong.


      Letters to Father Christmas go off early round here and I was very excited to spot a fab new fast shooting Nerf gun that is going to be a must on number four’s list. The famous Sindy is being revived and will be sure to give Barbie a run for her money and brilliant new game from the makers of last years Pie Face that sets you lots of tasks to do whilst wearing a mouth guard!


      Tesco have Christmas well and truly wrapped up this year and nothing has been missed.

      From delectable food to gorgeous decorations, pretty gift wrapping and presents with a different they really have thought of it all.  This will be my go to shop this year and I urge you all to go and take a look.

      Discovering Croydon’s Heritage Festival

      Croydon was my Mother’s birthplace and home to my secondary school so it is an area that has been part of my life for many years. 

      I have noticed huge changes to the area over time, so when we were asked to come along and join in the celebrations of the Croydon Heritage Festival I was happy to take a trip to see what was going on.  

      Croydon is undergoing a huge regeneration project at the moment and events such as this help people to understand how things are moving forward to create a better future for the ever growing community whist educating people on the important and colourful days of times past.

      With community spirt as a whole dwindling with people’s lives become busier and more insular as a whole,  events like this really bring people together to create some much need community spirit.

      This is the fourth festival of its kind and this years focus was on ‘Undiscovered Croydon’.  From the 18th-26th June people have the opportunity to take part in a whole host of activities from looking at exhibitions, listening to talks, trying their hand at workshops and much more.

      Saturday was the grand opening and the town centre was alive with people grabbing delicious food from the many stalls, kids rushing around taking part in the family themed activities that were on offer and crowds of people enjoying the music and performances put on by some extremely talented people that had taken to the main stage.


      Inside the Whitgift Centre the children had great fun creating their own masterpiece on the interactive art cube. Next to this were some fantastic Victorian themed spyglasses the children could decorate, but unfortunately we didn’t have time to stop as we needed to move onto our next activity.


      Feeling crafty we made our way up to Whitgift Wennies where number three and four took part in the mosaic tile workshop.


      I had not come across this on my past visits to Croydon and I’m so glad we had the opportunity to try it out as it is a fantastic concept that is open to any child as the session are all complexly free.

      Activity sessions are put on throughout the month which are posted to their website and are free to take part in.  Once you are a registered member you simply book your time slot and arrive with your membership card and get set to have some messy fun.

      After all of their activities I had the chance to grab a little retail therapy and try out the recently launched dual branded Centrale and Whitgift gift card.  This can be used in 130 stores across the two shopping centres.


      For me this would make the perfect gift as there is such a vast choice.  I’m sure is the same for many of you, birthdays have come around and you open a gift card to a store you never use and it a waste of time and money for everyone.  With this card everyone is covered from clothes and jewellery to toys or grabbing a bite to eat.

      I treated myself to a couple of sale bargains in Topshop and treated the kids to a hot chocolate a huge slice of cake in House Of Fraser.

      The opening of the festival may have been and gone but there are still plenty of activities to take part in.  I for one will be booking a tour of the Alms Houses as I have walked past this secret, gated area for years and have always wanted to discover what treasures are hidden behind the gates!   
      * I was given a shopping centre gift card for the purpose of this review and they are all my own honest opinions.

      Some Extra Pennies For Christmas

        
      It may only be October and many of you will be fed up with the shelves already being stocked full of Christmas goodies, but as we all know before we know it the big day will be upon us.

      With the average family spending around £821 over the festive season here are some tips to help you find the extra money.

      Shop Around

      With a good 12 weeks you have plenty of time to shop around for the best price on gifts.  Around this time of year the large stores have plenty of cut price offers and three for two deals.

      Check websites regularly so you don’t miss out of one of tour little ones much wanted presents for a knocked down price.

      Last year I followed several pages on Facebook that brought up Amazons daily deals.  I saved a fortune on a lot of the presents the kids wanted.

      Have A Clear Out

      As with most of us we all have things lying around the house that we no longer need or want.  It is a great time to make the most of this and start to list on selling sites such as eBay.  

      We always have a good clear out of toys, clothes, books etc and put them on eBay around now.  The money that I make then goes into PayPal and I use that to by presents with.  I would say that over half of my presents were bought like this last year and it really feels as if you are getting something for nothing!

      Stop Those Morning Lattes

      I am a great lover of a coffee shop but I know that it does nothing for my purse!!

      All theses little extras like magazines and those cheeky little cakes you pick up all add up and could go a long way towards the Christmas budget.

      Say we spend £2.50 a day on coffee five days a week, that will work out at £12.50 a week.  If you were to forgo that for the next twelve weeks you would make a saving of £150.  A fair whack of the Christmas budget hey?

      There are apps that you can download such as Spending Tracker that can show you exactly where you are over spending.

      Just The Kids

      A long time ago I stopped buying presents for friends and family and now just buy for the little ones.

      This may sound harsh but for us it’s the exitment in the children’s faces when that get what they want that is the best present.  We find that having some days out together in the lead up to Christmas is much nicer and also kinder on the pocket.

      I do however have one exception and that is my sister as she has five children to buy for and she has none for me to by back for!

      Early Bird Days Out

      Keep an eye out for Christmas days out at this time of year as many will be up with discounted tickets if they are booked now.  Have a look for things you would really love to do and you could save some money on doing it.

      Homemade Gifts

      For me there is nothing better than receiving a handmade gift.  There is so much more love and thought in them and handily they are a lot cheaper.  The children love preparing chocolates and cards for their teachers and taking them in on the last day of term.

      I hope I have given you a few tips here that will come in handy and go towards a happy yet thrift Christmas.

      Do you have any tips oh saving over this expensive time.

      End Of Term Pressies

      At the end of term we always like to say a big thank you to the teachers by making them something homemade.

      This year I used a recipe from Life Currents that I had originally set aside for number four as it is allergy free; but it seemed something nice and easy for number three to prepare herself.

      Coconut Bites

      • 200g Shredded Coconut
      • 230ml Coconut Oil
      • 2tbsp Maple Syrup
      • Half tsp Vanilla Extract
      1. In a saucepan mix together the coconut, coconut oil and the syrup and heat for about 5mins until some oil is absorbed.
      2. Remove from the heat and pack firmly into a 9 by 5 inch loaf tin and refrigerate for around an hour.
      3. Once hardened remove from the tin and cut into 21 small pieces.

        

      I found some lovely jam jars in our local kitchen suppliers The Art Of Living which were perfect to home our handmade gifts.

        
      Number three then cut a gift tag from some coloured paper and added her own message.

      To finish the gift off she tied her gift tag to the jar with some string.

         
       

      Hopefully her teachers will be pleased with the gifts and have a great summer holiday.

      What gifts do you normally chose for your children’s teachers?