27. Impossible to Buy For

For those of you who are stuck for ideas on what to buy for loved ones for Christmas this year don’t despair! I have a fabulous business to share with you this week called Impossible to Buy For.

Impossible to Buy For is a website suited to those who are totally stuck for gift ideas for loved ones in the run up for that special occasion be it Christmas, Birthday, Valentines Day etc. Set up by blogger, Louise Croft who owns blog, Pauper to Princess. All of the gifts are supplied by Amazon to provide gifts for literally everyone in your life!

“So many of my friends and family are impossible to buy for, and I knew I couldn’t be the only one feeling this way, so I figured it was time to fix the problem.” – Louise Croft, Founder of Impossibletobuyfor.com

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What I love about Louise’s website is how easy it is to find a gift. What I often find with larger department store websites is that it can take a while to find the perfect gift but this has all the ideas in one place for any budget.

So are you looking for some gift ideas? I’ve put together a few lists for you below for the different people in your life! I hope it provides you with some inspiration!

Gifts for the lady in your life

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Kate Spade Watch – £173.50

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Pink Lemonade Candle – £12

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Bottega Gold Prosecco – £47.99

Gifts for those who love a good book

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Invisible Bookshelf – £39.90

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Dawn O’Porter Book – £14.99

Gifts for those who love to bake

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Macaron Pyramid – £22.81

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Mug Cakes Recipes – £3

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Retro Waffle Maker – £27.15

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Chocolate Brussel Sprouts – £9.95

Gifts for the creative ones

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Artistic Clutch Bag – £29.99

 

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Illustrated Map of London – £13.99

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Vogue Colouring Book – £7

and of course I have to include my total faves!

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LOVE Light – £29.99

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Dressing Table – £69.97

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Fujifilm Polaroid Camera – £76.49

Do you have any gift ideas? Share them with us in the comments!

Click here to visit the full range of products available.

Becky at Pretty & Petit

Images taken from impossibletobuyfor.com

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Dreams of Dubai

“Dubai, with all of its glitz and glamour rose in the heart of the desert.”

Soroosh Shahrivar, The Rise of Shams

Personally, I find the city of Dubai one of the most fascinating destinations in the world. With its contrast of old and new, historical and modern and it’s merging of a variety of cultures that use the destination as a gateway to the rest of the world, it is the ultimate city of dreams. When I was a little girl I first discovered the city of Dubai in an encyclopaedia (with the rise of the internet I’m not even sure they still exist!) At school I would create collage after collage of research in the form of images of future designs of architectural magnificence that Dubai was looking forward to, in any other city these would have stayed pipe dreams. Not in Dubai.  Most of these mesmerizing structures have now come into fruition or are certainly under development.

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The city of Dubai. Image from Tumblr

When the opportunity arose to take part in Travelbag’s blogger competition with a prize of a trip to Dubai came up I was beyond ecstatic. It took me back to those school days where I would be cutting and sticking images of a destination I could only ever dream of visiting and I had to get involved.

There are two sides to Dubai, and it is these contrasting sides that I would absolutely have the pleasure in exploring. The history of Dubai as a small fishing village; growing, developing and expanding into the metropolis it has become, a symbol of the modern UAE. A symbol of a prosperous future for not only the city but the country as a whole.

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History of Dubai. Image from Viralnova.com

On the first day we would start with a day of visiting historical Dubai. We would enjoy a historical tour, savouring the cultural aspect of Dubai, marvelling at the fashions, savouring the tastes and smells of the souks. We would visit the food souk, the spice souk and the gold souk exploring what each of these had to offer. This would be followed by a visit to the Jumeirah Mosque. I find mosques absolutely beautiful and fascinating. They are such a peaceful environment as well which provides a calmness and sense of wellbeing.

Jumeirah Mosque. From Flickr.com

Jumeirah Mosque. Image from Flickr.com

In the evening we would escape the hustle and bustle of the city to the desert on a Desert Safari. Enjoying the surroundings of the bedouin camp we would enjoy belly dancers and arabic henna painting into the night.

The desert of Dubai. Image from 99traveltips.com

The desert of Dubai. Image from 99traveltips.com

Rising early, the second day would take an intense look at the architecture of Dubai. This is a city which has a landscape that looks like something out of this world. We would start the day by taking a visit to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, standing at 829.8m tall, venturing to the dizzying heights of the 125th floor to view the landscape around us. We would marvel at the World’s largest the fountains of the Burj Khalifa lake as they perform their daily shows, at night sending beams of light into space!

The Burj Khalifa - Image from Harpers Bazaar.

The Burj Khalifa – Image from Harpers Bazaar.

After coming back down to Earth we would visit the Dubai Mall. We would have some retail therapy, before exploring the other attractions the Mall has to offer, such as visiting the DubaiDino, a dinosaur that has been transported all the way from the USA and Sega Republic for some video gaming fun! No doubt we would also end up in the candy heaven that is Candylicious!

The most beautiful candy in the world! Image found on valentinadepertis.blogspot.se

The most beautiful candy in the world! Image found on valentinadepertis.blogspot.se

We would take in the beautiful city scape, including the many towers that dominate the skyline. My favourite would have to be the Twisted Tower, the Cayan Tower standing at 306m high.

Cayan Tower. Image found on skyscrapercity.com

Cayan Tower. Image found on skyscrapercity.com

Ending our exploration would be a visit to the manmade islands of the Palm and The World. These fascinated me as I was growing up, a playground for the rich and famous, these are located in the waters of the Persian Gulf and as the name suggests are in the shape of a Palm Tree and all the countries of the World. 

The second day would end with a trip to Burj Al Arab, the most luxurious hotel in the world. It was this architecture that first drew me into want to learn more about Dubai. This is the ultimate icon of Dubai and an architectural wonder. We would enjoy cocktails in the sky bar looking over the beautiful coastline and city of Dubai as the sun sets.

Burj Al Arab - Image found on homedit.com

Burj Al Arab – Image found on homedit.com

After two days of absorbing the architecture and the cultural aspects of Dubai Day three would be time for some fun in the sun! Ironically, the first activity of the day would not be in the sun and would involve a visit to Dubai’s Indoor Ski Park located in the Dubai Mall. A faux winter wonderland, this ski park is 22,500 square meters with a variety of activities available including skiing and snowboarding.

The Dubai Ski Park. Image  found on thechive.com

The Dubai Ski Park. Image found on thechive.com

After a couple of hours skiing we would head to Dubai’s Miracle Garden, the world’s largest natural garden full of the most colourful displays and breathtaking landscaping I have ever seen! When I was researching more about these gardens I was absolutely convinced to put them on my bucket list and I’m sure after seeing the images below you will too!

Dubai Miracle Garden - Image found on travel.cnn.com

Dubai Miracle Garden – Image found on travel.cnn.com

Dubai Miracle Garden. Image found on icosnap.com

Dubai Miracle Garden. Image found on icosnap.com

Our final day would end with a trip to the Atlantis resort. Located on The Palm, this breathtaking hotel is a reflection of the Atlantis in the Bahamas and plays host to rooms surrounded by an aquarium so you can literally spot stingrays and beautifully coloured tropical fish from the comfort of your own bed! Aquaventure Water Park is also part of the resort with some of the best water rides in the world and we would spend the afternoon zipping down water slides and relaxing in the sun. After enjoying a fun filled afternoon of meeting sea lions, visiting Dolphin Bay and enjoying the sights of the Aquarium we would visit one of the 23 fantastic restaurants to choose from for the most delicious meal before sorrowfully heading back to the UK.

The Atlantis Dubai. Image found on telegraph.co.uk

The Atlantis Dubai. Image found on telegraph.co.uk

“Pilgrims from all over the world were making their way to the place deemed the pearl of the Middle East. The city was reminiscent of a modern-day Persepolis. Its buildings, like towering pillars, tested the sky’s limit. The evenly paved roads belched with the smell of new tarmac, as if a million masons woke up every morning and by hand lay asphalt one grain at a time. People of all colors, ethnicities, creed and social statuses came bearing money, knowledge or experience in order to build their legacies in the new kingdom, sprouting out of the desert.
Dubai had arrived.”
Soroosh Shahrivar, The Rise of Shams

Becky at Pretty & Petit

#MyChocBloggers Event

On Sunday 26th April I attended my first blogger event in London. As I have never been to a bloggers event before I was a bit unsure as to what to expect but everyone was so lovely and friendly and there were plenty of other newbies there too!

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The event was held at MyChocolate, a chocolate making events company located in a beautiful, light venue with floor to ceiling windows looking out over a canal near Shoreditch in London. After arriving, we all sat at workbenches and chatted about our different blogs and interests before we got started.

Hannah, who set up MyChocolate eight years ago introduced the business and described what we would be doing throughout the session. It would be a highlights session incorporating some of the best elements from various classes. We were introduced to Davis who would be talking us through the various techniques before we got onto the chocolate making!

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We started off by trying various types of chocolate, tasting the difference between a luxury chocolate and an ‘advent calendar’ chocolate. The chocolate smelt and tasted amazing (regardless of the type!) and it was definitely a good way to start! We also tried some more exotic flavours of chocolate, guessing which ingredients were included in creating them. I rarely try other types of chocolate (even being a bit wary of mixed boxes of chocolates!) however I really enjoyed guessing the different flavours and I will definitely be a bit more adventurous in future!

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We then got onto the chocolate making, starting by working in pairs to make some delicious looking truffles. We had to work quickly to ensure the chocolate didn’t set. Davis then introduced us to a number of various techniques to decorate various sweet treats including chocolate fudge, marshmallows and the truffles we had produced! There was a lot of dipping in milk and dark chocolate, using flakes and nuts to smother the chocolates and various instruments to create pretty patterns on the chocolate. This was definitely the messy part of the session but everything smelt amazing!

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As our chocolates set Hannah told us more about The Chocolate Hedgehog, a business selling gift sets to recreate the workshop in your own home. I thought this was such a fab idea and I look forward to creating some more chocolatey mess in my kitchen! Click here to find out more!

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Overall, the event was a fantastic way to meet other bloggers and I had an amazing time! I’m really looking forward to the next one! I really enjoyed the experience at MyChocolate and would definitely recommend visiting the workshops as a fun way to spend a weekend afternoon or even as a corporate or hen party event! Click here to find out further information on future events at MyChocolate.

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Click here to read a blog post about the event from MyChocolate.

I’d love to hear from you! Have you attended any blogger events? What has been your favourite activity? Let me know in the comments below.

Becky at Pretty & Petit

Images are my own or have been taken from the MyChocolate website.

Pretty & Petit visits The Ideal Home Show

My first time at the Ideal Home Show was last year (2014) on its last occasion in Earls Court. 2015 brings a new era to the show as it makes the move to Kensington Olympia. The event fitted the venue perfectly with each zone in its own separate spacious hall, making the show easy to navigate from any entrance.

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I usually visit the event on a Thursday evening, which is a bit like late night shopping when the show stays open until 9pm. It’s a nice time to visit as it’s slightly quieter from the day trippers and doesn’t have the weekend rush which means it is far easier to navigate around the event. Make sure you leave plenty of time for your visit though – there is so much to see (and purchase!) and you won’t want to be rushing round at the end!20150402_193300

We entered through the garden section, full of beautiful gardens, inspirational garden houses and beautiful water features. Living in central London currently means we have a bit of a distinct lack of garden but I now feel inspired to fill our balcony with water features, a pergola and a green house along with a hot tub! Maybe I should wait until I have a large enough garden to do that though?!

The food section was our absolute favourite part of the show! There was so much to choose from, everything from Chinese, Indian, Caribbean, Hog Roast, through to Ice Cream and Confectionary! We had delicious chilli and bratwurst German sausages which certainly filled us up! We also had a look around the Willy Wonka chocolate competition – Ideal Cake Decorator of the Year, which had some beautiful cakes!

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British Gas, as one of the main sponsors of the show, provided a number of stands exploring sustainable solutions for the home. There was information provided about loft and cavity wall insulation which will be provided free with support from the Government to the 90% of homes that need it depending on eligibility. You could be saving as much as £145 on your heating bill in a single year by having cavity wall insulation. By having loft insulation you could be saving as much as £150. Click here to find out more!

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Smart Meters are the new upgrade to how your energy usage is measured. British Gas is currently upgrading properties with this new technology across the country for their customers. If you are a British Gas customer this will mean you will no longer receive estimated bills, as readings will be automatically taken and sent directly meaning you will have a lot more control enabling you to see just how much energy you are using before your monthly or quarterly bill arrives. Click here to find out more!

Hive is ‘the clever way to control your heating and hot water.’ Using an app from your mobile, computer or tablet, you can control your heating remotely so there is no need to waste money heating an empty home again! It also has an optional feature alerting you if you have left your property with the heating on, again saving you money. Click here to find out more!

You can get a full range of Home Inspiration tips and advice from British Gas by clicking here to visit The Source. Helping you to get the best out of your home.

The Ideal Home Show has a number of show houses on display and this year, in true election spirit they had Number 10 Downing Street as one of the houses! It’s amazing to see how they literally flat pack and build these houses into the event. It’s definitely a key feature of the event.

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I attend a lot of exhibitions and events and what I found especially good about this show was the amount of stalls and businesses exhibiting. It was though every space had been used productively, partly down to the fantastic displays by the stall holders but also by the company that set up the event layout. It was very impressive!

To find out more information about the Ideal Home Show please click here.

Becky at Pretty & Petit