Candle

Christmas Gift Guide for Men

With just eight days to go until Father Christmas arrives, we can’t quite believe how quickly the season of giving has come around. We’re not yet at the stage of panic buying; however, it has to be said that most of us at The Amazing Blog, are beginning to cut it fine with our present ideas. If you too are struggling, then this week we will be providing some last minute gift guides, helping you to spend less time worrying about the tricky receivers to buy for (we all know someone), and more time enjoying the festivities. Today we start with ‘Gifts for Men’, ranging from grooming products to technology and accessories. Grab a mince pie (and a glass of something nice), and let us do the research for you.

The Bluebeards Revenge.jpg

Firstly, we introduce The Bluebeards Revenge - a shaving and grooming company who provide products that promote a sustainable grooming routine, as opposed to the quick rush (and inevitable cuts) from using mass-market products. We previously reviewed their Ultimate Sea Salt Spray (see here), and so we were thrilled to try their Soap Stack Kit. True to their promise of creating products that are neither cheap cans of mass-produced products nor designer creams that are more akin to moisturisers, this set consists of three expertly produced soaps.

Ideal for any wash or gym bag, these soaps are unique in many ways. Primarily, the three scents are the perfect balance between providing a less feminine smell, while also promoting hydration and comfort. The first, ‘Classic Ice Soap’ is a modern twist on the British barbershop fragrance, a welcome scent that provides manliness and moisturisation simultaneously. Secondly, ‘Big Blue Bar of Soap for Blokes’ has a simple and fresh scent, and thanks to the bright blue colour, stands out amongst the sea of other generic products. Equally, ‘Cuban Gold Soap’ is ideal for days when an exotic aroma is needed (calling all Monday mornings!) With inspiration from the Caribbean, this soap packs a punch, and as a result of the unique shape, it is easy to handle, and unique to the eye. To make life even easier, these soaps come packaged in an aesthetically pleasing box, which coupled with the attractive colours, makes for a ready-made present. These soaps lather well and help to invigorate the body. To gain optimum benefits - use from head to toe, either in the bath or shower. The Bluebeards Revenge are also strictly against animal testing, and these soaps are both vegetarian and vegan-friendly - the perfect grooming gift that doesn’t involve a generic body spray or cheap aftershave. The best part? The Soap Stack Kit is affordable, at £13.99. Click here to see for yourself.

47256108_956816797841657_8041597792356925440_n.jpg

For a man with a newfound grooming routine, a durable wash bag is undoubtedly next on the list. We turned to a brand that we know and love and discovered Morris & Co.’s ‘Refined Gentleman Washbag’, which we think fits the bill perfectly. Part of the brand Heathcote & Ivory, Morris and Co. similarly specialise in creating unique and detailed lifestyle products. We have previously featured both Heathcote and Ivory’s Inflight Essentials and Christmas Gifts Set, so were excited to try a lifestyle product aimed at the male market. Thankfully we were not disappointed!

The Refined Gentleman Wash Bag is the ideal gift for a man that is looking for some luxury. The wash bag itself is generous in size, fitting full sized products in, with ease. Thanks to the use of a zip, it also opens and closes easily, and uses vegan leather, which ensures it is wipeable, and therefore easy to keep clean. The real standout of this product is the Acanthus print, inspired by Morris & Co.’s first wallpaper design. As the primary showcase of the brand’s plan to create large-scale wallpaper designs, we like this historical link, as well as the elegant and unique finish. The inner fabric is also wipeable, made from 100% polyester, meaning any spillages can be quickly rectified. To purchase a wash bag for the gentleman in your life, then click here, where you will find The Refined Gentleman Wash Bag available for £24.

Morris and Co Hip Flask.jpg

For a gentleman that enjoys a tipple, we also came across Morris and Co.’sThe Refined Gentleman Hip Flask’. Designed with the same embossed pattern as the above wash bag, this hip flask is a classy addition to any inner pocket. Although it is slim enough to fit most pockets, it contains enough room to hold approximately 200ml of liquid. Once again, the fabric is vegan and wipeable, meaning any sticky alcohol spillages can be removed with ease. It comes packaged in a simple, and elegant box (yes - we look for presents that are easy to wrap too), and we think it would make a great present alongside the Wash Bag or would be equally welcomed with a small bottle of your receivers favourite spirit. Either way (or neither way, as it is equally lovely on its own), you will find it on the Heathcote and Ivory website for £22 - a reasonable price for a present that is durable, and sure to be well loved.

46883429_371112846977648_2832065915602862080_n.jpg

For something a little more outlandishly festive, we came across Lime Lace. Stockists of stylish home accessories, gifts and furniture, their website offers an abundance of gifting options, from artwork to lighting and cushions. It was, however, the candles that caught our eye, in particular, The Christmas Jumper Candle the perfect balance between Christmas kitsch, and clever design.

This candle adds a little festive spirit to any room and will be sure to make your receiver smile. We must confess that we were concerned by the prospect of this candle looking too novelty, however, we were pleasantly surprised by the enormous amount of detail. The wax has been carved to look like intricate wool, and the addition of the glitter is an excellent way to jazz up any table or mantlepiece. The detail even goes as far as to emulate red stitching around the cuffs and hem, and we were pleased to discover that the glitter is non-transferable. Gone is the worry of packaging a present, only to find a product that has become distinctively less glittery in the process. Additionally, you’ll find the outer box easy to wrap, although we think it would look lovely when wrapped in cellophane, with a red ribbon bow. The size of this candle also surprised us, at 11x12cm, a decent dimension to create an optimum festive atmosphere, without being overbearing. To send a little Christmas cheer of your own, purchase a Christmas Jumper Candle here for £16.95.

47686323_280548019331330_1747355737266323456_n.jpg

Finally, for the gadget lover in your life, we discovered Orbitkey. Founders, Rex and Charles, started the company after they decided enough was enough when it came to key organisation. Initially, it took just 30 days to gain 5,000 supporters, and with bases in Melbourne and New York, the success is now notable. Based on the concept of making key storage less bulky, we were keen to try the brand for ourselves.

Although Orbitkey have a plethora of different options, we particularly like the Orbitkey 2.0 Leather. This design comes in a vast array of colours, from simple black and stone to more eye-catching sage and tan. In a nutshell, this product provides a way to hold up to 7 keys, organising them, preventing them from scratching and providing a durable and lightweight finish. Now, of course, this product is not merely limited to men, but we particularly think the concept is perfect for men who often carry keys in their pockets. We were astounded by how convenient this product is, not just for protecting the keys, but also other ensuring other items in pockets and bags are equally protected. Orbitkey have also considered the inevitability of needing to add car keys separately, which can be done utilising the slim D-ring at the top of the leather strap. We tried the Orbitkey in Charcoal with Grey Stitching, which has proven to be popular in the office - especially among the male members of our cohort. There is also the option to monogram the genuine cowhide leather, which screams present giving to us (although you may be pushing it this week). We get the impression that design and ergonomics are paramount to this brand, which only extends further into the stylish and sleek box that the product arrived in. To encourage organisation for a man in your life, see the Orbitkey website here, where you will find this design for £35.59 or £46.23 with monogramming.

So there we go, five products that have hopefully given you a little inspiration for any gift giving nightmares. Perhaps you’ve even found a little something that you’d quite like yourself (when is it too late to add to your Christmas list exactly?) Be sure to check out the rest of our guides this week for even more inspiration, or for those of you who are indefinitely organised, perhaps these could be potential gifts for the New Year. Happy shopping!

Lime Lace - Lets Rock Hand Candle

BLOG Limelace candle.jpg

Rock 'n' roll is much-loved music genre at The Amazing Blog. What’s better than a dramatic electric guitar solo or the slam of drumsticks on the cymbals? Home products that incorporate our musical interests always get our attention and one of our favourite brands that do so is Lime Lace. They are an inspirational boutique online store offering eclectic home accessories and gifts, and you can see other products that we’ve written about in the past here.

Lime lace specialises in helping their customers create personalised homes filled with quirky items that speak to each person's unique personality. The Lime Lace Lets Rock Hand Candle provides customers with a fun way to spice up a room's vibe and it’s definitely a fantastic conversation starter!

The Lets Rock Hand Candle is a cast of an actual adult hand using the universally known rock ‘n’ roll gesture (H 21 cm x W 9 cm.) The candle is made from high-quality, non-toxic wax and natural colours, and is odourless. This candle comes in two different finishes: shimmering silver or metallic steel (as pictured above). Also, it has two wicks that add an extra flair. This candle is the perfect gift for any rock 'n' roll lover. This candle is sure to ‘rock out’ in any room you put it in. You can purchase the Lime Lace Lets Rock Hand Candle here for £22.95.

She LDN Candle

BLOG.jpg

Rain or shine, all of us at The Amazing Blog are continually burning candles in the evenings. There is something simple and calming about watching the flickering flame and being surrounded by its seductive fragrance. This is why we're always on the hunt for our next one! Recently, we discovered SHE LDN, an up-and-coming British home fragrance brand. The company is known for their handmade soy-based candles, which are inspired by the modern streets of LondonSHE LDN produces all their handmade candles in their London studio. This week we're burning their NO. 1 Tropical Candlewhich we think is evocative of forthcoming summer festivals (especially our fav, the Notting Hill Carnival) with its exotic fragrance. Bring on the sunshine, even if it's raining! We just can’t get enough of this uplifting fragrance!

The NO. 1 Tropical Candle also reminds us of Piña Coladas on a warm, sunny beach. The tropical blend of pineapple, banana, and mango is made from high-quality soy-wax and essential and fragrance oils. One of our favourite things about this candle, apart from its fragrance, is the stylish design and packaging. This funky candle comes in a sleek cardboard box and glass container, all printed with a contemporary colourful design of flamingos and palm trees.

The candle has up to a 50 hour burn time, so it'll give you a week or so of summer evening pleasure, even if it is (like now) grey, rainy and miserable! To achieve best results, SHE LDN suggests burning the candle for at maximum 4 hours at a time. They also recommend trimming the wick 1/8 – ¼ of an inch before each use.

You can purchase the NO. 1 Tropical Candle from SHE LDN here for £20.00. 

Hand Lotion, Hand Cream, Hand Wash, Candle - The Handmade Soap Co

photo blog - final draft.jpg

Winter season has arrived and whilst it’s cold outside it’s important to keep your skin moisturized. Here at The Amazing Blog we understand the bad effects coldness can have on our skin. It’s better to be stocked up and avoid getting dry skin… rough as cracked hands have never been pretty. The Handmade Soap Co is perfect to keep your skin smooth and soft for the cold seaon.

The Handmade Soap Co specializes in products from bath to body, lips and hands, from soaps to lotions and butters to balms. Not only skincare products but they also have candles and diffusers with their own different fragrances. The four ranges are grapefruit, lavender, lemongrass and sweet orange as well as a men’s collection to suit every single one. The products are handmade with care and uses natural ingredients from plant and mineral extracts to create skincare collections suitable for anyone and all skin types.

The two hand lotions we received included the Lemongrass & Cedarwood which has a strong scent that leave your hands smelling gorgeous for hours, it is a light liquid creamy formula for your skin to absorbs it and keep your working hands feeling soft throughout the day. The second hand lotion was the Grapefruit & May Chang which has a fruity fragrance, really nice refreshing scent, easily absorbed to keep your hands moisturised.

Each range has their own stamp and signature which we at The Amazing Blog, really appreciated and even more liked the idea of this packaging. The next product we received was part of the Lavender range: a Hand Cream infused with a combination of lavender, rosemary thyme and mint. The lavender and mint are quite overpowering in a good way as it really shines through and smells so gorgeous it makes us want to eat it.  

The Hand wash from the Lemongrass and Cedarwood range also has a strong fragrance like its hand lotion but it compliments it really well. It is refreshing to use and we advise you to use the hand lotion after as their combination leaves your hands feeling smooth and soft with a lovely scent.

Finally, you can never have too many candles in winter time, when it’s cold and raining outside the best thing to do is cosying up in the sofa with a warm blanket, a hot cuppa, watching television and of course with nice scented candles… As each range has their own candle and diffuser it really adds more value and a unique touch to each collections. We tried the candle from the Sweet Orange collection an we loved it.

These are the perfect products to stock up for winter time and would make lovely gifts too. You can purchase the Lemongrass hand lotion for £14.95 here , the Grapefruit hand lotion for £12.95 here, the Hand cream from the Lavender collection here for £11.95 and the Hand wash here for £12.95. Last but not least, you can purchase the Sweet Orange candle here for £15.95.

Home Festive Finds

Day four of our Festive Finds is dedicated to our homes this Christmas and filling them with fun for your family and any guests you have popping round to celebrate with. I’m sure it’s not only the girls at The Amazing Blog who have started thinking about buying little extras to have around the house. We have some items here to suit a variety of people so I’m sure there will be something for you to enjoy. image of book

The Nature Magpie is a book written by Daniel Allen and is basically an abundance of facts, anecdotes, folklore and literature from the natural world. This is the perfect book to have lying around in your home for when you have a bit of spare time to relax. Although Christmas is a busy period, you need to make time in your day to do something other than cook roast chicken and pick tinsel up off the floor. This book is full of interesting information and will be a tempting read for guests when they come over. It’s not an antisocial book, for example if you’re waiting for your go in a Christmas game of scrabble then you can pick it up for a quick scan of the pages, and learn something at the same time!  You will find anything from a bird nest soup recipe to the largest sum ever paid for a single truffle. If you’re heading to a pub quiz anytime soon then quickly get your hands on this, you will storm ahead when it comes to the animal and nature section. You can purchase this lovely and easy read from Waterstones and Amazon.

Harlequin_Candles&Diffusers_06_LRThe Harlequin Diffuser is a gorgeous addition to your home that you definitely won’t regret buying, especially if you’re hosting any Christmas parties and want to keep that cosy Christmas ambience. We have the Rosella diffuser dispensing a beautiful, soft aroma of Tuberose and White Rose Petals. They last for up to 18 weeks, so you can forget about them for a while and get used to your house smelling scrumptious all the time. We all pay attention to the way our houses look because we want to enjoy living in it but we also want others to appreciate it. These Harlequin Diffusers are perfect for getting a great smelling room which lasts a long time. They are £35 and you can find them here.

neal and wolf candle image

 Something that  also compliments a diffuser in your home is a candle, and there are so many to choose from, which means with a little searching you can find the perfect one for you and your home. I think every home needs a candle and especially at this time of the year and I especially like scented candles which induce a calming effect into your home. The Neal & Wolfe Indulgence Scented Candle is £17.95 and can be found here. It is a lovely candle full of beautiful scents to fill your room. If you’re looking for a relaxing candle to be enjoyed by the whole family and really cosy up your home, then this is ideal.  Neal & Wolfe fill it with calming scents such as orange blossom, lily, ylang-ylang and orchid, all of which are used in indulgence products.  To get the most out of this candle and its fragrance, allow the wax surface to melt and keep the wick trimmed to 1.5cm. Something special about this candle is its super long-lasting burner which lasts up to 45 hours. Spa fab Candles

The Spa Fabulous Organic Natural Scented Candle is perfect if you are looking for a more subtle scent to grace your home. It’s available in Vintage Rose, Fresh Lillies, Fresh Strawberries and Chocolate. Vintage Rose and Fresh Strawberries ventilate the room with a fruity and refreshing smell. I would definitely recommend these for day time use to give your home a light and uplifting feel, before possibly switching to something a bit heavier in the evening like the Chocolate candle. They have a more sophisticated scent than a lot of cheaper candles that you find on the highstreet. The look of the candle fits well with the elegant and simple scent that is released. For £28 and a promised burning period of at least 40 hours, this candle will be a popular feature in your home, or gift for your loved ones this Christmas. If you want to have a browse of the different candles then you can do so here.

The Custom Name Chalkboard

 The Custom Name Chalkboard by Spin Collective is something we picked out for homes as it’s a lot of fun to have in a family household and can be enjoyed by the younger members who might not be so interested in ‘grown-up’ home items. You can personalise whatever names you like on the board, even a ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’ board so everyone can remember what they need to do, add a little order into the household. They are designed not to take up much space so will look good anywhere. They can be scattered across the house in bedrooms, or I prefer the idea of having them all together somewhere like in the kitchen. They are good for job lists. So, we are calling all mums to get hold of one of these so the kids know to help you out with the chores. In the build up to Christmas they can be helpful to keep track of who you have and haven’t bought presents for. They are £20 and can be found on Spin Collective.

 tree decor

When I was growing up, Christmas tree decorations were something the whole family got involved with and with lots of siblings we would fight over who put which decoration up. In the end we had to divide up the decorations and were only allowed to put our own up each year… The Ellie Ellie Christmas Tree Initial Decorations can help avoid any bitterness like we had amongst young siblings. There is nothing unfair about who gets these decorations as each one is personalised with an initial to represent each member of the family. They are printed on a segment of a vintage dictionary and are unlike your usual Christmas tree decorations. They are not as bright and loud, but that is what we think makes them look special and almost handmade. Once you have the whole families initials you can use them every year, and keep adding to them as your family grows. This is a very sentimental Christmas tree decoration to please the whole family.  You can have a look at the decorations here, and they are priced at £9.50.

Tomorrow we have our final Festive Finds, and it’s the all important stocking fillers! A Christmas must, so be sure to come back tomorrow and have a read.