Review: Dust and Things Personalised Gifts

My two boys are an adventurous pair, always going off together for some father and son bonding. I have often thought it would be a good idea for them to keep some kind of record of the things they’ve done and places they’ve visited. So when I spied the Personalised Adventure Box from Dust and Things I thought it would be the perfect way for them to store the memories they’d made together.

Working from their family workshop in Wales, Dust and Things make design-led, personalised gifts for all kinds of occasions. With a unique selection of beautiful personalised gifts including chopping boards and cheese boards, jewellery, slate, coasters, photo fames and much more. They have lots of designs to choose from in each category, but the adventure box really caught my eye. 


It’s easy to order, you just choose the size of box you want (I went for box 1 which was the smallest box and measures 28.5cm x 18cm x 13.5cm). The wooden box includes a lift up lid secured with vintage style latch and fixings. There are spaces on the online order page where you can add your personalised wording, in my case “Daddy & Benjamin”. On the bottom of the box I had the words “Love from Mummy xx” engraved too.

dust and things

The box arrived very quickly and was well packaged; wrapped in bubble wrap and in a sturdy box. They offer free worldwide delivery too, which is excellent. I was delighted with the adventure box and I knew the boys would love it too. It would make a lovely gift for Daddy’s birthday and extra special with the promise of an adventure to get their keepsake box of magical memories started.

dust and things

The box has a simple, almost rustic look and seems sturdy and well made. It’s plenty big enough to store all the postcards, photographs, train tickets and little trinkets they might find on their adventures. The simplicity of the design and it being a lovely neutral light wood is something I really liked, and it looks great on our shelf, ready to be filled with treasures, or looked through wistfully at a later date. 

The personalised adventure box costs £29.95 with free delivery. I think that’s excellent value for a hand made gift of this quality, especially as it’s something which will be loved, used and appreciated for many years to come.

dust and things

And I was right. The boys did really love it. I guess the adventure starts here….

For more information or to browse the extensive selection of personalised gifts from Dust and Things, visit their website.

Gifts for girls which aren’t too “girlie”

When I was growing up I climbed trees, built dens down by the river, I played football and I didn’t own a dolly. In a last ditch attempt to feminise me, while I was away for the weekend my bedroom was painted pink and teamed with some very pink and very frilly bedding. I was not best pleased but had to learn to live with it. In short I am not a girlie girl. These days when I’m buying gifts for girls I always remember five year old me and try and find something she’d approve of.

I do not go out to shop for tomboys, but I can’t help buying for them. I think there’s room in every girls toy box  for things that aren’t always pink, purple, fluffy or glittery. My inner feminist wants every little girl I meet to become a scientist, author, doctor, solicitor, professional footballer, anything but the sparkly princess they probably dream of becoming. Let’s face facts, it’s probably easier to become an astronaut than it is to become a princess, so I am going to buy them that astronomy kit and help them shoot for the stars!

gifts for girls

Buying gifts for girls can be pretty tricky. The Giddy Goat Toys website has been designed to help busy people search and buy the perfect gifts for girls and boys. One of the best things about the website is their range of toys and gifts for all children, there’s a delightful selection of gifts for girls which aren’t pink, glittery and fit for a princess (although those are available at Giddy Goat Toys too).

Speaking to the mums of little girls in our social circle, I know that they do appreciate receiving a more diverse range of toys, games and puzzles for their little ones, and it’s always nice to be the one bringing something a bit different to the party. I know when I was a little girl all I wanted was the Millennium Falcon (didn’t get) and some LEGO (had to share my brothers). In this day and age when parents are increasingly aware of gender specific and gender neutral toys, it’s great to have a website which will help you find the perfect gift for your child.

This is a collaborative post.

Buying birthday gifts for 5 year old girls

Since the small boy started the school nursery in September he’s made a whole load of new friends (26 of them to be precise) which is great obviously, but it does mean that most weekends my little social butterfly is invited to two or three birthday parties, which can mean only one thing. I need to buy lots of gifts for 5 year old girls and boys.

Birthday parties are an expensive business. When we first started attending we’d merrily spend £10-£15 on each party gift, but as the year has progressed the birthday budget has shrunk somewhat. Obviously special friends and relatives do get a bigger share, but these days my budget is around £5-£10 mark depending on what I’m buying.

Because I am the mother of a boy, I find buying presents for boys pretty easy, I look at what he’s playing with and then buy something similar for his friends. Girls on the other hand are a little more tricky to buy for. They seem a little bit more particular than boys, and there’s a whole raft of Princess politics I do not understand, it doesn’t help that I am still unable to grasp which is Anna and which is Elsa. Leave me be, I am a lost cause!

Happily I’ve found a really useful website designed especially for busy people who need a bit of guidance for when they’re present buying –  Giddy Goat Toys. Searching for what you need is really easy and there are so many toys, games, books, puzzles and crafting activities to choose for 5 year old girls

What I especially like is that not all of the toys are pink, fluffy and covered in glitter. There are some gorgeous toys, games and puzzles which would make lovely birthday party gifts for 5 year old girls. There’s plenty to choose from, even in my reduced budget. They also offer gift wrapping and delivery is just £2.50 anywhere in the UK.

Giddy Goat Toys are definitely worth checking out, especially if like me you’ve turned buying birthday gifts for 5 year old girls and boys into a strange kind of hobby. Life’s too short to spend too much time on the hunt for presents for other people, Giddy Goat Toys helps take the stress away from it all. Anything that makes life easier is always a winner.

Review: Personalised Baker Days Letterbox Cake

Organisationally I’m quite rubbish. I used to be a project manager which forced me to be professionally organised, but at home I was and remain a shambles. This unfortunately means that gift buying is always, always, always done at the very last minute and in a bit of a panic. I was asked to try a Baker Days letterbox cake, which seems like the ideal and personalised solution to my present buying woes.

We were asked to choose a Halloween themed cake which we could personalise with our own words, though you can choose from almost any themed cake imaginable. We liked the spiderweb cake design which we customised with the words “Spooky Creepy Scary Boo!” But you could choose whatever message you wanted. It was really easy to order and was delivered within a few days, though there are various delivery options available depending on how disorganised or organised you are.

Baker Days

Our cake arrived through the letterbox in excellent condition. Tightly packed in a cute keepsake tin. The cake is presented in a box with a little packet of party balloons and blowers with a personalised greetings card. Honestly if someone sent me a little personalised cake in the post; cutely presented like this for my birthday or another occasion; I’d be delighted. It’s such a lovely looking, thoughtful gift.

We decided to share the cake between us for pudding after Sunday lunch. The cake was enough to cut into four fairly generous pieces or eight smaller bites. The sponge was light and the icing was sweet but not too thick. It was a nice slice of cake. The cake we had was 5 inches in diameter; larger cakes are available and you can also choose chocolate or fruit cake if you’d prefer. They also make a range of personalised and themed cupcakes which look super-cute.

Baker Days

The letterbox cake starts at £14.99 plus postage and packing. It includes a greetings card, a keepsake tin and the balloons and blowers. I think it’s a lovely gift to post to someone; especially if you’re always a bit last minute like me. I like that it’s personalised and that it’s a little bit of fun. I think it’s a great idea and it’s definitely on my last minute panic present buying list.

Note: I was sent this cake from Baker Days for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.