Saturday, June 27, 2015

Why Mugs Make Great Gifts

Mugs are a Cool Gift Idea - Find Out Why

Owl Rise & Shine Heat Sensitive Mug
I think that if you have to buy a gift for someone and you’re not sure what to get them you should consider a mug. Most people I know drink either tea or coffee or a hot chocolate drink of some description so you know they have a use for it. I do know two people who don’t drink hot drinks, but even they would love a mug gift from me because of the added gift ideas.

What does it say when you give someone a mug? It shows them that you do know them when you’ve tracked down a mug from their favourite band/movie/tv show or you’ve found a mug that they find funny.

A mug is something that you can give on it’s own, but I do have other ideas that make your mere present an awesome parcel to unwrap.

For Coffee Drinkers – Add Some Coffee!

Mug Gift Ideas

When my daughter was in pre-school I brought a couple of plain white mugs and let her decorate them for her teachers. I then added some sticks of flavoured coffees which I knew they all drank along with some chocolate spoons.

This was a big hit and not only did my daughter have fun decorating the mugs, but they enjoyed drinking the coffee and I know the chocolate spoons didn’t last long as they were both confirmed chocoholics!

If the person you’re buying for prefers to grind their own coffee then why not grab some of their favourite beans and add them to the mug. If they use a capsule machine (which more and more people seem to be) then why not give them some chocolate coated coffee beans to munch on between coffees – delicious!

For Tea Drinkers – Add Some Tea

Gift Ideas including Mugs

I would add a sampler pack of tea to a mug for some of my tea drinking friends as they do enjoy trying new teas, but don’t want to be stuck with a whole packet of tea if they don’t like it.

Other friends of mine actually like to use loose tea, but don’t think it’s worth it for just themselves when they live with non-tea drinkers.

Stainless Steel Tea Infuser
One friend in particular loves it when I come around as she get’s the tea pot out and brews up some ‘proper’ tea. For this friend I brought some loose tea and an individual tea brewing ball like the one below. She adores this gift and now doesn’t have to fill guilty for making a pot just for herself.
I absolutely love the little tea pot weight that hangs over the edge of the cup - if I'd seen this one at the time it's the one I would've got just because of that!

For Cake Lovers – Yes Mugs Make Great Gift Ideas for Cake Lovers Too!

Convert Your Mug into a Cake Tin!

If the person you know loves cake then a mug can be a great idea, especially when you add ingredients and instructions for making cake in a mug. This is a cool gift for those ‘odd’ people who don’t like to drink hot drinks.

My brother has never drunk hot drinks, but I even converted him to loving mugs when I found him a cool Zombie looking mug and included a printed recipe for Chocolate Cake in a Mug along with the dry ingredients. The mug is now used as a pencil holder on his desk and the cake is long gone, but the recipe is still used in his home and has been passed down to his daughters as well!

If you like the look of the mug it's from Zazzle and the printing is amazing so I thoroughly recommend their mugs, especially as gifts. It looks like the cake hasn’t risen much here, but this is a 15oz mug so if you’d like to see cake erupting out of the top (which looks awesome by the way) then I would try the 11oz mug that’s also available instead.

The recipe (if you haven’t already got it) is really, really simple and has been touted as the ‘most dangerous chocolate cake ever’ the reasoning behind that statement is because it means that by using this recipe a chocolate cake is only 5 minutes away!

To make this cake you will need -
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 3 tbsp oil (I used rice bran oil)
  • 1 mug

Here's the simple directions -
  • Mix all of the dry ingredients together in the mug.
  • Add the egg into the mug and mix together well.
  • Add both the milk and oil into the mug and mix together really well (you really do have to mix this thoroughly).
  • Put mug into microwave on high for 3 minutes.
  • Eat it! I like to add some whipped cream to mine whereas my daughter thinks a scoop of ice cream is the best way to enjoy it!

Cookies, Lollies & Other Goodies

Of course you might be friends with someone who doesn’t eat cake or drink hot drinks, I do know one person who doesn’t really like many hot drinks and when it comes to cakes she’d rather eat lollies which is where the idea of filling a mug (that had a certain hunk who made her heart race on it) full of jelly beans came from. The mug was put in pride of place on her desk where she could just look at it constantly and the jelly beans were gone within a day!

Cool Mugs to Choose From

If you’re going to give someone a cool mug as a gift then look for a mug that will appeal to their sense of humor, hobbies they may have or other things they hold dear. 
I’ve written a number of different pages containing mugs which you’re welcome to check out along with a couple of cool ones that I’ve come across recently –
I absolutely love this scrabble mug and I know a few people who will really appreciate it.
They say caffeine focuses the mind so it's a perfect partner for one of the world's favorite word games.
I used to spend hours playing Scrabble, but I haven't played it in years, my parents, however still enjoy playing so this might be a good idea to get them.
There are lots of other cool mugs available as well and I don't think you can go past this next one for an innovative looking mug - any budding photographer is bound to love the look of this one.
Shaped like a camera lens it's a great gift idea if you have a friend or family member who is anything like me ....... I don't go anywhere without my camera these days.    Even my mom makes comments about my 'mild obsession' with the camera and when your mom says something you know you've gotten bitten by the bug badly!
If my husband or daughter are reading this then 'yes, I would love this mug for Christmas!'
There really are mugs to suit everyone from geeky inspired mugs to television inspired mugs and (as you can see here) mugs to compliment just about any hobby you might have.
I've written about a wide range of different types of mugs from Christmas themed mugs to Doctor Who, Superman and even the Muppets - if I've convinced you that you should be buying a mug for someone then be sure to check out my little collection of mug related articles.

More Mugs to Choose From

  • The Best Mugs
    Check out a selection of cool mug ideas from science inspired mugs to zombie mugs, funny mugs and more.
  • Doctor Who Mugs
    If you know someone that loves this iconic British sci-fi show then a Doctor Who mug is a great gift idea and you can find a great selection here.
  • Superman Mugs
    Is it a bird, is it a plane? No it's a Superman mug and it looks awesome! Any Superman fan would love one of these mugs to drink their hot drinks in.
  • The Muppets Mugs
    Whatever your favorite Muppet you can probably find a mug with them on it from Kermit through to Animal, even the grumpy old men Sattler and Waldorf have mugs with their images on them!
  • The Best Ever Christmas Mugs
    Whether you like to drink hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows on Christmas Eve or whether you just want Egg Nog you can enjoy it in style with your very own Christmas mug!
  • A Stacked Tea Cup Mug
    This is a pretty cool mug in that it looks like some stacked tea cups - I would have loved to have seen this mug when my gran was still with us as she enjoyed drinking out of a cup, but wanted the volume of a mug so this would've made her day!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Monster High Plush Toys

A Monster High Plush is a Cool Gift Idea

A Monster High Plush Doll like the Ghoulia Yelps one pictured is a gorgeously unique gift to give to a Monster High fan. The Monster High dolls are fun to play with, but the Monster High plush doll is what you want to take to bed with you isn't it?

A number of your favorite Monster High characters are available in plush form including Frankie Stein, Cleo De Nile, Abbey Bominable, Deuce Gorgon and Draculaura. Let's have a look at all of the Monster High plush dolls that I've been able to find for you - you will fall in love with all of them as they really do look very cute!

Monster High Plush Dolls Are Cute!

I love the fact that with this line of merchandise the powers that be at Monster High are actually bringing back the rag doll, because in essence that's exactly what these plush dolls are.

Like a good rag doll they are also very easy to wash which is good because the amount of playing that your child will do with these plush dolls will result in quite a dirty doll.

All of the scarily cute Monster High plush dolls come with their own plush pet as well which I think is awesome as it's almost like two plushes for the price of one.

Monster High Friends Plush Abbey Abominable DollMonster High Friends Plush Clawdeen Wolf DollMonster High Friends Plush Cleo De Nile DollMonster High Friends Plush Deuce Gorgon DollMonster High Friends Plush Draculaura DollMonster High Friends Plush Frankie Stein DollMonster High Friends Plush Lagoona Blue DollMonster High Friends Plush Ghoulia Yelps DollMonster High Friends Plush Spectra Vondergeist

Who Would Like These Plush Monster High Dolls?

On a personal note I think most girls that like the Monster High dolls would fall in love with these plush dolls in fact if they like to play with stuffed toys more then they may even prefer them to the Monster High Barbie type of doll.

If you're buying for someone who mainly enjoys dressing her existing dolls up in clothes however this might not be the best gift idea as the clothes do not come off.

You can still play with these plush dolls and I think there's a place for both types of Monster High dolls in most girls' lives. To be honest my daughter loved taking a plush toy to bed with her when she was younger a lot more than she like dressing dolls up in clothes so these would definitely have been on my shopping list.

Aquamarine Heart Pendants

Gorgeous Aquamarine Pendants

Heart Shaped Aquamarine & Diamond Pendant
Aquamarine is a beautiful blue gem that I personally think is gorgeous, it also happens to be the birthstone for March. The gem is said to symbolize happiness and I would certainly be very happy to receive one of these beautiful pendants.

Silver really helps to bring out the pale blue of the aquamarine which is why I prefer the silver aquamarine pendants over the more traditional gold ones, however with the increased use of white gold I've found that these also show off the aquamarine beautifully. These heart shaped pendants make a fantastic gift for that someone special whether for a birthday or a special date such as Valentines Day.

Aquamarines - A Beautiful Gem

Queen Elizabeth II wearing aquamarines
Source: Wikipedia
Brazil is the leading producer of aquamarines and can boast that some of the largest (and most rare) aquamarines come from there. In fact for Queen Elizabeth II's coronation the President and people of Brazil presented her with a gift of a matching necklace and earrings featuring oblong aquamarines and diamonds as you can see opposite. The Queen loved them so much she commissioned a matching tiara to be made.

As the Queen is such a fan of aquamarines (and I do think they suit her complexion really well) I wonder if she has a heart shaped aquamarine pendant or not? If not then hopefully Prince Phillip is reading this and can remedy the situation!

Aquamarines can also be found in some African countries such as Zambia and Nigeria as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan.

14K White Gold Natural Aquamarine Heart Shaped Pendant
The name aquamarine comes from the Latin words aqua – water and mare – sea. This reflects the hue of this beautiful stone which is usually a beautiful blue, or blue-green like the ocean.

The first documented wearers of this gemstone were the ancient Greeks. Greek sailors used aquamarines on amulets believing that it would protect them from Poseidon’s wrath.

It’s considered extremely good luck to give someone their birthstone as it helps to enhance their own natural traits.

14K White Gold Heart Shape Aquamarine Diamond Pendant
The traits associated with people born in March are the same as those that are associated with aquamarine – friendship, courage and fidelity.

Aquamarines are also considered to be great as a stress reliever, now I’m not sure exactly how a gemstone is supposed to help with stress, but I’m willing to try it out and see if it works :)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Lego Statue of Liberty

Lego # 3450 - The Statue of Liberty Set

Lego Statue of Liberty
Have you seen Lego's Statue of Liberty set? When completed this Lego Statue of Liberty is, in a word, awesome! This is what you call a serious Lego set and contains not 236 pieces or 401 pieces but 2,882 pieces! We are talking about a Lego sculpture that will end up standing 33" tall when complete.

Lego decided to really make a statement when they introduced this set in 2000 and they succeeded!

This Lego set of the Statue of Liberty is simply stunning when completed. Forget Lego sets that have 401 pieces or 236 pieces this is a serious Lego set and contains 2,882 pieces, after all the Lady Liberty likes to make a statement!

This set is not one you can construct in a spare half an hour, it's not overly complicated, but it is very time consuming. The result is well worth it and the finished piece of art (because that's what it looks like) will really impress your friends.

Ready to take a look at Lego's Statue of Liberty set in more detail? Let's read on...

Eyecatching Lego Set

Buy The Statue of Liberty Set Here!

Lego 3450 Statue of Liberty Sculpture 2882 Pieces
At the time of this set's release in 2000 it was the largest Lego set ever produced (this has since been succeeded by the Taj Mahal). When Lego discontinued the manufacture of this set (almost as soon as it's release) the price for it seemed to double over night which means that if you see it on special you have to act fast!

I would love to build the Lego Statue of Liberty myself, but I don't actually own it and I've written this thanks to numerous online friends who have shared their experiences building this amazing looking set.

Amazon Editorial Review

"There are small LEGO sets, there are large LEGO sets, there are even very large LEGO sets. And then there's the LEGO Statue of Liberty. It features a daunting 2,882 pieces and a graphic guide book to show you how to construct the statue in just 80 steps. A lot of work? It sure is. But with great work comes great rewards. The completed piece stands an impressive 2 feet 9 inches tall and is an impressive tribute to one of the most recognizable monuments in the world."

Watch the Statue of Liberty Being Built Out of Lego!

The Construction of #3450

You can see as you get higher up in the levels the Statue starts to reveal itself ….

Lego Statues of Liberty

Photo Credits

ajari | possan | NathanF | Ben Sutherland |

The Statue of Liberty Shall Have a Lego Pedestal!

Of course it's one thing to complain about the lack of a pedestal for your Lego model of the Statue of Liberty it's another to do something about it. You love Legos surely you can recreate the pedestal, check out this one....

Pedestal for Statue of Liberty #3450
Phil has recreated his own version of Lady Liberty's pedestal and attached it beneath his Lego Statue of Liberty - it looks amazing!

Lego Set #3450 Continued

This Statue of Liberty set really is a long build and most of the people who have told me about it say it took them either a whole day of concentrated building or a couple of days to complete. The monochromic bricks in the same color made the build a little harder so I definately wouldn’t recommend this for a younger Lego builder as it could cause a lot of frustration.

This set, obviously, comes with an instruction book and this details each layer individually which makes it easy to follow……as long as you’re concentrating. The problem with building a recognizable monument in this size is that if you make a mistake it can take a few layers before you realize!

The general consensus is that the torch looks fantastic! One person did complain that it was a little unstable and came off when it was played with, but to be honest this isn’t a set for play in my opinion. This is the type of set you build and then put on display in your office – high up away from children (aren’t I mean!!)

Monster High Gigi Grant

Gigi Grant is Another Student at Monster High School!

Monster High Gigi Grant
The daughter of the Genie, Gigi Grant is released from her lantern by Howleen Wolf much to Gigi’s delight as she gets very claustrophobic and being ‘trapped’ in a genie lantern really doesn’t help with that!

If you’re looking to buy a Gigi Grant doll for a Monster High fan then you’re in luck because at the time of writing there’s only one Gigi Grant doll available to purchase which means you can’t get the wrong doll. If you’re looking for a Clawdeen Wolf doll for example there are quite a few to choose from which is where problems can arise!

If you’re actually looking for more information about Gigi Grant then you’ll have to keep reading as we look at this newer ghoul from our favourite school – Monster High!

Monster High 13 Wishes Collection

Gigi Grant was released as part of the 13 Wishes doll collection and in conjunction with a television feature length special called ….. you guessed it, 13 Wishes!

The reason for this name is that when Howleen Wolf discovers a genie lantern and releases Gigi Grant Gigi offers her 13 wishes (I’m not sure why it’s 13 instead of the usual 3 that you read about, but….).

The 13 wishes doll collection contains 4 different dolls ……

Monster High 13 Wishes Doll Set Of 4

The four dolls that make up the 13 wishes collection are Gigi Grant, Howleen Wolf, Twyla and Lagoona Blue. All four of these dolls are available on their own as well as in this set.

Monster High 13 Wishes Howleen Wolf Doll

Howleen Wolf is sick of just being known as Clawdeen and Clawd's little sister and dreams of being one of the popular kids in school so when she finds a genie lantern and meets Gigi Grant she thinks all of her wishes are about to come true.

Her pretty pink hair coupled with her bright and very 80s inspired fashion choices certainly makes her look a very cool looking doll and I think that anyone would love to own this Howleen doll. The doll comes with her pet hedgehog, hair brush, diary and a doll stand.


Monster High 13 Wishes Twyla Doll

I think that Twyla looks absolutely gorgeous. The daughter of the Boogey Man she is very shy and tries to shrink into the shadows unseen, but Howleen being the daughter of werewolves sniffs her out and they become BFF.

This doll comes with Twyla in a gorgeous looking outfit of black, purple and blue along with her pet – a dust bunny called Dustin and a dreamcatcher purse which I know my daughter would love her own version of! Also included are a diary, hair brush and doll stand, although most of the girls I know who love Monster High will NOT be using the doll stand!!


Monster High 13 Wishes Lagoona Blue

Lagoona Blue is the daughter of the Sea Monster, but thanks to a wish granted by Gigi she is turned from a sea monster into a freshwater monster (her boyfriend Gil is the son of a fresh water River Monster). This transformation calls for a whole new look for Lagoona that includes cool goggles that she wears on her head and my favorite fashion accessory - a fish bowl purse complete with her pet fish, Neptuna!

This doll also comes with a hair brush to keep her new hair do in check, her diary and a doll stand.


Gigi Grant

Monster High 13 Wishes Gigi Grant Doll

So besides the fact that Gigi is the daughter of the genie what do we know about her so far? Well if you sneak a look into her diary you’ll find that she gets very lonely and bored when she’s trapped inside the genie lantern and I have to say you really can’t blame her can you? She thinks that being trapped for so long is what has made her claustrophobic and you have to admit that’s not a good thing for anyone with genie DNA to have.

The thing that I love most about Gigi is her hair. It is a gorgeous hot pink color which I think makes everyone take a second look and then she also has a gold colored streak running through her left side which just makes it stand out even more.

Gigi says that one of her favourite things is to go sightseeing so she loves it when a monster makes a wish to go somewhere that she hasn’t been to before …….. I don’t know why she can’t just grant herself a wish or two, but maybe there’s some special genie code or something.

Her pet peeve is when people use one of their wishes to ask for more wishes and I have to admit I’d probably do that too, but that’s with the traditional 3 I do get Gigi Grant’s point about 13 should really be enough!

She also loves astronomy and her dad’s homemade hummus with freshly baked pita bread.

More Gigi Grant Monster High Dolls

You can now get a couple more Gigi Grant dolls which is great -

Monster High New Scaremester Gigi Grant DollMonster High Freaky Field Trip Gigi Grant Doll