6 Birthday Gift Ideas for Your Best Friend

best friend birthday gifts

Our best friends are important. They’re there through everything, we confide in them and they’ve seen us at both our best and worst. We laugh with them (or occasionally at them), cry together and share some of the most important parts of our lives with them.

While we do things for our best friends all the time, a birthday is the perfect opportunity to say thank you and show them just how much they mean. Here are some gift ideas for your best friend.

Time to Relax

birthday gifts for best friend

If your best friend is also a mum, then chances are, they probably don’t get many opportunities to enjoy some me time. Make your best friend’s birthday all about her by gifting a personalised pampering set, complete with scented candles, bath products and beauty treatments.

Make it Yourself

A homemade DIY gift can be really special and shows how much thought you’ve put into a present. For your best friend’s birthday, you could make a scrapbook filled with your favourite memories and photos, bake some of her favourite goodies, or use your skills (from pottery to knitting) to make something special.

Update her Wardrobe

birthday gifts for best friend

As a mum, it can be very easy to neglect your own wardrobe – after all, your children come first. So, on her birthday, why not treat your best friend to some new threads? Alternatively, buy a gift card for her favourite store, or arrange a birthday shopping trip for the two of you.

A Birthday Celebration

birthday gifts for best friend

Many people prefer to be gifted an experience, rather than receive a physical gift. If your best friend is like this, then plan a celebration. This could be anything from afternoon tea and a spa afternoon, to an evening out with Witness for the Prosecution tickets or a meal at her favourite restaurant.

Their Wish List

Has your best friend been eying something up for a while? Is there an item they really want, but can’t quite justify purchasing? As mums, we always put our families first. For her birthday, make sure your best friend number one for the day by surprising her with a wish-list item.

Select a Subscription

Why treat your best friend for just one day, when you can spoil her throughout the year? Whether she’s a book lover or animal obsessed, gifting a subscription box allows you to give her presents for months to come – these beauty options look lovely!

The bond we have with our best friends is special, so when it comes to their birthdays, we want to get it right. For a gift that tells them just how much they’re appreciated, consider these ideas for your best friend’s birthday.

Disclosure: Collaborative post

Brabantia : Add a touch of class to your kitchen

brabantia bin

If there is one item I have coveted since focusing on Kitchen style and interiors, it’s the Brabantia waste bin.

I saw my first beautiful Brabantia when I was living in Italy. It was a style statement and I instantly fell in love, as have any other discerning kitchen owners the whole world over.

The first thing to catch my eye was the simple but eclectic style; it is minimalism to a T. It is so beautifully designed that I am sure Brabantia haven’t had to make any enormous changes to its looks since it was invented.

The Dutch company, founded back in 1919, has been focusing on houseware products for waste storage, food storage, food preparation, laundry care and hardware that includes post boxes and bathroom accessories. They total over 500 products today including the Brabantia waste bin and I am certain they have the perfect bin for you.

Another Brabantia design idea that struck a chord with me was the ingenious touch opening lid. It was the first time I’d come across such a lid and, as I always have my hands full when I go to the bin, this clever way of opening the lid immediately hit my jackpot. (They also have a traditional pedal bin if that works better for you).

There is a straight-back bin which means it can fit snugly against a wall and as the colours to choose from are fabulous, you can even make a style statement at the same time as being practical.

In fact, it is a bin worth showing off as everyone who sees it will be enamoured. Due to the clever opening, the bin is transformed into a healthy and safe refuse collector which is easy to use and can be recycled too. Because the Brabantia brains not only have invented a cool bin for you to display in your kitchen but have also looked into the day it will need to be replaced and have made it is eco-friendly as possible.

Mind you, I wouldn’t worry about having to throw it away just yet as it comes with a 10-year guarantee!

One last word – don’t be tempted to go with a copy version – it is quite simply not the same.

Dripping taps and the world of washers

jorge-fernandez-729351-unsplash

Who’d have ever said I’d be here talking about washers and taps that drip?

The thing is, our shower has been dripping for a while now – longer than I care to accept and any comments made to my husband are falling on deaf ears.

I’m not very good with dripping taps; the noise gets on my nerves, the waste of water makes me frown and my OCD starts to get massively bothered by the whole situation. The result is – I need to get the tap fixed.

Now, my husband is a wonderful man but he’s hopeless at DIY and odd jobs around the house. There is also the fact that I have no idea how to change a washer but I really feel like I need to embrace myself for the challenge, channel my inner plumber and sort the leaking tap out once for all.

Where does one start with such a mission? Internet of course!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where an entire new world opens up to me, a world of mixer taps, washers and even grundfos pumps from Pump Sales Direct! Say what? 
It becomes immediately clear that I’m going to have to take my time and tread very carefully here if I am to purchase the correct item! Fortunately, we have YouTube with a host of videos with very clear instructions on how to go about changing the washer or even entire tap should you prefer.

So armed with my handyman knowledge of the ins and outs of pipe fitting, I head off to the local hardware shop where I am faced with rows and rows of washers. Who knew there were so many? Is this how a plumber would feel if we sent him to the haberdashery to buy a zip?

I wonder if my request for a washer for my dripping shower tap might be a bit vague considering the vast array to choose from? Is this why husband has been avoiding the job? Is he on to something that I have yet to encounter?

I decide to plough on with my mission regardless, and with a determination my weaker self is screaming at to stop and walk away, I head towards the first assistant I can find.

“I wonder if you can help me…”

Luckily, we’ve had our external pipes updated recently and the water pressure is now spot on so, no need to look any further into the grundfos pumps! The assistant walks me to the correct area, explains what I should be looking out for and I thank her very much for her help before she leaves me.

Clueless, I decide to return another time.

Maybe, I tell myself, it might be worth turning the water off, undoing the tap and taking a look inside to see what size washer I might be after?

Do you have any tips for a clueless plumber who needs to change a washer?

Silk’n Lipo – part 2

SIlk'n Lipo

Earlier in the year, I was sent a Silk’n Lipo device to trial in the comfort of my home.

I wrote my first post shortly after receiving the machine to show you how I was getting along. I promised to come back with news of the results of my 12-week test and I have to hang my head low and admit that I gave up.

I was doing really well but the last month or two of summer term got so busy that I was flying around everywhere trying to fit everything in and  I just had to drop some balls – one of them, unfortunately, was my Silk’n Lipo trial.

Never mind, I said to myself. I’ll hang onto the machine and give it a go over the summer when I am home and relaxed and have five weeks off school. Great solution right?

But then 2018 turned out to be the BEST SUMMER EVER. Every day was a sunny day and my husband was barbecuing till his heart’s content. I dropped the buns with my burger, I piled on the salad but I chose to enjoy a glass of cold wine or a fresh beer from the fridge. The Silk’n Lipo trial was so far from my mind – even when my trousers started to feel tight.

We spent two weeks in Thanet, friends came to stay, we ate, we drank and we had so much fun.

Then, I went with the girls to Lake Garda to stay with Megan for 10 days. The land of delicious food – my favourite food on the entire planet. Of course, I tucked in and enjoyed myself and gained about 7lbs doing so. Boy, those mojitos were worth it though!

All of this is great but my Silk’n Lipo was gathering dust at home and I still couldn’t find the time to properly sit down and get on with the trial.

Come September with Back To School, the girls were studying for the 11+ which overtook our lives and once that was over, all of my studying materials turned up for my Open University Open Degree that I am about to start. Yeah, I haven’t yet told you about that one yet.

I have come to the conclusion that the Silk’n Lipo and I are not going to be able to meet anytime soon and with regret, I am returning the device.

There’s a whole part of me that still wants to give it a go and there’s a grand part of me that thinks with commitment, this would be a successful trial but I can’t keep this trial dragging on any longer and am calling it a day.

Silk'n lipo fat buster

Thoughts on Silk’n Lipo

  • I do think this is a great idea and, if you can commit, you would most likely get great results.
  • I chose to work on my belly – it’s a large area to work on and realistically I think you would need longer than 12 weeks.
  • I also think that to treat the stomach area you would need to combine the Silk’n Lipo with diet and exercise – two things that totally dropped off my radar this summer.

My Silk’n Lipo trial

I managed about 6 weeks using the machine approximately 3 times a week. I discovered that as it’s such a large area, I would place the belt on a different part of the stomach each time. For this reason, I imagine it would take 36 weeks (12+12+12) to see a reduction in my waistline. (I could be wrong though) I did measure after the 6 weeks and didn’t see any difference in measurements. I must add that I wasn’t dieting or doing extra exercise at the same time and maybe this reflected on my result.

Win £50 at Lottoland

Lottoland

“If I won the lottery…” – that old one creeps into conversation time and time again, doesn’t it? EVERYONE has an idea of what they’d do with their winnings. I have even bargained with the amount I’d potentially win, £84million? £60 million, goodness, I’d be happy with just a couple of million! Of course – just for the record, in case the Universe is listening, I wouldn’t mind winning a dirty fat jackpot.

What would your spend list look like if you won the lottery? I have been indulging in the idea again (I know!)…

Home

If I won the jackpot (I wonder who invented that word?) I think my first spend would be on my home. You know, that new kitchen I’ve been banging on about since we moved in 8 years ago. The block paving out front which needs re-laying, the garden fence and patio area, new windows, new front door, re-plastered walls. That would take care of a good 30 – 40k, oh and the roof felt needs renewing too! Then it strikes me, I COULD BUY A NEW HOUSE and get ‘people in’ to decorate it to my specification. I’ve always longed for a house project to take on.

I could buy another property in Thanet, maybe in Margate, a town which is really on the rise. I could also buy a property on Lake Garda having just spent a fabulous 10 days there with Megan. Imagine, I could spend Christmases with her and summer holidays, it would be marvellous.

Family

Of course, I’d look after my family and hand out very generous amounts of cash. Debts would be paid off, houses bought and cash sums available for all. I’d really enjoy helping them out too.

Travel

If I won the lottery, I wouldn’t waste any time at all in booking up some fabulous dream holidays that I have been thinking about forever. One of my earliest posts on Mari’s World was a list of places I’d like to visit, I could start crossing them off my bucket list. Remember that cruise I nearly won? I’d book that. Take the twins and family (whoever wants to come) to Orlando Florida. I’d love to revisit New York, Barcelona, Paris and Italy. I’d revisit Venice, Florence, Rome, Puglia. I’d take the girls up Etna in Sicily and tour around Sardegna.

Beach holidays to Cyprus and Greece would be on the list and I would ‘do’ South America in style taking 90 days or maybe longer.

At this point, I’m most likely going to need a full-time tutor for the girls too!

Shopping

Oh. My. God! The thought of going shopping without any worry – can I afford it? Do I really need it? Can you imagine the fun? Shopping with a bottomless wallet, buying those things you’ve always wanted but could never afford. Theatre tickets, restaurants, a new car, oh which one? An electric car like the BMW we trialled for six weeks?

Charity

First off, I’d like to donate to our local school where I work. There are a few areas that could do with a cash injection and it would be a fun project to take on. I would support local charities for the old, for the young and the homeless. Some of the charities very close to my heart who would also receive donations are The Smile Train charity, The Miscarriage AssociationClic Sargent and The Princess Trust.

Win £50 at Lottoland

We have a fabulous prize to give away today – £50 credit at Lottoland to spend. You could try your luck at EuroMillionaire or have you ever wondered about entering the Irish lottery? A great alternative to the UK version. A lesser known lottery well worth having a go at is the American Powerball with huge jackpots up for grabs – a staggering $1.6 billion (£1 billion) was won in January 2016 and hundreds of millions worth jackpots won since.

How to enter

Leave a comment on this blog telling me what you would do if you won the lottery. Register your comment in the Rafflecopter widget below and you’ll then unlock some bonus entries. Do as many as you can to maximise your chances of winning.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Post in partnership with Lottoland. The competition will close at midnight on 10th September 2018. UK entrants and over 18s only. A winner will be chosen at random and notified within 7 days. You will have 30 days to claim your prize. No cash alternatives, prize as stated.