Monday, 6 June 2011

Tried & Tested Father's Day Gifts - Part 1

Product: My Italian family Cookbook by Lawrence Dallagio
Price: £18.99 RRP
Available from:  online and shops

Initial Reaction: A great looking book that spans 3 generations of two traditional Italian families which not only provides a record of their family recipes but a great inspiration to get men in the kitchen!

  • A great range of recipes from quick weekday meals to sensational desserts and everything in between
  • A collection of real traditional Italian recipes
  • Simple easy to follow recipes

Cons: I would have liked a bit more on how to make some of the sauces rather than just using “Sacla” sauces
Value for money? Yes but look online to find the best deals
Overall Reaction: T his book makes a great addition to even the most seasoned of cookery book collections and with a great mix of traditional Italian recipes that can be cooked by the whole family it  is a must for anyone that enjoys Italian food.
I can’t wait to try out the recipe for Polpette alla diavola or meatballs with Diavola Sauce

Product: Baby Changing Bag (universal range)
Price: £44.95

Initial Reaction: A nice well made bag that didn’t’ scream out I’m a changing bag!

  • Wide shoulder strap
  • Waterproof interior with  removable sections

  • Small changing mat with Velcro and zip on each end
  • The Velcro flap down top/mat often came undone when we were out
  • I found the strap clips small and fiddly (probably more as a man with big fingers!)

Value for money?Yes but personally I have cheaper bags which have been better overall

Overall Reaction: This is a great looking bag which has some great features but I found that the Velcro flap, as it was only attached at the bottom left the top of the bag often gaping open when both on the shoulder and pram.

Overall a nice bag that is well made and looks great but I didn’t work for me practically as a day to day bag but works really well in the house or car.

Product: Beer Bottle Fragranced Candles             
Price:    £8.20 plus p&p
Available fromSt Eval Candle Company   

Initial Reaction: It’s nice to see a candle aimed slightly more at the male market. A great looking product that is well packaged

  • Once you have used the candle you can use the glass!
  • Packaging is sourced from recycled materials
  • 60 hour burn time
  • Scent balance is good

  • I would have liked to see an option to buy the glasses as a pair as well as the individual candles.

Value for money? Yes

Overall Reaction:  This is a great looking candle that has all the attributes for a great gift for the eco conscious dad. Hand made in Cornwall, its packaging is made from recycled materials, the glass made  from an upcycled beer bottle which is then filled with a lemon and thyme scented wax, which I felt was just right in terms of strength (I often find scented candles to strong and artificial smelling)

I use a lot of candles and love recycled/upcycled glassware and so for me this would make the perfect addition to the home.

By Howard

Product:  Design a Dad Mug
Price:  £4.99 for a pack of 4 (paints/pens sold separately)
Available from:  Yellow Moon

Initial Reaction:  I was very intrigued by the prospect of being able to put my own design on a mug and eager to put my creative juices to the test!

Pros:  Enables you to create a unique design…either for yourself or as a gift.  In fact, I had such good fun doing it my husband also couldn’t resist either!  It kept us amused for a good couple of hours while our twins slept. 

Cons:  Do wear old clothes when decorating, as the ink can (and does) stain…especially if you accidentally touch your mug before the ink has set.

Value for money? Yes, great

Overall Reaction:  It really is great fun for all the family and makes for a super gift and keep sake.

Price: £23.20
Suitable for: Men/ All skin types

Initial Reaction: Lovely packaging, nice amounts of each product and smelt lovely. My husband was slightly unsure of a skincare routine as he is usually a soap and water only type but the packaging made the use of these products very simple. 

  • Smells nice.
  • Easy to use.
  • Left skin feeling fresh and very cleansed.
  • Just the right size of packaging to take into the shower and for in a toilet bag for easy transporting to and from work.
  • The moisturiser is lovely after shaving. Scrub is great for dry skin. 

  • Hot cloth polish was a bit of an effort and didn't see much of a result. 

Value for Money: Reasonable value for money.

Overall Reaction:  My husband was fairly impressed with these products and really did see a marked difference in his skin as he has very sensitive skin especially after shaving. The moisturiser was really beneficial as he is cycling a lot recently to and from work which can leave his skin dry and weather beaten. The face polish he just viewed as a bit of unnecessary pampering although he said if he had more time to spend he would maybe use it once a week. He viewed it as a lovely pack of products for a gift and said he would be very pleased indeed to receive them as a gift himself.

 By Julie 

Price: from £5
Available from: Chemists and Supermarkets
Suitable from:  Adults

Initial Reaction: Great range consisting of Daily Moisturiser, Aftershave Balm, Shave Gel and Face Wash

  • Great packaging – looks manly and more expensive than it is.
  • 100% fragrance and colour free minimises skin irritation
  • No nonsense skincare range
  • After using the 4 stage routine skin felt amazing - smooth and soft
  • Lovely clean smell

  • More products in range eg scrub would be fantastic!

Value for money? Great value for money range.

Overall Reaction: Very positive, skin looked and felt really soft and healthy. No redness or tightness.

 By Louise

Price: I was sent the pencil case £8.50, ipod splitter/stand £9.50 , and touchy feely paperclip holder £5.00.
Available from:
Suitable from: School age

Initial reaction: Not sure what to make of this stationary

  • Really modern and funky looking.
  • Easy to handle. Looks good on desk or at school. Reasonably priced. 

  • Bit more appealing for older kids/ adults.

Value for money: reasonable

Overall reaction: Initially I was a bit baffled by the appeal of this stationary but after a good look at the website and playing around with it we love it. The splitter for the ipod is really fun and means that both kids can listen in the car to one ipod or the dvd players. The stand is fun and my teenager loved it. 

The pencil case and paperclip holder look really chunky and funky. My Dad has the paperclip holder on his work desk and loves the magnetic outside and finds it cute to use. 

My daughter likes the pencil case especially as she can put her pens for school in and it also fits all her lunch money AND the hard outer case means she can put her phone in to keep it safe too and stops it getting lost in her school bag. All in all I'm super impressed with the Tinc stationary and will be looking on the website for more come back to school after summer. 

 By Julie 

ProductRadox for Men Invigorating Shower Gels and Deep Clean Shower Scrub
Price: Around £2.65
Available from: Supermarkets and chemists

Initial Reaction: The packaging is bright and loved the scent mixtures

  • Most of the range smell lovely and fresh.
  • Scrubbing particles in the scrubs remove dead skin and wake you up. 

  • The lemon one smells a bit like bathroom cleaner so wasn't a favourite here. 
  • Slightly more expensive. 

Value for money: I think they are not bad value for money but do think there are cheaper mens shower gels out there just as nice. 

Overall reaction: When asked to test the new range of Radox for men Shower Gels I was pleased as my Husband and Dad both love smellies for men and I thought they would love this test. My Dad tried the Water mint and Sea Mineral Shower scrub and my Husband tested the Mint and tea tree Invigorating Gel, the Lemon and Tea Tree Gel and the Lime and Ginger Scrub.

Three out of the four of these shower gels/scrubs smelled lovely however the lemon one is a bit like bathroom cleaner. My husband was more than happy with the other two however, and said that they really make your skin tingle and the scents were extremely pleasant to wake up to.

My dad didn't like the scrub at all. He has sensitive skin and found the scrubbing uncomfortable he did however like the smell. I think it’s mostly personal preference on these gels/scrubs and I would recommend them. I like the way my husband smelled after using them and he liked the scrubs. 
 By Julie 

Product: Pint & Half Pint set     
Price:    £32 plus delivery             
Available from:           
Suitable from:   0-24 months / S - XL

Initial Reaction:  From the moment the parcel arrived through the letterbox I loved this product. The packaging was bright and fun but still practical and has obviously been well thought about.

Pros: printed on 100% organic cotton using organic inks

Cons: None

Value for money?More expensive than 2 average t shirts but these aren’t 2 average t shirts so definitely yes

Overall Reaction:  I love this product and think that this, along with many other items from twisted twee make perfect gifts for all dads (and kids too). I love the design and colours; they wash up well and look like they will last. I also love the fact they are on organic cotton too so no nasties for either of you.

They are also available in  twin sets (dad and 2 kids) / family (dad, mum and kid) / single kids  and so should cover every families needs!

            Styling 0-6 at 4 weeks hence the baggy look! 

By Howard & Son 

ProductK SWISS Kwicky Blade Light Men's Running Shoes
Price: from £79.99
Available from: K Swiss and Sweatshop 

Initial Reaction: Really bright, great for running outside.

  • Light Weight
  • Breathable
  • Seamless so they don’t rub
  • Supportive around the ankle
  • Comfortable to run in
  • Cushioned in side 

  • None

 Value for money: Yes, I have paid over £90 for good running trainers

Overall reaction: Really comfortable to run and work out in. I have been running and to the gym in them. They are supportive around the ankle and the cushioning helps with shock absorption from running. Great running shoes.

By Carol's Dad

Price: £69.99
Available from: Powermat, Amazon
Initial Reaction: Big package , lot of components , looks complicated to use.
Pros: Can charge multiple devices at once, energy saving
Cons: none that I have found as yet!
Value for money? 5 out 5
Overall Reaction: This is a genius product which anyone has i-pod, mobile phone, DS or any modern electrical device needs in their life. Not complicated to use at all and I now charge my mobile and i-pod together from 1 plug!
By Carol's Other Half

Price: £6
Available from: Amazon and various other outlets
Initial Reaction: Good lord, it’s tiny
Pros: Ultra small, ultra thin USB memory stick, compatible with PCs, notebooks and Macs. Comes with key ring attachment that is easily separable for convenience.
Cons: None
Value for money? Yes
Overall Reaction: Disproving the proverb that size isn’t everything, this is very much the USB stick with a difference and at a reasonable price. The version reviewed is 2GB, but it’s also available in differently priced versions storing up to 32GB of memory – all on a robust, super-convenient and very, very small stick that sits almost un-noticed amongst your keys.

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