Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts


10 Gift Ideas for your Brother-in-law / Brother / Father / Grandfather + TIP - Need Help?

As the years come and go we women are always complaining that the husbands leave us to do all the gift buying and isn't that true ladies?

Even when it comes to buying for men.
So TRUE!!!!!

But it is not just the buying it is the thinking of new gifts to get all the time that causes us the headache.

Yes EVERY Birthday & Christmas us girls are just expected to rack our brains for new ideas for the men.

So what do we do when it comes to those events when we need to celebrate the men in our lives? 

   Birthdays, Christmas, Father's Day etc.

I have no brothers but I have a really great brother-in-law.  

He met my older sister when I was only 6 years old and he's been part of the family ever since.

So from thinking about my brother-in-law, father and my husband all these years I have had to come up with many different ideas for gifts.

Well I thought I would share 10 of the ideas I have had in the past for gifts for my Brother-in-law and of course these can be for any man.

NOTE:  In our family we do not usually spend a lot of money on gifts so none of the things listed below will cost ££££s

10 Gift Ideas for your Brother-in-law 
(or father, brother, husband, grandfather .....)

1.  Groupon Voucher  (or Living Social etc.)

A couple of years ago I got him one for a free lesson with a Golf Pro.
This was for his birthday in February and he decided to use it a month or so later.
So he and my sister came to stay with us for a few days and we dropped him off for the morning for his lesson and picked him up when he was finished and then we all went and did a bit of shopping together.
Keep an eye on the offers and if one of them makes you think of your brother-in-law then it could be his next gift from you.

2.  Dvds of old Western Films or other types of movies.

My brother-in-law is a fan of old westerns but my sister is not  -  so it's a great gift which is just for him.
I have actually used this idea a few times now.

You can view a selection HERE

Or if he's into action & adventure like James Bond etc. he may prefer something from HERE

3.  Amazon Voucher/Gift Card so that he can get books or ebooks.

Yes I know we often say that guys are hard to buy books for so if you have a problem with thinking of suitable books let him choose his own books or ebooks.

My brother-in-law and I and my husband have a somewhat similar taste in detective novels so sometimes when we have found a good one we will then get a copy for him but then there are other times when it would be nice for him to pick his own.

And the lovely thing about Amazon vouchers/gift cards is the fact that you get to choose a design that suits the occasion or the person - you can see a selection HERE

They even have an option for one that comes in a tin like a gift in itself, Just click on the pic below if you want to investigate this idea.

4.  An Interesting Box

Now this is an idea I had a couple of years ago.
I like boxes and at different times I have bought nicely decorated boxes - see Storage Bargains
But  I also found this box one time which I just adore

 it is not a very girlie box so it gave me the idea of looking for a similar type of box and putting in a few small things that my brother-in-law might appreciate and then he could use the box for keeping odds and ends in, which he did.

It still sits in their kitchen being used on almost a daily basis.

5.  Mugs 

My brother-in-law loves tea and we always tease him about drinking it all day long.
In the past I have bought him funny mugs or large mugs  -  so that he doesn't have to keep refilling them too quickly.

A packet of a special tea or coffee would go well inside a big mug oh and a biscuit too.
I love the great pics and phrases we can get on mugs these days and we can even design our own.

Credit to Fotofunia

I think a lot of guys like humorous mugs and we have indeed given my brother-in-law mugs similar to THESE in the past.

6.  A Guy's Night in Selection Package

Didn't I mention how he likes Western Movies?
Well my sister doesn't, in fact she isn't very keen on sitting watching a movie at night so she would go to another room to read and my brother-in-law would settle down and watch a movie himself.
So this is where the selection pack would come in.

A nice drink,
 something savoury to snack on like pringles or popcorn,
 something chocolatey,
 and maybe a bag of wine gums all to enjoy while watching his movies on a few different evenings.

Of course we'll not wrap it up in a basket - guys don't do baskets!

Maybe a nice box like the type in  #4 above instead

7.  Treat him to a night out at the theatre for a comedy.

Now this is the one you definitely have to keep him from seeing because this is one I'm hoping to use soon.  He enjoys a comedy and so do the rest of us so all four of us can go out to this together.

8.  Gift Voucher/Card for his favourite shop

I know that we always think of girls as keen shoppers but men do usually have a favourite shop whether for clothes or gadgets.
My brother-in-law is a keen walker and he is always looking for thermal lined coats or waterproof items.
Just have a little think about which shop your brother-in-law might prefer to go to depending on his interests.

9.  The Takker.

This is something that I discovered on AMAZON by accident a while back and bought for my husband and then later we got it for our son because it was so easy to use and so useful plus NOT expensive.

I even wrote a blog post on it when I was trying to do something about the decor in our home.  Truly I do think this is The Best Thing for Bare Walls

Well I should get on and explain what it is - The Takker is the easiest thing to use to attach something light weight to your walls.  Click on the link above and you will see how easy it is.

There are actually two types of these Takkers and my husband has used both and he had a smile on his face each time.

This first one  THE TAKKER PICTURE HANGING KIT  is for when you would try to hammer in a nail and you don't want to annoy the plaster on the wall.

The second one is The Hard Wall Takker for the occasions when you would normally think of needing to get out the electric drill.

As I said above my husband was very happy using both of these Takkers and not only that but he actually asked if I wanted anything else up on the walls.
That's a win win situation for us girls.

10.  Sweets (preferably something in Chocolate)

Well my brother-in-law and I may not share the same tastes in drinks  -  I am definitely a coffee drinker and NOT a tea drinker but we both DO LIKE Chocolate.
In the past I have got him some form of chocolate and probably will do so again.

Honestly there are not many people who will not appreciate chocolate and it is the ideal thing to enjoy with your mug of Tea/Coffee, while watching a Dvd or reading your ebook.

10 Gift Ideas for your brother-in-law / brother / father or any man in your life.

and the TIP?

Well just DO NOT buy him hankies.

My Brother-in-law and I have a thing about hankies as presents and it goes way back, yes way back to a certain Christmas over 40 years ago.

Some day I just might share that story with you all.

Now don't forget these suggestions when it comes to Father's Day as well.

If you have other gifts to buy why not click on the link to have a look at my Gift Ideas Pinterest Board

Or try these links:
The 5 Best Board Games
10 Gift Ideas for a Baby Girl's first Birthday / Christmas
10 Gift Ideas for a Baby Boy's first Birthday / Christmas
10 Gift Ideas for a Guitar fanatic

Oh and 


because someone is bound to direct him to this blog post

I am not an affiliate for Amazon so if you buy anything after clicking through from this blog post I will not benefit from it.


3 More Coffee Mugs! - A Dose of Encouragement

Last Friday was my birthday.

If you hadn't heard you should read last week's Dose of Encouragement I'm Too Sexy for this Card and have a laugh.

So because 2 of our kids are living in different countries from us and the third was working at a Christian Youth event all weekend, cards and presents were arriving in the post.

Yes you are probably thinking that I got coffee mugs from all three of them because of today's title but you would be wrong!

Well partly right and partly wrong!

Our oldest son sent me Dvds

because he knows that Fred and I love to relax watching a dvd usually of a mystery or crime series
and both our sons love this series so they want to get us to love it too.

Our second son sent me a Taster Set of 5 bags of coffee

because he knows how much I enjoy my coffee and he and his brother enjoy trying out new coffees too and they know I'll always share.

(I know you are thinking - this is leading up to the mugs now because coffee and mugs go together)

No not yet!

I think this is the point when I should mention that Fred also bought me a present but it was quickly returned.

 Due to the fact that HIS idea of what indoor plant I would like was nowhere near MY idea of what I wanted to put in our house.

All because he knows I like the colour Blue!  (I've also blogged about that HERE)  

But then our daughter's present was

                                               (drum roll)

                                                             a mug.

Look at that happy face!

That is the face I had for the dvds and the bags of coffee as well.

But not the face I had for the plant.

Fred did not hear the happy voice and thank you's that the kids heard about their presents.

No he got a

                            "I can't believe you bought me that thing" 

                                                                                                face and voice.

You see it was obvious to me that he had just gone into the supermarket (3 mins drive from our house) to get something and spotted the plant and decided to buy it because he did not have a gift for me.

Now in all fairness to me, Fred had asked me what I wanted for my birthday a couple of months ago and I said I wanted to go away for a few days.  He had agreed but things don't always go as planned and he had his bout with food poisoning and two trips abroad with work and then was again not feeling too good so there had been no trip in the end.

And that plant was not a good enough substitute: given that I didn't like it and it was too big to put anywhere in the house.

All I could say was:

                 Look at the mug Linda sent me.

                        It suits me exactly.

                                She knows what I like.

                                       She pays attention when I say something.

You see a few weeks ago I had noticed that two of my mugs were getting rather faded and it was hard to read what was written on them

The one on the left says MUM & the one on the right says MOTHER

I mentioned about the mugs saying that the mum and mother were very faded so perhaps it would soon be time to get a replacement one with grandma on it (hint, hint) and Linda immediately thought that she would get me a mug to replace these ones.

Well she told me later that she had to get me one with mother on it as she wasn't in the position to get me one with Grandma yet.

Linda also designed the mug herself.

Not only did the mug have Mother on it but it had butterflies and they were blue - my favourite colour!  -  but of course you know that by now.

If you didn't know that I love butterflies then you should read  "I was Going to Miss the Butterflies"

If you could see closer in to the picture of me with the mug you would also see that there is something else written on the other side of the mug.

Mother knows best.

And oh did I think that I did!

But I was wrong.

Because the next day I discovered that Fred had been planning to get me something else all along 

It was exactly what I had wanted but I had not asked for it.

He had been listening to me when I talked about this months ago.

I told him that he shouldn't have kept it a secret so I wouldn't have been annoyed at him.  

But he didn't see it like that.

He saw it as a surprise for me not a secret.

He knew I would love it.

Nothing to do with BLUE or with MUGS.

How many times do we think we know what is happening?

How many times do we think we know best because of our view of a situation?

How many times do we get it wrong?

How many times do we look back on something and realise that God was planning something that we could not see, or that we could not understand because we did not see what He saw or know what He knew.

We don't know everything; only God does.

We don't know what is best; only God does.

How many times do we turn to Him with the wrong attitude and ask why something hasn't happened yet?

How many times do we think we know the best time and way for our prayers to be answered?

How many times do we think He wasn't listening to us?

I am guilty of all of this as well as the attitude I took on my birthday.

Are there any of us who are not guilty of behaving like this toward God at times?

Thankfully God is ready to forgive our attitudes just like Fred was ready to forgive mine.

How far would you go for a Biscuit? - A Dose of Encouragement

How far would you go for a Biscuit?

Would you go to the kitchen cupboard?

   Would you go to the corner shop?

      Would you go to the supermarket at the other side of your town?

                                            Probably yes!

On Saturday we went 45 mins by car to the other side of Belfast just to get a certain type of biscuit.  We went to Ikea for their Pepparkaka Ginger Thins.

(I'm just wondering if they would be willing to pay me for this great advertisement for their biscuits hmmm?)

Saturday was Fred's birthday and our son and daughter-in-law had invited us to come for a birthday meal and Suzie had promised Fred cake.

So by Friday I was wondering what else we were going to do before going to see them in Belfast.

I decided that this was a good opportunity to go to Ikea and stock up on their biscuits.

The first reason being that I can have 3 of these biscuits with a cup of coffee in the afternoon and not use up too many calories as opposed to the chocolate biscuits that Fred likes.  The second reason is that I love to dunk these biscuits in my coffee and the third reason was that we had run out of them at home a few months ago.

So really we were not driving all that distance just for the biscuits but using the opportunity to go a little bit out of our way when we were already going to Belfast.

This got me thinking!

We went out of our way for something I wanted, but how much do we actually go out of our way to do something for others?

We did something for someone just the previous week which took a couple of hours of our Saturday because we had to drive a distance again and we were happy that what we did had helped to make this other person happy.  But many times we can look on making an effort for others as taking up our time and energy when we should be thinking of things that others need help with or that would add a little joy to their lives.

It is so easy to go on each day with our lives and have them centre around us and God but not around others.  Yet Jesus set us a clear example of  how his days on earth were centred around God and others before himself.  Look at how tired Jesus was at various times.

I often think of the example King David showed of kindness

2 Samuel 9:1
Now David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

David went on to find Mephibosheth and when he was brought to David at the palace he was afraid not expecting David to show him kindness


2 Samuel 9:7 
So David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.”

Was David just returning kindness because Jonathan had been kind to him?
David and Jonathan had been good friends and Jonathan had been an honest, supportive friend who showed great loyalty to David and also respect to his father King Saul just as David had.

Whether it was only because of his friendship with Jonathan or because of his personal relationship with God we know he followed through on this statement of kindness.

What is the difference for us?

Well we have the instruction from Jesus himself when He was asked about the greatest commandment

Matthew 22:34-40
34 But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

What better reason to show love to someone than because it is what God wants of us.

What better way to show love to someone than to show kindness.

What better way to be able to share the love of Jesus and the message of salvation with others than to show kindness and be a friend who is proven to be trustworthy and dependable by their words and actions.

We drove home on Saturday night smiling and feeling very happy because we had spent a lovely evening with Daniel and Suzie,  but we also went home the previous week happy because we had put a smile on someone else's face and made her happy.

There should definitely be room in our lives for both of these types of days and for a lot more of them than there has been recently.

I am thankful that God wants us to help others.

Have you also noticed that in the helping of others our lives are enriched as well as theirs?


Thankfulness, Goodness, Love - A Dose of Encouragement

HAPPY  BIRTHDAY  to our daughter  LINDA

This is the first time you have been away from us for your birthday in all these 26 years.

The first time the boys have not had to complain that you get a day completely devoted to you and they never do because they are at school or work on their birthday.

Not that they ever minded because it was always a complete family affair.

The go-karting

       The ice-skating

              The bowling

                     The cinema   .........

                             and of course always dinner in the place of your choice.

First time apart might as well be on the other side of the world

        - oh yes South Korea does sort of fit the bill.

In church last night Pastor spoke on Psalm 107 v 1  and I think it is very appropriate for you.

Of course it's also appropriate for all of us.

Let's take some time today to focus on this thought from the verse.


We should be THANKFUL 


    Because  God's Love endures forever so He can NEVER STOP being GOOD!

Isn't it great that no matter where we are we can know that God will never stop being good because He will never stop loving us?