SWIG – Amazing Hip Flasks – Review & Giveaway

Did you know that the “hip flask” first appeared in the Middle Ages? Back then it wasn’t a hip flask as we know it today but it served the same purpose – it was designed to hold liquids. The 18th century brought about the hip flask which resemble the flasks of today. Usually made from pewter, silver or glass, these small curved containers were designed with drinks on the go in mind. Today most flasks are made from stainless steel or plastic (to avoid detection by any metal detectors allegedly).

As an object, the hip flask makes for a wonderful personalised gift. Additionally due to the materials they are made from they are also perfect for engraving.

SWIG – Amazing Hip Flasks – Review & GiveawaySWIG is a worldwide luxury hip flask brand. They offer a lifetime guarantee as their flasks are designed to last for generations.

To be honest I wasn’t all that excited about my new flask when I was waiting for it… but it all changed when it arrived. Oh boy, SWIG flasks are pure luxury!

SWIG – Amazing Hip Flasks – Review & GiveawayThe flask comes in a beautify box complete with a ribbon 🙂 I have to admit for a moment or two I really didn’t want to open it, it was that pretty. But once you do open the box, you are met with even more surprises – your flask is neatly resting on a soft pillow-like fabric… so cute and adorable! And to make things even better there is a card included with your personal SWIG Society number.

SWIG – Amazing Hip Flasks - Review & GiveawayThe flask itself has a perfect finish, despite “studying” it for a long time I wasn’t able to fault it in any way. It is simply perfect.

SWIG – Amazing Hip Flasks – Review & GiveawayI opted for a leather finish with a Union Jack design but there is a lot of choice to pick from including Harris Tweed flasks which are just so British 😉 You can buy a “naked” flask or you can purchase one which already has a pouch. In addition to the full range of hip flasks you can also order an engraving service, which will make your SWIG truly unique.

What do you think?

Would you like to have your own SWIG?

If your answer is yes, it might be your lucky day! SWIG is offering one SWIG flask as a giveaway prize to one of my Bark Time readers. You will be able to pick any flask you fancy (well, almost any as the Heritage flasks are not included.) So, what are you waiting for? Just follow the easy steps on the Gleam app below to submit your entry.

#win an amazing hip flask from SWIG

Good Luck!

1. Open to UK readers only.
2. This giveaway is sponsored by SWIG.
3. There will be 1 winner chosen at random from all valid entries. Winner will be chosen by Gleam.
4. The winner will receive one SWIG flask of their choice (subject to availability; the Heritage range is not included). The prize will only be fulfilled by SWIG.
5. The winner will have 7 working days to claim the prize, after this time, a new winner will be selected.
6. Closing date for the giveaway is Sunday 27/09/2015 at 23:59pm.

ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions
Loquax – Home of The Lucky Duck
SuperLucky Blog Giveaways Linky
Competition Hunter – UK Competitions Community

Top 5 Personalised Gift Ideas for a Foodie

Top 5 Personalised Gift Ideas for a FoodieThere is nothing better than receiving a personalised gift; something picked and created especially for you. If picked right these types of gift can be a real treasure and source of long time happiness.

Most of us have homes full of clutter and the idea of yet another “useless” gift received for my birthday or a name day makes me cringe inside. I know that I might be different than others but I like practical gift, something I can use, something of good quality which I can enjoy for many years to come.

In June I celebrated my birthday, we actually went away for our holidays during this time but once we returned there was a beautiful gift waited for me – a personalised meat carving board from ToxicFox. I have to admit it was a perfect gift! High quality wood, lovely engraving, perfect finish… this is my type of gift and I know I will cherish it for a long time to come…

This made me think… there must be others like me who would prefer something nice and usable yet unique and created just for them… I was on the hunt for the best personalised gifts for a foodie…

These are my top five choices:

Top 5 Personalised Gift Ideas for a Foodie - Personalised Mixing Bowl SetPersonalised Mixing Bowl Set
Mixing bowls are always useful and you can never have enough of them. This one allows you to add two messages of up to 70 characters each and one symbol. I really like the design of this bowl and I think mixing a future cake in it would be a pleasure 🙂

Top 5 Personalised Gift Ideas for a Foodie - Personalised Pair of Coffee and Biscuit Storage TinsPersonalised Pair of Coffee and Biscuit Storage Tins
I’ve always liked storage containers and this pair looks perfect to me – they are airtight, have lovely retro style and would make for a wonderful gift… after all who doesn’t love biscuits and coffee?

Top 5 Personalised Gift Ideas for a Foodie - Definition Cheese Board SetDefinition Cheese Board Set
Beautiful looking and extremely useful for any cheese lover out there and to make it better you can engrave it with any name you want and add to it any definition you want.

Top 5 Personalised Gift Ideas for a Foodie - Personalised Oven Gloves and MittsPersonalised Oven Gloves and Mitts
I picked this one because in addition to the message you can add your own picture as well. I really like the idea of them and I think I might just order some for us.

Top 5 Personalised Gift Ideas for a Foodie - Personalised Embossing Rolling PinPersonalised Embossing Rolling Pin
This isn’t just a rolling pin with your name on it. This pin can be personalised with your message which will be later left on your cookies… or anything else you roll with it.

I hope you enjoyed my little list here.

Do you like personalised gifts?

Would you like to own any of my top five choices?

Getting Ready for Valentine’s Day

Getting Ready for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, which means it is time to get ready.

I am not planning anything extravagant but some little surprises during the day are very much in order.

Getting Ready for Valentine’s Day - Love Pillow Cases

First thing first – Setting the scene

Human Touch – Love Pillow Cases sent me one of their lovely pillow case sets. They will be perfect for setting the scene for a romantic evening / night plus I am sure they will put a smile on our faces every morning we wake up and look at them.

There are 12 lovely, cute and extremely adorable designs to pick from. Human Touch – Love Pillow Cases are a great way of extending the magic of Valentine’s Day for longer.

To make a day even more special why not start it with a nice cup of coffee from a Love Mug?

Getting Ready for Valentine’s Day - Breakfast

Cook that special breakfast

This part still needs some thinking and planning. I have a few options on the short list. The Valentine Breakfast Pinterest board was very helpful but I still couldn’t decide: sweet or sour.

Getting Ready for Valentine’s Day - Hidden Surprise

Hide a little surprise in their lunch box

Did you hear about Joy Maker? The Cadbury website offers an option of making your very own chocolate bar. The process is easy and very straightforward and as a result you get a chocolate bar with a personalised message of your choice (on the wrapper only to be precise). I think that this would be a very nice touch, which would definitely put a smile on Marks face, so I am getting it made.

Getting Ready for Valentine’s Day Name a Star

A special gift which will last a lifetime

I am still stuck for ideas and would consider any help you can offer. I don’t plan on getting anything huge (budget wise) but something special and thoughtful would be ideal. I found a Name A Star kit, which allows you, among other things, to name a star (surprise, surprise…). I think that Mark would really like that.

How is your preparation going in the run up to Valentine’s Day?

Are you planning something special that’s out of the ordinary?

A gift guide for that person who appears to have it all

A gift guide for that person who appears to have it all

Men, women, teens, kids – there is always someone who seems to have it all and when asked what would they want or like the answer is always the same – nothing.

This is not necessarily the truth. I personally don’t believe they have it all but this type of person may just not have any immediate needs which need fulfilling, so… buying for them is kind of a nightmare.

We can always pick the easy way out and go with a pre-boxed gift from our favourite store or we could try to find something which will actually suit them and they might actually need or even want, even if they don’t know it yet.

I was wondering about some gift ideas for “those” type of people. So I created a list, in spending order, which might give you some ideas.


Experience Days

There are a lot of options for picking something suitable from experience days. I’ve looked at Virgin Experience Days and prices start from just £5 and go up and up and up all the way to space soon… so I am putting it on top of my list. Driving, flying, days out, spa days, photo shoots… there are literally 100s of different options to suit any budget and of course to suit any person we are buying for. Last year I won a driving experience and gifted it to Mark; he totally loved it even though they wouldn’t let him keep the car despite Hollywood levels of pleading.

Dyson Hot + Cool

Dyson Hot + Cool

Unless the person you are buying for has an air-conditioned house they will love the new Dyson Hot + Cool. I personally don’t have one (I wish we had) but I’ve seen it in action and it is amazing. It looks amazing and it performs just as described. It isn’t cheap though as prices starts from £359.99 but if you have that amount of “spare” money I can guarantee a smile on the recipient face.

Redmond Multicooker .

Redmond Multicooker

Reading different blogs I see that a lot of people are using a multicooker. These smart appliances can fry, steam, cook, stew, bake… they can reheat food or keep it warm until you get home… pretty clever. It is like all your cooking requirements in one piece of kit. The price does vary depending on which model you opt for – the basic 6 program multicooker will set you back £69 going up to an amazing 55 programs in one model for £184.90.

personalised  wine

Personalised Gifts

With personalised gifts the choice also is almost endless – bags, mugs, frames, chocolates, clothing… whatever you want I am sure someone will personalise it for you. ToxicFox have a huge selection of personalised gifts. I particularly like their wine or champagne selection – personalised of course – as they might just be the perfect gift for a fussy adult.

ClaireaBella collection

They also offer a full ClaireaBella collection – cushions, stationery, suitcases, bags to name a few things plus a lot of clothing including PJs, hoodies, zoodies, t-shirt, onesies. With ClaireaBella you can not only personalise with your name but the whole Mr or Mrs ClaireaBella 😉 Prices starts from £4.99 for a personal bar of chocolate going up to £134 for a suitcase.

Mediflow Waterbase Fibrefill Pillow

Water Pillow

Yeah, I know, it sounds awesome, doesn’t it? £39.99 will give you a Mediflow Waterbase Fibrefill Pillow; clinically proven to improve quality of sleep and reduction of neck pain. They can be adjusts to fit the shape of any person and continuously responds to changes in the sleeping position. I actually have one and it is a pleasure to sleep on. People might have a lot of things but I bet most of them haven’t thought about getting themselves a water pillow 🙂

The Country Candle Company

“Posh” Candle Collection

Candles aren’t only for the older women. They have a practical use of course but they might also be used as a decoration, a mood enhancement or just a nice reminder of something or someone special. The Country Candle Company offers the most beautiful range of British, highly scented candle collections to suit any preferences. Prices start from £6.50 and go up to £22.50 for a lovely gift pack.

So, what do you think?

Are any of my ideas useable for you?

What would you add to the list?

Review – Vinyl Clocks – selected with care for your loved ones

My new The Beatles – Paperback Writer Vinyl Clock
My new The Beatles Paperback Writer Vinyl Clock

A few weeks ago whilst messing about on Twitter I spotted @VinylClocks. They tweeted “Looking for Christmas gift ideas? We can help”. As I am always on the lookout for something new, different and with soul, I decided to check out their website. Almost an hour later I was still reading and discovering how it all works, and what you can get. The idea is simple – you can buy a clock made from an original vinyl… but that is all that is simple about it… then you start thinking about which vinyl you might want to get… and then it all gets a bit hectic… I had tons of questions going through my head: do I get one from a favourite band, should it be an album or a single; should it be my favourite, Marks favourite or something we both enjoy; or maybe I could pick a song which will remind us about some special moment in our life, we all have one… I quit my browsing but bookmarked the page, thinking “It will be perfect for a friend who has everything… a clock to match their musical taste, which will make a perfect, well thought and quite unique gift

On Tuesday I spotted @VinylClocks tweeting again (not surprising really as I follow them), this time I answered and stated the obvious that I would love to have one… to my surprise after a few emails Tim, the guy I was chatting with, offered me one of their 7” clocks (that was yesterday).

I didn’t choose my clock… but I advised Tim that something from The Beatles collection would suit us perfectly, Mark is getting on after all, plus any red detail would be an added bonus.

Today, to my huge surprise, our postie brought me a lovely pink parcel. I wasn’t expecting anything, at least not yet, so I was very eager to check out what was inside… I am an envelope recycling junky so I cut the top of the shipping bag gently off (so I can still re-use it) in order to have a quick pick inside… there it was… my vinyl clock!


It came very well packed in a shipping bag, Styrofoam, bubble wrap type thingy, box plus warning notes. Glancing at the first of the notes I thought “Ok, maybe I should just wait for Mark to deal with the clock when he gets home, so I don’t damage anything” but my curiosity won me over and I decided that waiting till 6 o’clock is not a realistic option. So taking all precaution as advised in the note I started digging for my clock. Small, precision cuts with a pair of sharp scissors through the bubble wrap thingy and I was already at the main box, easy.


There was however waiting for me a new challenge – my pizza style box had a lot of tape wrapped around it so I needed a sharp knife… a few cuts later and I was inside the box! Wooot… but wait there was a second hidden note with even more instructions 🙂


I took my time and read it all, twice, than started on dismantling the internal parts of the box in order to see my new Vinyl clock… I really wanted to see what Tim had picked for us – and there it was – The Beatles, Paperback Writer – a perfect song and a perfect clock!


Within 10 minutes I had managed to put the battery in (which comes with the clock, handy I thought), set the correct time (not so easy as the original kitchen clock had died), and replaced our old dead wall clock with our shiny new one. This was the only wall clock we had in the house and we didn’t even pick it, it came with the house. Since we bought it 6 years ago (the house I mean) we never found a new clock which grabbed us both despite setting out on a few clock hunting escapades. Our new vinyl clock has hit the mark perfectly! It’s stylish in my opinion and now every time I look at it, I have the song in my head 🙂

All of these is protecting your new clock in transit!
All of these is protecting your new clock in transit!

The clock itself is very well made; it feels solid enough, despite being made from a fragile material like vinyl. The clock mechanism is well fitting, nothing rattling or coming loose. The clock arms are awesome – with two gold ones and one red, which zooms around like crazy as it counts of the seconds… ohh and it is not a silent clock… it makes an comforting gentle tick-tock, sound… the clock is supplied with a 1 year warranty (for your piece of mind, I guess). As far as I can tell, prices start from £13.95 +pp (£1 up to £4.50 for zone 3 international shipping). Vinyl Clocks offer a choice of 7”, 10” and 12” clocks. And to make things even better, you can request (free of charge) a gift wrap, including a gift label. Sounds perfect, isn’t?

But and it is a big but, never forget that should you still own a gramophone, turntable or hifi system you can actually play your clock as it is a genuine record! How many clocks can claim that now!

Now something about Vinyl Clocks in general…

It’s not really about the clocks, it’s about the memories.

Music evokes memories. It may be who you were with (or who you wanted to be with), where you were, or just a piece of music that moves you.

We all have favourites / special songs.

All we do is preserve them in time. The website ( www.vinylclocks.com ) is basically a very big juke box. You go on and choose the one you want, or more likely choose the one someone else will want! We then send the clock, and although the music isn’t playing, juts be looking at the label it will be in your head.

This is what Tim said about the company and I totally agree with him.

I love the idea of these clocks. Picking a perfect clock as a gift for someone you love and care about can be a great experience. And what could be better than a useful, elegant gift with an insight into their soul. A vinyl clock is a personalised piece of wall art, which also tells the time!

What do you think?

Do you like the idea?

If so, what vinyl clock would you get?


I was sent 7” clock free of charge for review purposes. The opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own.