Winter Gift Reviews by Saffia Farr and Jess Hazel

Heaven Scent Organic Candle

This range of candles from Heaven Scent is made from plant wax, not paraffin. The wicks are of cotton, any glass used is from a recycled source, and the fragrances are from essential oils. We liked the subtle perfume that these gave the candle. We reviewed the Limeleaf and Ginger candle, and it had exotic undertones without being overpowering. It is a lovely green colour, which seems to glow when lit. Approximately 50 burning hours.


Multicultural Dolls

One Dear World produce multicultural dolls and storybooks that promote diversity and inclusion. They have created four dolls: Hope from Ghana, Jun from China, Lea from Norway, and Parth from India. Each has his or her own birthday and story. They are made from cotton and are 16cm wide and 35cm high, which we found to be a really comfortable size to hold, and they are soft to cuddle. A lovely touch is that each doll comes with a “passport” asking that he or she can travel freely. It states: “One Dear World is where we celebrate our differences,” creating a wonderfully thoughtful gift for a child, and inspiring tolerance as much as role play.

£19 each

Knitted Shawl

This is a really gorgeous shawl. It’s so soft and cosy that you just want to snuggle up to it! It’s a good size at 80cm x 100cm, so it’s really versatile – it could be used as a cot or pram blanket, to swaddle a baby, or just to wrap mum and baby in when cuddling or breastfeeding. The hedgehog design in neutral colours is great, and it’s made from 100% organic cotton. A really fantastic baby gift to treasure.


Tree Dedication, Woodland Trust

For a zero-waste idea, a tree dedication from the Woodland Trust can make a thoughtful gift. You can choose to dedicate a tree at one of 50 woodlands across the UK. You can find out about each wood during the ordering process – some are mature and well established, and others are newly planted or young. I dedicated a tree for my friends’ new baby and chose a woodland near to where they live, so that they could visit and see the trees grow over the years. You can choose how many trees you’d like to dedicate – and the donation you’ll give. You can then personalise the certificate and have it delivered free of charge by post or email. JH

Suggested donation of £15 per tree

Cute Mini Gift Box, Soothe Me

I reviewed the ‘Pink Range’, which are products best for sensitive skin. The ingredients include rosehip, frankincense and sea buckthorn oils and shea butter and are suitable for vegans. The box contains Divine Face Serum, Rose Bloom Face Mist, Gorgeous Cream, a Mini Fairtrade Organic Cotton Face Cloth and a little pot of Pink French Clay with Zeolite. This box is a sensory experience, as well as a cleansing and moisturising one! I really enjoyed the touch of the clay as I mixed it, and the colour on my face; the cream has an amazing scent of rose, and the serum oil felt warm and soothing. Afterwards my face was gently tingling and my skin felt smoother. I was disappointed that there was only enough clay for one face mask, but, there is plenty of oil, serum, mist and cream to last for weeks, as you only need a little of each. Handmade in the UK. SF


Sunshine Circle Pendant

This pendant is handmade from recycled silver and is approximately 3cm in diameter. The circle is hammered flat, so no two will be quite the same. The pendant features a gorgeous, gentle-yellow 8mm citrine cabochon: it’s said that citrine brings optimism and cheerfulness! The pendant comes on a 40cm, 45cm or 50cm sterling silver chain and is beautifully presented in tissue paper in your choice of a drawstring bag or a recycled box. All the pieces are designed and handmade by Kerry Hughes in Ceredigion using responsibly sourced materials. The collections are inspired by the coastline and some feature beautiful sea glass. 10% of each sale from the Sea & Sand collection goes to the Marine Conservation Society.

From £58

Black Cat Knitting Kit

This is a lovely knitting set. It’s presented in a dinky basket with opening lids, which you can use as a bed for the cat you knit or to keep your craft things in. In the kit is black wool, a pair of knitting needles, needle and thread, two plastic eyes, stuffing, ribbon and a bell, plus instructions on how to make your very own special cat. We think this is a lovely gift that can help someone learn to knit or improve their knitting, with two gorgeous keepsakes once the project has been completed.


Maths Games and Activities Set, The Curious Dragons

These sets have been designed to nurture and develop a child’s numerical and reasoning abilities. The approach used is the “touch, visual and symbol” approach used in Singapore. In practical terms, I found the games to be very easy but appealing – the kind I would have enjoyed with my children without worrying that they were about learning maths. There are five boxes in the set. Each has clear instructions, and the games are fun to play. For example, you spin an arrow, which lands on a symbol showing a number of dragon eggs, and you then place the corresponding number of egg counters on your nest board. The resources are sturdy and will last lots of plays. The games are aimed at children aged from 3 upwards, but I’m sure younger children could join in too! SF


Natural Deodorant Stick

This gender-neutral deodorant would make an excellent stocking filler for someone who is trying to reduce his or her consumption of single-use plastic. The deodorant is a solid stick made from 100% natural ingredients and no aluminium or parabens. It’s in a cardboard tube, and you push the stick up and warm it with your fingers to apply. We really liked the citrus scent and it helped us feel fresh all day. The stick is handmade and suitable for vegans, and 10p from the sale of each stick goes to the Marine Conservation Society.



Published in Issue 52 (Winter 2017) of JUNO

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