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Sunday, 8 November 2015

Lily O'Brien's Advent Calendar - Review & Giveaway

   I love advent calendars. I get one every year. Seeg says they're for kids, but he can be too grown up (read: miserable) for his own good sometimes and misses out on a lot because of it. Though, admittedly, I revert to a 10 year old between November and January, so perhaps that's a good thing; we balance eachother out.
   Anyway, I usually go for whatever catches my eye in the shops and that's usually maltesers or something like that, simple stuff, and it's almost always disappointing. It's always made from cheap chocolate and has little to do with whatever brand I bought - but I know that going in, of course. I've learned not to buy the £1 Winnie the Pooh ones because, though I might love the picture, the chocolate always tastes like cardboard.
   Anyway, this year I decided I would buy one worth having.


   Now, you might be thinking at this point that, as someone obsessed with health and fitness, a chocolate-filled advent calendar would be something I'd steer clear of, especially a decadent one, but you'd be wrong. Advent calendars are actually a damned good way of sticking to a diet or a healthy eating plan. Why? Because it guarantees you a piece of chocolate every day and that can give you something to look forward to if you decide to keep it for the evening, or it can provide you with a quick fix if you're feeling down in the dumps - of course, eating is never the way to solve a bad mood, but I would be lying through my fingertips if I told you I didn't succumb to it, even now.
   As such, I want that piece of chocolate to be worth the empty calories; I want it to be worth looking forward to. And a £2 malteser advent calendar just doesn't cut it anymore.
   So, when I saw that Lily O'Brien's had one, a limited edition advent house which was just gorgeously designed, I had to have one! I snatched it up during Chocolate Week, getting 20% off of the £25 retail price which is pretty hefty, but it's cute, a treat and I must point out: the house is re-usable. So even when I empty it this year, I have a gorgeous advent calendar I can fill myself next year with other individually wrapped chocolates!
   This limited edition calendar is filled with individually-wrapped Lily O'Brien's chocolates - sticky toffee, honeycomb crunch, chocolate orange and milk chocolate truffle - and admit that I have taken a peak inside a couple of the drawers. For the purpose of this review, of course. I've not eaten any of it - I bought a few extra chocolates for that! :P Each of the 24 drawers contain chocolates, obviously, but on day 11 and 24 there are three chocolates in the drawer! I love it! Half way through the month and on Christmas Eve you get two extra chocolates to share or scoff - though there's not much a decision to be made!


   The house itself is cardboard, but it's the highest quality board you'll find. So, no, to my disappointment the house is not made of wood so it's easier to damage the corners, but the box it comes packaged in is perfectly sized and will protect the calendar in both transit and storage, so it should be easy to look after. I was hoping it was wooden, but given the quality of the board, I'm quite happy with it! I know that I can use it again next year filled with any chocolates I want, and I could even re-decorate the house for a new look if I really wanted to.
   The chocolates are all Lily O'Brien's and individually wrapped with a legend on the back so you know which you have that day. There's one chocolate a day except on the 11th and 24th, which both contain three chocolates. There is no drawer for the 25th, but Christmas day tends to be fat enough, so that's not really an issue, even if I admit that I prefer calendars with a 25th door.
   The chocolates themselves are delicious and can all be found in other Lily O'Brien's chocolate selections, so if you're familiar with Lily O'Brien's gorgeous chocolates you'll know if it's worthwhile. I wouldn't have bought it if I didn't think I'd like it, at least!


   So, that's my advent calendar sorted this year, but, as it's the season of giving - or, almost - I've got a second limited edition Lily O'Brien's advent house to give away to one of you! I'm so excited about it! 24 boxes; 28 chocolates! All you need to do is fill out the rafflecopter widget below by November 21st and I'll be in touch with the winner directly on the 22nd. The winner will have 72 hours (3 days) to respond, and if I don't hear back by the end of that time frame a new winner will be selected. Due to the contents, size and weight of the calendar I'm afraid I'm going to have to limit participation to Europe and the UK, but it will be shipped with next day delivery in the UK or 4-day delivery in Europe so it will be with the winner in time for December 1st! Yay!


The winner has now been contacted and confirmed!
Thank you to everyone who has participated in this giveaway!
Check back soon for more!



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer: participants must be based in the UK or Europe. All entries will be checked at the end of the giveaway; those who have claimed to have completed an entry and have not will be fully disqualified. The winner is selected at random using the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted via the information used to fill in the widget (email or Facebook email). The winner will have 72 hours to respond to the notification email. If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be selected and contacted and the original winner notified that the opportunity has passed. Contest is open from November 8th to November 21st; the winner will be contacted by email on November 22nd. Prize will be shipped out of my own pocket with next day deliver to a UK winner, or 4-day delivery to a European winner. The prize has been purchased by myself, not donated; this giveaway is not in affiliation with Lily O'Brien's.


NaBloPoMo November 2015



68 comments:

  1. visit santa with my children!
    ashleigh

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  2. Putting the Christmas Tree Up :)

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  3. Watching christmas films with all the family!

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  4. decorating the house it looks like an explosion in a tinsel factory by the time i'm done

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    1. You mean how every house should look? :D ♥

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  5. Getting all the wrapping done! I do it all coz I'm the only one that loves wrapping

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    1. Christmas wrapping is one of my favourite parts of Christmas - I get myself a little box of chocolates, a mug of hot chocolate, stick on a couple of Christmas films and get it all done in an afternoon. I absolutely love it!! :D

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  6. I love putting up the tree (or maybe I like the moment when we've just finished putting up the tree!!).

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  7. I love wrapping the presents, getting all the ribbon and bows matching the paper and handwriting little messages on the tags

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  8. Our christmas elf coming for december!

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  9. buying presents from June onwards

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  10. Putting up the tree I love that day

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  11. I love the challenge of finding hiding places for presents away from tiny eyes.

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    1. It's such a shame children try to spoil things! I remember sneaking into my parents' bedroom and looking in their wardrobe, seeing a big plush red panda and staring at it in awe before climbing up, getting it down and having a squeeze of it before running away so no one knew I'd seen. I'm pretty sure I put it back wrong so it must have been obvious. But I'm all growed up now so I don't try to sneak looks at presents! :P

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  12. I love to visit the christmas markets

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    1. One of the best ways to get into the festive spirit! :D

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  13. Definitely putting the Christmas tree up!

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  14. Decorating the house and Christmas tree and making everything a bit sparkly.

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  15. I love the lead up to Christmas with Christmas Eve being the pinnacle. I spend most of the year collecting special stocking fillers for my grown up children that will be useful or wanted as well as filling their huge 'sock' (stripy, 3 ft long and knitted by my Mother when they were tiny). We decorate the house, have two Christmas trees, outside lights and lots of brightly wrapped gifts. This year we are going to see a play of Miracle on 34th Street before cmoing home and having a festive evening around the firepit in the garden (rain permitting) with hot chocolate, gingerbread and carols.

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    1. Goodness me, can I come?!
      That sounds absolutely amazing! I only saw Miracle on 34th Street last year for the first time and I LOVE it! A play would be amazing to see so that's awesome. And an evening around the firepit, it just sounds wonderful. I'm sure you'll enjoy it and I'll be at home envying you! :D And it's wonderful that you still fill the stockings your mother made them, that's fantastic. Christmas should never lose that, no matter how old anyone gets!

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  16. Love to make my own mince pies, only trouble is they seem to get eaten as soon as they are made! Love the smells of Christmas cooking spices
    Sheila R @CakeReev

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    1. The hardest part of Christmas baking is indeed trying to keep it - trouble is that I'm the one I have to keep it all from!

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  17. I watch all the Christmas movies on TV. Doing it now even, but watching it nearer Christmas is even better. If there are adverts I sit and write my Christmas cards inbetween. :)

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    1. What a brilliant use of adverts! I like to wait until all the Christmas decorations are up before watching them if I can help it, but it never seems to work out! December 1st is my excuse for pretty much anything 'Christmas' :D

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  18. I Love cooking Christmas Dinner for the whole family. Makes me feel Christmas is worthwhile when all the fanily are together. XXX

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  19. I love making the family christmas cake and mince pies x

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  20. I love putting up the christmas tree with our little girl and baking festive treats and cakes xxxx

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  21. I love to bake! Gingerbread snowflakes, Shortbread wreaths, Chorizo sausage rolls and cheese biscuits..

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  22. We love to visit a Christmas Market - the atmosphere is so uplifting xx

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  23. Watching Christmas related films, especially IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE!

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  24. Putting up the christmas tree with my little ones

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  25. Baking lots of goodies for family and friends.

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  26. I love to decorate the tree with my daughter and make and decorate cookies with her as well. Sometimes we even make Christmas cookie tree decorations :)

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  27. hi! my favourtie thing to do over xmas is eat drink be merry and spend lots of time with family and friends x

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  28. Seeing all the lovely Christmas light displays

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  29. I love choosing, buying, then decorating the tree with the children and my husband at Christmas

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  30. Baking! I try to do a ton of baking leading up to Christmas. It's my favorite time of the year - banana bread and pumpkin bread for miles!

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  31. Christmas shopping and all the lights in the shops

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    1. Christmas lights and displays in the shops are the only reason I brave stores at Christmas, otherwise I prefer to do all I can online to avoid the stress - but the lights and displays are always worth it! :D

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  32. I love to look at the Christmas markets!

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  33. Putting Christmas tree and lights up, taking kids to see Santa, buying lots of treats

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  34. My favourite thing is to designate a couple of days for special Christmas shopping trips - I will go to a town I don't usually go to, see the lights, bask in the Christmas atmosphere, treat myself to lunch out and just generally absorb the Christmas spirit :)

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    1. That sounds wonderful, I love it when people do this! Being a full-time carer it's hard for me to get out to do the same thing, so I tend to make a special occasion out of Christmas wrapping instead, complete with hot chocolate, box of chocolates, Christmas movies and all the Christmas lights on - it's not the same, but it does the job! :D

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  35. Buying presents and decorations then putting the tree up x

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  36. I love to prepare lots of Christmas food for the family and store it away ready for the feasting

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  37. We love getting bundled up in the car and driving around spotting Christmas lights on people's houses :)

    Stevie x

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    1. This is brilliant if you know where to find them! I tried it once and ended up spotting just three or four houses in 45 minutes and none of them were worth it :(

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  38. I love Putting the tree up , I make sure I have Mince Pies to hand and Mulled Wine as well to make it more of a celebration ♥♥♥

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    1. And so you should! Putting up the tree is great fun and festive in itself, but adding mince pies and mulled wine to the mix makes it an occasion!

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  39. Get lots of presents ready, home made and bought, to see the looks of happiness on people's faces :)

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  40. I love decorating the tree and house for Christmas. In our family we always make our own decorations for the mantlepieces, mirrors and banisters using greenery from the garden (ivy, holly, yew and other evergreens), red and gold ribbons and some unbreakable red, gold and silver baubles. We also make a centrepiece for the table with candles and greenery from the garden. We use ideas from Pinterest and various posh stores. It's amazing what you can make using stuff that costs nothing or next to nothing, plus it's a fun activity to do together, especially if you do it while having some mulled wine and listening to your favourite Xmas CD (ours is Dr. Demento!).

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  41. Put milk, cookies and a carrot underneath the tree, to give thanks to Santa :)

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  42. Going into city centre with daughter & wife to see the lights at night.

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  43. My favourite thing is christmas films with the family .

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  44. I like going to a community carol sing, and I used to love walking the dog on Christmas morning. I'm not really one for consumer excess though, it can get a bit much for me.

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  45. I love everything to do with Christmas but my favourite thing has to be wrapping presents

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  46. I love window shopping, looking at all the different lights and decorations in town and decorating the tree, with Christmas music, mulled wine and nibbles followed by a cheesy movie! Decorating the tree with my Mamma is my fondest memories of this time x

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  47. I love making and decorating our Christmas cake - oh and feeding it lots of brandy too! x

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