*You can buy the keyboard mentioned in this post here.* 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately-about being on spectrum, and the impact of technology. There’s a sort of correlation, even a relationship between the two.

You see: one of the stereotypes frequently levelled at me for having Aspergers is that I’m “good with technology”, or that I should probably be “good at science and or/maths”. (The latter I’m not at all good at. You could probably say that I’m good with technology-I’ve set up this blog, I know how to create a film… )
But… I like technology fundamentally, as it enables me to communicate more openly. I can talk with ease to people on Twitter, find my stories, create content for this website, network, and submit copy for publication. It removes the worry surrounding social situations for me.

Sometimes, though, I feel that technology is not used in the right way.
A story was circulating a little while ago, about the creation of a Robot to help people on Spectrum at work. This was supposedly to help them develop better skills, i.e socially-but it forced them to make eye contact. (Not helpful.) I don’t like the use of this technology-as I feel people with Aspergers/Autism should not have to be ‘normalised.’
There’s also technology used to spread fake stories, incite hate… I don’t like that.

What I like, though, is when technology is seemingly designed with the user in mind.
I use a MacBook Air, an iPhone, and the Keyboard shown in the pictures in this post.
Designed by Penclic, this keyboard can be paired with a tablet, or a desktop, via Bluetooth; it’s really easy! Once connected, the keyboard is a pleasure to type on. It’s also really easy to take on a commute. (It was also featured in a gift guide over on Criddle Me This.)
Technology has enabled me to communicate a lot better than I usually would; it has allowed me to make friends, get published, network, find stories. When it is designed for the user, technology is a wonderful thing.

If you are on spectrum, what are your thoughts?


Disclaimer: I received the keyboard featured in the post at my own request, in exchange for a series of posts. You can purchase it here. However, the views in this post are my own.

Disclaimer: this post contains PR samples, which I requested, for purpose of my own review. What follows is my own opinion. 
Today is Christmas Eve. And I dare say that a few of the people I know are leaving potential shopping to the last minute. So: utilising my organisational skills, I have compiled a list of last minute stocking fillers for relatives. (Similarly, Aspergers means I do not always understand what to give people, so I tried to compile a list to help people who may be thinking the same time.)

Parents:

 

Chateau Rouge is a brand that sells delicious food ‘toppings’ such as jam (seen here.) The packaging is retro, the pots a smallish sizes-enough for a handbag-and it smells so good. This is a brand that also spells sophistication. To browse jam sets, see this link. 
Bloomtown is a brand that creates beauty products that are not tested on animals, as well as going without palm oil. This year, they have Christmas baubles. I love the baubles for their packaging-as they are so glossy. Plus, they also have a surprise gift;  I received a scrub flavoured by blood-orange. (It smelt so good!) You can buy the set here.
The Pen Company also sells a lot of pens; I cannot emphasise this enough. I received this fountain pen, which has an element of novelty; you can also have it personalised.

Sister:

My sister likes beauty. In fact, I would go as far as to say she LOVES it a lot. Throw is some chocolate, and you can’t not win sibling Brownie points.
 

Supertreats is a brand who wish to create alternatives to Chocolate. These bars are without the refined sugar; and the taste delicious! They are a great snack for on the go, and with relatively neat packing. Buy here.
Mad Beauty, in my *humble* opinion, should be the go-to place for any beauty fan. They have a variety of products, for a relatively cheap price, and to fit all budget. Essentially, this website has something for everyone. (I even posted about it in November.) Visit their site to browse. 
 

Brother:


I will admit that at this point, I was a bit stuck for inspiration. That’s why I was very grateful for Pocket Notebooks.
They sell a variety of notebooks to appeal to everyone; to buy the reporters pad, click here. To buy the Rohdia notebook, click here. And to browse the rest of the website, click here. 

Children:

For this section, I was trying to bring in ideas that were bright, colourful, generally healthy, etc.So, from left to right:
 

As I have already posted, Say Nice Things is a wonderful brand; you can see my first ever post about them. I also recently reviewed the package they sent me. Anyway: the essentials kit could be wonderful for a child, even a potentially older student. They are great for organisation. (The A5 is now a fixture in my handbag.)
I was gifted this hot water bottle cushion by Hot Water Bottle Shop. I use it for sleep related problems; stick it in the microwave for 90 seconds to heat up, and you’re done. Whilst I can’t seem to find the link for this specific product, you can browse their products for sleeping problems here. (I was thinking, you know, if you have a small child who doesn’t always sleep; they also have a selection of colourful cuddly toys.)
Finally: Ugly Drinks. Sparkling water (flavoured, of course) in a pretty can! They taste good, and do not have the usual chemicals you could find in a fizzy drink. You can buy them here. And to see more about the ingredients, click here. 

Friend:


That Lovely Stuff is a wonderful small business enterprise by a collective of Mothers, which is one of the main reasons as to why I was interested to work with them.
For a friend, this bracelet is divine.. It is delicate, dainty, and even has charms. By buying, you will be supporting a wonderful business venture.
You can like their Facebook page by clicking here. 

Partner: 


Project Lingerie is a brand that I reviewed not too long ago; however, I think that a one-off box would be a wonderful stocking filler for a partner. You can choose what you wish for here.
There is also an option for men, which you can see here. 

I hope you have a good day tomorrow, with plenty to eat, and with the gifts you wish to receive.

 

Disclaimer: this post contains PR samples, which I requested for purpose of review. 
Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to work with Say Nice Things, the fairly new and upcoming stationery brand; anyway, they sent me a Christmas present!

The Wrapping paper is part of a set; similarly, the Christmas card (click here to see more) is also. I really liked the wrapping paper, as it was fairly thick, protecting what was inside; it also made a nice ‘crack’ when opened. (Buy it here.)

What’s inside? 


This is one of the newly released stationery sets by Say Nice Things; there’s two in the range of ‘Essentials’. This set is called ‘Candy’, matching the pearly pink exterior.  (Click here to buy.) There was also a wonderful, hand-signed Christmas card. (Brands, take note: with Bloggers, these win you serious brownie points!)

Packaging: 

As already said, I really liked the packaging; the wrapping paper makes part of a set, and is fairly thick, thus protecting what is Innside. I also really liked the design; simplistic in nature, it is also seemingly sophisticated.
In terms of sensory needs, I also liked the design; it was not too patterned, and also had a really nice feel. (If there’s too much of a design, I tend to fixate on design. If it’s too colourful, or too bright, whatever, this can contribute to what can be called meltdowns, for me. I’ll post about this more in the new year, or possibly this month.)

Notebooks:

I am a notebook fiend. Really. So it was lucky that this package arrived at the time it did; I had finished a rather messy notebook.
I like the feel of these notebooks’ the pearly pink covers seemingly have a sheen for a cover-it’s so smooth! The design is also minimalistic again; as an Apple slogan once said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. (Or something.)

Construction:

These notebooks are unlike anything else, because, obviously, they’re by Say Nice Things. Apart from the tiny pad, these are divided into two sections.
The first has I’m-print designs in the page, designed to match the post-it set that comes with. (For instance, the squares match the post-its, and the rectangles are for markers.) This is useful for me; my current carry-round notebook is the A5. This section has allowed me to set out editorial pieces I’m writing, month by month. It’s a media calendar-what events, releases, are going on, and when copy is needed.
Section two is ruled paper. Here is my jotter; films lists, books lists, research notes, questions, jotted phone numbers..

Conclusion:


I love the division of the notebooks; it allows me to be a bit more tidy than usual. I can see when my pieces are due, or when a new book is being released.
For me, this is one of the ultimate Christmas gifts that could be given this year; as someone with Aspergers, this allows me to have a bit more structure to my day. (Always a bonus to me!)
It’s also good for anyone who is not on the Spectrum; it’s a great organisational tool, excellent for any student or parent.

Buy the wrapping paper set here. To see more about the Christmas cards, click here.  To buy the set of notebooks, click here. 

Say Nice Things also has a great blog; click here to find out how to control Christmas chaos! 

 

As someone with Aspergers Syndrome, I often find it hard to know what someone thinks, let alone feels. This can often making buying a gift harder. Anyway: I had a think, and this post came to me. For fellow autistic people, I have put together this guide. The categorises are by the relative, and their relationship, and a suggestion of a gift for them.

Parents:

Parent are an age group I find hard to buy for, because there’s a bit of a balancing act; trying to buy something they like, to treasure, but will not be discarded in later year

First up: That Lovely Stuff. This is an online shop that creates its products from mums who are entrepreneurs. To me, this is pretty cool.  This bracelet is what I am giving my mother later next week. I also like that That Lovely Stuff is run by a really friendly team. They also stock a variety of products to fit a variety of budgets. Bonus! Visit their Facebook page by clicking here.
What about a beauty bauble from Bloomtown? This brand is a bit like Lush, in that they are cruelty free, as well as palm oil free. Brilliant! These baubles come in exquisite packaging, and with a product inside. (I received a blood-orange scented scrub; it smelt divine!) To buy a set of three, click here.
Finally: Anna Calvert creates such pretty jewellery. The personalised necklace caught my eye in particular, however her website has a variety of designs to choose from. These pieces are sophisticated, delicate, and are again handmade. If you’d like to find out more, read my interview with her here. 

Grandparents:

Hmmm… what about a candle? And a bespoke candle at that?

Chateau Rogue emailed me about a possible collaboration; this was the result. The two sets of jam had what I would deem as ‘old English flavours’ such as Fig Walnut, and Blackberry. I really liked the packaging, as well as the retro feel; perfect gift! Buy it here. To see more products, click here. 
Mr and Mrs Scent is a company that I love; the company creates its own candles. They have a gorgeous smell, and are neatly compact. What could be a better gift? See their shop here.
The Pen Company offers a personalisation service for various pens they offer; why not have something like “Best grandad”? These pens are cheap and cheerful, and have a sense of novelty about them. You can buy the fountain pen in the picture here. 
 

Sibling: 


Mad Beauty is a brand that I wrote about a little while ago; this brand seemingly has anything and everything for everyone. It also is a great brand for people who have Aspergers like me. Anyway: you can read all about my ‘haul’ here. Perfect for a sibling!

Partner: 

 
 

I wrote about Project Lingerie a little while ago, and how great their ethos is. But with this subscription box, you can buy a one-off box, or a monthly subscription. There’s also a male version that you can subscribe to. The ethos is to make women feel good about themselves, and each garment is wonderfully designed. You can also make specific requests. Click here to subscribe.  See my review here. 

Journalist: 


Okay, so this option is a bit self indulgent… Why not give a journalist a Shorthand reporter’s notebook? Pocket Notebooks offers a lot of stationery, however this stood out to me because of the thickness of the paper. This is the best notebook I’ve had yet. You can buy it here. 

Friend:

 
 

So: a couple of ideas for you.
First: SuperTreats. This is a brand that create chocolate without refined sugar. The packaging is also really cute, meaning that this would also be perfect for a stocking filler. They are also relatively cheap. You can buy them from here. 
These hand sanitisers are from Mad Beauty; you can read all about my ‘haul’ here. These are small enough for a handbag, and are more of a spray-so they don’t go everywhere. In terms of sensory needs, these are also perfect for someone like me. Buy them here. 


Disclaimer: this post contains PR samples, but contains my honest opinion. Prices also vary greatly, to match a range of budget. 

Disclaimer: this post contains PR samples, which I was gifted at my own request. I was also gifted an item to feature a different item. This post contains my honest opinion. 
Over on The Bloglancer, I saw this post, which inspired today’s post. In a way, Blogging is the perfect hobby for someone like me; Aspergers means that I find social interaction hard, and noises can be intrusive at times.
Relatives aren’t always sure as to what being a Blogger means; so, this is my Christmas gift guide as to what to buy a Blogger for Christmas! (With insights thrown in, of course.)

Jewellery:


There’s a lot in personalisation; after all, we write for ourselves, but our blogs are effectively our own brand. They are personal to us, meaning that it’s almost like our on private space. (No, they are not just a hobby to some of us.) Personalisation means a lot; don’t believe me? You need to read this piece.
Anna Calvert creates her own jewellery; this necklace can be personalised with an initial. 

Food:

Blogging can be quite hard work, after all! it’s not just post a selfie, write 50 words, and post it. We cultivate content, brainstorm ideas, schedule posts, keep up a social media presence, add plugins, undertake CEO measures, network, and more.

Brain Fud is a brand designed to give you energy. (I’ll be writing more about them in the new year.) However, their packaging is really cool-quite bright-and is good value for money.
Super Treats sells chocolate without refined sugar; and it tastes so good! (It is also small, so very moderate in size; it means that you feel full with just the one bar.) It also fits into your handbag and pocket! *Ideal* You can buy it here.
Hippeas is a brand that I have worked with at various points throughout this year; you can see how I think their wonderful for people with sensory issues here. But this brand is also incredibly instagrammable! Again, it also fits in your handbag, and makes a yummy snack. Buy it here. 
Ugly Drinks is a brand keen on exposing #theuglytruth ; rather than being a brand that relies on sugar, chemicals, etc, they don’t! And they taste great! They go well in a handbag, look good on Instagram, and keep you going. Want it? Buy a can or two via this link. 

Stationery:

Blogging takes a lot of creativity; it is not as if we blog about the same, generic topic. We are constantly thinking of way to be original, creating unique content, and dreaming up ways to make our blogs better. What is needed more than a notebook?!

Pocket Notebooks sells a variety of notebooks for you to choose from; they have something to suit everyone!
The orange notebook (above) is by Rhodia; I love the colour, and it is big enough for my terribly messy and big handwriting! It’s also small enough to fit in your pocket, and there’s a pocket at the back for you to keep any clippings. And you can can choose from a range of colours!

Bag:

C/O Katherena

Katherena is a fairly newish start-up, the USP being that items sold are practical as well as stylish. (This is something in particular that I love!) It’s a bit more costly, but worth it. Buy it here.