Friday

My Top 20 Best Christmas Gifts for Girls, Guys and Pets!

Looking for 2016 gift ideas? Click here.

Right guys, I've decided it's time to get planning. I missed Christmas last year (at least how they had been for the 28 years previously) as I was on holiday - so this year I'm going to really go for it. Here is a mix of things I'm after, and my recommendations for other people! Here we go... (3) Nothing for me says "it's Christmas" like The White Company's Winter range. The company kindly sent me one a few weeks ago and it sits very happily on my desk. Even when unlit it fills the room with a smell of ferns, oranges and cinnamon (thats all a complete guess). If you're seeing someone in the run up to the 25th who is struggling to get into the festive mood, this candle will sort them right out.


(2) Next up, if you're after an "under £5" Secret Santa gift for a girl look no further than Invisibobble. When I first showed these to friends they thought they were somekind of contraceptive, but no. Virtually invisible hair ties (especially the clear ones) that also stop "pony tail kinks" - I find them super handy when working out as I can let my hair down (literally) afterwards and not have a rubbish mane. For £3.95 I really don't think you can get a better gift, my favourites are the pink and chocolate brown. (1) I know I might be committing a fashion faux pas, but if you're short of ideas you can't go wrong with Ugg slippers. The minute you put your feet in them you'll see why. I find this style the best as they are snuggly without the risk of getting too hot. Don't knock it till you've tried it. (4) This year I tried to make wearing perfume a daily habit, and have discovered quite a few new scents. Without a doubt the biggest surprise was from Jimmy Choo. Look past the glamarati bottle and you have a beautiful, fresh perfume. 


Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about clothes! (5) It feels like every girl is after a bit of J.Crew bling, but at over £150 a go it can be pretty pricey. I've been using Vestiaire Collective to buy my accessories like these online where they start at around £35. Get in quick as shipping can be a little delayed, but it's more than worth the wait with that kind of discount (this one and this one are amazing). (6) Everyone should get a "Christmas jumper," this Gestuz one from Atterley Road is firmly on my list, and from hugging someone in it recently (a friend, not a stranger) I can confirm it's snuggly as a bugg...ly? And next up, trainers. (7) Because 2014 really was the year of the Stan Smiths, no? These white and navy versions would make me very, very happy. (8) Watch trends seems to be a real thing, which has sparked a number of companies to try to make a "timeless ticker" so you don't need to reinvest every year. A new discovery for me is Unknown, stocked at Selfridges. Starting from £80, they're pretty much perfect, for boys and girls alike. 


(9) Nothing says "you've grown up" more for me than decent linen. I've recently upgraded thanks to the lovely people at Bluebell Gray. My friend Wendy introduced me to them, and since sinking into my silky sheets I have become a complete convert. If you've just moved home (like me) the chances are you haven't got much cash to spend on things like this; its the perfect thing to ask a parent to buy you as they're fairly failsafe! (10) Anneli and I were talking about our skin over breakfast last week, both admiring each other's, and realised we both put it down to the same product line: Perricone MD. Their concealer and foundation are incredible, I needn't say a word more. (11) My all time essential; the Saint James breton shirt. If you, or someone you know, are trying to get to grips with the fashion basics this top is a great place to start. (13) A lovely little gift, these Atterley Road earrings are £12. Perfect addition to any outfit to give it some Christmas sparkle.


(12) because I got my counting wrong, it's been one of those days... This scarf is beautiful, very similar to one Charlotte wore here on Pinterest, and I was delighted to find it. If you're ever stuck for a gift for someone a scarf if a great idea, this one is from Maison Scotch. (14) A Nutribullet is my "must have" for this Christmas (hoping the parents are reading this). Having used one through my detox in September I can't tell you how useful they are. Stocked at Selfridges. (15) Christmas is THE day of the year for an all-day-pajama session, these ones from Gap are £20. 'Nuff said. (16) Followers of my Instagram account will know I became the proud owner of this Stella McCartney shark phone case last week, a birthday gift from Lucy. As so many of you have asked, I've tracked down (and it took some doing) a stockist, Nordstrom.


(17) A dog isn't just for Christmas, but it's probably the only time to splurge on haircare for your pet. Lopez was sent this Malin + Goetz one last week and smells amazing. (18) It wouldn't be Christmas without a gift from Topshop for me, and this year it's this semi-festive sparkly skirt. I would pair it with my Christmas jumper on the 25th, and with basic shirts and knits well on into winter. (19) My friend Leo (Ben's brother) set up Leo Joseph a couple of years ago, and its what all the boys will be wearing whilst we're in South Africa over New Year. The Clifton shorts are his classic piece; perfect gift for anyone to remind them that the sunshine will come, eventually! (20) And finally, for the girl who has everything, Kate Spade offers a great selection of problem solvers such as these bow pins. I'm sure I'll say this many times over the next few weeks but from Lopez and I, have a very, Merry Christmas!
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Monday

[Love Her Look] Trench and Stripes

I don't know who this lady is, so if anyone does let me know so I can credit! I love this whole dressed-down thing, especially the different textures. So I was not surprised at all that this was the most popular pin from my Pinterest boards this week (the picture below is shopable by the way, or click on the links beneath it to view the products).



Loose leather trousers are my ultimate "must have" - I'm yet to invest in a pair but the dream ones for me are from Theory. I've had a look around for some pleather ones to be able to test the look, and actually a friend was wearing these ones the other day and I think they are incredible for £35! For the breton shirt, there is only one brand for me when it comes to this kind of thing and thats Saint James (stocked at Atterley Road). The genuine article!



The pumps she is wearing are (I think) Mother of Pearl from last season - I've found two similar ones from Michael Kors here and Vans here, one obviously cheaper than the other!  Last but seriously not least is the coat. I have a real thing for oversize trench-style ones this season, and love the colour of this one. I've found two similar ones; this one from ASOS which is insanely good value and this Sacai one is the ultimate investment!

Have a look at my other street style looks over on Pinterest here.
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Tuesday

[Outfit] Meandering around Mayfair


This weekend was all about relaxing and taking care of number 1. Ben has been in New York with work for the last few days, so I was able to completely chill at home and spend time with friends (and myself, there is nothing I love more than a day by myself doing absolutely nothing), take the dog our for a decent stroll and generally do things that boys wouldn't want to do...  



My friend Lucy has been away recently, so as she was back in town we decided to spend our Saturday checking out the  new Selfridges Le Chalet restaurant, meandering around Mayfair and then promptly hiding from the rain in Little House with a big bowl of apple crumble.


It was one of those days that you just had no idea how to dress, one minute it was teeming down with rain, the next it was beautiful sunshine, so I wore my faithful autumn basics (and just peeled off the layers whenever I needed to).  My coat is an amazing find this season (if I may say so myself). It's from ASOS, but everyone keeps on asking me if it's designer (it looks quite like Rag and Bone or Alexander Wang). I've always wanted a navy, big coat so when this arrived I was instantly glued to it.



My jeans are Paige, obviously. When it comes to blue denim I just don't think any one does it better.  I have a few pairs now from boyfriend styles to skinnies - this pair are called Jimmy Jimmy and they are so soft it feels like you are wearing leggings. A worthy investment, and I whole heartedly recommend. The boots are fast becoming my favourite pair of shoes ever. They're from Jimmy Choo and were a gift earlier in the year. I can safely say I will have a pair of these until I die. I live in them - so comfortable and the ultimate biker boot.



My scarf (with my initials on) was a lovely gift from Selfridges last week as part of their personalised gifting range this Christmas. Its from Johnstons of Elgin, and so super soft I can't stop wearing it. Lopez has taken to snuggling into it when I leave it on a chair too. Last but not least my bag is from L.K.Bennett, which was an early birthday present from the team.  As it's grey, it goes with everything. The grey version has been sold out for a while (though check here regularly as friends have seen them pop up ever so often), but I also recommend the blue colour which a couple of my friends now have and looks amazing (and very cool for summer, when it next comes around).


It was so nice to just wander about, it's rare that as a Londoner you get a moment to absorb the city you are in for all it's worth. If you live in the capital (or are visiting) I really recommend getting the tube to Green Park, wondering through the Burlington Arcade, turning left and meandering through the pretty Mayfair streets to Berkeley Square and then walking up North Audley Street (making note of all the pretty mews streets to your left). You'll also conveniently end up at Selfridges, which is no bad this at this time of year - their window displays are something else! Enjoy...


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Monday

Love Her Look: Leopard Print Coat



I've decided to start a new chain of posts on the blog, stemming from the questions my followers on Pinterest ask me on a weekly basis; "Where can I get this outfit?" So, Love Her Look intends to provide you with that exact information. Last week, my friend Lucy's outfit was the most engaged pin in her leopard print coat, black polo neck, black heels and black ripped jeans. Simple and easy to do - as long as you have the right components!



I'm not sure where Lucy's shoes are from, but I've put in some similar shoes that I own from Kurt Geiger which are fantastic. They're not super high and very easy to wear (read: walk in). I wear them all the time... My choice of skinny black jeans will always be AG which you can find in Selfridges, when you're investing. When trying them out for the first time, make ASOS' Whitby jean your new best friend as they're a great price. Polo neck wise for me there really is only one place to go; Uniqlo. I buy ALL my basic knits from there.

As for the leopard print coat, I totally get it's a risky purchase for anyone new to prints and fluff so the pricepoint of this Topshop one is absolutely perfect... And if you're trying out layering with a leather jacket you can either invest in one from somewhere like Reiss or Whistles (I have both, and love them) or test the look out with a very good pleather one like this Topshop piece. Enjoy!

Have a look at my other leopard print looks over on Pinterest here.



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Thursday

Our 30th Birthday Party




You may have noticed that the blog went a bit quiet for a week. Well, it was my big 3-0!  I decided to give myself a break from all things blogging for a few days and fully relax and enjoy my birthday.  Ben and I went away on the day itself (more on that to come) but on Saturday evening my friend Georgie (who is 5 days older than me) shared a birthday bash in Fulham with our nearest and dearest.




We went for a prohibition theme, and really went for it. It was so cool that everyone actually bothered to dress up. We had a spectacular magician (or as he prefers, an illusionist), a stonking great, big birthday cake (half red velvet, half chocolate - and I somehow managed to lose my half at some point during the night, go figure) and a lot of love from our favourite people.




I wore a dress from Miss Selfridge which went down a treat (although I am still finding the beads from it everywhere from the carpet to the car - no idea why, it still looks brand new) and some Jimmy Choo heels.  I'm not sure where many of the other girls' bits came from except for Ella, who had spent the majority of her Saturday hunting down suitable attire (and wound up in Ann Summers to buy these gloves) and Ben decked the boys out in his Atelier Scotch ties and the braces were a last minute dash to Topman.





We drank a lot, danced a lot and ate a lot of penny sweets. My mum, dad and sister came, which was lovely as they travelled all the way from Cardiff having watched the rugby in the rain. It may have been the amount of gin consumed, but I felt extremely emotional when everyone sang happy birthday to us both around the cake - genuinely touched at the effort everyone had gone to. 




So far 30 is good. I do feel older, I feel like I need to be a bit more sensible (a few weekends will no doubt get that out of me) and also felt like I need to "give back" a bit. Having been to see the poppies at  the Tower of London recently it really hit home to me how lucky my generation is in comparison to those previously. We've never had to do anything in our lives really... My grandfather went to war at 17 with 30 friends and was the only one to come back.



So, I've joined GoodGym. It does exactly what it says on the tin. You "gym" and do "good."  I'm very excited to be paired up with my isolated elder, who I will visit regularly - and in return for the commitment I get a personal trainer to help me with my fitness goals.  I'll also be told about people or tasks in need in my area, and be given the opportunity to help out. My t shirt arrived in the post today and I am raring to go!



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