Seaside Christmas Tree

So every year I habe a new theme for our tree, this year i took my inspiration from my beachy seaside surroundings. Here it is! GigiNatashaSeasideChristmasTree

Deck The Halls

The countdown is over, and today is the first Sunday of advent. Happy Holidays! Hopefully, with a little help from my week of gift guides, your present buying is on schedule and it is time to turn your attention to decorating. It’s okay, you are allowed now – it is officially The Start. Make yourself a little pot of mulled wine, and let yourself listen to this for the first time this year:

Buy chestnuts! Start collecting holly branches!  Wear ridiculous jumpers! Because it is coming, whether you are ready or not. So falalalala lalalalaaaaa!

Christmas Countdown Day 8 – 6 of the Best Presents for Teenage Boys and Young Men (or Brothers, Sons, Boyfriends, Male Friends)

Of all the gifts guides this week, presents for this group will probably be most determined by the recipient’s particular interests. But here are six fun gifts that I would be more than happy to receive (always the measure of a good gift, don’t you think?). It all depends whether you want to give a gift that everyone can join in with (like darts), a trendy gift (like the knitted tie), a geeky gift (like the lidded R2D2 Mug), a sporty gift (like a waterproof shirt), an ethical and musical gift (like these recycled, portable, self-powered speakers – seriously, how clever are they?), or an arty gift (like Tim Burton’s monster cards). Good luck!Revolution Dartboard and Cabinet, Nick Bronson Knitted Tie, R2D2 Mug,
Adidas Waterproof Shirt, Origaudio Foldable Self-Powered Speaker, Tim Burton Playing Cards

Christmas Countdown Day 7 – 6 of the Best: Presents for Teenage Girls and Young Women (Girlfriends, Sisters, Female Friend, Daughters)

Okay, okay, you got me – this is basically a list of six more things I’d really like to find beneath the tree. I’ve been toying with the increasingly popular idea of an ‘infinity’ dress – a convertible dress that can be worn literally dozens of ways. It’s better than the little black dress because it will never stop fitting you and you can keep making it look like a different new dress. This is a good gift if you want to buy a lady clothes, but are worried about getting an exact fit – because no matter what end of the size spectrum you are, the way clothes fit you always differs between brands. Cocktail kit just looks like wicked fun, and the eyemask has a real Marie-Antoinette luxury about it.

I have a wire mannequin a little like this one that I hang all of my jewellery and ribbons and stuff on, and I love it and it is useful and it is always greatly admired. I also have this eyeshadow kit – I expected it to be a disappointment because you get 180 colours for the price of about three brand name ones, but actually the colours are intense, opaque, and long lasting and in a variety of textures e.g. glittery, metallic and matte. I use it all the time because I like to use at least three colours when doing a ‘party eye’, and because I’m a bit neurotic about matching me eye shadow to my outfits. Silk pillowcases are supposed to be better for your skin and hair, and feel nicer anyway.Henkaa Infinity Dress, Cocktail Molecular Mixology Kit, LoveMeSugar Eyemask (Etsy),
Wire Mannequin (Ebay), Fraulein 180 Eyeshadow Palette, Holistic Silk Anti-ageing Raw Silk Pillowcases

Tomorrow: What to Buy for Young Men and Teenage Boys (Boyfriends, Brothers, Sons, Friends)

Christmas Countdown Day 6 – 6 of the Best: Presents for Fathers, Grandfathers, Husbands, Uncles and Male Friends

I won’t repeat my caveat about assumptions and generalisations, but suffice to say that I find guys older than 8 so hard to buy for that everything is a bit general anyway. Bearing that in mind, here is a list of 6 gifts that are a bit different, and that hopefully will be kept and kept, and played with and played with. Chess sets are always a nice gift for an older person’s study or living room, even just as ornaments, and there are  so many really beautiful and interesting options out there that even if they already own a traditional set, your gift wont be superfluous. One of my favourites is the Greek Gods set below, but on that site alone they have some really nice Isle of Lewis ones, contemporary and historical themed sets, and post-modern designs as well – there is a gift there for everyone from jazz lovers to Lord of the Rings fans. Cufflinks are always a safe bet as well, especially if you don’t know someone that well, and don’t have to be a cop out if you hunt around for one-off designs like these ones (Etsy is the perfect hunting ground for gifts like that). Hope this helps!Checkmate Chess Sets Mythology Chess Set, Lee Jumper and River Island Socks, CD Radio and MP3 Jukebox,
John Lewis Globe, Chischilly Pottery Drinking Horn (Etsy), Jared Fiorillo Roman Coin Cufflinks and OffTheCuff Ammonite Cufflinks and EnchantedLockets Compass Cufflinks (Etsy)

Tomorrow: What to Buy for teenage girls or younger women

Christmas Countdown Day 5 – 6 of the Best presents for Women (Mothers, Grandmas, Aunts, Wives, Friends)

It is hard to generalize any gift guide – obviously the difficult bit about giving a present is matching it as accurately as possible to the recipient. I am also hyper conscious of the possible stereotyping of making suggestions for a group based on their gender and age, but you, my reader, are already smart enough to know that if your mum or wife loves comic books, white water rafting or computers then you have some very specific internet surfing to do all on your own. Failing that, here are a few suggestions for you that hopefully won’t make anyone feel like they’ve caught the afternoon Tardis back to the 50’s by accident. My suggestions this week are often based on something that I have been given or have particularly successfully given to someone else in the past, little things that you didn’t even know you wanted, which is what good Christmas gift buying is all about for me.

The coral shelves are just pretty. The pack of 100 Penguin postcards for the readers amongst us are sweet and can either be used all over someone’s wall for decoration, or used slowly as thank you notes and birthday cards – be honest, how often are you caught out without adequate stationary throughout the year? More often than you’d like to admit I’ll bet. The scarf is an instant shot of colour to ward off rainy day blues, plus I think it looks a bit designer – it looks like Pucci, but it’s priced by Mango, perfect! Every woman should have a perfume atomiser for traveling or for her handbag. They are easy to use, small and light, and you don’t have to worry about breaking your whole expensive bottle on a trip. The Kindle covers are particularly gorgeous I thought – they are cleverly designed for a host of different devices actually, and the embossed dyed leather with a pewter catch gives you back a little of the physical pleasure of reading that you lose on an electronic device. The most unusual (and most expensive) idea though is from a company that turns your child’s drawings into silver or gold jewellery. What you will create with them, whether it is a necklace, brooch, or cufflinks, is a uniquely personal keepsake that you can wear forever.
Wisteria Coral Floating Shelves, 100 Penguin Covers Postcards, AM Jewellery,
Mango Scarf, Bits for Bags Atomiser and Pen Set, Oberon Leather Kindle Covers

Tomorrow: What to Buy for Dads, Grandads, Uncles and Husbands

Christmas Countdown Day 4 – 8 of the Best: Winter Coats

You might be thinking to yourself that it is a little late in the year to be buying a coat. But while treating yourself to a jacket is not a big decision and might even happen a few times a year, investing in a warm coat is something that requires saving, careful research, and an unforgiving appraisal of your current one. With the temperate autumn we’ve had and the tightening of belts all round, your loved one might have decided that their old coat could hang on for one more year – surprise them with a big treat this Christmas and give them something to keep them warm through the bitter days of January, February, and years to come. Here are my favourites, unfortunately I want them all! But I’m particularly keen for a capricious cape, having talked myself out of one last year.
Mango Wrap Coat, Mango Biker Jacket, Asos Swing Coat, Ted Baker Riding Jacket,
My Lolita Dress Capelet Coat, Tobi Shearling Coat, Romwe Cape, SheInside Double Breasted Coat

Tomorrow: What to Buy for Mothers, Aunts, Wives and Grandmas

Christmas Countdown Day 3 – 8 of the Best: Cashmere Rollneck Sweaters

Cashmere is the perfect Christmas gift – it embodies the festivities exactly; decadence, luxury, warmth, and a cheering memory to carry into the dark days of the new year. A useful, long lasting gift that someone might not justify buying for themselves. Despite all this, it is surprisingly hard to find a nice but affordable option, especially for a younger woman. They often look frumpy, feel harsh, or  are overpriced. But a good rollneck (aka a turtle or polo neck) jumper is very form flattering on any shape from busty to athletic, and versatile – tucked in or out, with skirt or jeans, dressed up with an updo and big jewellery or casual with leggings. Which is why I’d like more please, sir. So here is my day 3 gift (guide) to you; 8 of the best…Uniqlo Ribbed Sweater, John Lewis Sweater, Peter Hahn Sweater, Peter Hahn Cable Knit Sweater,
Uniqlo Sweater,United Colours of Benetton Sweater, Uniqlo Seater, John Lewis Jumper Dress

Tomorrow: 8 of the Best Winter Coats

Christmas Countdown Day 2 – 9 of the Best: Boots

You rarely have all the kinds of boots you need in your wardrobe. They are a practical present that will get well used, but they are pretty and exciting to unwrap as well. This selection starts at £9.99 and so could even be a lavish stocking filler for your loved one – they will last longer than a box of chocolates! Here is my pick of the best of each style of boot you might wish for this year. I’m particularly lusting after the little shearling-lined pixie boot and a pair of wedges. Ahem. In case anyone out there is wondering… no?…Santa?
Hidden Fashion Velvet Wedge Boot (Ebay), La Redoute Suede Lace-Up Boot, River Island Gold Stud Ankle Boot, Schuh Shearling Pixie Boot,
Tamaris Heeled Boot, Asos Wedge Ankle Boot,
Carvela Chelsea Boot, Mr Shoes Dalmatian Boot (Amazon), Pier One Riding Boot

Tomorrow: 8 of the Best Cashmere Sweaters (affordable ones that is)

8 Days Till Advent Christmas Countdown: My Wishlist

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am someone who totally and utterly embraces ‘holiday spirit’. Any holiday really, I’m easy – they don’t even have to buy me dinner. I didn’t get to decorate for Halloween this year, which means that Yuletide isn’t going to know what’s hit it. We do a different theme every year – we’ve had a tree covered in origami, ballet shoes, birds and feathers, newspaper and sepia photos, fairies, glass, Victoriana, and all sorts of other stuff – and this year, because of the holiday we are taking and the house we are in it is going to be beachy and tropical; shells, fish, driftwood, and bright colours. I’m so excited. But before I can start making decorations, I like to get my presents all sorted. If, like me, you are addicted to internet shopping, specifically buying from obscure shops the other side of the world, then you need to start ordering now to allow for shipping! So I’m beginning The Search, and in case you are too, I’m going to share my findings. I guarantee I will only post affordable stuff, none of that ‘Oh, this will be perfect! I’ll just click on the – HOW MUCH!?!’ feeling, I promise. Counting down to the beginning of Advent I’m going to post christmas gift ideas everyday, starting with what I would like the most. Cheeky!Ark Leather Satchel, Comme Des Garcons Eau De Parfum, YSL Eau De Parfum, Mimic boots, Coat – my own design, Hines of Oxford Tapestry, PinUpGirl Clothing Monica Dress, Erickson Beamon Necklace

This week I will post ideas for all ages and relationships, so check in everyday. To start with, I will elaborate on my own wishlist slightly – perfect for girlfriends, best friends, daughters, sisters, etc … – Tomorrow: 8 of the Best Boots (under (£150)

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