Lifestyle and Parenting blog based in Surrey.

Wednesday 20 December 2017

Christmas Shopping

This post is a little (read a lot!) late than I had planned. With a little trip to hospital with pleurisy and pneumonia setting my timing back a little, followed by playing catch up after a week of work and getting ready for a family ski holiday and Christmas my little spot on the web has been a little neglected.
So despite there only being only a week of shopping left until the big day, if you are a last-minute merchant this little gift guide might help you find something special for your loved ones.

I love a candle - if I were to unwrap one of these beautiful fragrances I’d be absolutely made up. A little more special than other ‘smellies’ I know that a beautiful fragrance will put a smile on the faces of all my girlfriends and family members. Also a great gift to keep wrapped up under the tree incase you need any last minute pressies. Here are some of my favourites from NeomCrabtree & EvelynMolton BrownUrban ApothecaryEvermore and Sanctuary Spa.

I remember back when I worked in London many, many years ago now, walking past Jo Malone in the week before Christmas seeing a long que of guys waiting to get a special pressie and made me smile. Jo Malone always have the most beautiful Christmas gifts and they don’t have to cost a fortune. This gorgeous set of soaps will keep the recipient stocked up on a range of the signature fragrances well into 2018 (and beyond!)
Percy & Reed is one of my favourite hair brands and this gift set is a winner for preeners.
Perfumes are a gorgeous luxury that are perfect for presents. Find out your loved ones favourite and they will be over the moon to receive it. If you are going for a fragrance you don’t know if the recipient will love - pop in a tester card. I love Cartier La Panththere, a totally luxurious scent.
As much as I love gift sets, choosing a few beauty products that I really love to gift is even more special. I love Bobbi Brown (who doesn’t?!) and I am obsess with with their Smoky Eye Mascara which makes the most amazing lashes. The most beautiful Highlighting Powder and blusher give a beautiful glow to the skin.

The gift of a good night sleep is high up on my list this year! Whist no promises are made, the Mamma Mio Sleep Easy Mama Gift set which is made for expectant mum’s contains gorgeous body butter, shower gel and pillow spray to help you drift off to sleep.
And to help your loved ones get on the relaxed vibe ready for sleep… well cashmere socks are a total winner and I love this version from Boden with the pink edging.
Jewellery is another winner on the gift stakes. Add a personal touch with an initial, or the whole family’s for a really special gift that will always be treasured.

A couple of my favourite personalised necklaces are this three pendant necklace by Rachel Jackson for Not On The Highstreet which has an initial for each member of my little family.

I also adore this necklace in White Gold and Diamonds by The Diamond Store - choose either either the recipients initial or of someone special to them.

Can you ever have enough watches? I love adding to my collection and this paired back sleek design from Triwa is simply stunning.
And for the phone obsessed... (I think I may be on that list!) what about a new phone case. I love this design from Vutu.

Now for the little ladies...

Cashmere isn’t just for the grown ups. Little ladies love their luxury too and this little Boden cardi will keep them super snug.
Sophie loves putting her favourite toys in bags,which are also so handdy for going out and about as well. I love this Disney Print from Cath Kidston.
Fed up of more plastic that all be out of favour next week? Artisans & Adventurers create the most beautiful wooden toys that even the adults will give shelf space too.
Sophie loves make believe and will play games for hours. Make fairy time even more magical with the most stunning crown and wand form my local children company Lily & Fred.

Have the most amazing Christmas


Monday 27 November 2017

Decorating the Christmas Tree

As Andy Williams (yes I had to google that!) tells us, its the most wonderful time of the year - and I for one love starting Christmas as early as possible. It is only ever my husband that tried to put the brakes on and gets me to hold out until at least December 1st.

This year however, I’ve gone early and got my tree up in November. My reasoning is that a) it is December this week b) we are going Skiing the week before Christmas so I need them up early to   get my hours-worthof enjoyment and c) we’ve teamed up with The White Company to share with you our Sunday decorating the tree.
I’ve actually been slipping in a few decorations around the home the last week or so, under the pretence that these were ‘winter home accessories’ rather than Christmas decorations, with sheepskin rugs and my mini trees either side of the fireplace. However, now we got serious! 
We had a really lazy Sunday, getting into Christmas mode - with a Christmas film and unpacking all the decorations saw Sophie staying in her pyjamas most of the morning. Gareth behind the lens was also dressed for the occasion in his Christmas jumper, whereas I went for a more subtle option of this beautiful Sparkle Wrap Jumper and Feather Pom Pom Slippers, that I can already see my self living over Christmas.

I’ve had a white, silver and gold tree ever since we had our first flat together and every year I add a few more decorations. This year I chose Faceted Antiqued Stars which beautifully sparkly, white bells which really ring and to go lower down the tree, a set of mini beaded hearts - that are more Sophie proof! 

As well as these more grown-up decorations I also chose the cutest Mimi Ballerina Mouse to go on the tree although, Sophie is so in love with her, Mimi has spent more time being played with than amongst the foliage!

We bought our artificial tree last year as our previous house had underfloor heating and killed off the ‘real’ trees we had bought in previous trees far too quickly. As hassle free as our faux tree is, I do really miss the beautiful pine aromas… however, The White Company has a great way to get round this. Little ceramic star decorations that you hang on the tree with a little spritzer of my favourite Winter fragrance that keeps the tree smelling amazing, NEARLY as goos as the real thing.

At two and a half, this is the first year that Sophie is getting excited about Christmas, telling me what she’d like Father Christmas to bring her and she loved helping put the decorations on the tree, she was so careful hanging the little loops over the branches and choosing where she wanted to put them.

She is also so excited about her stocking and that Father Christmas is going to come down the chimney to fill it with presents! I would have loved a matching reindeer pompom nose stocking too, but settled with the more grown up Fairisle knit for Gareth and my stockings - I hope we make the ‘good’ list too. To make sure FC knows who’s os who’s I’ve popped little gift tag initials on - which also gives a personal touch.

The big fireplace has to be one of my favourite features of our new home (teamed with the flu height bay windows where we've homed our tree) and I have really enjoyed giving it the festive treatment. I love this beautiful Rosemary and Pinecone garland, and its 180cm length means that it even fits even the biggest fireplaces. We then added our stocking hooks that my mother in law has bought us over the years as advent-treats and candles in my mercury candle pillars at either end. To make the garland even more magical I've added beautiful star lights.

All that decorating is hard work, so when we were finished it was time for a cup of tea and lots of cuddles whilst we admired our morning’s efforts. 

When are you going to be putting your tree and decorations up? Are you over-enthusiastic like me or are you more of a decorate on Christmas Eve type of person? 
Happy nearly-advent everyone!

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