Monday, 31 December 2012

Snapshots from My Phone: Christmas Edition

For my final post before the new year I wanted to share some of my favourite snapshots taken in the run-up to Christmas, I hope you all had a great day and all the best for 2013!


~ The Ferris wheel at Edinburgh Christmas market
~ Starbuck’s peppermint hot chocolate- a seasonal favourite
~ A towering Croc en Bouche at my friend’s Christmas dinner party
~ This year’s Christmas tree
~ An impressive display at a local garden centre
~ Wooden Merry Christmas sign
~ A plush snowman tree decoration
~ Hot chocolate cupcake courtesy of Costa
~ My advent calendar
~ Reindeer, jacquard and Santa wrapping paper 
~ Decorations at the Metro Shopping Centre
~ Giant presents!
~ Reindeer family
~ Blue and silver tree decorations
~ Christmas sweets
~ One of the decorations at Dalton Park outlet
~ White Christmas tree
~ Glitzen the giant reindeer
~ Cute tin snowman 
~ More reindeer

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Countdown to Christmas: Packing for a Weekend Away

December is the peak of the party season which means for many people traveling to parties, dinners and get-togethers and spending weekends away. I’ve always loved going to these events but used to dread packing for them. A chronic over-packer, I would bring far too many clothes “just in case” (in case of what? That I needed to change outfit five times a day?), not only that but each set of clothes had its own specific shoes/accessories I simply had to tote along too. The end result was a lot of creased, unworn clothes and one very heavy bag. 

Recently I’ve taught myself how to streamline my packing by planning outfits in advance and taking only what I need. I’ve also learnt that if I base my outfits around a neutral colour pallet with a few items to add a pop of colour, that pieces can be easily mixed and matched for maximum wear. When a friend invited me to a dinner party in Edinburgh last weekend bookended by dinner and drinks in the Scottish borders and a day of sightseeing in the city I packed just twelve items of clothing and accessories, neutrals in shades of black/grey/cream and some stand out pieces in my favourite jewel tones. This is how I paired them to create outfits for each of the three days:

My first outfit for dinner on the Friday night was my Miss Selfridge tweed grey shorts, a cobalt blue satin cami for an injection of colour and a tailored black blazer generously loaned to me by my mum (thanks mum!) for the occasion. To dress it up a little I wore my black peep toe stilettos, silver leaf necklace and this gorgeous beaded clutch from Dune. The subtle touch of sparkle stops the outfit looking too plain or too dark.

My outfit for dinner on the second night was this emerald green silk dress from Oasis. Part of the reason I chose this specifically is that it’s super lightweight and folds up incredibly small, taking up virtually no space. Yes, it can crease but simply wrapping it in a couple of sheets of tissue paper will ensure it arrives wrinkle free and ready to go! I deliberately kept the accessories minimal and very simple to let the dress shine, wearing my peep toes from Friday night and carrying this Accessorize embroidered/clutch purse which was all I needed to hold my essential items, lipgloss and a comb.

My final outfit for the weekend which I wore for sightseeing/shopping in Edinburgh on Sunday was this River Island purple wool coat paired with my tweed shorts, my favourite cream jumper (I love the cosy cowl neck!), fleece-line opaque tights and my Topshop ‘Adore’ ankle boots from last season. 

So there’s my complete weekend-away-wardrobe, three outfits that fit neatly into a carry-on bag. Do you find it difficult to pack for winter breaks? Do you have any packing tips or tricks?


Friday, 14 December 2012

Countdown to Christmas: Gift Guide for Him

Whether it’s a boyfriend, husband, brother or father buying for the men in our lives can be one of the toughest shopping challenges. Here’s some gift inspiration for the guys!

£10 and Under…

Magic 8 Ball, £5. Everyone should have a Magic 8 ball, great fun to play with and perfect for the indecisive!

FCUK Urban Body Duo, £8. I love the fresh citrusy smell of French Connection’s Urban bodycare range combined with its contemporary masculine packaging. This set features a 200ml bodyspray and a 300ml hair and bodywash, a bargain at less than £10. 

£25 and Under…

Topman Cream Shawl Collar Jumper, £26. Such a great staple piece, this fine knit ecru jumper would suit any man whether he’s 18 or 80!

Rocha by John Rocha Grey Striped Wool Scarf, was £25 now £17.50. When the temperature drops everyone needs a cosy scarf. It doesn’t hurt that this grey and petrol blue striped version is incredibly stylish too!

Gerber Bear Grylls Multi-Tool, was £16 now £12. This amazing multi-tool has ten components and folds up to an incredibly compact 2.5’’. Perfect for the outdoor enthusiast in your life…or the man who just likes to be prepared for anything.

Perfect Push Up Handles, £19.99. Created by a former US Navy Seal, these handles are designed to alleviate the strain exerted on your wrists by regular push ups (or press ups to most Brits) and work a greater range of muscles, I can’t vouch for that personally but having kicked off my stilettos and tried a pair of these out a while ago I can confirm they give a very intense workout and -even better- are fun to use.    

£50 and Under…

Maca 2200 Power Case, was £60 now £38.40. Nearly £40 may seem excessive for a phone case but this ingenious design incorporates a 2200mah battery that can be used to charge your iphone when it’s running low on power, providing an amazing 300 hours extra stand-by time. What’s more it’s housed in a gorgeous brushed aluminium shell. I can’t think of a guy who wouldn’t love this!

The Walking Dead Season 1 & 2 Box Set, £34. AMC’s hugely popular series is a story of survival, loyalty and betrayal set against the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse. A must-watch for the boys! 

Casio Chronograph Watch, £44. I love the sleek and sporty-looking design of this watch. With its chunky stainless steel strap, backlit dial and alarm and chronograph features it feels a lot more expensive than the £44 price tag.

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