Sunday, 18 December 2016

The Christmas List of the Last Minute Gifts

This is the last week end before Christmas so today and in the next few days you will dash from one shop to another one in order to close your Christmas list and tick off all the names. I've found few ideas ranging all prices and tastes.
Pyrrha has got beautiful jewellery from all the budgets. This Game of Thrones collection is an official collaboration with  HBO and all the collection is made of sterling silver and bronze. Pendants, rings and bracelets are available with the shields and symbols of the houses in the popular saga. You can find Pyrrha x Game of Thrones in UK at Amazon.    www.amazon.co.uk  www.pyrrha.com
A Swatch is always a good idea for a gift, especially if you know a collector, who will be happy to receive one of the latest styles. The Electrochat  is white with a bright yellow print and the dial has got this little sweet cat. The case is matte black plastic and the bracelet is solid white silicone. Great for a cat lover too. www.swatch.com 
It will be a nice stocking filler or an addition to a hamper this scented sachet from Crabtree & Evelyn. Great to store in drawers, it will release a nice and festive fragrance from the latest Festive Fig. At Crabtree & Evelyn you will find lots of last minute gifts for everyone nicely packaged. www.crabtree-evelyn.co.uk
A pyjama is always a nice thing to gift. I've always try to wear a new pyjama on New year's day, a kind of well wish for the incoming year. Cyberjammies has got a huge range of lovely and very affordable jammies for the whole family and they all come in a nice box with a sparkly ribbon. www.cyberjammies.co.uk
These cashmere socks from Soak & Sleep are made of the softest cashmere ever from Mongolian goats and no polyester at all. They are perfect to wear them while at home or while in your wellies for that stroll after Christmas lunch. www.soakandsleep.com
It could be for your daughter, or your sister or that friend you always swap your clothes with. These Teal Velvet sandals from Next are gorgeous with the 10.5 cm block heel and detailed fabric. The colour is absolutely stunning and it matches practically anything in any wardrobe. Perfect with denim or with a nice dress. They are those kind of shoes that will always be trendy. www.next.co.uk
This Otis Batterbee " Isabelle and Felix Liberty Print" eye mask is one of the most beautiful eye masks I've seen for a long time. Filled with lavender, it will soothe the rest of the sophisticated  traveller bringing some chic on the plane. Perfect gift for who is always flying from one place to another one. The iconic Liberty printed soft velvet cotton adds heritage to an elegant gift. www.libertylondon.com
Anything lacy by Triumph will be very much appreciated. This is a gift that can be bought for the women in the house, and I'm talking mothers, sisters, sisters in law etc. In the past I've bought lingerie for my mum because she loved them and I've received lingerie from my friends. So it is not an item relegated only for boyfriends or husbands. www.uk.triumph.com
This Travel Clock from The White Company is a gift that will always be a right guess. I prefer to have an alarm clock rather than using my mobile phone because I always switch it off  before going to sleep. The alarm clock instead  will go off when I said so. It can sit inside the leather case provided and it has got fluorescent hands. Once awaken the clock can be stored in the round little case and closed with the zip, ready to go.  www.thewhitecompany.com










Saturday, 17 December 2016

The Christmas List of Metallic Gifts

It is nearly time to tick off all the gifts from your Christmas list, but I know that not everyone could  have bought  most of the presents because of many commitments. I've listed few items here just to give some ideas for who has got still few names to think of.
This metallic alphabet purse at Matalan is the perfect stocking filler on its own or it could be a nice gift card holder where to put a gift card. You can buy both at Matalan for a very nice present. And the purse will always be useful for coins or lipstick and a mirror. www.matalan.co.uk
A S'well bottle is gaining rapidly lots of fans because of its beauty and the fact that it can keep a drink chilled for  24 hours and hot for 12 hours. It is perfect for the gym and to make your own tea and bring it at work saving on expensive hot drinks from coffee shops as well as  being environmentally conscious for not using a plastic bottle. This Gem Collection is out now and  you can find S'well bottles at Jigsaw and other online outlets.  www.swellbottle.com
This set of three notebooks by Caroline Gardner are exquisite. I love stationery and always carry a notebook in my bag, because you never know. You could jot down a recipe you've learnt while on the go or to write an address for a special shop. Caroline Gardner has got a huge selection of gifts and these rose tinte metallic exercise books are just the tip of the iceberg. Go online at www.carolinegardner.com and you will find so many ideas just in time for Christmas.
J by Jasper Conran at Debenhams has come up with this silver sequin number which is just so festive  that it could be the right gift for yourself. With this dress, New Year Eve and any Christmas Party around will see you the belle of the ball. www.debenhams.com
This Flo Refillable Atomiser in red is just one of the few colours available with the metallic finish at The Perfume Shop. It is a great stocking filler, it is suitable for different fragrance bottles and it is perfect for travelling.  It can be filled with 5ml of perfume. www.theperfumeshop.com 
Scantilly  by Curvy Kate is one of the brands featured at Figleaves.com the first website that clustered together all the main lingerie brands. This sensual  Ignite bra is black with metallic finish and goes up to cup F matched with the Ignite Ouvert Brief in semi sheer fabric. www.figleaves.com 
This Belsize Bright Tote Bag by Joules with its metallic gold colour will give a spark in the street especially during the dark and cloudy days. The material of the fabric is easy to clean just wiping it with a damp cloth. As well as a carry handle there is a shoulder strap, multiple pockets and zip and buckle so that it is safe to carry your belongings. www.joules.com







Friday, 16 December 2016

The Christmas List of Gifts for Men

When buying a gift for a man we always find ourselves asking the same question " What can I get to....? " It is not difficult to buy a gift for a man but it is difficult to guess what they want because they are not as open as us women that when we like something we put our wish list to all the social media or we start sighing at the shop windows. I've found something that even if it is not that original, it has got style.
A shaver is a useful gift and even if beards are a trend, they still need a trim to be kept tidy. Remington has got a great selection of shavers and Tesco has got at least 11 models on its website to choose from.  This model is cordless so perfect for travelling or kept at his office's desk if the look " 5 o 'clock shadow" is not really the favourite ones.  www.tesco.com
Chanel doesn't need any introduction and I think that most men know this brand maybe just for hearsay but still they are familiar. Bleu de Chanel is a classic, timeless and refreshing fragrance for men and at The Perfume Shop you can find deodorant spray and shower gel for a personal scented hamper. www.theperfumeshop.com
Hanro of Switzerland is known as an underwear company but  recently has introduced a lounge and leisure wear range. This "Lorenzo"  casual sweater, made of soft jersey with the typical Hanro high quality fabric, will be a winner. With  V neck and ribbed details at the collar, cuffs and hemline, it is a classic design that will please men of all ages.  www.hanro.co.uk
The Hudson Waxed Jacket by Joules is a great garment, with all the pro of a waxed jacket without the cons, like wax odour or wax sticking to other fabrics. Also this jacket will fit the wearer without being rigid. The colour is the classic olive green, has got quilted sleeves, checked lining and interior and external pockets. It is a true beauty.  www.joules.com
The National Gallery shop has got this Pencil Sharpener Desk Tidy in sustainable rubberwood with a stainless steel gold blade. Fill it up with chocolate for a greater treat. I think that this gift would be well received for someone who works from home so he spends most time at his desk and it is nice to be surrounded by quirky things.  www.nationalgallery.co.uk
A Retro Assai Turntable with its orange portable case will be a fantastic idea if the man you are thinking of has got his old vinyls still on display in a bookshelf. This turntable is suitable for listening to  the old vinyls rather than the new electronic dance  records. With the MP3 converter inbuilt, it is possible to digitalise the vinyl collection through an USB port. Speakers are inbuilt as well so you don't need to connect it to  stand alone speakers. The case is made of wood and bound with leatherette.  www.assai.co.uk






Wednesday, 14 December 2016

The Christmas List of Kids Gifts

It is quite difficult to find something that might like to kids, especially if they are your friends' children and you don't know them very well. Letters to Santa have been posted already and when you have to look for something to give to a nephew or friend's child I know that it can be tricky. I've found few items that might solve the problem.
Cath Kidston has got so many ideas for kids that reaches all the budgets. Vintage style toys, clothing, stationery. You name it and you will find it at Cath Kidston. A mug could be a nice idea, especially if you fill it with some treats like chocolate or sweets or even some nice pencils. In case ask the mother what could be the best choice for filling up the mug with something that it won't harm the child (read too many sweets or some food allergy). www.cathkidston.com
These lovely Nipper Slipper at Joules will be great for a newborn child or up to 18 months. This kind of things are never enough because  most of the times kids clothing are in the washing machine, so a nice change is always welcomed. www.joules.com

 The Magic Door Store has been selling these lovely little
doors since 2013 giving a little magic to children  just sticking the brightly coloured doors  on top of the skirting board. With the Magic Door, children can welcome fairies and elves in the house and the website is full of nice accessories like a pouch for the tooth fairy. You leave the pouch outside the door and the morning after a nice token can be left without having to squeeze your hand under the child's pillow in order to place the gift from the tooth fairy. Check on the website for more colours and if you order by the 20th of December you can receive your order before Christmas. www.themagicdoorstore.co.uk
A lunch box is like a handbag for a  woman, you want to have something nice with you all day. This "Katie goes to London " lunch bag is sold at the National Gallery shop, features the old Routemaster and it is made of  a material easy to wipe clean. Two zips close the bag and there is a carry handle. This one can be filled with "Katie in London " stationery and the book sold as well at the gallery shop. www.nationalgallery.co.uk
Let's stay at the National Gallery shop for this Special Edition of the Monopoly game board where the kids can play at building up an art collection, investing in the cafe' or shop and mainly, learning about the masterpieces that are on display at the National Gallery. It could be even an occasion to go and visit and maybe see if they can spot the paintings they were playing with on the game. I am quite tempted to buy it for myself.  www.nationalgallery.co.uk
This My First Disney Princess  Magic Hair Glow Rapunzel is suitable for kids 3 to 9 years old and it is sold at Tesco. The doll has got hair that magically glows when brush it and she sings " I See The Light". Batteries are included and I'm sure it will be one of the top toys for this Christmas. www.tesco.com
When you are stuck for ideas, especially for new born babies just remember that they get changed during the days at least 5 times, so a supply of socks will be a godsend. These sweet little socks are from M & Co and they are sold  in packs of two pairs. This is a nice stocking filler  or they can be added to a gift as a symbol to celebrate the the baby's  first Christmas. www.mandco.com
The Perfume Shop has thought of children with a nice range of gift sets. This Paw Patrol Gift Pack contains a EDT spray and a plastic cup with straw and they are inside a lunch bag. It is a nice gift, makes feel the kid a grown up because maybe mum or dad received a perfume as well. www.theperfumeshop.com
Lala & Bea Christmas pudding beanie hat is made of 100% merino wool and it is available in two sizes : Baby up to 2 years old and Child up to 8 years old. It is a very festive hat and all the products at Lala & Bea are made in Britain. www.lalaandbea.com











Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Christmas Shopping at the National Gallery

The National Gallery doesn't need an introduction. It is one of the most visited museum in the world. Masterpieces are on display and exhibitions  are among the hot tickets around. The public display is with free entry so apart from donations or sponsors the National Gallery relies on the shop that sells a huge range of items inspired by the  paintings  shown. I always find beautiful and unique gifts every time I visit the gallery' shop and it is always one of my favourite stops when I'm looking for something unusual and when I know that the receiver is an art's lover. I buy things for me as well I must admit but it is impossible to resist and leave empty handed.
This superb necklace by Ottoman Hands has been especially created  for the National Gallery and it is inspired by the Caravaggio exhibition. Its style is very Renaissance with oval faceted precious and semi precious stones like ruby, onyx and labradorite. It is made of gold plated brass and it is a real amazing piece of jewellery. The colours of the stones have been selected to mirror Caravaggio 's palette. Also in the collection there are beautiful bangles with rubies or onyx or labradorite, rings and other pendants. This beauty costs £ 215.00
Mini umbrellas are always a very useful gift and they are never enough. These two are depicting the  Van Gogh 's Sunflowers and the Monet 's Thames. Their sizes are perfect to fit them in most handbags  and their cost is £ 22.00. There are more models and different sizes, all with details of some of the  paintings hanging in the Gallery.
With the Caravaggio exhibition ending om the 15th of January be quick to secure one of the stylish items inspired by it. This Burgundy Faux Fur Loop Scarf  is soft, warm and with the colour just on trend for this season. It can be put in the washing machine and at £ 48.00 it is a great gift for the fashion savvy.
A diary is always a nice stocking filler. There is something thrilling in starting the new year unwrapping a new diary, noting the first few engagements carried over from the previous year and then going back to it every day to check what you've got to do. I know that now mobile phones can do the same thing but maybe I am old fashioned but nothing beats paper and pen. This lovely diary is priced at £ 6.50 and there is a choice of covers available. It has been printed in UK and the inside features details from Monet's Irises and Paulus Theodorus van Brussel 's Flowers in a Vase.
At the National Gallery you can find a range of scented candles and room diffusers with fragrances inspired by the paintings depicted on the packaging. For example this Monet' s Water - Lily Pond diffuser  has got a delicate fragrance which is a blend of white waterlily, hyacinth, green leaves and wild lotus flower. Reeds and a nice glass bottle come in a elegant packaging together with the scented oil that is going to be poured in the bottle. Priced at £ 19.50 it will be a lovely gift for anyone.

Colouring books are very popular now. Apparently even the Duchess of Cambridge is a fan of this  relaxing hobby. I like to indulge in a bit of colouring myself and sometime I spend an afternoon with colouring pencils. The National Gallery has got a series of colouring books and this Gustav Klimt book is beautiful. Also Picasso and the Impressionists are featured at the National Gallery and at £ 10.00 it is an original gift for somebody who loves this Austrian artist.
This Venetian Glass Solitaire Game is a nice piece of home decor, with its glass beads made from Murano glass, the Venetian island specialised in glassworks and its wood base. It is a very ancient game where you take off a bead from the chessboard and then try to "eat" each bead like when playing draughts until you 've got only a bead left. Despite being a solitaire, I'm sure that it will be an after dinner game. It is priced at £ 75.00. Find more ideas  at www.nationalgallery.co.uk where you can check the opening hours at the National Gallery and combine culture and shopping under one roof.







Monday, 12 December 2016

The Christmas List of Luxury Gifts

What are you going to buy to the person who has got it all ? I'm not writing of buying a private jet or a small island in the Caribbean, but about a couple of ideas where luxury is in the label but nor always an obvious one. There are also some affordable luxury items in order to create a hint for the receiver of an end of the year bonus.
These bejewelled sandals are from Etro, the Italian brand with that gorgeous shop in Bond Street. These shoes are fantastic but anything that comes out from that shop will be a perfect gift. Prices are from around  £ 100.00 up to the thousands. The iconic Paisley Collection has been around for over 40 years and still very on trend.  Finding one of Etro unmistakable paisley brown shopping bags under the tree is the dream of any fashion addict.  www.etro.com
Bianca Elgar creates beautiful silk scarves and apparel. This silk scarf in ochre is part of the Out of Africa collection with bright colours and graphic prints that are timeless. There are different sizes for Bianca Elgar creations. A three sides skinny scarf is very young and can jazz up a denim jacket. Sometime a silk scarf is seen like something very classic but they are actually very versatile.  Visit  Bianca Elgar website at www.biancaelgar.com you are still in time for a delivery before Christmas.
Head to Penhaligon's for a classic British fragrance. The new ones are from the range " Portraits" but you can find so many ideas at one of its beautiful shops, so full of Victorian charm. Candles, body products and other fragrances are displayed together with gorgeous boxes of soaps and grooming sets for men. I've found the most amazing shaving sets in there, a truly sophisticated gift. For vegetarian and vegans, all the products at Penhaligon's are free from animal by products in their cosmetic formulations, so fragrances, hand and body creams, shaving products, soaps, bath gels and oils and talcum powder and deodorants.  www.penhaligons.com
Sparkles is always a good idea for a gift and Swarovski can deliver the sparkle just right. These two bracelets are part of the Atelier Swarovski Core Collection, the Kalix Wrap Soft Bracelet. The black leather wraps around your wrist and the rounded spikes can be gold plated or ruthenium plated or rodhium plated. Check online at www.swarovski.com for your nearest Swarovski store or shop online. I would recommend a visit to the store because during the festive period it is beautifully decorated.
This clutch bag in lizard by Pickett is one of those timeless bags that can become a family heirloom. All the bags and small leather accessories at Pickett are beautifully made in England and the rainbow of colours can cater for anyone taste. The shop in Burlington Gardens is charming and with collection for both women and men it is sure that some of the Christmas gifts will be ticked off from your list. www.pickett.co.uk
Liberty and luxury go hand in hand. Finding one of its purple boxes with a beautiful pyjama set either in silk or cotton will spell luxe all the way.With so many iconic prints and patterns you are spoilt for choice and a visit to the Liberty store will put you in the festive mood with all the gorgeous window displays inspired by the ballet " The Nutcracker". www.libertylondon.com
A limited edition print is always a well appreciated gift and this V & A Austur Robin London by Kristjana S. Williams print is perfect for any home interior. Printed in only 245 copies, signed and numbered by the author there are only 2 left on the online shop of the Victoria and Albert Museum. But there are more limited edition prints available if you are not quick enough to secure this. It is always worth it to invest in art and don't be afraid by the price tag. This print for example is priced at £ 275.00 and it could be the start for a new collection. www.vam.ac.uk







Sunday, 11 December 2016

The Christmas List of Beauty Gifts

I've heard few comments saying that gifting beauty products can be seen like being critical of someone hygiene or aspect. In my opinion it is not true, especially now that even a hand wash bottle is so beautiful or its scent  very appealing, this preconceived thought doesn't exist anymore. I would happily receive a hamper with beauty products and body wash without be offended. I've picked few items that can be found in most department stores and beauty shops.
Dr Organic is a great brand and its products have won several awards in the natural skincare and hair categories. Its prices are very affordable and the fragrances available are pleasant and serve a full range of skincare products. The Dr Organic Moroccan  Argan Oil range has got a delectable scent and it has specific products for the whole body and hair. A hamper with a selection of goodies would be a godsend because let's face it, we never treat ourselves properly and we always procrastinate from buying something like that, opting for other things instead or for other people. So if a friend can place under the tree a parcel with a choice of Dr Organic 's  it would make for a perfect gift. You can find these products at Holland & Barrett  www.hollandandbarrett.com  or at Dr Organic website www.drorganic.co.uk
Nouveau Lashes is a lashes extension treatment that uses a special technique that gives a full and voluminous effect but keeping it natural as well in half the time. Salons that can perform this treatment are located around UK and Ireland so an idea for a present could be a gift voucher  for the beauty lover friend. Check all the offers and addresses at www.nouveaulashes.com
Ekia is a certified French organic skincare and it has been created after two years of clinical  research in a French University hospital. The anti ageing properties of Ekia's products are amazing, using among its ingredients the Dragon's Blood Sap, an active ingredient found in the Croton Lechleri Tree in  the Amazon rainforest. Ekia has got a very extensive range with products specific for face and eyes as well as cleansers and toners. Check online at www.ekiaskincare.co.uk for all the benefits this skincare brand can give  and shop at Whole Foods Market or online.
Weleda is been around for 95 years, delivering always organic skincare products ahead of everyone else. Established in Switzerland in 1921 and using at the beginning the plants from the garden laboratory it has expanded all over the world. Its Weleda Skin Food is celebrating its 90th birthday with its formula unchanged through the years. A hamper with Weleda products it is in many wish list, I'm sure. All the best health stores and pharmacies as well as high street destinations like Holland & Barrett, Whole Foods Market and Waitrose just to name a few stock this Swiss brand or you check online at www.weleda.co.uk and do your shopping.
Toast is a Welsh brand that from lounge wear and nightwear has expanded its  business becoming a lifestyle destination. Its womenswear range is beautiful with soft fabrics and great styles. Its range of soaps is gorgeous. I love the Toast Lavender Hand Wash with its single essential oil addition.  Toast is a destination for all your Christmas gifts because it caters fashion, homewear and home fragrances as well. There are 13 stores between London and the rest of UK and you can check online at www.toa.st/uk
Pixi is a beauty brand that has got such a huge range of products that when you step inside its shop in Carnaby you can stay there for hours to check everything. I've picked these  Glow Tonic To Go exfoliating pads that are amazing and they leave your complexion clean and radiant, minimising pores and fine lines. Among make up palettes and skincare products you can choose the perfect items for a beauty lover friend or relative and even few stocking fillers. Check and shop online at www.pixibeauty.co.uk and to locate other shops.

I love Burt's Bees ' products, its iconic beeswax lip balm has made history and every year they've got always new and fascinating ideas. During Christmas time, the offering of gift sets is huge and you can find both cosmetics or skincare sets. Its lipstick range has got a choice of colours and textures that tempts you to buy them all. Burt's Bees can be found at the best health shops like Holland  & Barrett, Boots, department stores like Debenham or John Lewis as well as Whole Foods Market, specialised in organic skincare and beauty products. Online outlets are available and for sure among all its products you  will find gifts and stocking fillers. www.burtsbees.co.uk
Keeping your hands smooth and fragranced is a must and Crabtree & Evelyn knows a lot about hand therapy. Its hand creams have got gorgeous scents and for Christmas you can find in stores lots of gift boxes with three hand cream in different combinations or this amazing Deluxe Hand Therapy Collection where you can find 12 tubes of 25 grams each of their bestelling fragrances which include 3 limited edition Christmas scents. This gift will make you remembered and thought about for the whole year by using a different hand cream each month. www.crabtree-evelyn.co.uk
This beautiful purple BaByliss 2198 KU 235 Elegance Straightener will be a fantastic gift idea , because I must admit that we love all these beauty gadgets  that can help us to achieve a perfect look like we 've stepped out of a hair salon. It is ready to use in 15 seconds and it has Advanced Ceramics heating system. Head to Tesco or shop online  at www.tesco.com