Why you should be independent shopping this Christmas

independent shopping

Why independent shopping?

Independent shopping has become a hot topic, and with chains littering the high street it’s easy to see why. I for one am tired of poor quality mass produced items. And as more independent stores open across the country, it would seem that a lot of other people are too. My own hometown, Norwich, has seen a rise in independent stores and cafes, and they are thriving. But why? Well there are a lot of great reasons why you should be independent shopping:

  • Quality products
  • Unique gifts with a story
  • Support your local shops
  • Help someone do something they love

Where should I shop?

Well that’s entirely up to you. You may have some great local businesses and stores nearby. But if you don’t, or you just fancy checking out somewhere new, I have a few recommendations for you:

  • Trouva
    • This is the place for independent shopping. With boutiques across the UK you can shop from the comfort of your own home – or office desk etc – to find the perfect item for you and your loved ones. My current favourite is: Blabar
  • Stranger London
    • This one is for those who want a little bit of magic into their life, and homes. Run by my friend Yasumi, she focuses on unique pieces that scream adventure & personal wellbeing. The store boasts handmade pieces with nods to Japan, UK and Scandinavia. I’m a personal fan of her thread sketches.
  • Weathered Penny
    • If you’re into jewellery, this is the store for you. Their pieces come in a variety of contemporary styles, and they won’t break the bank. I love the hand earrings.
  • Triangle
    • Their choice of products is well thought out; they’re simple, functional and let’s be honest, aesthetically pleasing.
  • Aida
    • This is one of my favourite local stores for fashion, and not only because they have their own cafe on the shop floor. They carry a range of quality brands such as Rains, Veja, and Mads Nørgaard.
  • Botany
    • For the plant lovers and homeware addicts out there. I often stop by Botany’s store to browse their selection of plants. And I love that they offer workshops for those who really want to get hands-on.

 

Keep an eye out for my Christmas gift guides, coming soon!

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Images are courtesy of Trouva, however all views, suggestions and words are my own.

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Christmas Wrapping Guide with Marks and Spencer

Christmas Wrapping GuideChristmas Wrapping Guide with Marks and Spencer

Wrapping has always been an issue for me. I actually dread it every birthday, Christmas etc. Mainly because my best friend makes so much fun of my wrapping skills. I’m not that terrible, but I’m not great either. So I guess over the last few years I’d just given up trying.

So when Marks and Spencer invited me to a Christmas Wrapping event I automatically to yes. Whereas inside I was screaming “please help save my friends and family from poorly wrapped gifts this year”. And save them they did, because I picked up more than a tip or two, and I’ve decided to share them (ain’t I nice) with you below.

Christmas Wrapping Guide Tip 1

Create a gift bag out of wrapping paper, for hard to wrap gifts.

You know the kind of gift. The one with bits sticking out of it, rounded corners, it may even be fragile. Yes they’re also the bane of my Christmas too. Well they were, until Geraldine and Marks & Spencer teamed up to teach me how to make a gift bag out of wrapping paper. This works for literally any kind of gift. And it also means you don’t have to pay extra. Because let’s be honest, we all have a ton of spare wrapping paper lying around at this time of year.  Check out my attempt at a wrapping paper gift bag below, with an awkward soap and lotion set. No bad, ey?

Find out how to create your own with the Marks and Spencer wrapping guide.

Christmas Wrapping Guide Tip 2

Buy gift wrapping sets, to make it look completely effortless.

Following on from my previous comments; don’t you just hate it when you have a load of spare wrapping paper, but you don’t have any matching ribbon, bows etc. Well yes, I do actually have that issue sometimes. But not anymore! Because I have discovered wrapping paper sets. Sets of complimentary paper, ribbons, tags etc. Yes these are actually a thing, and they’re available at M&S. It’s definitely the easiest way to give your friends and family stylishly wrapped presents.

Christmas Wrapping Guide Tip 3

Make it personal.

We all know that a well wrapped gift will get anyones attention, and rightly so. But why not make it personal. After all, we do the same with people’s gifts. Why not go the extra mile and match the wrapping to the person too? My personal style is uber minimalist, and I know that works with some friends. However some of my family/friends like cute packaging, others super seasonal. So this year I’ve decided to match my gifts with their wrapping. Making sure I go the extra mile. You know, for those bonus points from Santa.

Check out more photos from the event, and my attempts at gift wrapping at home below.

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This post is in collaboration with Marks & Spencer however all views, photos and words are my own.
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The Fashion Addict’s Christmas Gift Guide

christmas gift guideThe Fashion Addict’s Christmas Gift Guide

It’s that time of the year again when we all start worrying what we should buy our loved ones. To help things go a bit more smoothly this year, I have put together a few gift guides. Each Christmas gift guide has been carefully curated by yours truly, to showcase the perfect gift guide for a fashion addict. I’ve looked high and low, and put together some of my favourite pieces right now. Each guide has an emphasis on quality and affordability, with a unique take. So grab a coffee, relax, and let me do all the hard work for you.

Christmas Gift Guide, for the fashion addict

Well there you have it, my 2016 Christmas Gift Guide, for the fashion addict in your life. Whilst choosing the featured items, I kept several things in mind: affordability, quality, and accessibility. For me, all of these things are important. But of course we all want to get something a little bit special for our friends and family. That’s why I chose a selection of items that can be found on the high street, in department stores, and online. Fashion itself is very subjective, so it can be difficult to purchase clothing or accessories for someone else. However I’m trusting that you know your loved ones pretty well. And after all, there will always be pieces that transcend styles and trends. They’re the ones that can fit into pretty much any wardrobe. For me it’s a unique take on a sweater dress, minimalist jewellery, a quality watch to match a faux leather jacket, a make-up bag, and a handbag to throw everything into.

Keep an eye out for more Christmas Git Guides, coming soon!

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Christmas Day | Photo Diary

christmas-7Christmas Day in Wales

Christmas Day, for me, has always been a family affair. From the beginning of December I look forward to spending a relaxing day, chatting and eating with all of my family members. This year I spent it in Wales, with my “in-laws”My day started with a light breakfast and coffee, whilst others slaved away in the kitchen (much appreciated) preparing a Christmas feast. Trust me, you don’t want me anywhere near your Christmas dinner. Unless you count eating it, because I can do a pretty good job of that.

I think this time of year allows us all to be a slightly more eccentric version of ourselves (read: show our true colours). And that’s great! I mean, when else would it be acceptable to start drinking champagne at 11am? It’s also readily accepted that you will gorge yourself silly, on food you simply refuse to eat any other time of the year. Again, I’m all for this. I actually love brussel sprouts and stuffing. I’ll pass on the Christmas pudding though. However, dowsing it in brandy and setting it a flame does make for a good photo.

I really just love the feeling and general joyfulness during this holiday. I’m very lucky to have some wonderful family and friends. And whereas I do appreciate them all year round, it is nice to spread a little extra love. After all, tis the season.

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Christmas Gift Guide | The Interior Lover

christmas-gift-guide-7Bloomzy’s Christmas Gift Guide, for The Interior Lover

It’s that time of the year again when we all start wracking our brains as to what we should buy our loved ones. And whereas they will always tell us “oh you don’t have to worry about getting me anything”, we all know we’re going to anyway. So to try and make it a little bit easier for you, I have put together a few gift guides. Each Christmas gift guide has been carefully curated by yours truly, to showcase what I believe are affordable, quality gifts that will appeal to all (well, pretty much anyone). So grab a cup of tea, sit back, and let me do all the hard work for you.

A Gift Guide for The Interior Lover:

  1. Robin & Holly Oven Glove – Thornback and Peel*
  2. Stag & Mistletoe Tea Towel – Thornback and Peel*
  3. Stackable Copper & Gold Containers – Tiger
  4. Inissia Black Coffee Machine & Aeroccino – Nespresso
  5. Nespresso Machine Coffee Capsules*

You may be thinking to yourself right now, but I don’t see a Nespresso machine in the photos. Well I’m not gonna sugar coat it, it’s a bit of a b*tch to include in a flat lay. But I’m sure you can get the idea. Anyway, I wanted to include an interior gift guide this year as I have become a bit of an interior geek as of late – I blame my new apartment. Plus, interior is so hot right now. Am I right?

Don’t forget to check out the rest of my Christmas Gift Guide series.

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Christmas Gift Guide | The Beauty Lover

christmas gift guideBloomzy’s Christmas Gift Guide, for The Beauty Lover

It’s that time of the year again when we all start wracking our brains as to what we should buy our loved ones. And whereas they will always tell us “oh you don’t have to worry about getting me anything”, we all know we’re going to anyway. So to try and make it a little bit easier for you, I have put together a few gift guides. Each Christmas gift guide has been carefully curated by yours truly, to showcase what I believe are affordable, quality gifts that will appeal to all (well, pretty much anyone). So grab a cup of tea, sit back, and let me do all the hard work for you.

A Gift Guide for The Beauty Lover:

  1. Coco Mademoiselle Eau De Parfum – Chanel
  2. Marvellous Moxie Lipgloss (in Life of the Party) – Bareminerals*
  3. Fat Liquid Eyeliner – Eyeko
  4. Make an Entrance Lip and Nail Sonata Gift Set – Temple Spa*
  5. Coconut Oil – Vita Coco*
  6. Brightening Facial Oil – Manuka Doctor*
  7. Rosehip Collection Gift Set – Trilogy

Beauty products are my go-to Christmas gift. The variety of amazing Christmas gift sets in Boots has me transfixed year after year. Even so, you may not always want to buy a whole gift set. Sometimes I prefer to create my own. This year I’ll be making mini beauty hampers for my nearest and dearest, and it’s safe to say that all of these brands will be making an appearance.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of my Christmas Gift Guide series.

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Christmas Gift Guide | The Fashion Lover

christmas gift guide Bloomzy’s Christmas Gift Guide, for The Fashion Lover

It’s that time of the year again when we all start wracking our brains as to what we should buy our loved ones. And whereas they will always tell us “oh you don’t have to worry about getting me anything”, we all know we’re going to anyway. So to try and make it a little bit easier for you, I have put together a few gift guides. Each Christmas gift guide has been carefully curated by yours truly, to showcase what I believe are affordable, quality gifts that will appeal to all (well, pretty much anyone). So grab a cup of tea, sit back, and let me do all the hard work for you.

A Gift Guide for The Fashion Lover:

  1. T-shirt – Wood Wood @ Finch Norwich
  2. Necklace – Clarice Price Thomas @ Parla*
  3. Marble iPhone Case – Madotta*
  4. Shoes – Jones Bootmaker*
  5. Purse – Commes des Garcon

Fashion is very subjective, so it can be difficult to purchase clothing or accessories for someone else. However there are several pieces that will always be timeless, and can fit into pretty much any wardrobe. For me that’s a well constructed t-shirt, a pair of boyish flats (perfect for the party season), a chic phone case, a necklace that can be worn on any occasion, and a little black purse.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of my Christmas Gift Guide series.

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