Blogger Secret Santa with Debenhams

debenhams-christmas-gift-guide-blogger-secret-santa-4Blogger Secret Santa with Debenhams*

Whether we like it or not, Christmas is fast approaching. Usually I start to get excited about a week or two before the big day. However this year something has changed. That oh-so familiar anticipation has begun to manifest itself. I imagine helping to plan the office Christmas party is the culprit…that and my craving for mulled wine! One of my favourite parts of Christmas is Secret Santa. It’s so much fun working with a budget and a theme. The surprise (and hopefully joy) on the face of your giftee is priceless. Enter Debenhams. Recently the department store contacted me about being a part of their blogger secret santa campaign. With an aim to bring together bloggers, and inspire people’s gift choices, I could hardly say no.

Each blogger was given a theme, a modest budget and a link to their secret santa’s blog. From there we were left to our own devices. I was given a home theme, and Emily of Stylelobster, which was easy as I know her blog well (find out what I gifted her here). As for me, I chose beauty. I sat back and waited (and hopped over to Italy), and soon enough my gifts arrived. All wrapped up in a bow. I’ve had some odd secret santa gifts in the past, which is probably what lead to me holding my breath as I unwrapped these ones. But my nerves were unfounded, as I soon discovered.

What did I receive?
+ Urban Decay Ink for Eyes Waterproof Precision Eye Pen
+ Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in F-Bomb
+ Illamasqua Nail Polish in Charisma
+ Miss Selfridge Oversized Check Scarf
+ Victoria Green Daisy Russet Wash Bag

Perfect gift after perfect gift materialsed in front of me. The note said “I’ve gone for a red theme” and boy was I pleased. I loved everything about my secret santa experience with Debenhams. From the personalised note, right down to the cruelty-free make-up products.  Thank you so much to Aimee of Wallflowergirl for my incredibly thoughtful gifts. You made my day! Now I really can’t wait for Christmas.

I’d highly suggest visiting the Debenhams Gifts page for those of you who are stuck on what to get your secret santa. In fact I’d just recommend visiting in general. I know I’ll be browsing the site for my family and friends gifts. Happy shopping!

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Christmas at Hyper Japan

This year saw the first Hyper Japan Christmas Market come to Kensington, Olympia. Compared to the Summer HJ event, this one was much smaller, but they still managed to fit in a whole lot of stuff to see and do. As for the Christmas aspect, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It turned out to not really be as festive as I had hoped, with only a few exhibitors bringing Christmas themed items (such as Roxie Sweetheart). Maybe because it was held in November it was a little difficult for people to come round to the idea. Still, the tree in the middle of the hall helped a bit.

Keep an eye on my Hyper Japan tag to see more on fashion & beauty at the HJ Christmas market.

The Big Christmas Jumper Debate

Mint Christmas Pudding Jumper* – New Look

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say “Christmas jumper”? Cheesy? Mulled wine and minced pies? Maybe something hand knitted by your nan? When I asked my colleague the same question he admitted that he wore his for only a few hours on Christmas Day (mainly to satisfy his parents), and as soon as the unwrapping of presents was over he’d take it off again. It seems as though a lot of people feel the same way about Christmas jumpers, and I think it’s a bit sad.

They come in all shapes and sizes but if we’re all being truthful, they’re usually pretty tacky. However fashion brands in recent years have taken on the challenge of changing our view of the traditional Christmas jumper. From Primark to Topshop, the High St is littered with them at this time of year. You’ll find festive ones, funny ones, and maybe even some risqué ones. It sounds cliche, but surely there has to be something for everyone?!

I myself wasn’t a fan of Christmas jumpers until last year, when Topshop released this little gem. But what made me come round to the idea? Honestly I think it’s because stores have finally cottoned on that they aren’t something reserved for dad’s and awkward family dinners. Instead they’ve realised that they can be fashionable (and sometimes even chic), without being ott or tacky. Whether it’s a subtle Nordic print, or dainty crystal Christmas puddings, the Christmas jumper is no longer an embarrassment. It’s a fashion statement, and it’s here to stay. So don’t be a Grinch, join in the fun!

You can view my current Christmas jumper looks here.

OOTD: It’s Beginning To Look Alot Like…

Cardigan *- Mantaray at Debenhams | T-shirt* – Missguided | Trousers – Topshop
 
To say I’m beginning to get excited for Christmas would be an understatement. I love this time of year. Not because of the gift giving – although I do love to give gifts – but because of the feeling that comes with the season. December is probably the best month of the year. It’s difficult to explain, but things feel different. People are generally happier and act kinder, which is always noticeable when you’re living in London. Even the weather doesn’t seem so bad. I love to layer up, and my new cardigan from Debenhams offers a Nordic-inspired take on the usual Christmas sweater. Sure, it may be bitterly cold outside, but it’s ok because I can snuggle up in my blanket scarf with a big mug of tea and binge on chocolate and Netflix. It’s a special time of year, and I love it.

Feeling Festive at The Beyond Retro Christmas Jumper Pop-up

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Beyond Retro has always been known for quality vintage goods, and now they’re also bringing some Christmas cheer with their latest pop-up shop in Old Street station. The store is aptly named the Christmas Jumper Store, because that’s mainly what you’ll find here. That said, there are other festive goods in-store too, such as scarves, party dresses, accessories and faux fur coats.

I first stopped by for the launch party where we sang carols and perused the store, whilst sipping on Babycham. It felt very Christmasy indeed. I left with a specially handpicked vintage Christmas jumper, which I can’t wait to debut on the blog soon. I also found the most amazing full-length emerald lace dress (with a beautiful art deco style back). It was just perfect, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Luckily for me, when I went back a few days later, it was still there. So I snapped it up, but not before I tried on everything else. There are so many hidden gems that I had to be dragged away by Ben, as I kept picking up piece after piece. Prices are more than reasonable, and the stock has been expertly selected.

If you fancy getting lost amongst the rails too, you can visit the Beyond Retro Christmas Jumper Pop-up at Old St station.

Wish List: Santa’s Little Helper

Every year friend’s and family ask me to publish a wish list on my blog. So this year I decided to try out something a little different – The Greedy Book. What is it? “Described as the home of the wish list, they’re an amazing discovery platform that provides you with your very own corner of the internet to collate your ultimate wish list, an eclectic mixture of your favourite things.”

I liked the look of the platform as it allowed me to add items easily, whilst simultaneously adding the price and notes. I personally used the notes section to add any sizing or colour preferences I had, which will hopefully offer some help and also open up a new spectrum of gifts. I had a lot of fun putting my items together and into their own little books, and if I wasn’t so blasé about Christmas gifts (for myself) I imagine I’d be able to spend hours adding items to them. I actually prefer giving presents at Christmas, which TGB is also useful for. The site gives you the option of making your books private, meaning you can hide your gift ideas away somewhere safer (and a lot easier) than your bookmark bar. I’ve only created a few books so far; using the option to separate my wish lists into different categories – fashion & beauty, accessories and home. Even so, this makes it easier for friends and family who may want to buy me something specific. All in all, it’s been super helpful, and although I think the site would be better with a bit more customisation, it works perfectly well. I can see myself using this long after Christmas for friends/family birthdays…maybe even for my birthday in January too?

You can view my Christmas wish lists at The Greedy Book.