The Christmas Beauty Gift Guide
If you’re anything like me you’ve probably spent the last few weeks window shopping – both physical and online – for potential Christmas gifts. I don’t like to make it easy for myself though. I enjoy visiting as many shops as possible, so I can make sure I get a good idea of what’s on offer this year. But that’s time consuming and if I can help anyone save time, or recommend something they haven’t thought of, then my blog’s work has been done. So without further ado, here is 2018’s ‘The Christmas Beauty Gift Guide’. And I’ve made sure to pack it full of my favourite products from the year. Enjoy!
The Christmas Beauty Gift Guide
As you can see I’ve focused on brands and products from a range of price points. I’ve included some of my trusted go-tos (Dermalogica & The Ordinary), as well as some new favourites (NIOD & Nails Inc). I’ve also added in a couple of gift sets for good measure. Why? Well I happen to think that they’re perfect for this time of year. Gift sets often feature a variety of complimentary products – sometimes limited edition – that are generally priced lower then they would be when bought separately (e.g. the Gatineau set is worth £276). If we’re being honest, we all know how much we enjoy spoiling our loved ones at Christmas. And if anything can make the gift giving season easier, and cheaper, you may as well make the most of it, right?
If you enjoyed The Christmas Beauty Gift Guide, check out the rest of my Christmas Gift Guide series.
FLUX Period Underwear – A Sustainable Alternative
I’d been looking at sustainable alternatives to sanitary products for a while, but found that they weren’t UK-based, and cost a lot of money. Fast forward to last month and me happening across FLUX period panties. I ended up buying two pairs – the Bikini (coz cute & lacey) and the Detachable (cute & practical) – which I’ve been using for one cycle, to date. I wanted to share my experience with them in the hopes that it will help others.
FLUX Period Panties
FLUX period panties combines four layers of ultra-thin materials to absorb up to 4 tampons worth:
- Top layer: moisture wicking, so that you stay fresh as a daisy.
- Second layer: anti-microbial, keeping you squeaky clean.
- Third layer: absorbs moisture, so you don’t feel wet.
- Fourth layer: leak-proof, so you’re worry free.
The lining holds for up to 12 hours, depending on your individual flow. And they’re easy to wash too. They can be hand-washed, or put in a cold/30c wash, and air dried.
Would I recommend them?
I’m finding them to be incredibly comfortable, and basically no different to wearing regular underwear. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but they absorb well and do everything they say on the box. I was caught out once when I decided to have dinner after work, and I found myself nearing the 12hr window. But even then I didn’t have any issues other than my own head telling me I needed to go home and change.
Would I recommend them? 100% yes! These have become a replacement for regular sanitary products for me. They’re more sustainable than pads/tampons, and down the road I’ll also be saving a lot of money. FLUX period panties have helped me feel more comfortable and confident, and have changed the way I approach my periods.
Check out more of my beauty must-haves now!
It can be pretty tough visiting a new city, or country. You’re not sure where to eat, what to see, or even where to stay. Well I’m here to change all of that with my handy guides! They’re full of tips, tricks, and the best places to go. So stop worrying about how you’re going to make the most of your time in a new place; here are my recommendations for spending 24 hours in Stockholm, Sweden!
24 Hours in Stockholm
- Stay at Hobo Hotel
- The modern, design-centric hotel is placed directly in the centre of Stockholm, making it a great hub during your stay.
- Breakfast pastries
- You can hardly visit Sweden without sampling some of their famous pastries. Bröd & Salt bakery has stores across the capital, and offers some of the most delicious. My tip: try Mandelbulle – it’s like a cinnamon roll had a baby with an almond croissant.
- Visit the museums
- Most of the museums are conveniently located next to each other in Stockholm. Skansen is an open air museum which offers a glimpse at Swedish culture – including lots of cute animals – whilst the Moderna Museet includes the works of Dali, Matisse…and Beyonce?
- Stroll through old town
- Gamla Stan is Stockholm’s old town, and it’s full of picturesque buildings and streets.
- Go local for lunch
- You have to try the local delicacies whilst in Sweden. My recommendations are the bountiful seafood, and the open sandwiches, or both! There’s Drop Coffee Roasters, Green Rabbit and B.A.R to name a few.
- Shop Scandinavian
- The Swedes are known for being stylish, so why not shop at some of the best designers out there? Lifestyle stores such as Grandpa are aplenty, but for those who prefer their designers all in one place there’s NK Stockholm and Åhléns.
- Splash out on dinner
- Where better to sample Neo-Nordic cuisine than Stockholm? Kagges offers a reasonably priced tasting menu made with local, seasonal ingredients. The flavours are stunning, as is the presentation and care that goes into each dish.
- Have a nightcap at Hobo
- Hobo hotel have a cool bar with a DJ, which is frequented by Stockholm natives, as well as guests.
Hints & Tips for 24 Hours in Stockholm:
- Don’t bring cash!
- Stockholm is a cash-free society, so much so that you’ll find ‘card only’ signs in most restaurants and stores across the capital.
- Reserve a table
- Like most capitals, Stockholm has a thriving restaurant scene, so it’s best to try and make reservations before you arrive.
Well there you have it, my travel guide to 24 Hours in Stockholm!
Feel free to check out the my other 24 Hours In… guides.
Choosing Bridesmaid Gifts | Wedding Guide
Of all the things that made up my wedding, I probably had the most fun choosing my bridesmaid gifts. Which makes sense when you know that I’m a serial gifter. I love spending hours looking for the perfect item, and the satisfaction that comes with finally finding it. In the end I probably spent several weeks choosing bridesmaid gifts. But I had set myself some pretty strict criteria to adhere to…
Choosing Bridesmaid Gifts
I didn’t have a massive budget for my bridesmaid gifts, as I’d chosen to also pay for their dresses and accommodation. That said, I wasn’t about to compromise. I still wanted to choose some special gifts that they could use again, whilst still marking the day.
- Lisa Angel
- Not on The High Street
The ‘Initial Necklaces’ were great as I was able to have them personalised, and they came in a selection of precious metals – luckily for me all my bridesmaids wore silver. The make-up for my Maid of Honour wasn’t an issue; she was already using Haloscope, and wanted to try out Lash Slick & Boy Brow – easy! Finally the hair pins and dressing gowns brought everyone’s outfits together – both before and during the wedding – and were a little reminder of the day.
My main takeaway from choosing my bridesmaid gifts has to be personalisation. Everyone has a different style and personality, so it was important to me that I took this into consideration, rather than buying a blanket gift for several people. I’d suggest anyone buying gifts for their bridesmaids take the time to look, and don’t just buy something because you think you have to (i.e tradition etc).
Check out the rest of my Wedding Series now!
Stockholm on Film: Shooting with a Superheadz Toy Camera
For years my DSLR was attached to my hip. I couldn’t be without it. It got to the point where I would shove it into the tiniest of bags, just so I could ‘get the photo’. Around a year ago that all changed. I became tired of carrying around such a heavy camera, not to mention the time it took to set up a shoot just for one Instagram photo. The thing is I wasn’t tired of taking photos, I was just tired of the relationship I had with photography. It seemed like my creative spark had gone, and my ‘work’ didn’t feel genuine anymore.
A few months ago I was invited to spend the day with VSCO, and it changed everything. I was reminded of my love for photography, the community, creating, shooting, even editing. The spark had been reignited and I knew exactly what to do with it. It was time for film to make a comeback.
Superheadz Toy Camera
After discussing this with Yasumi – someone I trust and often go to for photography advice – she suggested I try out a toy camera. So I quickly snapped up the Superheadz Tomodachi 35mm with wide angle lens, on her recommendation.
My mini-moon was the first holiday I’d been on where I traded in my DSLR for a film camera. I didn’t want to spend ages setting up photos. Instead I took my toy camera and decided I would take it out at random times. Whether it was to try out something new, or when I spotted something interesting. The results are what you see before you here.
I’m glad I swapped digital for film. It allowed me to enjoy the process of taking photos again, as well as the excitement of not knowing how the photo will turn out. And I don’t think this signals the end of my relationship with my DSLR at all, it’s just a new chapter.
Read more of my photography posts
As Summer inevitably comes to an end, and colder weather approaches, the same question is on every Londoners mind; where do [I] go to drink when the rooftops close? I’m someone who doesn’t like to be out in the sun much, so I’m constantly on the look out for places I can impress my sun-worshiping friends with come Autumn. Being a blogger I’m lucky enough to get press releases and invites to new openings, which makes this process much easier. That said, I can be quite picky and I don’t take every opportunity offered to me. But when I received an invite to Death + Victory cocktail bar at Smiths of Smithfields, it sounded right up my street, so of course I accepted.
Would you care for a cocktail?
D+V’s menu comes in 5 chapters – each of which span a time period from 1100 to present day – with an emphasis on five spirits: whisky, tequila, gin, vodka and rum. As you may have noticed from my Instagram, I’m a gin fan, but I was eager to try something different. Luckily the talented bartenders at Death + Victory were on hand to help. I tried…
- Smooth Fields
- Jameson Caskmates, Amaro, egg white, lemon, sugar syrup. An ode to the grassy knoll that Smith eld market was originally built on, this cocktail blends the grassy overtones of Amaro with stout-seasoned Jameson Caskmates for the smoothest of nishes.
- Bull in a China Shop
- Beefeater 24, Lillet Rouge, Aperol, Campari, green tea. A wonderfully quintessential tea serve blending Beefeater 24 with refreshing green tea. Served in high-tea fashion. Just be careful of the rowdy cattle.
- The Horace
- Absolut Elyx, jasmine tea, Lillet Blanc, lemon juice, chocolate bitters, Champagne. A concoction that pays homage to the revered architect who designed Smith elds. And for whom our sister restaurant is named after. This refreshing Absolut Elyx serve is crafted with jasmine tea and topped with champagne. So raise a glass to the man.
Final thoughts on Death + Victory
I always like to try something new when I visit a cocktail bar, which can be a make or break situation for some. But I was really impressed with the cocktails at Death + Victory. I’m not being cliche when I say there is something for everyone – the concise menu means you’ll find a variety of spirits and flavours. And once you take that all away, what are you left with? A group of knowledgable bartenders and a vast array of cocktails, each with it’s own distinct flavour, made from quality ingredients. Death + Victory is definitely on my ‘must-visit again’ list.
Check out more: Where to Eat in London
5 Independent Wedding Stationery Designers You Should Know
When choosing the wedding stationery we would use as part of our celebrations, we knew the exact kind of style we wanted – minimalistic, with ties to nature. In some cases this was more prevalent than others, such as our place cards by Peach Wolfe Paper Co which feature flower and leaf motifs. And in others there was a looser connection, such as the Lilac and White menu cards, which we chose in a subdued natural tone to match the decorations. With there being so many options out there, it quite literally took us weeks to find something that suited our personal style, and matched the theme of the wedding.
5 Independent Wedding Stationery Designers
Part of what made the task so difficult was that we wanted to choose independent wedding stationery designers. I have to say that the sheer amount of talent out there is astonishing. On top of that, we didn’t quite realise just how important wedding stationery actually is. We knew that we would need Save the Dates and invites…but place cards, menus, ‘will you be my…’ cards?! We really weren’t expecting, or even considering, all of those.
Never the less, with the help of Not on The High Street, we were able to find the perfect wedding stationery for us:
- Peach Wolfe Paper Co.
- Lilac and White
- Jade Fisher
- Rodo Creative
- White Olive Design Studio
As you can see, we ended up with a lot more than we had bargained for. Once you begin looking at wedding stationery, it becomes a bit of a slippery slope. One major problem of finding so many amazing independent wedding stationery designers is that even now – with less than a month to go until our wedding – I find myself wanting to buy more. I think it’s time to go on a wedding stationery detox…
Check out the rest of my Wedding Series now!
This post is in collaboration with Not on The High Street, however all views, photos and words are my own.