Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas Gift Guide | Etsy Favourites

For my last gift Guide of the season I thought I would share some of my favourite Etsy sellers. Etsy is an Ali’s Cave of independent sellers and designers but it can be a bit tricky to know where to start. My best advice is to search by shop location and select your hometown to discover loads of local talent. You’ll be surprised at what’s out there.

Today, my sellers are from all over the world, hope you discover someone new.

Christmas Gift Guide 2014 Etsy Favourites

Top row, left to right: Runaway Fox Crow Skull Colour Splash Necklace (£27.60 each); Avonnie Studio You’re So Lucky to Have Me Mug (£14.44); DesignosaurYEAH ROARballs (£6.23); OHNO Rachio Totes Cotton Tote Bag (£10)

Hailing from Edinburgh are these replica crow skulls. They’re handpainted and really pretty and perfect for someone who loves a statement necklace. Can’t get mush more statement-like than wearable (faux) taxidermy. For that person who is always asking you to put the kettle on, remind them everyday of how awesome you are with this cheeky mug from Avonnie Studios. You can even choose if you want a left handed mug. All I want for Christmas is a T-Rex Santa on a sleigh being pulled by Triceratops… luckily Designosaur share my love of the tyrant lizard king and also want to see him Christmasified. They also do the best acrylic and wooden jewellery for all you dino fans. You doesn’t love a pun? Now that Scotland has brought in the 5p carrier bag charge, your giftee will thank you for a tote bag and this one is bound to raise a chuckle too.

Bottom row, left to right: HelloHarriet Bunny Nail Transfers (£8); Oh Gosh Cindy Mrs Doubtfire Watercolour Print (£9); Pelham Cases Deer iPhone 5C Case (£15.74); SaddleShoeSigns Vintage Inspired Marquee Sign (£98.44).

HelloHarriet is the cutest shop filled with hand drawn illustrations of kitties, bunnies and dogs. They do a range of goods including tattoos but my favourite is the dainty little nail transfers. I love everything in Oh Gosh Cindy’s store but I think the Mrs Doubtfire print is probably the funniest. Love that film! Pelham Cases do a wide range of on trend phone cases from pineapples, to tribal to geometric, they have something for everyone. Lastly, a major wishlist item for me. I want to fill my house with vintage style marquee lights. I’ll have an A, and an anchor, and an arrow, and a star…

I hope you’ve enjoyed my series of gift guides and maybe found a few ideas for people you plan to buy for, or for yourself. Please link me your favourite Etsy shops in the comments, always looking for more!


Christmas Gift Guide | Secret Santa/Stocking Fillers

Christmas Gift Guide 2014 Secret Santa and Stocking Fillers

Top row, left to right: ASOS Dinosaur Ankle Socks (£3); Comic Photo Frame (£4.99); POPCULT Pencils Elf Pencil Set (£3.50); Jammy Dodger Biscuit Tin (£4).

All of these gifts are £5 or under as I find that’s often the budget for office Secret Santas, plus a £20 stocking filler, isn’t really a ‘filler’ is it?

Socks. The classic old person Christmas gift. Luckily ASOS has some fun designs that people might actually want. I’m partial to dinosaurs, but there’s also Christmassy ones, My Little Pony, Kangaroos… lots of choice! This little multi photo frame comes with speech bubble stickers and a pen so that you can caption your photographic adventures, comic book stylee. I’ve spoken before about my love for POPCULT before and they have a few festive options to choose from. My favourite is the Elf set, SON OF A NUTCRACKER! This little biscuit tin is a cute option for the office sweet tooth. Everyone loves a jammy dodger.

Bottom row, left to right: Paperchase Birds on Wire A5 Lined Notebook (£4.50); Lip Shit Lip Balm (£4.99 each); Glencairn Whisky Glass (£4.95); Asda Christmas Gift Dog Costume (£4).

A nice notebook is a safe option but usually warmly welcomed. Paperchase have some nice ones for less than £5. I think the packaging of this ‘lip shit’ makes it fairly unisex and everyone needs a decent lip balm to see them through the winter. It has some interesting flavour options too, coconut and basil, anyone? For whisky drinkers, you’re not going to get them a decent bevvy for a fiver but you can get the best drinking receptacle for their chosen nectar. The shape of this glass is specifically designed to make the most of whisky and will go down well with any whisky lovers. Finally, I am in no way suggesting you get anyone a dog for Christmas, but you can get them a doggy costume for their existing canine pal. I know a few people who would love to receive a present for their pet, so think outside the box if you’re stuck for what to get someone. If you do go for a custom, maybe get the pet a wee treat to nibble on while their owner is squealing over them.

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing my favourite shops on Etsy, see you then!

Christmas Gift Guide | For Kids

Christmas Gift Guide for Kids 2014

Top row, left to right: WWF Adelie Penguin Adoption Pack (from £3 per month); LEGO The Bat vs. Bane Tumbler Chase Set (£39.99), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ninja Combat Gear Leonardo and Michelangelo (£14.99 each); H&M Christmas Jumpers for girls and boys (£9.99).

The big Christmas story this year is Monty the Penguin from John Lewis. However, I really don’t agree with paying £95 for a stuffed toy when that amount of money will help real Adelies in the Antarctic with WWF for more than two and a half years and get you a stuffed toy. An adoption set is great gift for kids (and adults) of all ages as they’ll know that they’re helping their favourite critter in the wild as well as getting something for themselves. I’m sure this next gift with induce envy into dads across the country. LEGO do amazing sets for all ages with tons to chooses from. From Disney Princess to Star Wars. I love the Batman sets and particularly this one as it includes two vehicles to build, Batman,Bane and Commissioner Gordon. TMNT is back so let your little mutants re-enact their favourite fights with these neat little dress up kits. Who is your favourite Turtle? Mine is Raphael but his sais look slightly too aggressive for the sake of this blog… If you don’t want to go down the toy route, why not treat the wee ons to a festive jumper. H&M do really cute ones for ages 1 – 10 in a variety of designs at a reasonable price.

Bottom row, left to right: Disney Frozen Musical Magic Anna and Elsa Doll Set (£69.99); Zoomer Dino (£100); The Pointless Book by Alfie Deyes (£8.99); Girl Online by Zoe Sugg (£12.99); NERF N-Strike Elite Roughcut (£19.99).

Frozen is still riding high on a wave of popularity and there are tons of Frozen gifts to choose from. I chose this one as it has both sisters and Olaf but there are cheaper options out there. The Zoomer Dino is like a Tamigotchi on steroids. It learns commands as it’s owner spends time ‘bonding’ with it. It’s also available as a dog for kids that aren’t allowed real pets. The dinosaur is cooler though. Next up we have books from two of the most popular kids on YouTube, perfect for teens that seem to spend all their time online. Lastly, apologies in advance to any parents whose kids end up with this, but if you have siblings to buy for, get them a NERF gun each, they’ll love you for it.

Christmas Gift Guide | For Him

Christmas Gift Guide For Him 2014 2

Left to right: Fixie Bike Pizza Cutter (£14.99); BOSS Bottled (from £39.99); Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle (£9.99); Zatchels Damson Leather Satchel (from £140).

For the fitness fan who like to treat himself, this bike pizza cutter is a really fun and practical gift. Pictured above is the bumblebee colourway but it’s also available in watermelon – mint and pink. Aftershave is a go to gift for most people but it can be tricky to know what people like. I think BOSS Bottled is a fairly classic fragrance which is suitable for all ages as it combines fruit, spice and musk to create s masculine scent. If in doubt, go for what you want your man to smell like and this, I like. Cocktail books can often focus on the fruity, pink umbrella style drink, especially for their cover image so I love this literature inspired option. Feel like Gatsby as you sip your way through some unique recipes, read commentary about the books that inspired them and maybe get carried away with a drinking game or too. It’s also fun of punderful names – I’ll have an Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margarita. Man bag time! What could be a better option than a classic satchel handmade in the UK. This damson satchel from Zatchels offers a subtle hint of colour while still keeping things relaxed and masculine with it’s worn in look.

Christmas Gift Guide For Him 2014 1


Left to right: Men Rock Double Edged Razor Starter Pack (£43.50); Moleskine Star Wars 12 Months Weekly Notebook Planner (£15.99); Ted Baker Round Dial Watch (£215); Smartphone Projector (£19.99).

I know it’s trendy to be beardy right now, but if you want to smooth things out (and not follow the crowd) this Double Edged Razor kit is a fantastic gift. It’s old fashioned enough to please the hipsters and it works great for a close shave. Good stationery gifts shouldn’t be restricted for the ladies and Moleskine are my go to brand when I’m buying for a gentleman. I like the Star Wars series, but there are plenty of other options if that’s not to your guy’s taste. If it is, go for Boba Fett, everyone loves Boba Fett. For a luxury item, you can’t go far wrong with a quality watch. If you’re not quite stretching to Tag Heuer prices, I really like this one from Ted Baker. The croc effect leather and stainless steel combo is timeless (see what I did there?!) and will suit a wide range of personal styles. Lastly, we’re ending on a gadget. The smartphone projector is a bit of fun, I’m sure the picture quality is atrocious but at least you’ll be able to watch YouTube videos without the boring task of holding your phone up. Seriously though, this is a neat gift for gadget lovers and I’m sure it’ll be enjoyed.

Tomorrow we’re shopping for the kids. I’ve got a wide range of ages covered, and since I’m not Tesco, I’ll leave it up to you whether the superhero stuff is for your little lady or little laddie. See you then, Santas!

Christmas Gift Guide | For Her

Christmas Gift Guide for Her 2014

Top row, left to right: Matalan Alphabet Scarf (£10); Yankee Candle Candy Cane Lane Large Jar (£19.99); Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham (£16.99); Ohh Deer Hope Cushion by Chris Wharton (£34.95).

A scarf is always a good bet for Christmas – it is cold after all – and this year it’s all about the preppy initial scarf from Matalan. 100% of the profits go to Alder Hay Children’s Hospital, so not only are you getting someone a celebrity favourite, but you’re helping out a good cause too. Warm fuzzy feeling commence. I am a bit obsessed with Yankee Candle at the moment, I honestly sit and watch their slots on QVC all the time. My current festive favourite is Candy Cane Lane – a sweet combo of peppermint and vanilla. I’m sure it’ll have universal appeal. Lena Dunham’s memoirs have provoked quite a bit of controversy so whether you’re a fan or not, Not That Kind of Girl is an interesting read. Call me sexist, but I’ve never met a woman that doesn’t love a good throw cushion. The Ohh Deer website has lots of great options from popular artists. They’re pricey for a cushion, but a real treat for an illustration fan. I obviously love the one with my name on it.

Bottom row, left to right: Paperchase Noted Black Leather Notebook (£25), Dark Romance Gold Hole Punch (£5) and Dark Romance Gold Stapler (£6); Frends Layla Headphones in Rose Gold (£129); River Island Black Studded Tote Bag (£50); Chelsea Peers Snow Rabbit Christmas Lounge Top and Pant Set (£35).

A good quality notebook or diary is always well received and Paperchase have a great selection. You can go for pretty, glittery, or classic like the one above and everything in between. For frivolities sake, why not chuck in gold desk accessories. Paperchase list them as “essentials” so there you go. Sticking with the theme of frivolity, the Frends Layla rose gold headphones are so beautiful and a real luxury item. Fashionable and functional, they’ll turn heads for sure. River Island do some great bags and I think that this black studded on will appeal to a lot of ladies. It’s a safe option if you’re not too sure of someone’s preference but still stylish. And lastly, if in doubt, go for jammies! If you’re on a budget, Primark do really great sets, but if you have slightly more to spend, these Chelsea Peers ones are gorgeous. Always go festive!

If the “her” you’re buying for loves beauty, check out my guide here, or for a foodie lady, click here.

Tomorrow we’ll be thinking about the guys in the snappily titled “for Him” gift guide. See you there!

Christmas Gift Guide | Foodies

Foodies Christmas Gift Guide 2014Top row, left to right: Hotel Chocolat Christmas Jumper (£5) and Bag of Christmas Stars (£16); Tabasco Burger Press (£14.99); Happy Jackson Snack Box – Set of 4 (£9.99); Summer Harvest Rapeseed Oils and Dressings (from £3.25).

Everyone needs a bit of luxury at Christmas and when it come to chocolate, Hotel Chocolat has you covered. I love the Christmas Jumper, a delicious, creamy, chunky milk choc slab celebrating everyone’s favourite Christmas tradition – the tacky jumper. If you know someone that goes all out on the kitsch this will be prefect for them. I also rate the bag of stars as a pre-Christmas host/hostess gift. We always have tree chocolates in our house and the pretty white stars will keep things classy this year as well as covering all bases flavour wise as the come in a combination of white, milk and dark. Burgers have been big news this year, particularly in Edinburgh where there’s been a new burger joint opening every five minutes, so I’m sure everyone has a connoisseur in their ranks. This burger press is a great little gift to challenge someone to take up the gauntlet and make their own idea of the perfect burger. And for the cook/commuter why not treat them to some fun snack boxes. Leftovers deserve respect to y’know! These Happy Jackson boxes are so cheery they’d brighten up any desk-bound lunch break. One of my favourite brands I discovered at Eat Drink Discover Scotland was Summer Harvest. They produce a delicious range of rapeseed oils and dressings and I’m sure any foodie would recognise and appreciate their quality. My favourites are the Chilli and Red Pepper Oil and the Bramble and Juniper Dressing.

Bottom row, left to right: Edinburgh Gin Raspberry Liqueur (from £10), Gin (from £12) and Elderflower Liqueur (from £10); New York Cult Recipes (£20); Flavour Magic Rock Salt and Spice Mix Combo Pack (£12.50).

Gin has been coming in to it’s own recently with lots of craft distilleries popping up, making it very de rigueur. I may be biased since it’s the local, but Edinburgh Gin has to be one of the best. It’s a very modern and clean choice for the trend concious drinker. And tasty! A cookbook is always a safe option but the latest celebrity edition may not be the most stylish.The New York Cult Recipes book looks good, but is also full of recipes you will actually want to (and be able to!) make. From pancakes to mac & cheese, it’ll give you the hunger for sure. Lastly, this gift packs a massive flavour punch. The combo pack from Flavour Magic allows you to choose from three of their infused rock salts or spice mixes and includes a free grinder. I love the Smoked Rock Salt and the Fajita Spice Mix. If you want something hot, go for the Chilli salt or Togarashi spice, you won’t be disappointed!

Hope you enjoyed my selection. Tomorrow I’ll have gifts for her, hope to see you then.

Christmas Gift Guide | Beauty Lover

Welcome to the first instalment of my Christmas Gift Guides for 2014. The the next week I’ll be posting guide daily themed around the following categories: Beauty Lover; Foodies; For Her; For Him; For the Kids; Secret Santa/Stocking Fillers; and finally Etsy Favourites. I hope it’ll give you a few idea for your loved ones, or if you’re super organised already, maybe a wee treat for yourself.

To kick things off, here are my beauty picks:

Beauty Gift Guide 1

Top row, left to right: Lush Father Christmas (£3.50), Snow Fairy (from £3.75), Candy Mountain (£2.75); Benefit Sweet Tintations (£19.50); Sali Hughes, Pretty Honest:The Straight Talking Beauty Companion (£22).

I’m sure that Lush have something for every beauty lover. The pre-boxed sets are awesome, but if you’re on a bit of a budget I think it’s a really nice idea to go in and pick up a few bits you think will appeal to your giftee. The three I have picked are ace for someone who loves sweet scents and enjoys both baths and showers. Or you might want to go for just shower stuff, or a spicier scent – just ask, the staff will keep you right! I love the Benefit sets this year and I think the Sweet Tintations is my absolute fave. I love the balms, they feel great, look great and I think will have mass appeal, while the tints are absolute classics. If you’re not sure about what product someone might like I absolutely recommend a beauty book. Pretty Honest has a lot of content, unlike many beauty books which are mainly pictures, so a great choice for a beauty obsessive.

Bottom row, left to right: Hourglass Ambient Blush Palette (£56); The Body Shop Glazed Apple Tin of Treasures (£17); Real Techniques Nic’s Picks (£30).

The Hourglass palette is just beautiful and a truly luxurious treat for someone special. It’s pricey but does offer good value in terms of Hourglass products. The Body Shop have some great gifts this year and as I’ve mentioned before, for every set they sell, they’ll donate a lesson to a child in need with War Child, so definitely worth checking out. The Glazed Apple is my favourite of their limited edition Christmas scents, it’s sweet and sour, like a Granny Smith! If nothing else, you can’t beat the presentation of the apple shaped tin. Real Techniques produce fabulous brushes at a reasonable price and I am a fan of this new set. It feature three new shapes and a combination of eye and face brushes, as well as one being a duo fibre brush. It’s currently on offer with £10 off at Superdrug, so snap it up!

Christmas Gift Guide Beauty 2Top row, left to right: Alphabet Bags ‘Ta-Da!’ Canvas Pouch (£18); Bliss Triple Oxygen Treatment Kit (£30); DKNY Gold Delicious Sparkling Apple (£36.50).

Another good option if you want to steer away from a product is a makeup bag. Alphabet Bags do a amazing range of bags with fun slogans, the hardest part will be choosing which one to go for! The Bliss Triple Oxygen range is at the top of my own wishlist, it really is so effective. So, the apple theme is entirely coincidental, but I do love an apple fragrance. I think the DKNY Sparkling Apple perfumes are a great choice for Christmas, ’tis the season to add some glitter!

Bottom row, left to right: Emma Kisstina 7 Red Nail Polishes Fashion Illustration Art Poster (£21.93); OPI Nail Lacquer Coca Cola Collection: Trio Pack (£29.95) and The Bearest of Them All with Polar Bear Gift Set (£11.95); Paul & Joe Sister Dress in Lipstick Print (£195).

I love collecting art prints and I am really keen on the nail polish and lipstick collection prints by Emma Kisstina. This would make a really unique gift. To me, Coca Cola and Christmas go hand in hand, so I love this collaboration with OPI. That polar bear is so cute! Lastly, a lipstick print dress, the ultimate fashion statement for a beauty lover.

See you tomorrow for some delicious treats for foodies!