One Stop Christmas Shop: Etsy

etsy gifts
We know – biologically – that we are creates of habit but it is easy to forget to what degree this is true. Over the holiday season, many of us have habitual routines or traditions that provide us emotional security blankets.

It wasn’t until one of my closest friends decided to embark on an ‘Amazon-free Christmas’ that I realised these habits could be as much a hindrance as they are a help.

With that in mind, I thought I would create a few One Stop Christmas Shop gift guides for you, dear reader. The aim of these guides will be to inspire and excite your Christmas purchases, all while making sure you check off everyone on your list – mother, brother, father, lover and beyond – as conveniently as possible.

First up? Etsy.

Shop Etsy:
Vintage Steamer trunk
Cloud pendant necklace
Eye Coal
Whatever, I’m Late Anyway watch
Bow and owl dog sweater
Wooden easel dock for an iPhone 5
Rose gold wishbone necklace
Ombre measuring cups (the ‘new home’ gift of dreams!)
Should I Wash My Hair Today? Flowchart
Retro Star Wars art

Holiday Party Inspiration: Fashion and then some…

holiday party inspiration
Party Dresses:
– The Vivienne Westwood Mini Cocotte Dress is probably the sexiest dress in the world (we’re talking classy sexy, not ‘naked dress’ sexy). An investment piece, for sure – but don’t you deserve a Christmas present, too?
– Carven’s waist-tied printed silk dress is luxurious, comfortable, and features a perfectly autumnal print.
– Combining a number of trends (and getting away with it), River Island’s printed dress is the kind of garment you can wear with a simple pair of simple heels and still steal the show.

Dancing shoes:
– Pair the Liliana Black Cross boots with a slinky LDB and knock ‘em dead.
– These Menbur bow pumps are are definitive show stoppers for holiday parties and beyond.
– Want something even sparklier? Now is the time to whip out the bigguns. these platforms from Aldo are a prime example.

The Party Dress Alternative:
The holidays flood most retail stores with ‘party looks’ and, naturally, most shoppers follow suit. Despite my inclination towards shiny things and dresses, I get a bit of a nauseous sensation when I come across a group of skimpy sequinned sistas. For those wanting to break the mould, look towards designers like JW Anderson; mix-matched textures, rich colours, and a cosy take on couture.

The Mince Pie Concealers:
One of my fittest female friends spends quite a bit of money on quality ‘mince pie concealers’ at this time of year. She also ends up, regardless of the number of ‘shapewear’ brands she trials, singing the praises of Spanx. From their Boostie-Yay Corset (perfect for bodycon dresses) to their Uptown Blackout Tights (why not kill two birds with one stone?) to the Slimmer & Shine open bust bodysuit (which is both a box-ticker and incredibly sensual to the touch – my personal favourite), there is a solution for everyone.

The Afterparty:
The answer to all your post-party woes, my friends, is Fitflop. For Londoners in particular, heels never seem to look as haute when you have a twenty minute walk ahead of you. Pack a pair of FF2 ballerinas in your handbag and you’re golden. Literally. The new design is all the same pressure-diffusing technology covered in a metallic, leather-lined case. All while being feather light. You’ll thank me later.

Christmas Gift Ideas: Lingerie from Agent Provocateur (The Good Stuff!)

agent provocateur christmas gift ideas
It has taken no time at all for London to don itself in its Christmas best, and therefore kick off the festive frenzy. Alongside the holiday cheer, music, food, et al, everyone’s got Christmas lists on the brain.

So, fellas: I’m here to help you first. While lingerie tends to be one of the most popular gifts given to women in relationships, I feel that there are two very important things to consider before buying a lovely lady some lingerie:
1. Does she want lingerie? Some women love it, some women don’t. If it’s not ‘on her list’ or not something she would typically invest in, lingerie may be more of a gift for you than it is for her.
2. What kind of lingerie do you buy? In my opinion, lingerie should be classy and luxurious – especially when it is a gift. For me, nothing beats the quality and style of Agent Provocateur, hence my very handy Christmas gift ideas guide, below.

Shop Agent Provocateur:
Agent Provocateur Petale Noir Eau De Parfum Spray 100ml
‘Penelope’ Corset
Idalia non-padded demi bra
‘Vanesa’ Underwire Demi Bra
Esthar suspenders
Lucila body

The Complete Collar Shopping Guide

collar shopping guide
As a blogger, I get especially excited for this time of year. It’s my personal favourite of all the shopping seasons, I adore helping people find great gifts and gift experiences, and I trawl through everyone else’s shopping guides like the PA of Mr. Claus himself.

Thankfully, clicking through Yahoo’s 15 Snuggly New Accessories For A Cold Winter (without which I would never have discovered my penchant for furry designer shoes – oh, Valentino) reminded me of a blog promise I made to one of my favourite people…

…a showcase of my favourite snuggly accessory; The Complete Collar Shopping Guide*.

Shop the image:
Silver tone draped chain collar necklace
Cream faux fur collar
Jewelled Collar necklace in green
White Cotton Hands Collar
White Embroidered Fauna Collar
Vince Camuto Spring-Hinge Collar Necklace
Flower Pattern Cut Out Peter Pan Collar Necklace

*Of which we know I hold a flame for.

Last Minute, Cheap (and Amazing) Secret Santa Gifts: Christmas Gift Ideas 2013

last minute secret santa gifts
Okay, to be clear: this is a very female-focused list. Last-minute gifts for men are just not my forte; see, Reindeer Beer.

Fortunately, the rest of these gifts are nothing short of amazing and all under £20!

Last Minute, Cheap (and Amazing) Secret Santa Gifts:
Test tube shot glasses from River Island
Snow leopard faux fur cushion from Biba
Handbag headphone jack from Etsy
NW3 Compass Bangle from Hobbs
What Would Blair Waldorf Do pencils from Etsy
Pearl and chain headband from Miss Selfridge