This isn't a gift guide as such, more a collection of lovely things in case you have to shop for someone who is as horrendously picky as I am. I'm terrible at receiving presents as even after many, many years of practice, I'm unable to hide the disappointment from my face if it's something I don't want or need. And at the age of forty, there's very little that I really want or need other than a miracle eye cream and a decent night's sleep (and a bit part in the next series of Game of Thrones as Jon Snow's love interest but I'm not sure that even Father Christmas can make that happen ... I have been exceptionally good this year though, so maybe).
But back to my list of favourite things. These are all items which I've either bought myself, have received as a gift, or have been sent to review but have been so impressed with them that they deserve a second mention (I only review things which I genuinely like so these are the best of the best, so to speak). And then at the end, I'll tell you what's on my personal wish list, this year.
Firstly, Diptyque kindly sent me this gorgeous Légende pillow - a reinterpretation of one of their classic designs - from their 34 Bazaar collection and it's stunning. A quick flick through some of my home posts will give you a sense of how much I love the colour teal, and this linen cushion had me swooning as soon as I opened it.
Next up is VQ and basically, any of their radios would make an amazing gift. They are so cute, so colourful and such great quality. I have a Retro Mini and a Hepburn MkII and can thoroughly recommend both. My husband is a huge fan too, so if you're struggling for a present for a man in your life, have a look at them.
And we've reached the pink part of my guide!
I've had many magazine subscriptions over the years but none have made me slow down and read every word much like The Simple Things. It is a joy of a magazine full of wonderful features and snippets of information, all aimed at encouraging us to take time to live well. A year's subscription is £44 and rather than get one for someone else, pop it on your own Christmas list. I promise you that you won't regret it.
In 2017, I'll be using a kikki.K diary. I can't tell you yet whether it's going to be life-changing, but it sure is pretty. I'm a complete sucker for neon and stickers so I couldn't resist it.
I reviewed this fuchsia leather wrap bracelet from Merci Mamam last year, and I still love it. It's so special. This year, I have my eye on a limited edition sparkle wrap bracelet. It's just £24 and I think it would make such a thoughtful present. I wouldn't say I'm a massive fan of personalisation but I think Merci Maman nail it ... it's so discreetly done.
A few weeks ago, Etsy asked me to take part in their global #DifferenceMakesUs campaign and sent me a voucher to treat myself with. It took me hours to decide. Have you been on the Etsy website recently? There are so many talented people on there, making and selling such incredible things. After shortlisting about one thousand and twenty seven items, I finally decided on a gin teacup from Yvonne Ellen (you will not be able to look at Yvonne's page without wanting to buy something, I warn you) and the best pair of slippers I've ever owned from Onstail. Proper middle-aged purchases but I love them!!
Next is another cushion and some more stationery treats!
I reviewed two gorgeous cushions from Happy & Co back in September and a couple of months on, I still walk in to the living room and smile when I see them. I can't get enough of the print and the colours. And from a quality perspective, they're probably the best cushions I've ever had. I'm now coveting this palm beach one in marine blue. I have no home for it but I want it!
The notepad and pens above and the pencil case below are all from StickerStack. I won some items from them a couple of years ago over on Katie's blog, Mummy Daddy Me, and I've been ordering from them ever since. Whenever I have a tricky friend to buy for, I can always find something cute on their site. And I'm on my third set of the Iconic Design twin colour pens ... they're my favourites.
One of my best buys this year, and possibly another thing which you'll want to add to your own Christmas list rather than buy it for someone else, is the ONA Chelsea black leather camera bag. At £250, it's not cheap. However, I have dragged this bag everywhere and loaded it with everything - cameras, lenses, laptop - and it still looks like new. I spent ages deciding between the black leather and brown leather but whichever you opt for, they're both amazing. If you're thinking of buying one and want a more detailed review, do let me know.
Finally, if you're in need of any more ideas, here's what I have on my very own Christmas list:
1. The peg-it-all pegboard from Kreis Design - this has reignited my pegboard passion.
2. Black biker jeans from Mint Velvet - I have two pairs already and they are AMAZING!
3. These tan boots from Hudson which I may have already bought ready to go under the tree.
4. The Booths tote bags - they make me smile every time I seem them.
5. A flamingos and pineapples makeup bag from Yvonne Ellen - I can't look at it without grinning.
I hope these ideas are helpful and if you want to know any more about any of them, just leave me a comment.
So, what are you asking Santa for this year? Anything nice?