It’s my birthday in about a month, and I have quite a wishlist this year:
One of the best things about Christmastime is back. LUSH always come out with their best stuff towards Christmas, so when I was invited to their LUSH Blog Party at LUSH Luxembourg, I was so chuffed that I could go. As always, they greeted us with delicious nibbles and drinks, and showed us all the beautiful new products. I mean, just look at that igloo made of colourful soap!
The ever-wonderful LUSH staff presented the new Christmas range through an adorable Christmas story, which involved a Santasaurus (seen at the top of this post) going on a journey. They really got into it, including a full-on preview of the magnificent Papa Noël face jelly:
Here are the amazing products I left LUSH with (and I’ve already used most of them!):
Basically, LUSH products are highly recommended as Christmas presents, or treats for yourself. Remember to keep an eye out for their Boxing Day sale as well.
(Kittens, unfortunately, not included.)
For a lot of people, a well-chosen book is the perfect gift for the holidays. Here is a selection of books which I think would make lovely presents this year:
- In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware – a crime story that they won’t be able to put down.
- Gramma by Leanne Ellul – a Maltese book that’s aimed at teenagers, but I fully enjoyed it as an adult.
- Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur – beautiful poems for the super-woman in your life.
- Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris – for anyone who’s obsessed with language/spelling/grammar.
- Graffiti by Savannah Brown – a book of poetry by a teenage YouTuber (she’s now 20 though, I believe), and she’s my new favourite poet (after Kate Tempest, of course).
- Hold Your Own by Kate Tempest – this woman is incredible. That’s it. Just buy this book for yourself, for your dog, for your colleagues. It’s great.
Happy reading and gifting!
Another year, another Christmas wishlist.
As many of you may know, Christmastime is one of my Favourite Times of the Year, so I’m always excited about the prospect of gift-buying and gift-getting and food-consuming. Although we all know it’s mostly about the mulled wine. Oh yeah.
(They have a special type of mulled wine at the Christmas market here in Luxembourg – which kicks off this week – with a little hovering thing over the mug of mulled wine which they LIGHT ON FIRE, and my Christmas-market-bestie Tiara is visiting in a few days and I cannot WAIT to consume this with her once again.)
So, apart from mulled wine money, this is my wishlist for this year:
- HP Sprocket – I saw this on a YouTube ad, and it’s enchanted me. A little printer to print phone pictures?! Perfect.
- Book vouchers/bookdepository.com vouchers – I am very much in a book-buying swoop at the moment. All the books.
- A trip to a second-hand bookshop – This year I’ve rekindled my love for second-hand bookshops. I love them, and I love spending time in them and leafing through the beautiful books.
- Flight tickets to Malta – Being in Malta is still one of my favourite things ever. I cherish the time so, so much. Maybe that’s the best thing about living in Luxembourg. :P
- Flight tickets to almost anywhere, for that matter – Travelling is firmly towards the top of my list of priorities at the moment. I’m so open to new adventures.
- A good handbag (I’m always in need of one) – And I don’t even know where to start. Where does one find a good handbag? Argh.
- Skater dresses (always) – Still my daily uniform for any occasion. I love wearing dresses. Give me more.
Have a wonderful Christmastime.
In my world, books are the perfect gifts. They’re the gift of an experience, as well as a physical product, and it’s such a personal offering – (hopefully) the person giving you the book thought about the contents and story of the book, and they’ve decided to actually give you the opportunity to own this new story and this new physical book. Bonus points if the book/edition is particularly nice to look at and to own.
Here are some suggestions of books which might be perfect for friends/family/acquaintances this Christmas:
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – a beautiful story for the fledgling feminist in your life.
- The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson – a Gothic novella for someone who’d love a quick, exciting read of a classic.
- Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry – a vivid story about family and struggles, perhaps for someone who’s dealing with ageing family members or tough circumstances.
- An Atlas of Countries That Don’t Exist by Nick Middleton – a really gorgeous coffee-table book for the history/geography lover in your life.
- Yes Please by Amy Poehler – a hilarious compilation of anecdotes and strangely useful advice for a kick-ass woman.
- Wild by Cheryl Strayed – a moving story for anyone who might be feeling a little lost.
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie – my favourite whodunnit for someone who loves a good riddle.
Hope you receive a tonne of beautiful books yourself this year. :)
The Christmas range at LUSH is always very, very exciting. LUSH Luxembourg threw a fabulous bloggers’ party a few weeks ago to show us all their new products, and I am beyond obsessed with their beautiful offerings this year.
The products in our goody bag included:
- Fairy Dust dusting powder – freshening shimmery powder to dust on before a festive party or even just a dreary afternoon.
- Santa Baby lip tint – the perfect festive red which lasts all day.
- Butterbear bath bomb – I actually MADE this bad boy during the bloggers’ party. His nose is made out of actual cocoa powder, and its smell evokes cosy, hot chocolate-y, buttery hugs.
- Santa’s Belly shower jelly – shower jellies always make me laugh as I rub them over my body in the shower. AND THIS ONE HAS RED WINE IN IT.
- Yog Nog bath bomb – spicy toffee goodness.
- Five Gold Rings bubble bar(s) – this is what I’d call a Christmas bath product which is on point. So much glitter. So little time.
- Peeping Santa bubble bar – this guy is the cutest. And he smells so fruity!
- Star Dust bath bomb – not a strong one, seems like it would be very soothing.
- The Magic of Christmas reusable bubble bar – THIS. This one is too special. At the end of an actual(!) cinnamon stick is a reusable bubble bar of wonder. Includes some ridiculous bells.
We also got to try some glorious products for the face – including the Cranberry festive face mask and the Bûche de Noël cleanser.
There was another special surprise at the bloggers’ party… a GRAND prize…
Each blogger chose a Christmas cracker at random…
AND MINE WAS THE WINNING ONE. I still can’t believe it. I won the super-mega grand prize: a 12 Days of Christmas gift set!
I was (and still am!) flabbergasted. It’s the most wonderful gift set, and would be exceedingly perfect for the LUSH lover in your life.
It includes: a Butterbear bath bomb, a Holly Golightly bubble bar (glitter alert!), an Avobath bath bomb, The Comforter shower cream, Celebrate body lotion (a huge favourite of mine), Yuzu and Cocoa shower gel (chocolate orange heaven – I can’t wait to use this one!), Five Gold Rings bubble bar(s), a Cinders bath bomb (a classic), Yog Nog soap (this smells AMAZING), a Snow Angel bath melt, a Golden Wonder bath bomb (possibly my most favourite LUSH product ever!), and a Dashing Santa bath bomb. Wow!
TL;DR – the LUSH Christmas range is fantastic. Buy everything.
I also paid a visit to the LUSH Oxford Street flagship store a few weeks ago… Wait for a post about that too ;)
Christmas is about a month away! Very exciting, particularly because I’m fully engaging in the “going-home-for-Christmas” process, since I’m flying over to Malta from Luxembourg for a few weeks (including a little jaunt up to Rome for a few days too!). My heart warms up at the thought of seeing so many friends and family members at Christmastime.
And then there are the present exchanges! Who’s excited? I am. Here are some items on my Christmas wishlist this year:
- Books, books, books, books. They’re always a Number 1 excellent gift for me. Some beautiful ones I’d love to receive this year include Hold Your Own by Kate Tempest, a beautiful edition of Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Swimming Lessons and Other Stories by Rohinton Mistry.
- A Daniel Wellington watch. Yes, this watch. I can’t decide whether I’d prefer the regular big one (with the beautiful minute markings) or else the smaller one (pictured), which would fit my wrist much better. Hmmm.
- A Feminism-related T-shirt for working out. My wonderful friend Anke bought me a “Feminist as Fuck” T-shirt for Christmas last year and I have worn it SO MUCH. I wear it almost every time I work out, and I practically live in it when I go to music festivals. I need more. MOOOOORE. Some of my favourites (not all SFW): “Females are strong as hell”. “Girls just wanna have fundamental human rights”. “Angry Liberal Feminist Killjoy”. “I don’t only have glitter in my veins”. “Feminist as Fuck”. (Again, of course.) (Or this one.)
- A Chicwish midi skirt. OH MY DEAR GOD. These are so beautiful! I want one I want one I want one so much. But I haven’t clicked ‘Order’ yet because I can’t justify spending my dwindling financial resources on a skirt which I don’t reeeeally need. But ARGH. So beautiful! This is my favourite one, but it seems to be sold out. The ones in the collage above are also gorgeous.
- NUTTY unicorn slippers from ASOS. My lovely friend Maxine gave me a perfect pair of slippers for my birthday a few years ago. And I seem to have worn them every single day since. And now they are getting a little… tattered. Too much love. SO. I clearly need some unicorn slippers to replace them. Yes. Although they seem to be sold out, which makes me ever so sad.
I could also (as always) use more mascara, a new portable (fun) umbrella, a clip-on hard plastic case for my MacBook Air (13″), a list of countries poster, my friends’ awesome game, and chocolate. Mmm, chocolate. (And wine.)
Have a great Christmastime! Someone pass the mince pies.
I’m turning 26 on 18 March, and I have no idea how I’m going to be spending the day, but I’m very excited. And, as usual, I have compiled a little wishlist of things I would (hypothetically, tee hee) love to receive as gifts.
- A Daniel Wellington watch (with rose gold edges) – I’ve been wanting this for about a year, and it’s so gorgeous and sophisticated, yet not at all flashy…
- Dining out at fancy restaurants – I love a good meal at a good restaurant, and this sort of treat is one which might seem like a “waste of money” for some, but for me it is one of the loveliest experiences; I don’t forget special meals out, and I cherish the memories and the time spent with special people.
- Travel – whether it’s just the planning or whether it’s a concrete train/plane ticket, travel is what I ache for every day. And now that I live in the centre of Europe, it’s so easy (and quite surreal) to think about how, for example, I can be in the heart of Paris in two hours (TWO HOURS).
- Crooked House (Agatha Christie) – I’m becoming quite the Christie fan, and I’ve heard fantastic things about this one, so it’s next in line and would be the perfect gift. <3
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Neil Gaiman) – I’ve heard such excellent things about Neil Gaiman, and it’s high time that I give one of his books a go. This one has been given some pretty good reviews, so I think it could be a good gift for me to start off with his oeuvre, as it were.
- Diptyque Vanille candle – I finally forked out the money for a Diptyque candle at the end of January, and I can see what the fuss is about. Even Dave, my boyfriend, has been pestering me to “put on Feu de Bois” in the evenings. They’re magical candles, and I’d love to own another one soon.
Other options include: nice perfume (which I haven’t been able to find anywhere), a leather jacket I’ve had my eye on, and just more books.
So, just a few things, apart from gender equality and world peace and stuff. And perhaps this wishlist has inspired you to buy a gift for a special person in your own life (even if it’s just yourself). :)
Do you know that I’m fond of books? You probably do. Reading has always been one of my favourite things to do, and I think there’s nothing better than a great book as a gift. Here are my Christmas 2014 suggestions for your friends/family/other-people-you-have-to-buy-a-present-for:
- The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde: Wilde’s plays are always an amusing read, and his wit is absolutely hilarious. These timeless plays are great for young and old alike, and The Importance of Being Earnest will prove to be a forever-favourite.
- Around the World in Eighty Days – Jules Verne: I read this when I was very young, and Verne immediately became one of my favourite authors. His stories are always magnificent, and if someone in your life hasn’t read this classic, go ahead and buy it for them to read on Christmas weekend.
- On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan: I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but this is one of my absolute favourite books by Ian McEwan, and he’s my favourite author. It was the first one of his books that I had ever read (it was either this one or one of his short story collections…), and I fell in love instantly. It’s a very quick read, and a beautiful, sad story. I’ve actually already bought a copy to give to someone myself this year!
- Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead – Sheryl Sandberg: While reading this book (which is not without its irrelevant bits and not without its flaws – like any book, I guess), I kept nodding and thinking “YES.”, and sort of wanted everyone in my life to read it. It’s certainly not just for women, but it’s a fantastic book about leadership and having an effective work ethic. I also really want to read the Graduate edition, which will probably be a thousand times more relevant for me at the moment.
- The Clockwork Muse: A Practical Guide to Writing Theses, Dissertations & Books – Eviatar Zerubavel: This book was recommended to me by my wonderful + so beautiful Dutch friend, Eline, who mentioned it to me while I was struggling with my Doctor of Laws thesis. It really, really helped, and bits of it stuck in my mind, so much so that I think about it and its suggestions even when it comes to different types of writing, not just thesis-writing. Buy this for any aspiring novelist/writer in your life, or for the poor student who’s struggling to write that wretched thesis/dissertation.
- Kulħadd ħalla isem warajh – Clare Azzopardi: My Maltese pick for this Christmas – a beautiful book that became an immediate favourite by the time I was halfway through it. Its structure makes it very pleasant to read, and the characters are ones that will keep lingering in your mind forever. I kind of wish this book could go on forever.
Let me know if you have any other Christmas (book) present suggestions! I might just buy them for myself…
Last year, I finally took the plunge and purchased a Frankie Daily Journal (the previous year, I had wanted one but they had sold out too quickly!). I had seen a lot of good things about them online over the years, but it’s a different thing to own one. I just wanted to jot down a few thoughts about it, since it’s been quite special to have a daily journal at hand for a year – not something I usually do. (I usually stick to jotting things down on my Google Calendar, and that’s about it).
This diary is a beautiful little book – and feels so luxurious. The almost-square shape is so pretty, and it’s going to look gorgeous on a shelf when I’m done with it. It’s lovely to have something to keep my thoughts and special moments from a particular time jotted down, even if I did neglect the journal for a few months this year… I hope I’ll be more consistent next year! (Yes, I’ve already ordered the 2015 one, and I’m so excited to fill it in with thoughts from a new life in Luxembourg.)
Now, let’s talk about what’s inside. The journal is SO FULL of things:
- A ribbon to track your place.
- A pocket at the back to keep whatever you need to keep.
- Delightful patterns (that change with the month!)
- Gorgeous illustrations.
- Month “front pages” that are like little paintings.
- Little bookmark-style pull-out lists.
- A couple of pages showing the whole year.
- Pages showing each month.
- A little double-page year-view calendar just for birthdays.
- Oh-so-many more things.
(Some more photos here.) (And here.)
It goes unsaid that this would make a fantastic present, and I highly recommend this beautiful journal. (So totally can’t wait for the 2015 one to arrive in the mail and to start using it!)