(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!
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.
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!)
Last year’s LUSH Boxing Day haul post is one of the most popular on my blog, and with good reason, because LUSH products are awesome and a LUSH haul is easily one of the best posts to read, ever. This year, again, on Boxing Day morning, I was quick with my clicking towards the UK LUSH website to nab some sale goodies (at 50% off!). The bunch above is the entirety of my haul, and I’m so excited about all the products!
Firstly, I got a little pot of Santa’s lip scrub, which smells like sweet cola, and is the absolute best lip scrub you can ever wish for. Lip scrubs are really easy to make from scratch (oil and sugar), but the LUSH lip scrubs are too lovely to pass up. This one even had little red hearts in the mixture, awwh.
I also got a little bottle of I Love Juicy shampoo, which is supposed to be a great cleansing shampoo, and I really look forward to try it out and see how it works with removing build up and all the gunk of products in my hair.
Lastly, I splurged a little on the Winter Garden bauble gift set, which is such a lovely bundle of products. It contained a little bottle of Rose Jam shower gel, and I’ve already spoken about how it is one of my current favourite products. There was also a tiny sample of the Helping Hands hand cream (which is really nice), and a tub of Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner (which I’ve been wanting to try for over a year). Finally, I got a huge slab of Sultana of Soap, which is so creamy, and I hope I get to use it ASAP (even though I have a million and one other things for the shower which need to be used up).
I love LUSH. So much. Especially their Christmas stuff. Especially on sale. Mmm.
Cranberry sauce for a Christmas meal.
A great hot chocolate mix I made for Christmas eve.
Watching Love Actually on Christmas Day with my wonderful boyfriend.
Possibly the best Christmas gift ever.
Enjoy the rest of the Christmas/New Year celebrations!
Merry Christmas to all my lovely readers. I’m grateful for every one of you, and hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy compiling posts throughout the year. My blog will be three years old on January 1st, which is insane, but also warm and fuzzy and familiar.
On Sunday, I went to a mega Christmastime meal with the paternal half of my boyfriend’s family. As my own offering, I made some from-scratch cranberry sauce to accompany the stuffed turkey main course. It turned out to be quite a success, and only took about 15 minutes of effort (which mostly consisted of rinsing cranberries and gentle stirring). A tip for that recipe: don’t be stingy with the sugar – I even chucked in a few heaped spoonfuls of brown sugar.
Have a lovely few days. :)
This was one of my lunches this week – at my usual lunchtime-in-Valletta haunt. The sausages + mushrooms + eggs were Amazing.
Also, I found these Mr Kipling mince pies at a supermarket this week. This means that Christmas is officially here. And I couldn’t be more pleased about that. *wipes off mince pie crumbs*
This week was the first week at uni and tomorrow a further bunch of lectures will be added to my routine. I’m dreading every.second. of this, and I can’t imagine how I’m going to survive this year. Ughhh.
Hope everyone’s weekend is lovely and that next week will be calmly productive. :)