Festive Friday: Gifts for your Guy

Or any guy in fact.

 photo 2014-12-03183234_zps29ddbe27.jpgI love giving presents. I love to put thought and effort into the gift, wrap it nicely (though it still looks horrific), present it with a smile. I feel so happy when someone loves what I’ve bought them. But that often makes the process of actually buying the present horrendous for me. I constantly stress over choices, obsess about what they might already have, and generally just freak out. Buying for my boyfriend is the worst, and I am sure he’d possibly say the same about me!

 photo 2014-12-03183437_zpsc9051f1a.jpgSmall gifts often go down really well, especially alongside something more sentimental, something homemade. I was trying to knit him a scarf this year. As in, I have been trying since January. It’s not gone well, and if he can wrap two rows of hole-y thread around his neck, I’m sure he’d be grateful. But anyway, he’s some ideas for stocking fillers for you man, or bigger gifts for any other guys in your life.

 photo 2014-12-03183314_zps5c8b8ce7.jpg photo 2014-12-03183304_zps4e29a1be.jpgTechnology is always a good bet for a boy! Something different also goes down well too – and I reckon those who “have everything” will love a living room keyboard (Logitech*). Connecting with your TV, it really enhances viewing experiences. More practical and not as exciting, I’ve also included an external hardrive. I wasn’t going to include this, it’s actually part of an insurance post coming in the New Year, but my boyfriend got hold of this one* when I received it and I think he would rather like one himself! Though perhaps with 2TB we can share…

 photo 2014-12-03183329_zpsec39374b.jpgGoing different, and this water bottle with in built filter is a great little stocking filler. I have a bug bear with tap water, as I know I actually get physically ill in different parts of the country due to water. I have one of these which I use for work, and it really does seem to make a difference. Mine’s from Water To Go*, and I highly recommend it!

 photo 2014-12-03183148_zpsf4861e9d.jpg photo 2014-12-03183513_zps8b4346c4.jpgNow for toiletries. Christmas is the time of year where you fill your bathroom cupboards for the next few months! I’m quite picky on guys scents (Paul Smith is my favourite!), and was worried this Ted Baker Gift Tin* wouldn’t be too my taste – but I actually really like it. Nice and fresh, and not too masculine that I can’t borrow it (ahem). They have some great sets with wallets in too, and they’re damn good value. Far nicer smelling than the female version I remember of my teenage years…

So there’s guys stocking fillers…and that’s perhaps not the best way of putting it! Now I better get cracking as he unhelpfully has a birthday right at the beginning of January, and all my ideas have proved impossible.

Do you hate shopping for presents? What have you got your man this Christmas? Any clues for a twenty-first present?!

 

Festive Friday: Christmassy Jumpers

I’m not a huge jumper fan. I rarely wear jeans, I live in floral dresses and skirts (and pyjamas…) and cosy cardigans are my go-to cover ups. But there’s something about a festive jumper that screams Christmas, and for a few weeks I’ll happily live in one. I tend not to go too festive, and I still tend to accessorise with tartan scarves, but these are my wardrobes concession to festiveness. Excuse the slightly yellow light – the new lightshade in my room might look pretty, but isn’t helpful for blog photos!

 photo 2014-12-03183821_zps21671c4a.jpg photo 2014-12-03183838_zpsde03ec6a.jpgNot strictly a Christmassy jumper, but I’m so glad I splurged on this Terrier number from Joules (one of my favourite shops!) last year. Not only does it match my fur-baby, the cashmere makes it feel wonderfully soft and luxurious – as it should for the price I paid (especially considering the assistant neglected to give my three-year NUS card back, and I never saw it again). The colours make it suitable to wear whatever time of year, and it looks great dressed with with smart trousers as well as thrown over jeans.

 photo 2014-12-03184037_zps5fd79350.jpg photo 2014-12-03183859_zps6199e167.jpgSorry to say, but I failed at taking a photo of my real dog against my jumper-dog! Real dog just wouldn’t sit still for the camera, so his feet are the best I have! See here for the likness!

 photo 2014-12-03183234-Copy_zps8fb923d9.jpgNext up and I couldn’t resist included my boyfriend in his festive jumper. A classic reindeer in a lovely berry shade, this was a bargain from New Look. I think men’s jumpers are so much nicer than womens – especially this year as there’s far too many pastel colours around! M&S have some lovely ones this year, there’s one I’m desperate to get him but being short on funds makes this unlikely…sorry my love!

 photo 2014-12-03183853_zpsd072b36f.jpgNow for my favourite festive item – not a jumper, but a ridiculously oversized cardigan. It’s unbelievably a Size 8, and from Warehouse, but I’m afraid you’ll only pick this one up by rifling through attics as it’s actually older than me! This was one of my mum’s 18th presents many years ago, so many that it is officially a vintage piece. I’ve loved this for years, and I finally bagged it two years ago. Perfect with skinny jeans, and it acts as a festive dressing gown on Christmas morning too. Oh, and its warm enough to wear without a coat. I love it!
 photo 2014-12-03183831_zps67a0837a.jpg

Are you a fan of Christmas jumpers? What one are you wearing this year?

Festive Friday: Decorating Small Spaces on Small Budgets

I’ve never lived in a big house, big enough for our family of four plus dog(s) but with no space to spare. Our Christmas tree is rarely fully up (we usually leave the bottom, widest part in the loft) as it takes up too much space, and other decorations are placed where we hopefully won’t fall over them immediately. Christmas morning of 1999 saw me fly across the hall floor, colliding my face with the corner of a wooden cabinet, but I think that’s the only more serious accident we’ve had. That and my granddad virtually sawing his hand off whilst potting the tree (we now have a fake one!) but that’s another story…

 photo 47dcd0b2-46b7-44f0-9ffb-92a6d27df6fb_zps32de00eb.jpgSince becoming a student, I’ve found decorating for Christmas a real struggle. For one there’s the lack of pennies. Then there’s the horrendous pre-existing colour scheme in halls, that nothing matches. And of course, you more than likely move every year, so you need something to go with everything. And you also don’t want to go to over the top, as it will still be up when you return from your holidays mid-January.

 photo fc07e33d-ca1a-4f8d-877b-03d85a014cfd_zps6431b94f.jpgWilko has become my new-go to for cheap home accessories over the past two (gulp!) years. It’s pretty good quality, but also lightweight – perfect for lugging back from town without a car, and for packing up each and every year. Colours are bright and cheerful, and that brings me onto my next point. I try not to have too much of a theme when it comes to decorating for Christmas. My mum’s tree is a gorgeous combination of teal and gold, and I can’t wait to have a fully coordinating decor theme in a few years time. But whilst I’m trying to fit things into rented rooms, I’m going for a light reflecting silver, and lots of bright contrasting colours.

 photo 639a46dd-b11f-472b-bbc5-f0354d9b79e9_zps3b4a068d.jpgMy plan this year (I try to switch it up so I don’t get bored!) is to hang alternating silver and colour baubles on silver beading, and drape this all around my very small room. The majority of my baubles are from Wilkos, as is the ridiculous cheap beading, and they have them in so many colours. At £5 for all the decorations I needed it was well worth it!

 photo 7105c15b-9d60-40d1-8024-ac6af3e92af1_zps732f2d63.jpgHowever I was also offered the chance to review some goodies from UK Christmas World, and what better way to test them out by ordering “shatter resistant baubles.” I went for the set of 9 Masquerade Baubles*, and I’m pleased to say they all arrived intact (and very speedily too!). These are huge baubles if I am honest, and very, very glittery. Pleasingly this didn’t mean I had glitter all over my bed after taking these photos – I feel these are really good quality for the price.

Homemade decorations is also a way to go – pine cones look wonderfully festive piled into jars. Me and my boyfriend made a lovely paper star last year, I’m hoping to remember how we did it and post instructions over on instagram soon! So far I haven’t made anything homemade, but I don’t think it will be too long…

 photo 85f4b4fd-844c-4c9c-8e3c-c69b626aba5b_zps146c60ac.jpgMy number one top tip for decorating on a budget is to lean towards items which aren’t strictly Christmassy. I fell in love with this Lit Heart*, and couldn’t resist. Again it’s a pretty decent size, and being battery powered means you don’t have to worry about rising electricity bills. Plus I know there will be no rush to take this down come January, it fits in with my current room perfectly.

 photo 2412a8c6-a5d4-49e3-a238-a900e0250b80_zps715cfa44.jpgGood lighting is a much in small spaces. My current room is by far the smallest I’ve lived in since I was 10, and it is a bit of a squeeze. I have to be careful to keep things tidy, and Christmas clutter is not an appealing thought. Keep my room bright with festive lighting, however, is another story. Following on from my previous tip of avoiding being too festive, I picked out this Blossom Tree* – again something that will look lovely come spring.

 photo c41be6cc-c4a0-40a6-905d-9dd9e42aa841_zps2ee9aa32.jpgAnd of course, no Christmassy room is complete without festive candles! My favourite this year is the Cinnamon & Mandarin offering from MUJI (seriously the best value candles I’ve come across!). The scent throw off is amazing even unlit, and paired with a simple vanilla scent my room is smelling amazing.

I hope it’s not too early to decorate for Christmas! Have you decorated yet? What’s your colour scheme? Any tips for decorating on a budget?