Lifestyle: Christmas & Birthday Gifts

I really wasn’t going to do one of these posts. I’m a relatively private person, opening presents in front of those who gave them actually makes me really nervous; not because I don’t think I’ll like the present (the vast majority of people know me so well that I always get something I love!) but because I worry my gratitude will seem false. I’m also really, really slow at opening presents too, it drives my family mad! But I received such lovely, lovely gifts for both Christmas and my 21st that I couldn’t help but share. I hope it goes without saying that this certainly isn’t a bragging post, but more of a thank-you post to my nearest and dearest who gifted so wonderfully. I love you all, and I hope you love your gifts!

And, y’know, I’m really nosey. I’ve loved reading through what other people got, so I thought I’d do the same!

 photo e3e99fa8-edf6-4d1a-a2ae-be4b2a55283e_zps90770c07.jpgI haven’t photographed everything (living between three different houses has it’s complications!), and I probably won’t manage to “list” everything, but I’m truly, truly grateful for everything I’ve received.

 photo aca5ae4f-d8de-471f-9de4-2fa9558aa2f1_zpsff82f1ad.jpgI couldn’t pick a best present, even if my life depended on it. I loved my 21st surprise – instructed that I’d need warm and sensible clothes with decent footwear, it was something I’d got nowhere near guessing! My 50mm camera lens will be getting a lot of use over the coming months – note that it looks huge here as I have it attached to a mount adapter. A Le Creuset roasting dish extends my (orange) collection. I love the brand, they look stunning, cook things beautifully and are blissfully easy to clean. Expensive, but I reckon they are worth gradually buying. I only wish the casserole dishes weren’t so heavy, as I physically can’t lift them! And W amazed me again with an engraved white gold locket. A sentimental present that fits into my everyday life, I love it.

 photo 89021abd-fbe3-4116-a178-cf37125e0c17_zps757c3c56.jpg photo 9505a0f0-84f0-4d83-830a-459e588e3707_zpse21ae840.jpgMakeup wise and my lovely mummy bought me the Hourglass Ambient Light palette way back in September. Hidden in her wardrobe since, it’s every bit as beautiful as I remember. A dream to apply, I can actually contour and highlight my face even without a mirror. Again, expensive. But nothing I’ve used before even gets close to living up to this. I also spent some of my money from W’s parents in MAC on the way back to Surrey, picking up another lipstick. I’m slowly building up my stash, and seem to be picking up less popular colours. Let me know if you’d like to see a post!

 photo d16ccdd4-e1d3-4eba-b500-311731be36fd_zps9b969d00.jpgOne of my most lusted after things of 2014 was a set of heated rollers, and W’s parents so very generously gifted me the Enrapture set for my birthday. I’ve only used them once so far, and considering I did it on my own the results weren’t half bad. My placing was slightly off, I probably should have reheated halfway through, and I definitely noticed the lack of hairspray, but I’m already on my way to being in love. Far easier than curling tongs, and I do feel vintage-ly glamorous!

 photo 00a239c0-f5bb-43e7-8ade-5f2b9252c35b_zpsc11f7247.jpgThis Cath Kidston timer has been on my wish-list since I first spotted it months ago. What is strange is that it wasn’t bought by my boyfriend (who had heard me witter on about it). It wasn’t purchased by my parents, who know that it’s the spitting image of our dog. Nor was it bought by anyone who had actually read my wish-list. Nope, my landlady bought it for me!

 photo 3d5c2b21-9e24-4136-a897-1293d861f4c9_zps2b3af53c.jpgCandles are something I’ve seriously got into in recent months, and I received loads to add to my burn-list. A lovely scented one from a university secret-Santa, a log-fire scent one from Will, and a selection of mini-tins from my parents. Shoreline is an amazing scent, but all of them are pretty gorgeous.

 photo 35343c64-f7bb-4ea9-acd2-14d5872c5ee8_zpsdf768950.jpgNot strictly presents, but some lovely treats this past month too. I recently won a competition run by Curry’s with my post about living with nightmare housemates, and my prize was an ASUS Chromebook. It arrived in time for my birthday, and it’s so lovely. Not a substitute for a laptop as it doesn’t run Office, but great for blogging. I’ve left it at my parents and now don’t have to lug my laptop up and down the country virtually every other weekend, but it will be perfect for university next year! And a massive (7kg!) parcel from The Leather Satchel Co arrived two days before Christmas. I’ve found out I’d achieved a massive figure in my affiliate account (which is now closed, so no discount code at the moment I’m afraid – I’m still looking to work with the company though so keep your eyes peeled!). I ordered my mum an extra present, and myself two beauties from the sale. Will is getting a custom bag too, once he’s decided on colours! This patent taupe satchel has been on my wishlist for a year, and its’s every bit as stunning as I imagined. I love it…though I’m now running out of storage space. I think I’m up to seven satchels now…

Recipe books always feature heavily in my present pile, and this year was no exception. Though I’m having to stop asking for them now until at least after university, as I’m threatening to become overrun. Oops. I received this year’s GBBO book (of which I’ve also made some delicious peanut cookies), lasts year GBBO finalist Ruby’s book (surprisingly scientific, I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into this one) and Paul Hollywood’s Puds & Pies (rabbit pie is on the menu as soon as they are in season!).

 photo a7eaf06f-791c-430d-9af6-41fd7f237c13_zps1b16def8.jpgOne of the main things on my birthday list was a Brown Betty teapot, and my parents certainly delivered with this absolutely perfect one. A two-cup pot, this is just right for long, lazy afternoons. Though I must say, the giant one requiring two handles is definitely going to be mine at some point during my life. My children better like tea! Will bought me a mug (which, although mean, I have to agree with) which is going to live at the office, and he made (yes made!) me some gorgeous hot chocolate. Added to this, he pulled out all the stops with a giant bottle of hazelnut syrups. Cosy nights in for a few months are sorted!

 photo ae571a53-6b34-4cd9-aace-19866e9f8181_zps5c35369d.jpgAdded to these amazing presents are the shower gels (including my all-time favourite Bodyshop Olive scent), the chocolate, the nail polishes, the photoframes, the beautiful photo canvas, and the stunning Zara scarf (so cosy!). I was utterly spoilt, and I’m so thankful to all my friends and family. I only hope my own presents matched up!

So, a very Happy New Year. I hope you all had an amazing Christmas, and that Santa treated you well. What gifts did you receive?