Gift Inspiration: Stylish Watches from Accurist

If I’m looking to give a really special gift to someone then one of the first things I look at is watches. I don’t know why but I find them easier to match to personality than say jewellery- perhaps because it’s easier to go for something classic that anyone will love whilst still retaining that special touch. Today’s gift inspiration comes from Accurist watches who have almost 70 years experience of creating watches that excel in style, reliability and quality. I’ve split this in to two parts with inspiration for both the men and the ladies in our lives- if you are looking to treat your other half or spoil mum and dad this Christmas then do read on…

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I think the first watch would be perfect for the dads and grandads whilst the rose gold one would be brilliant for a fashion savvy other half or perhaps even brother if you’re feeling generous. The middle watch is just an excellent all rounder and a real classic piece.

one | two | three

I’d be utterly made up to receive any of the three watches in my ladies selection especially the middle one. Again I’ve gone with fairly classic designs which will suit any style personality, of course all with a rose gold edge which I’m still not over!

Have you ever been given a watch as a gift? What do you think of the idea? They also make a great little hint to someone who is always late…

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Mae (Kind of) reviews the latest Purrfectbox

“Never work with children or animals” the saying goes- and although I can’t speak for the children side of things I’ve never had a problem getting Mae to cooperate when it comes to getting photos of her for the blog. That is until last week when we set aside a morning to explore the latest Purrfectbox*. Despite getting really excited upon first spying the box and trying her hardest to get in to it, as soon as the camera came out my feline fiend went on strike and refused to anything remotely interesting or cute. That’s the thing with my Mae, she is very much her own cat and no amount of coaxing, bribery with treats or offers of human food will get her to do anything unless she wants to.
Eventually we managed to get together enough photos to construct this post and despite her reluctance to show any form of enthusiasm for the most part she really did love this box- the toys in particular which have been carried, chased and thrown all over the house often turning up in the most random of places.
We’ve been lucky enough to receive a few Purrfectboxes now and despite turning her nose up at most of the toys I buy for her somehow they always manage to pack in a selection that become her new favourite things ever. This month Mae was particularly taken with a little pirate creature (which happens to be my favourite too) as well as the selection of catnip filled mice which I keep finding strewn all over the house.

It’s not just toys that you get in Purrfect box though, there were a couple of bags of treats which were swiftly devoured- the cheese chicken cubes from Trixie went down especially well! The deodorising litter crystals were also a nice touch, Mae doesn’t have a litter tray but I used these when I lived in my flat with Tobias and they really do make a massive difference.

Chances are if you’ve read my blog for any length of time you’ll know a bit about Purrfectbox but just incase you don’t then For those that don’t yet know the Purrfect Box is a monthly subscription which costs £19.90 a month with options to subscribe for longer periods of time which will reduce the monthly cost slightly. The contents of the box are guaranteed to be worth at least £30 with 4-6 premium products inside so it’s a pretty sweet deal, especially as each box is catered to your feline’s needs and preferences. Let me know if you decide to treat your feline friend to a box- we’ve had a few of these boxes now and are yet to receive one that hasn’t been well worth the money and Mae has amassed a huge collection of favourite toys- most memorably a dolphin that we frequently find in the bath. At the moment you can also order a Christmas box for £29.90 which contains a massive 8 products and would make for the perfect gift for any well behaved pet (which I have to say Mae really isn’t, but I can’t resist spoiling her regardless!)

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The Velvet Dress of Dreams

I could barely contain my excitement when I heard that Monki was opening it’s doors in Bristol as it’s a brand I’ve been bordering on obsessed with for a few years now. I love their easy to wear, simple aesthetic and their ever so reasonable prices. Previously I’ve used ASOS or their own website to get my fix but when I found myself in Bristol city centre just after the store opened I decided it’d be highly rude not to pay a visit.

Bolstered by the news that I can return to work in the New Year I decided that I could afford to buy myself a little something and the second I walked in to the store (which is a must visit for any fashion lover, I want it all!) and clapped sight on this dress I knew I had found my item. I’m already planning my next visit in the not too distant future- there’s a jumper dress I just can’t get out of my mind- oh Monki, what have you started?

Dress: Monki (also on ASOS in red and black) | Boots: New Look (another treat to myself, oops) | Headband: Crown and Glory

If I didn’t already have a Christmas party outfit sorted then this is 100% what I would be wearing, Christmas pudding headband and all. I love everything about this dress, from the relaxed fit and way it hangs to the keyhole neck detail…oh and that glorious colour and modest £25 price tag. Perfect with my new pewter boots which I really, really did not need but were the perfect finishing touch to just about every outfit I have planned over the festive period and beyond.

Given how limited my social life is I’m now trying to think up some ways to style this dress for day time without appearing completely OTT- I’m thinking tights and flat boots, or even over a pair of skinny jeans with trainers…if you happen to have any ideas let me know, although I’m not adverse to wearing this just for a jaunt around Tesco.

Any other Monki lovers out there? I’m hoping to go again at the end of this week having quite literally emptied out my piggy bank for the occasion. Saving that small change adds up, I’d accrued £60 since April which more than covers my jumper dress and a few other treats too…

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Gift Inspiration: Sealed with a Kiss by Dower & Hall

So we’ve established by now that I think jewellery makes for the perfect gift come Christmas time- or any time and most of my gift guides this year have featured it heavily. I just can’t help it though, my inner magpie has been well and truly seduced by all the beautiful launches that have come out in time for the festive season and the new “Sealed with a Kiss” range by Dower & Hall is no exception.
The pendants in the collection (and there are far more than I’ve shown above, these are just a few of my favourites) are set with crystal glass at the front and back and hold delicate floating treasures and loose gemstones. There’s a symbol or six for every possible occasion and they make for a wonderful keepsake gift that has both the personal and sentimental touch that is so important when choosing the perfect present.

If you’re as captivated by the collection as I am then you can shop it both online and in store. The pieces are available in sterling silver and 18ct gold vermeil with precious gemstones and crystal glass. Small and large sizes are available with several chain length options. Prices range from £148 to £195.

Which one would you most like to receive as a gift? I’m really rather taken by the triple star and white sapphire one myself.

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No money or goods changed hands for this post, I just really, REALLY love the collection!

The Car Finance Calculators from Motorparks*

Top of my list of goals for next year (or which there are many because I have lost time to make up for) is to FINALLY pass my driving test. After seven attempts spread over almost 12 years I am determined that I only have to sit one more. The truth is I CAN drive, and drive well. The reality is that as soon as I’m in a test scenario my anxiety goes in to overdrive and gets the better of me, I’ve tried every suggestion under the sun to combat it and it hasn’t worked- on my last test I actually didn’t make it out of the car park!

Anyway, I digress. With passing my test will come the excitement of FINALLY buying a car. I don’t know much about the world of cars but what I have learnt from being chauffeured around by friends and family is that they cost a lot more than first meets the eye. It’s easy to overlook certain costs, things you don’t necessarily think about when caught up in the excitement of test drives and purchases. I’ve been playing around with the car finance calculator and motoring cost calculator from the folks at Motorparks.

The car finance calculator is there to help once you know what car it is you want to purchase…it takes interest rates, loan terms and deposit in to account and tells you what your monthly payment will be and how much you’ll pay for the car in total (don’t forget the interest adds up!)
The motoring cost calculator will walk you through how much your fuel is costing you per day. This was a real eye opener when Ben started driving as his mini guzzled fuel and he ended up trading in for a more economical vehicle after a while with dramatic savings.

The calculator will also help you keep tabs on general motoring costs- road tax, insurance, breakdown cover etc to show you how much your car is actually costing you per month. There are also plenty of tips and advice on how to get those costs down.

What costs surprised you most when you first started driving? Any tips for driving test nerves?

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