Gift Guides: Christmas at Home of Juniper

Like it or not we’re creeping ever closer to the festive season- two weeks today and it’ll officially be December, and try as I might I can’t help but feel a little bit excited about Christmas this year.

For my next gift guide instalment I’m returning to a brand I featured earlier in the year, Home of Juniper have some of the loveliest Christmas decorations and gift ideas I’ve seen and I can’t wait to share them with you.

grow your own christmas tree | solar chalet light | jewellery | mini christmas soap | peppermint and chocolate marshmallows | penguin decoration

I think the solar powered chalet light is my favourite item on the entire website right now- at £25.00 it’s an adorable AND affordable way to bring some festive cheer in to your home without being too obvious and is something I’d bring out year on year.
Other particular favourites are the little penguin decoration (penguin obsessive here) and the rather delicious sounding peppermint and chocolate marshmallows which I reckon would be absolutely divine popped in to a massive mug of hot chocolate.

Have any of these pieces caught your eye? Let me know in the comments if you’ve spotted anything you love from Home of Juniper.

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Statement Pieces for Winter – a wish list

Last year I was all about fashion that allowed me to blend in to the crowd. I was feeling vulnerable and lacking in confidence and my choice in clothes seriously reflected that. This year however, I’m feeling great! I can’t remember a time where I’ve been more happy and more content with my life, and as such my sartorial choices are reflecting that. It seems that any spare time I have is spent browsing my favourite retailers (I’m looking at you, Monki!), blogs and websites such as Lyst for style inspiration and making the most of having an afternoon at home for once I’ve put together a little wish list of stand-out pieces I’m loving.
The run up to Christmas is the perfect time to sport sequins for night and day, and whilst I might be getting ahead of myself a little bit, when you see pieces like this skirt from new discovery and firm favourite LOTD. This is the perfect example of a piece that can work daytime and a night out- just pair with a chunky black knit and flat ankle boots to tone it down or pump up the glamour with some shimmer and heels.
Another multi-tasking sequin piece that’s caught my eye is this pair of jeans from Monki. I’m a big fan of their jeans, in my eyes it what they do best, and this pair would work equally well with trainers and a slogan tee or a metallic top and some shiny court shoes for a smart-casual night out.

Knitwear is one of my favourite things to shop for in the colder months, and despite being an absolute essential it really doesn’t have to be dull. Take something like this cosy knit dress for example- a bold colour and interesting cut means you keep nice and snug whilst still standing out from the crowd. This dress is probably top of my current Monki wish list, if I don’t manage to get my mitts on it before Christmas then I’ll be keeping everything crossed that shopping karma strikes and it goes in to the sale.

Vinyl is big news this season and whilst being a trend that I’m still a little bit scared of, incorporating it in to outerwear makes it seem a little less bondage and a lot more workable. I’ve never really been one to covet a puffer jacket before, let alone anything so shiny, but somehow Topshop have won me over with this number- another I’m hoping might find it’s way in to the January sales.

Is there anything more satisfying than bundling up in a scarf? Much like knitwear, your winter warmth essentials don’t have to be boring- take on the faux fur trend the subtle way with this patchwork faux fur scarf (also from Topshop) and tick off the trend for all things fluffy whilst keeping seriously snug!

it wouldn’t be a wish list from me without a pair of boots now would it? These New Look glitter slouch boots made it in to all of the glossy magazines, and with good reason. Want to jazz up your jeans? Look no further than these designer dupes. A steal at £34.99 they’d also be the perfect party shoes on a frosty winter night.

Are there any statement pieces or trends you’re seriously taken with right now? I’d love to see which highstreet pieces have made it on to your wish list- leave links in the comments below.

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Swan Song

It’s big knit weather! I don’t know how we’ve suddenly zoomed to the middle of November, but here we are in all it’s cold and frosty glory. Now I’m properly back at work I’ve been able to indulge in a little bit of shopping and warm and cosy knits have been top of my list. Of course, Monki was my first port of call and I picked up an absolute gem.

Jumper: Monki (here) | Skirt: Pull and Bear (similar here) | Boots: Miista

I love a good print and this Swan jumper pretty much jumped off the hanger and in to my arms. It was quite the bargain at £25 and is the perfect balance of slouchy and warm. I love the look of a big knit teamed with a pleated midi skirt so pairing the jumper with my old faithful Pull and Bear number was instinctive. Finished off with my default black opaques and my bargain Miista boots which are now several years old and still a favourite this is exactly the kind of outfit I’m living in when not at work.

I’ve been saving hard and I’m hoping for another shopping trip in a few weeks time with my partner in crime, Mum. We’ve gone from seeing each other pretty much all day, every day to being like ships that pass in the night. Life has got so un-believably busy compared to this time last year, it’s still a bit like “pinch me” every time I take the time to sit back and reflect- from being signed off work, under threat of hospitalisation for anorexia and being utterly miserable to working in a new and exciting role, getting my health back and absolutely loving life. I never imagined I would be where I am right now and I wouldn’t change it for the world (except for factoring in Mum time). I certainly never dreamed I’d be in a loving and supportive relationship, or joint owner of a little kitten- a post to come on that one!

Where are you loving for knitwear right now? In a fit of madness I got rid of a lot of jumpers last year so I’m on a mission to have a major wardrobe upgrade.

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Gift Guides: Girly Gadgets from Mobile Fun

If anything, my love of gadgets has grown over the last twelve months and I’ve added quite a few to my collection. Most recently I was sent some girly gadgets from Mobile Fun (who partially kickstarted my collection last year) and I thought I’d do some mini reviews of the products as they’d all make great gifts for gadget girl you know.
First up we have the drop and play wireless speaker from Olixar*. This genius little product allows you to play music wirelessly via your smartphone without any need for Bluetooth or a Wi-Fi connection. You quite literally plop your phone on top of this speaker and it amplifies the music without compromising on quality. At £12.99 this is a great stocking filler and portable enough to put in your handbag for a party or for taking away on holiday.
This next product is the ultimate girly-girl gadget- the Hyper Pearl Compact Mirror Universal Power Bank* is, as the name would suggest, a compact mirror and power bank in one. It’s small and lightweight so you’re not carrying a dead weight around with you, and the fact you can touch up your makeup and charge your phone with one product is perfect for someone like me who otherwise chronically over-fills her handbag. This costs £21.99 and is capable of fully charging your phone, it comes with a protective pouch, and handily the mirror also lights up so you’ll never be unable to check your teeth for lipstick (trust me, this is essential if you’re me!).
This Olixar universal Smart Phone Photography Kit* has been a big hit with both Bob and myself. For £19.99 you get a neat black roll wrap containing a 3-in-1 lens kit, a pocket sized selfie stick, a mount and a tripod. We’ve had greqt fun testing this out taking pictures of our kitten, upping our selfie game and generally being idiots. Definitely a product for anyone seriously in to Instagram or who just wants to experiment in the capabilities of smart phone photography.
Last but not least we have another power bank- this time the Kit 4,100mAh Portable MFi Lightning Power Bank* in Rose Gold. I’m a fiend for power banks as I have an irrational fear of being stranded without phone battery and this one is great. This little powerhouse can fully revive your iPhone or iPod and will give your iPad a serious boost should you find yourself in need. It also looks super sleek with it’s Rose Gold finish and would make for the perfect stocking filler for pretty much every female I know. It costs £19.99 and thanks to it’s lightning charge connector will bring your device back to life instantly. It also boasts a long standby life which was it’s real selling point to me- I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve gone to use my old portable charger only to find it’s all out of juice.
What are your must have gadgets? I’m always on the lookout for new ideas. If you are looking to up your tech game then I highly recommend Mobile Fun, I’ve used the multiple times outside of blog reviews and have always been impressed by their competitive prices, range of products and speed of service.

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Follow the River

One of my favourite things about blogging is getting to champion small and independent companies, helping to spread the word and watch them flourish. I was recently contacted by Follow The River, a clothing company based in Shropshire which started in 2015. Their range of Men’s and Women’s apparel is 100% organic and printed using water based inks. Everything is made in factories that use renewable energy and fair trade labour- I love a brand who care about where their products come from and how they are made, especially when their products are genuinely gorgeous and excellent quality as well.

Hoodie c/o Follow The River | Jeans: Monki | Wellies: ASOS

This is such a great hoodie! The fit is impeccable, I went a size up for a looser fit but it hangs like a dream and looks sleeky rather than bulky as some hoodies are prone to doing. It’s so soft as well, always a bonus! It costs £40 which is comparable to many a high street retailer, the difference here being that you can be assured that your new cosy sweat is as organic and fairtrade as humanely possible.

It’s not just hoodies you’ll find on Follow The River either- there’s t-shirts, vests and jumpers for both men and women all made to the same high standard and with quirky designs that make for the perfect gift for anyone who likes to be comfortable and ethically conscious.

I couldn’t resist photographing this jumper with my glittery (and LED soled) ASOS wellies which I bought for my trip to Scotland, a complete gimmick I know, but they make me so happy!

Let me know in the comments if you’ve discovered any small brands that deserve some love, I highly recommend Follow The River for quality, value and ethics. The packaging also deserves a mention, there’s no plastic here, nope, you can expect your purchase in classy brown paper packaging that adds to the overall experience.

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