Gift Guides: For the little folk*

I’m at that age now where friends and family have children- from newborns to toddlers, there are plenty of kids in my life and whilst I don’t have plans for any myself in the near future I do find it fun to browse and shop for other people’s, and the same rules apply to adult shopping- I want to find the perfect present.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about River Island Kids range and after having a good old browse I’ve popped together a collage of gift ideas that covers everyone from the tiniest tots to the most boisterous (and harder to impress) school goers.

You’ll find something for all ages and budgets in River Island- from stocking fillers such as packaged up retro sweets and novelty watches (not going to lie, I want that penguin one for myself) through to party perfect outfits and some of the coolest shoes I’ve seen. Prices are decent- the most expensive item I’ve featured is the wonderfully on trend pom pom jumper at £22. Probably the best all-rounder of a gift is the hat selection- there’s a great selection of novelty (and more sensible) beanies and bobble hat for around the £10 mark and with a cold winter predicted- and a child’s tendency to misplace things I reckon you can’t go wrong with one of these.

Anyone else getting to that stage where there are almost as many kids to buy for as there are adults? My youngest cousin has just announced she’s expecting and I can’t wait to get stuck in to shopping for a brand new squishy one.

Where do you recommend for children’s gifts? I tend to favour practical presents over toys but I’m open to ideas and inspiration.

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Chemist 4 U haul

My name is Laura and I am a nail polish addict, I have hundreds of them and yet can never resist adding new shades and finishes to my collection whenever I see one that catches my eye (which is often). The irony in this is that I rarely paint my nails any more, I spent years having to keep them bare due to clinical work, and now I’m in an office based role I’ve been splashing out on shellac manicures. Still, when I was given the opportunity to order some products from Chemist 4 U I just couldn’t resist the lure of bargain O.P.I. polishes, especially in shades that are just perfect for the festive party season.
The shades I picked (L-R on the swatch wheel) are: unfrost my heart, I Carol about you, first class desires, kiss me- or elf! and I’ll tinsel you in. Each polish cost a bargain £2.99- a huge saving on the RRP of £7.99 each! O.P.I. was the first nail polish brand I really fell in love with, they just look so luxe and last really well- at this price these would make awesome stocking fillers this Christmas, or the perfect little pick me up for yourself.
I also picked up my absolute winter lip saviour- Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream lip protectant stick for just £10.49 which is a saving of over £9 on the RRP. Chemist 4 U sells primarily pharmacy products (also at excellent prices, for the record) but it’s the beauty section where the true bargains hide. I hadn’t used the website before but was impressed with the ease of ordering and the prompt, well packaged delivery. Well worth checking out if you’re looking for some Christmas gifts or want to stock up for yourself.
Does anyone remember the hype over O.P.I’s Russian Blue? I bought about three bottles at the height of it’s popularity! Which is your favourite shade?

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Products were provided for blog consideration, all thoughts about the products and the service I received are my own.

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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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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