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.


Gift Guides: Ideas for Him under £30 with Red Candy

Every year when I sit down to write my gift guides I find loads of ideas and inspiration for the women of the world but really struggle when it comes to the men. Thankfully there are websites such as Red Candy who come to my rescue by supplying a whole host of fun and affordable gifts and gadgets to appeal to just about every male I know.

I’ve worked with Red Candy several times over the year and they’ve been kind enough to once again supply me with some items to feature in this gift guide. I used Bob as my inspiration when browsing this time and picked out some quirky gift ideas, all costing under £30 which I knew would appeal.

The first item I picked out was this Diplodocus Dino Mug* which I’ll admit was as much for my benefit as it was for his. I’m a sucker for a good mug and this one, with it’s hidden ceramic dinosaur was right up both of our streets. At £11.99 this might be more than I usually pay for my mugs, but as a gift (and for the sheer novelty factor) it’s worth every penny.
I fell in love with this Planter Bot* the second I saw it and knew it would make the perfect home for the lonely looking cactus lurking in Bob’s house. I also know that my brother would really appreciate this, he’s a fan of anything robot or comic book related and this fits in to both of those categories. This little chap costs £13.75 and if you wanted to pad out the gift a bit you could always pick up a cactus or succulent to go in it.
Coasters are always in short supply around these parts and the second I saw these Cosmos ones* I knew they would be the idea addition to Bob’s home. He’s a massive space nerd (by his own admission) and absolutely loves these- at £10 for a set of four they also work out quite bargainous too.
As well as the items I picked out for this post I’ve also popped together a few more ideas for budget friendly gifts for guys as Red Candy is a real treasure trove for shopping for blokes. This barely even scratches the surface of what’s available so do make sure you check them out if you’re having a struggle- and it’s not just for guys, I’ve compiled myself a massive wish list of things I’d like to add to the home (both my parents and Bob’s!)

clock | lamp | terrarium | mugs


Gift Guides: The personal touch with Martha Jackson jewellery

I love to give gifts with a personal touch, especially when there are custom options available. My best friend has an unusual first name and I remember when we first knew each other it was near impossible to get anything with her name on off the shelf so it’s always a pleasure to get her something personalised, and the novelty never seems to wear off for her.

I was recently given the opportunity to create a custom necklace from Martha Jackson, a new to me website which sells a whole host of engraved gifts for him and for her. I knew straight away that I wanted to make something for my best friend and after careful consideration I picked out the vintage heart locket.

Necklace c/o Martha Jackson

As you can see from the photos the attention to detail on this locket is just stunning. The engraving sits neatly on the back of the locket and is some of the clearest jewellery engraving I’ve seen.When creating your jewellery there are several further customisation options available- from a choice of fonts through to the length of the chain and whether you want to add an additional charm, or gold or silver letter. You can also include a free gift message with your item.

The service from Martha Jackson was incredibly swift, they offer a standard delivery time of 2-4 days and my necklace arrived within 48 hours of placing the order. Standard delivery is free on all orders but there are express and nominated day options available for an additional cost as well as international shipping.

The locket came packaged in a neat, branded white box ready for gifting and was safe and securely packaged.

The vintage heart locket costs £37, although if you want a longer chain or additional charms/letters then this does increase. For the quality and craftsmanship involved in the item I think this represents really good value, and my best friend, who’s name by now you’ve probably gathered is Trudi is absolutely delighted with her new necklace.

I’ll definitely be returning to Martha Jackson in the run up to Christmas both for creating gifts for my nearest and dearest as well as compiling my own wish list. I’ve got my eye on a rather stunning spinning ring and shall be dropping some serious hints as the big day nears.


Fashionable Gifts For The Stylish Man In Your Life*

It’s a common cliché that women like to look good but men can be just as bad. The amount of time some guys spend in front of the mirror is downright shocking- women even have to tell men on dating apps they aren’t willing to hang around. Maybe it’s the pot calling the kettle black, but a girl’s gotta get her drink on at some point.

To be honest, women secretly love the fact that their men take care of their appearance. Looks aren’t everything, yet it’s nice to go out in public with a person who doesn’t look like they’ve gone through a hedge backwards. What is it with the big beards nowadays boys?

Yep, a trendy guy is a sexy guy – fact. So it makes sense to play on his ego and keep him on point. When it comes to men you never know when they will change up and go back to being casual. Plus Christmas is coming up and you need gift ideas!

Don’t worry because this post has got you covered. Here are awesome fashionable gifts for the stylish man in your life.


A Pair Of Trainers

Formal is good, in fact it’s terrific when he dons a suit and a fitted shirt, but a guy has got to breathe from time to time. Casual will always be his main look, as is the case with most guys. Still, the times when he does dress up are extra exciting! Seen as he is going to be smart/cas, the best option is to buy a new pair of trainers. For one thing sneaks are getting dead trendy nowadays- gone are the old Nikes which look like moon boots and in are the sleek, suave replacements. Plus, men tend to wear their footwear to death. From boots to trainers the material can be hanging off before they head to JD for a new pair. As the mature one in the relationship it’s best to be on the ball and top up his sneaker collection. Then, people may think he knows what he’s doing.

A Trendy Bag

Sadly the days of briefcases are no more. Today an average businessman wonders the streets with his hands in his pockets. It’s a sad sight and one you don’t want your man to replicate. To be honest, a briefcase is an amazing gift for a guy who works in an office. Firstly it’s as practical as it is stylish. Secondly, fashions are coming back with every passing day. Soon he may be the “guy” who brought back briefcases. However he may also feel like the guy at work who looks like Will from the Inbetweeners. In this case a trendy duffel bag goes a long way. Focus on the material because the fabric makes the bag handsome. Leather, for example, is back with a bang.

Stylish Headphones

Before we get into it do you know the difference between headphones and earphones? Of course, it’s kinda self-explanatory yet guys get real serious about headsets. Earphones are out and headphones are in. It’s something to do with being a hipster. Anyway, a modern man won’t go out in public unless he has the right pair of phones on his head. Sounds like a simple purchase but it’s a delicate balance between style and quality. Beats took over the market a few years ago but people are starting to switch to better alternatives. As a rule, you can’t go wrong with Bose electronics. High quality is their main concern but they come in a variety of styles and colours. Not to burst your bubble, however but good headphones tend to cost upwards of £75. Anything less and the quality will distort.

Non-Gaudy Accessories

Most men don’t buy jewellery which looks gaudy on purpose. Even worse they think it seems fresh and elegant! The problem with guys and accessories is their lack of experience. Not to make it a gender thing, but women wear jewellery every day. The boys have only started catching up in the last couple of years so lack the experience. Still, you can’t go out and buy the pieces which you love. He has a specific style and your role as a personal shopper is to find the items which hit the brief. Plenty of men love chains yet end up looking like B. A. Baracus which is not cool. They don’t know that men’s gold chains designed by Frost NYC mix a focal point with style. However you do which is why a little black contact book is essential. Men tend to go with the first thing they see whereas women browse.


A Razor Kit

There’s a good chance the man of your dreams has a beard. Maybe not the one which makes him look like a captain on the high seas, but stubble nonetheless. Because no woman wants a yeti for a fella, a razor kit is essential. It’s no secret that guys are lazy and will let their growth get out of hand. From a career perspective it is a bad move because it comes across as unprofessional. A sharp blade, maybe even a cutthroat will keep their beard hair to a minimum. What if you like a bit of a beard? Good question. In this scenario forget about a razor and opt for a trimmer. With a variety of settings, a Remington is an easy way to maintain the perfect amount of growth. As an extra, get him an instruction manual. Trimming is easy but shaping and moulding are a lot harder to master.

A Smart Coat

Guys have a thing with coats and jackets. For some reason they want to dress like an 18-year-old university student. Yes, a puffer jacket is stylish and warm but it looks a bit immature. Men, as in real men, don’t wear anything which is young or hipster and your guy should follow suit. To start with shop around for coats which are warm and practical. Now that autumn is here and winter on the way a jacket shouldn’t be flimsy. Once the material is on point start thinking about the style. A long, fitted coat is always a fantastic choice because it’s elegant and chic. Plus, it’s flexible. Walk through Soho in London and all the businessmen will have a stylish coat with suit trousers. Going back to the fabric, why not opt for tweed or wool? Both have an air of sophistication and are as toasty as it gets. If it’s good enough for sheep in the winter…


Workwear has and is evolving. As a woman you know how difficult a balance it is to be comfortable and professional. Well, men go through the same thing too. Their plight isn’t as harsh seen as they don’t have to wear five-inch heels. Still your man wants to dress to impress without cutting off the air supply to his vital organs. Thankfully this is where a pair of chinos takes centre stage. Because they are fitted they look and feel like suit trousers. However, chinos are less rigid and have more give. So, when he’s sat at his desk he won’t have to worry about the circulation to his family jewels. From a style perspective navy blue and beige chinos go with pretty much any shirt and blazer. There is no reason to worry about boots either.

A Multifaceted Wallet

A wallet says a lot about a man. A guy with notes and paper sticking out either means he’s got too much money or he can’t be bothered going to the bank. A man with a small wallet relies on a card or has just come back from travelling. Smaller ones fit more snugly into tight short pockets you see. The point is people will see his wallet and make a judgement. So, it has to look the part, whether it’s a classic leather ensemble or a suede number. As a rule, the sharper, the better. But, don’t forget your man is a modern guy with modern needs. And, his wallet is the perfect appliance to keep him topped up and on the go. Yes, it can be an appliance if you get the right one. Take one with a built-in battery charger. As soon as his iPhone starts to die, he can plug it into his new age wallet. Then, he’ll never be able to say he missed your call because he had zero battery.


Summer has sashayed off into the horizon, but sunglasses haven’t followed suit. The sun may not be as powerful in the fall; nonetheless there are the odd blasts of rays. Sometimes autumn in the UK is brighter than summer in Britain! Walking around wearing wood sunglasses won’t result in positive feedback when the mercury drops. However, driving with a pair of sunglasses is acceptable. In fact, it’s downright stylish in 2017. As long as he doesn’t wear them outside of the car, he’ll smash it out the park. On the even brighter side, the right ones may make him think a winter holiday is in order.

Your man may be stylish, but he’s about to get a lesson in fashion!


Gift Guides: Paddywax Candles at Rooi

There seems to be differing opinions as to whether a candle makes a good gift. Some might say it’s generic or a cop out, but I love to receive them and I also love to give them, especially when you stumble across the recipients favourite scent or some seriously luxe style on a budget.

I was recently introduced to Paddywax candles thanks to interiors retailer Rooi and was seriously impressed by their aesthetically pleasing style and intriguing sounding scents. I was lucky enough to be able to pick out one of the candles for myself- testing out their gift-ability if you will…read on for my thoughts and whether I’ll be hoping that Santa delivers me more from this brand.

I picked out the wild fig and cedar scented candle from the brand’s Hygge range which costs £27.95. This might seem expensive for a candle, but when you stop and think about what you pay for a large Yankee candle, or splurge on a Jo Malone one it’s really quite reasonable.

The candle itself is beautifully presented in a duck egg blue matte ceramic pot with a very on trend copper lid. This is a large candle weighing in at 425g and promises plenty of gorgeously scented burn time.

It’s always a bit of gamble ordering a candle online when you’ve not smelt any of their scents before but somehow I just knew this would be good- and it is. Whilst some candles have a highly artificial aroma to them this one smells fresh and natural, and once lit cannot help but make it’s surroundings feel cosy.

I’d be delighted to receive any of the Paddywax Hygge range as a gift, and will certainly be gifting them myself. If you’re on more of a budget or fancy a little treat for yourself then you can pick up smaller but equally easy on the eye candles on Rooi- next on my list is the delightful sounding “sunset sherbet” candle from the prism range.

Have you tried Paddywax candles before? If so, which scents would you recommend? You can find the entire range on the Rooi website, along with plenty of other gift ideas from brands such as Kate Spade and Emma Bridgwater. Definitely somewhere to be checking out when writing your Christmas list.