My Top Christmas Shopping Tips! (And ways to come up with gift ideas)

ChristmasbannerShopping for others can be stressful and challenging, but it can also be super fun and rewarding depending on how you handle it. Here are my top tips for a stress free and fulfilling Christmas shopping experience:

1. Start early, or at least PLAN early.

I know a lot of people have every intention to start shopping early, but then somehow it’s December 22nd and you have a panic attack in the middle of the mall. (more…)

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Baby It’s Cold Outside Christmas Tag

One month ’til Christmas! Eek! Exciting. I thought I’d make this tag, because I’m always curious about how other’s spend their holiday season! Of course, anyone who wants to do this tag should feel free (let me know if you do!) and I’m tagging a few specific people below!

1. What is your favourite Christmas sweet?

Toss up between my mom’s pecan truffles and my mom’s ginger snaps.

2. Do you like to DIY Christmas decorations or just buy them?

A bit of both, and it really depends on the year (i.e. how busy I am). Some years I do a lot of DIY projects (like this year) and I find them really fun.

3. What’s your favourite Christmassy activity to do?

When I lived in Germany, I absolutely adored going to Christmas Markets. It is so amazing to see the city or town square all lit up. All the sparkly and hand made ornaments and things for sale, drinking Glühwein (mulled wine) to fend off the cold. I miss it! Other than that, I love going to cute shopping areas, like Granville Island in Vancouver, because everything is decorated, and everything looks so cheerful and inviting.

4. Are you good at wrapping presents? Do you put a lot of effort in?

I WISH I was good at wrapping presents. As it stands, I’m ok. Not terrible, but certainly not creative and lovely like so many of the gift wrapping pins on pinterest. This year I’d like to try something a little more interesting though. I’m partial to the wrapping in this A Model Recommends’ video or this idea from pinterest.

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5. What’s your favourite holiday album?

I love A Very She & Him Christmas (By She & Him – you know, Zooey Deschanel’s band). But I can’t leave out the Charlie Brown Christmas Soundtrack.

6.  Do you prefer going to Christmas parties or staying in and watching a Christmas film with someone special or your family?

While I do love to dress up and enjoy the festivities, nothing beats watching It’s a Wonderful Life whilst cozy under a blanket with the Christmas tree twinkling away.

7. Favourite Holiday Drink?

My favourite homemade drink is eggnog  with fresh nutmeg (my dad makes great eggnog) and I do enjoy a Starbucks peppermint mocha.

8. What’s your Christmas decor style?

Definitely rustic country Christmas. I’m not fond of pink trees and bright purple shiny baubles, although that can look very nice in other people’s houses. But I like the natural decorations a bit more.

9. What’s your favourite childhood memory of snow? 

Since it doesn’t snow all that much in Vancouver, it was always really special when it snowed and my brother and I would go into the front yard and just play in the snow; trying to build snowmen, throwing snowballs and making snow angels. I always loved waking up an seeing all the pristine snow everywhere. Still do love that.

10. What’s your favourite thing to do when it’s cold outside? 

Put on the fire (all the better if it’s my parents real wood fire, but our gas one will do), cuddle under a hand made quilt with my boyfriend and drink hot apple cider or peppermint tea.

Let me know if you do this tag!

I tag:

http://www.fashionableheart.com/

http://ohhval.blogspot.ca/

http://www.essiebutton.com/

http://belizabethselway.blogspot.co.uk/

http://www.gisforgingers.com/

http://cosmeticsclothesandcutethings.blogspot.co.uk/

Follow me on pinterest or twitter if you like!

Lovely scented lotions (Gift Guide)

This is a round-up of some of my favourite scented lotions. There is quite a variety so if you want to give someone a lovely pampering present for Christmas, these would be great. Many of the scents are also available in other forms (body wash, body mist, perfume, etc) so you could give a nice set to someone on your list!

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The Luxurious Spa one: The Fig Leaf & Sage body lotion from Kiehl’s ($30.00) is perfect for someone who likes somewhat unusual scents and who wants their lotion to be serious about moisturizing. To me, this smells exactly like fresh beeswax with an undertone of spicy sage. The scent mellows and fades a bit, but it does last quite a long time. It can smell very much like natural coconut when you first put it on, but it mellows out nicely. It has a thin consistency that sinks into the skin well. This one is the best out of the group at softening skin; it moisturizes extremely well! I would recommend this for someone who likes natural scents and needs (or appreciates) a serious moisturizer. If you still want the skin softening benefits but want a slightly more traditional scent, the Vanilla & Cedarwood is also very nice.

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The Classic One: Japanese Cherry Blossom ($12.50) from Bath & Body Works is a great everyday, feminine lotion. It smells delightfully floral and mellows to a nice, almost baby powder and flowers scent. The scent lasts very well. It is not too “little girl”, nor would I say that it is something only an older woman would wear. I honestly think this could suit anyone who likes quite a feminine scent. The consistency is not liquid-y, and it is not overly thick. It does a good job moisturizing the skin and sinks in well.

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The Fresh One: Sea Island Cotton from Bath & Body Works ($12.50) is a beautiful, uplifting, fresh scent. Perfect for people who adore light, clean scents. The smell is reminiscent of clean cotton and an ocean breeze. This scent will be with you all day. I think this might be better for a younger woman, but not necessarily. While the Bath & Body Works lotions are fairly inexpensive, they don’t smell “cheap” at all.

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The Sophisticated One: Summer Hill from Crabtree & Evelyn (~$28.00) is utterly sophisticated and utterly feminine. This is a sweet, grown-up floral scent. Light and flirty, I think this would be great for a wide variety of ages, as long as they love girly, upscale scents. And the scent lasts and lasts. I appreciate that this comes with a pump and the design is minimalist. This lotion does an excellent job of moisturizing and the texture is silky and relatively thin in consistency.

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The Holiday One: The Ginger Sparkle Body Butter from The Body Shop ($20.00) is a scrumptious, Christmassy scent for anyone who loves ginger. The packaging, while cute, is a bit misleading. This does NOT smell like gingerbread, but instead like beautiful, fresh, sweet, spicy ginger. I could smell this all day, it is so lovely. Who doesn’t want to smell like warm, spicy ginger for the holidays? The consistency is thick, but not waxy or hard and it does tend to leave a bit of a protective layer on the skin (i.e. it doesn’t sink in 100%, but it also doesn’t feel like a residue or anything sticky). The scent fades to just a hint of warm spiciness fairly quickly – within a few hours. I adore this body butter! If you like the smell of ginger, you will LOVE this lotion.

What are your favourite scented lotions? Will you be getting anyone on your Christmas list a scented body lotion or body care set?

Craft Fair Finds

Craft fairs are one of my favourite things about the lead up to Christmas. You can find amazing (often) local artists. I happened upon Raven’s Rest Studio and was in love with pretty much everything at the booth, so I picked up a few little pieces. Jennifer Conway makes cards, jewelry, magnets, keychains and the like and they are just so cool. I had to have the necklace above, although I had a tough time choosing between that one and another. I also grabbed a couple of cards. I love the vintage photos on them and the words are just so…for lack of a better term, sassy. Ha.

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Raven’s Rest Studio has an Etsy shop with a small selection of pieces. I hope more of the jewelry gets listed there, because I could probably buy a few more things…

Do you like going to craft fairs in the fall?

Glam Winter Nails

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I love dark nails for the winter; they are so dramatic. And dark red can be a bit predictable so I think dark purple or even black can look very cool and interesting. Also, a bit of sparkle never hurt anyone.

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This is OPI’s Lincoln Park after Dark (mini size from Best of the Best collection) and Essie’s Set in Stones Luxeffect topcoat.

Pinspiration: Floral and Wrought Iron Bed

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I found this picture on pinterest and even though I am not redoing my own room, I thought that I would find some of the pieces that make this room so lovely.

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Christmas Wishlist

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The Skincare Tag

I saw this tag over on the lovely Nuala’s dolleduplondon.com and just couldn’t resist doing it myself, as I love a bit of skincare.

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1. Describe your routine in five words?

Be consistent, don’t overdo it.

2. What’s your skin type?

My skin is fairly sensitive and prone to break-outs, but it’s not overly oily or dry.

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Rosy Autumn Face of the Day

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I love this lipstick! It’s the Maybelline Superstay 24 in Timeless rose. It’s a lovely deep rose colour with brown undertones. I struggle with deeper lip colours, because I’m so fair and have a very cool skin tone so a lot of them look harsh on me, but I think this one really works. This stuff lasts incredibly well, which I suppose you should expect from the name. It comes with a lip balm to put over top (otherwise it’s very dry), but you could use any lip balm that you like.

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Neutral Nail Love

I am absolutely loving neutral nail colours at the moment. Especially the taupe-y nudes and every kind of grey. These colours look so sophisticated and have the added benefit of being a fantastic base for some of the lovely glitter polishes that are out right now.

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