Gift Guide: Secret Santa Presents

Tis' the season for Secret Santa! I feel like the fun on Secret Santa completely depends on who you get. In the past I have been paralyzed not knowing what to buy, but this year I have some really fun people on my list. Here is my gift guide for the best presents under £10 (that's about $15 for you yankees).

Secret Santa Gift Guide Under 10 Pounds

Starting from the top and working our way around clockwise...

I'm not a coffee drinker, but I was given one this year for Secret Santa at work so I went out and bought the Starbucks Christmas Blend coffee and even had money left over to get a cute mug from John Lewis. Total cost for this gift was £8 so it is under budget (whoop whoop!)

This cute bag from Tate Modern was designed by London based graphic designer Yoni Alter. We actually have the print hanging in our living room because it is so pretty. For someone who is a London lover this bag is great for the go and is a beautiful nod to one of the best cities in the world. The bag comes in at £10.

The Body Shop has a lot of great stuff for Secret Santa, but this Jolly Lippy Lolly (real name) was too cute not to mention. I think this is a great one for a girl/woman/acquaintance/colleague you may not know very well - everyone needs a good lip balm at this time of year. Five lip balms for £10 makes this a good deal.

I have a set of alphabet stamps like this and use them all the time. This makes the perfect gift for someone who's perfect weekend includes making homemade cards and bunting. So if you have someone crafty for Secret Santa get these stamps from Muji for a bargain £9.95.

When I saw this book I thought it was perfect for the person who has everything. Off Track Planet's Travel Guide covers the cities with the craziest sex shops, the best places to get a tattoo, where to check out some amazing street art, why you should try fried bugs and the best clubs to party until dawn. It is available on Amazon for £9.59


Holiday Look Book: All about the Watch

If your calendar looks anything like mine it is filled with parties and holiday festivities almost every day. I am getting pretty creative with my closet to make sure I have something festive for each event. One great staple piece to use to anchor each of these looks is a great watch. There are excellent watches on invaluable.com to choose from.

I really love this men's Rolex watch from invaluable.com. It is estimates at $6,426 - $12,726, but a girl can dream right? The whole watch has a clean and minimal look with great details like the beautiful woven band. It also has a classic style and can be dressed up or down for any number of occasions. 

Here are a few of my favorite holiday outfit ideas to go with this watch. 

Work Party 

Clutch from French Connection / Heels from Dune / Jumpsuit from Reiss 

Buying the Tree

Puffer Vest from North Face /  Flannel shirt from J.Crew / Jeggings from Top Shop / Boots from Clarks 

Festive Dinner with Friends 

Tassel Necklace from Baublebar / Clutch from Kate Spade / Suede Ankle Boots from L.K. Bennett / Dress from Mango 


6 Last Minute Advent Calendar Ideas

Happy December! I am SUPER excited about it officially being ok to play Christmas tunes and put up the tree.

One thing I wanted to do this year was a DIY advent calendar. I think it might be because it is our first married Christmas, but I am definitely nesting this year. However, that doesn't get rid of my tendency to procrastinate. So here you go - a 6 of my favorite last minute advent calendars.

Clockwise From top left...
1. Design Mom had this super cute idea of wrapping canvas bags with twine. You can put these on a mantle or hang from branches like in the picture.
2. I love how simple and minimalist this envelope advent calendar is from Few Things From My Life.
3. This lumbersexual display is just little cardboard boxes spray painted with chalkboard paint and hung from a branch. Full instructions on how to create this beauty are on Hank and Hunt.
4. Toilet rolls. This is made from toilet rolls. 100 creativity points to Morning Creativity.
5. Poppytalk shared this matchbook advent calendar. You could really make this your own using different papers. 
6. Oh Happy Day posted this super simple advent calendars with treat bags. Can't get easier than that.  

Do you guys have any last minute advent calendar ideas?

I will let you know which one I choose to put together tonight.



Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving yesterday. I took the day off work and spent the entire day baking - exactly what Thanksgiving should be in my book.

Print from The Art of Type

I can't let this holiday go by without saying how thankful I am for everything I have. It has been exciting year - getting married, vacationing in Mexico, Morocco and Spain, and spending our first year of marriage in London.

Now, on to Christmas...


Brainstorming: Thanksgiving Table Decor

Sorry for the long gap here. Things have been busy and to be honest I have been wondering if blogging is for me. But I missed it. And so here I am again and I am excited to be kick starting again as the holidays are taking full swing.

I am luck to have an English/Jamaican mother-in-law who throws a proper Thanksgiving dinner every year. Even though I am thousands of miles from my parents and siblings, pumpkin pie seems to make London feel a little more like home. To break back into this gently I am going to kick off with a few of my favorite Thanksgiving table decorations.

We don't have any kids, but I don't see that as a reason to stop us from having a table covering we can color in. This FREE PRINTABLE is from canvas

I'm a sucker for anything easy and elegant. This ticks the box. All you need is cardstock, a black pen, a hole punch and some rosemary. Idea from Spoon Fork Bacon

These pretty pumpkins are from a wedding! How cool is that? Missed the boat to include these in our big day but that doesn't mean we can't have them at our Thanksgiving table. Intimate Weddings has a lot of ideas on how you can incorporate pumpkins. 

This is similar to my flowers in the pineapple idea from earlier this year. If you really wanted to get creative you could paint the pumpkins and change up the flowers to match. However, I am a fan of a classic orange and burgundy... This image is from Everyday Occasions 


Life Saver: The Chelsea Rain Boot

It is POURING rain outside and I am wrapped up warm in sweats and a blanket. I don't know if it has been the drop in temperature (and precipitation), but I have been feeling a bit uninspired lately. But walking home I knew I had to post about my life saver the last couple days...

Chelsea rain boots have been amazing in this a-typical London weather. They keep your feet dry like regular rain boots, but they are stylish and mature enough to wear to work or out with friends. I even got compliments when I went out to dinner the other night. 

I have also been looking up different ways to rock the boots and have found some great styling inspiration all over the place. Wearing it with a skirt or skinny jeans makes the boots look modern and put together. 

left image source unknown / center image from katie's bliss / right image from love, blair

They sell the Chelsea rain boots all over the place.  J Crew  has them in black, navy, green and leopard for $68. Hunter do a more heavy duty pari for $125. And you can even get a glitter pair from DSW for $44. 


September Favorites

September had lots of highs and lows. Leaves beginning to crisp, eating lots of soup, starting to layer again - all highs. And the low was definitely the horrible cold I had the last week. Seriously awful. But I am ready to shake off that September slump and highlight some of my favorites from this last month.

Brooke White's House from Glitter Guide

When I saw this house on Glitter Guide it literally took my breath away. You might recognize Brooke from the Girls with Glasses. Her house is just as cute as her blog. It is a perfect balance of cozy yet light - a balance I am yet to get right. Make sure you look at the full tour, because the whole house is adorable. Plus she has the cutest little girl ever who makes lots of appearances throughout the tour.

Crockpot BBQ Chicken from Family Fresh Meals

We had people over for dinner and I was looking for something easy that wouldn't require slaving over a stove for hours. Enter the crockpot. And this BBQ chicken from Family Fresh Meals was amazing! We have a tiny crockpot but this made plenty of chicken for our party. I served it with roasted potatoes, broccoli and salad. It was delicious and easy - two things that make any recipe great. 

I'm So Fancy Mug

With feeling under the weather and the general drop in temperatures I have been reaching for lots of cups of tea in September. I found this mug from Zhush on pinterest and fell in love. The Iggy Azalea is permanently stuck in my head so it is a perfect fit for this month. 

Fashion Statement 
Oversized Sweatshirts

This may be a picture of Olivia Palermo, but this outfit (or some variety of it) has been my uniform for the month of September. It has been a great way to transition into fall. The only accessory missing was the cute dog. One day... 

The Alison Show 

I saw pictures of a party Alison planned for Bing and was instantly taken back by the bright colors and quirky decorations. She has a huge personality and everything she does is filled with fun and general awesomeness. In addition to her blog she has a great youtube channel (her video on how to plan a party I found really enjoyable).