Friday, 22 December 2017

Wrap Stars

Christmas is but three sleeps away! Everyone I know is in a wrapping frenzy...
Like me or loathe me, but I don't really like the novelty, gaudy Christmas wrapping paper that seems to be everywhere... I have always had a thing for brown / kraft paper, so that with an assortment of adornments is usually my wrapping theme of choice.  I just spent last night wrapping a pile of presents so thought I'd share this year's wrapping look and feel, as I have stayed with the kraft paper / brown paper category, but have dipped my toe into the colour territory, and also gone for one print.

Wrapping paper heaven - image via Arket
I do like to put a lot of effort into choosing my favourite wrapping papers, tapes and adornments, but whilst I want to to look festive, I don't want the presents to scream Christmas, AND I want the option to be able to use the paper all year around. So the anointed choices this year are red kraft paper, a sumptuous dark green thick paper and a red and white geometric print, coupled with an assortment of twines, ribbons and adornments. I have also purchased a few rolls of brown paper, and brown paper with subtly festive prints.

Wrapping Theme - Christmas 2017

Wrapping close ups
Throughout the year I like to collect postcards, little illustrations, twine, string, ribbon and washi tape for my adornments. This year I've also picked up a bunch of fresh eucalyptus leaves for a touch of greenery. I like to make gift tags with paper luggage tags or use postcards or stickers! There are so many places that have free postcards with beautiful photography or illustrations on them, I just collect them as I go and save to use on presents. You can also use music scores, old maps or magazine imagery stuck onto card one on side, tied with twine, for a unique gift tag.

P R O D U C T  L I S T

Dark green paper, £4 per roll, ARKET
Red kraft paper, £1.95 per roll, IKEA
Red multicoloured twine, £3 per ball, IKEA
Red and natural twine, set of three, Sainsbury's (instore)
Postcards, free, collected from cinemas, museums, galleries, coffee shops
Eucalyptus leaves, bunches available from your local florist
Washi tape, green grid and red candy cane, £2.95 per roll, MT Tape
Gold glitter ribbon, set of three, £4.50, Kikki K  

What are your favourite ways to wrap Christmas presents?

Friday, 8 December 2017

A Coat Story

Even though I have always loved fashion, when it came to coats, I saw them more as a functional clothing item to keep me warm. From a young age I'd have one winter coat a year, often in a boring, neutral colour, without any real thought given to choosing one I truly loved. Even in recent years, this way of thinking has continued with the mentality that I ought to get a practical, warm winter coat, often picking classic styles without much care or attention.

It's only this Autumn when coats began to take centre-stage. Maybe I have been living under a large rock, but it seems that suddenly there are a kaleidoscope of coat options everywhere!  From myriad faux fur options in multiple lengths and hues, to checked and houndstooth, to ruffled, bouclĂ©, embellished and everything in between in every rainbow hue imaginable. They are all warm and functional but simultaneously statement-making, and I'm finding that many friends and colleagues have a few 'coat options' in their wardrobes, not just the one winter coat. 

Naturally this has meant that I am more attracted to coats than ever before, trying out styles, prints and colours both in and out of my comfort zone. Both the high street and designers are teeming with bold and chic coat options right now. I've admired some seriously chic coats from MSGM and Maxmara, but equally at Reiss, Whistles and Jigsaw. Whilst on the hunt, I've been really fastidious at looking at the material composition of the coats, and shockingly, many of them were high in polyester and acrylic and very low in actual wool content, despite their hefty price tags. 

A couple months ago, scrolling Instagram one day, I spied a gorgeous coat - a strong contender for the coat, originally in camel. It was a beautifully cut, slightly oversized, 100% wool number by Jigsaw, and I saw that it also came in a burst orange colour, officially named 'Nordic Orange' by them. From that moment I visited it in store, tried in on a few times and decided it was to be mine. Black Friday and Cyber Monday came and went without an enticing offer from the retailer, and either way I had to wait till the end of the month to save up for the coat. So when I asked about upcoming promotions, one of the sales assistants was kind enough to let me know that one was coming up... That weekend, with bated breath, stealth and my wallet in tow, I tracked down the promo code and made my order! On arrival, it was everything and more, I love it and it's seriously warm! At this price point, with 100% wool, I think it's fantastic value for money.

Grace coat, £360, Jigsaw
However just because I've found this coat, doesn't mean the hunt has to cease...I'm still looking for other 'coat options' to take my fancy. I've had a little look and selected my little edit of other coat favourites below. I truly believe they are all investment options, in classic styles that won't date. I've also picked coats with at least 50% wool content. 

Mensy coat, £95, Boutique by Topshop, 100% Wool
Premium Quality coat, £99.99, H&M, 77% Wool 
Long crossover coat, £99.99, Zara, 75% Wool
Wide lapel wool-blend coat, £139.99, Mango, 60% Wool
Halle wool-blend coat, £365, Reiss, 78% Wool
Mae ruffle coat, £318, All Saints, 80% Wool
Paper London checked wool-blend coat, £495, Net-a-porter, 75% Wool
J.Crew two-tone wool-blend coat, £330, Net-a-porter, 70% Wool
Tweed cocoon coat, £450, Winser London, 81% Wool
Wool coat, £99.99, H&M, 100% Wool

Which one is your favourite coat? 


Friday, 1 December 2017

All I Want for Christmas...

It's December now, which means we can officially be festive! All around London there have been preparations for weeks, adorning streets with the prettiest lights and decorations and shops have been pumping festive tunes out of their speakers for a couple weeks now, whilst shoppers begin (or complete, if you're a smug early bird) their Christmas shopping.

Thought I'd kick off the festive-ness with a gift guide of sorts - it's basically my edit of £50 and under gifts, or stocking fillers if you're a moneybags. Either way, every single thing on my little list is either something I already have and love, or have been yearning after for some time now. Needless to say, if any of my friends and family are reading this, then I would love to see some of these under my tree... 

JL Cashmere Bobble Beanie Hat, £45, John Lewis | After years of frittering away hard earned cash on man-made fibres, like acrylic, this winter I treated myself to this ultra soft cashmere beanie, complete with cute bobble. It keeps me so warm and cosy! Available in a few neutral colourways, this would be a lovely gift to give!

Fir Tree Candle, £25, The White Company | The smell of fresh, real Christmas trees, captured in a candle, what more do you need this Christmas?! This delicious, limited edition candle will fill your home with the fresh, woody notes of pine, eucalyptus, cedar and moss, and is firmly near the top of my Christmas list! (15% discount with code FRUGALITY15)

Balance Me Hyaluronic Plumping Mist, £12, John Lewis | I love a face mist, and recently purchased this one. It's packed full of natural ingredients like chamomile to soothe, but a good dose of (my favorite ingredient) hyaluronic acid, keeps skin hydrated - handy with the mix of central heating and changing weather conditions our complexions have to endure. 

Leather Passport Holder, £29, & Other Stories | This Parisian designed, seriously chic passport case in burgundy, instantly conjures up vintage travel adventures. Just imagine the gift of memories you will help create with this magical passport case!

Abstract Pendant Earrings, £17, COS | Let's take a break from tassels and admire these brass beauties, I certainly have been! They are ultra pared back and simple, yet impactful all at the same time. Perfect when paired with a black polo neck, or anything! 

Beaded Crossbody Bag, £19.99, Zara | There's something about this little black beaded bag - it's sleek and embellished so works perfectly as an evening bag  (especially for the festive season), but would work equally as well as a crossbody for daytime essentials too - double whammy!

Studded Waist Belt, £45, & Other Stories | Add some definition to the waist, with this chic studded leather belt. It's an outfit transformer and can be worn cinched over coats, knits and dresses to create some shape.

Leather Card Holder, £35, & Other Stories | I recently downsized my huge wallet to a small cardholder, and this one is my favourite. In mock-croc gold leather, with concertina style pockets - it's small but mighty and holds a lot! It's really chic and doesn't weigh me down! I would love to receive this as a gift!

Cashmere Scarf, £59, COS | Another of life's little luxuries, quit the acrylic and help keep someone you love's neck ultra warm and toasty with this powder pink cashmere scarf. It's really well priced, and comes in other hues if pink ain't your thang... 

Scallop Leather Gloves, £17.99, Reserved | These beautiful scallop edge gloves are premium quality leather by Polish brand Reserved, who have just launched in the UK. These beautifully detailed gloves would be both a practical and chic present to give (and receive!) 

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