Thursday, 8 December 2016

Lifestyle: Stocking Fillers & Secret Santa Gifts

inexpensive christmas gifts

The end of 2016 is here and everyone is excited for Christmas by now. With friends, colleagues and family to sort out with presents, the budget can very easily explode and before you know it, you've spent a little fortune during the pre-Christmas period. I've been on top of my gifting list for my friends and family and organised a few cute Secret Santa gifts and stocking fillers to give away. Inexpensive Christmas gifts can be found this year mainly in John Lewis. From small Christmas gifts to stocking fillers, there are some pretty items available in the current festive collection. I've bought a few things which are perfect to give away on their own or will apply that special finish for your wrapped presents. Furthermore I've also discovered a tech brand at this year's Bloggers Festival that I'd like to introduce to you for today's post as they do the most stylish power packs for your smartphone and therefore would make a great gift.  
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Sunday, 4 December 2016

Fashion: The Annual Nightmare Before Christmas. Winter Coat Shopping.

winter coats for women

Where to get the best winter coats from? A question which haunts me annually before Christmas. The thing is, my warm winter coats barely last for one season, mainly because the quality of the fabrics isn't as good as it was twenty years ago. The usual wool-blends to be found on the British High Street aren't resistant to the persistant rain and humidity in the UK, hency why ugly boobling and peeling are on the cards and have wrecked one coat after another over the years. 

Currently the retailers are fully stocked with winter coats for women and it took me a good while to find a decent one this year. It feels like you can't rely on a specific retailer anymore, for example if I need to buy a new blouse for work I know exactly Uniqlo is the right place to go. For dresses I usually check out Topshop or Miss Selfridge and M&S never lets me down with feminine underwear - but with winter coats the research has to be done over and over again.
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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Lifestyle: Rome Sightseeing

rome sightseeing travel blog post

The secret top travel destinations to explore in 2016 were said to be Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Rome. Now that the year is slowly coming to an end, I can cross out two of those from my travel list. I’ve managed to see Copenhagen twice and recently jetted off to Rome for a few days. It was my first visit to the eternal city and instead of revising every day of my trip, I’d like to quickly summarise the good and the bad of my adventures in a list of ten most striking things when you visit Rome:

1. Be overwhelmed: Rome is super pretty

With all its little side streets, hidden restaurants and old build listed grade II houses, Rome has to be the prettiest city I’ve ever seen. Wandering around left me constantly admiring the incredible baroque architecture that breaks the natural light in so many different ways that literally every building looks amazing. Around every corner may await an iron gate embellished with romantic ornaments or there are marbled sculptures to take the wanderer back in time. The street signs are usually carved in stone and to be found on house walls. Their weather marked stone - relics of the old ancient times, when Rome was built. There’s a gem to discover behind every corner, no matter if you are in the touristy part of Rome or in the more local areas, it is simply pretty everywhere. A big part of that renaissance beauty is the grade II listed old-build houses with their characteristic stucco facades and heavy, wooden doors. I can imagine the inside of these houses have gorgeous spacious apartments with high ceilings and openness, something I know from my previous flats in Germany, which made me feel very comfortable and homey. I found the buildings in Rome, despite their age, modernised and very stylish – a place I can imagine myself to be living in. What secrets may lie behind these heavy wooden doors?

wooden door in rome
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Sunday, 23 October 2016

Lifestyle: October In London

October 2016 in london round up

Hi there! Sorry I've been rather quiet on my blog, but October has been a super busy month and living in London usually means there's barely a moment to stop moving. However, all the hard work has finally paid off and I can share some fantastic news with you, the latest blogging events I've been to and what else I got up to in London this October.

1. I got back into Baking #BakedInStyle

October kicked off with a GBBO-inspired baking event*, courtesy of the Joe Bloggers Network which was sponsored by NEFF and Curry's PC World. I was delighted to be invited by them (first time) and joined the team for an afternoon workshop at L'Atelier des Chefs in St. Pauls. Together with a handful of food and lifestyle bloggers, we got to make a Hazelnut Torte - a cake that combines all the goodness of the Autumn season. After the baking session, we learnt some tips and tricks how to improve our photography skills and to "tell" a story with our compositions.
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Thursday, 6 October 2016

Fashion: Magazine vs Reality. Autumn Style With Matalan*

magazine vs reality fashion shoot

Brrrrrr it's cold - that usually means one thing: I have to switch summer with winter clothes and on the way of decluttering I throw away half of my beloved pieces, which results in me going shopping to make up for the lack of fashion in my wardrobe.

So, the question is "Where to stock up" ? Having lived in the UK for some time now, I've made the observation that every autumn season there's one retailer that has the absolute "Go-To" collection of the year. The one, that stands out on the High Street for miles. The one, all people will shop and the other fashion houses can only hope they come up with something clever next year.  We remember in 2014 it was New Look with their affordable and groundbreaking blanket wrap range (cosy autumn look with the blanket wrap), in 2015 Stradivarius stood out with their bright miniature handbags. My award for outstanding autumn style in 2016, however, goes to Matalan - and that by a mile. Their current range bursts with so many "must-have" items, it is unreal. 

A few weeks back, the lovely team at Matalan had been in touch with me asking if I'd like to check out their new range. Sure! Whilst the PR lady sorted me out with my chosen items, I used the meantime to head over to Matalan's High Street store on Oxford Street, which is literally just down the road from my work place. I was nosy and couldn't wait for the items to arrive, so the trip down to the store was mainly to further fuel my excitement. The entire range greeted me when I entered the store and so much more.

If you've picked up Look Magazine a few weeks ago (issue from the 12th September 2016 to be more precise), then you may have seen Matalan's ad campaign promoting the AW16/17 collection. I fell immediately in love with the advertised cut out shoulder jumper and it didn't take me long to find it in the store. I've also check out the other items that were on their way to me and found myself adoring the soft, cosy shawls, Aztec-printed blanket wraps, western-inspired buckle ankle boots and the colour tan in all its variation.

It is amazing how versatile the autumn collection is which celebrates the season in style. With all the warm gillets, jumpers, suede skirts and shearlings, its safe to say no one has to freeze their toes off this season.

cosy autumn outfit with matalan
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Monday, 3 October 2016

Fashion: Jewellerybox Karma Moments Launch

jewellerybox karma moments launch party

JewelleryBox is a British accessory brand that have specialised in affordable costume jewellery. The range features mostly dainty necklaces, charms, bracelets and earrings. On the market since 2014 and straight from the beginning a super blogger-friendly brand, I had the chance to see the brand growing on my blogging journey. Recently, JewelleryBox has introduced a new range to their collection called "Karma Moments" which I previewed during their launch party a few days ago.
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Friday, 23 September 2016

Lifestyle: Gifts For Him With Debenhams

gifts for him debenhams

2016 has flown by and whilst most people look forward to the end of the year, to me the busiest period has just started. I'm invited to a few weddings in October, my entire family celebrates their birthdays in November, and let's not forget the ultimate gifting highlight of the year in December - Christmas. There's a lot coming in terms of exchanging gifts and making presents, which I'm looking forward to as there's nothing more enjoyable then to surprise someone with a thoughtful present.

Finding gifts for others can be fun. I love to get totally engaged in the research and I can spend days on selecting a gift. It's a long, delicate process. In the end I want the recipient to be happy with my choice and I personally never give anything away, that I wouldn't be happy to be gifted with myself. Some people, are just super easy to sort out. Take my mum for example. I know exactly that anything related to scented candles or pictures of her family are always a big win, so with her it's always straight forward. But come to the male part of my family, I'm literally clueless. My dad is very picky with presents and since he refused one Christmas to accept a set of Bosch power tools, asking the person to return the set, no one in my family enjoys gifting him anymore. Maybe it's genetically tied to the Y chromosome in males that they are so challenging to sort out?!?
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