SLIDER

Christmas Party

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

christmas party outfit

December is a bit of a weird month, don’t you think? The first half is dominated by hustle and bustle:  you have to finish your projects, keep deadlines and seal this important deal all before Christmas. Then follows the complete opposite – in the second half work usually slows down (because you know it’s Christmas), people become suddenly unavailable and anything urgent has to wait until the New Year.

Especially in the second half of December people love to eat, exchange presents, come together and socialise (even more than they already do in the rest of the year). Suddenly there are work breakfast invites popping up by the minute, Christmas cards circulate the office and the big highlight, the Christmas Party, is highly anticipated and THE topic of the office.

My First Christmas Party: A 1920s Night To Remember


Now, I usually find it a bit hard (and awkward) to socialise with my colleagues outside of the usual work environment. Partially because it’s not as easy as it is with blogging friends and secondly I like to keep a distance, the professional line. I remember my first Christmas office party in 2013 when I worked for a super small PR agency. 

We joined all the other local agencies for a night out at Cheltenham Town Hall, which held a 1920s themed Great Gatsby party. The hall was decorated nicely with mirror tables, elaborate flower bouquets and tonnes of glitter. We had a great time adoring the dressed-up women and men with their fancy costumes and sophisticated 1920’s hairstyles. 

It was a great atmosphere and everyone was fully into the theme. Sadly, the evening didn’t end that well. My colleague got involved in a fight and as a result, punched into the face. A split lip, a ruined white dress covered in blood and five police officers later, I got home at 3 am. “Did you have a good time? You must have because you’ve stayed that long” – “Um oh well….my colleague got punched into the face” – a story to tell the children.

christmas party dress

DAN Christmas Party at The Roundhouse in Camden


So fast forward three years and I’ve yet to venture into joining another office party. This is actually the second one from my current company ever since I’ve started my job in London, but I’ve missed out on the Christmas party in my first year. 

Now that I’m making a few work friends, it was time to make an appearance. This year’s theme was “Rewind the Roundhouse” held at a super fancy Camden nightclub which was transformed into a 90’s disco with The Artful Dodger headlining the night. 

Yep, you’ve read correctly: THE ARTFUL DODGER – the legendary epitome of 2step/ UK garage that brought us Craig David into our lives. Well, and if one of my favourite DJs plays and I can dwell in 90’s music aka “the music I danced to when I was young” HELL YEAH, it means I come to the Christmas Party.

(following pictures are courtesy of DAN network. Photo credit: DAN Network)

DAN christmas party at roundhouse camden
roundhouse camden christmas party
DAN christmas party light wristband
The Artful Dodger Christmas Party
rhythmisaDANcer 90s christmas party

Together with my SEO gang we literally partied all night. We had unlimited ice cream, drinks and candy floss, my colleagues now know that I dance like a 12-year-old and pretty much know all the cheesy songs from Britney, NSync, Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls by heart. 

Yep, I do listen to those at work and at home and in between – and all this in a sober state (as you know I don’t drink) so “don’t try to tell me” (little Artful Dodger reference here) that I can’t have fun/socialise like a pro without alcohol. Our company knows how to throw a party. We even had our own hashtag for the night, if you’d like to have a look search for #rhythmisaDANcer. Can I request Chicane or The Shapeshifters for next year pretty please?

My Christmas Party Dress From Topshop And Outfit


For the night I glammed up in my recent Topshop purchase. It was one of those dresses that I saw on TV and then immediately went and bought it. Turned out it was a good decision to do so, as it pretty much sold out the moment it hit December. This blue velvet stunner has a sophisticated lace neckline, which reminds me of the 1920’s. 

The belt-like feature around the waistline tailors the dress nicely. It also comes in burgundy but I like the dark blue more mysterious and statement. To add some Christmas sparkle, I’ve teamed it up with glittery hosiery from Charnos. Black heels finish off the look to keep it sassy but sophisticated.

Topshop party dress
charnos glitter party tights
charnos hosiery festive tights

I’ve received many compliments from my colleagues for the dress (doesn’t help much over the fact I wasn’t voted best-dressed female. Yeah, I know!). Anyway, here is what I'm wearing:

Topshop lace velvet dress

Here Is What I'm Wearing:

Lace/Velvet Dress: Topshop (current AW16/17 season, £55)
Glittery Tights*: Charnos Hosiery (current AW16/17 season, £10)
Pointed High Heels: Stradivarius (last AW 15/16 season, sale £20)

Thanks for reading, 

Merry Christmas,
Carolin

*PR sample

eXchange iPad tablet jacket by Paperblanks

Thursday, 15 December 2016

iPad air cover exchange paperblanks

Long have I struggled with myself if I should buy myself a case for my iPad. Given the fact that I barely use it and I'm generally very careful with my belongings, there wasn't really "the" need to have one. Plus, most of the models available have all been rather underwhelming and expensive if you ask me.

However, when Paperblanks released the eXchange series in autumn 2015, it was VERY hard to resist. The unique composition of an everyday item such as the case and Paperblanks' unmistakably signature print inspired by old manuscripts and world literature, remains a beloved all-time classic to me that not many stationery brands have achieved.

eXchange Tablet Jackets From Paperblanks Are A Book Nerds Dream


eXchange launched and I saw myself drooling over those tablet jackets but the heavy price tag of £50 kept me from buying. What do they say about the things we don't buy? Those will hunt us the most for the rest of our lives. An end had to be put to the misery this year, so my time came around when the Black Friday sale arrived. 

Hello 20% off! Not much, but still, a nice touch to get a few £££ off the purchase. Fast forward two days and the eXchange Shiraz iPad Air tablet jacket together with an Edgar Allan Poe 2017 diary arrived fresh from Germany.

ipad air case from exchange paperblanks

First Impressions Of The Paperblanks eXchange iPad Cover


My first impression? OMG. Literally OMG. It's not even a case - NO, it is a tablet jacket.

The jacket itself was wrapped in this classy, yet stylish packaging that had a magnetic clasp such as the famous Paperblanks Journals themselves. Alone the packaging got me massively excited. The actual tablet jacket is absolutely gorgeous and of such high quality, it is unreal. 

The hardcover is in true Paperblanks style: I opted for a medieval manuscript, a colourful cover that reproduces a 16th-century Islamic bookbinding that was originally crafted from painted and embossed black goatskin. The ornaments and enriched details are incredible and from the outside, it looks like a book rather than an iPad case.

The solid material is scratch and spill-resistant. It's so robust that it will protect the iPad in case you drop it accidentally. The iPad itself sits securely thanks to a high technology click system that allows the gadget to be positioned safely within the case. On the side, there are slits for optimal air ventilation, a slot for your headphones, a camera hole, as well as power and sound button protectors.

The interior of the eXchange Shiraz is lined with a super soft material. In the corner is a subtle eXchange logo embossed, branding the tablet jacket with an exclusive touch. You can also bend the back if you prefer your iPad standing upfront. The end is magnetic to the case to allow perfect hold and security. Nothing can slide, it all sits and holds perfectly in place.

Let's appreciate the beauty of this magnificent piece:

beautiful ipad air case by paperblanks
exchange ipad air cover from paperblanks
ipad air tablet jacket shiraz exchange paperblanksexchange tablet jacket shiraz paperblanks

Ahhh I could never get tired of the sophisticated designs and timeless styles of a Paperblanks product. In fact, I've been hoarding their journals for years now, collecting them just for the sake of their outstanding beauty and to appreciate them in my bookcase. 

Use them? I could NEVER do that, unlike the diaries which I do actively use until they fall apart. Here's just a small glimpse of my Paperblanks collection - can you spot the Shiraz? 

paperblanks collection including the exchange shiraz tablet jacket

Thanks for reading, 

Till next time,
Carolin

Christmas Jumper Day

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

john lewis christmas jumper

I'm not a fan of Christmas jumpers - there I said it.

Often, I find their colours too loud, their motives too cheesy or simply just plain tacky. "But they are fun!" I can hear you say. No, they aren't. They are neither classy nor stylish - but I'm trying - like giving my best efforts here - to blend into the British tradition: I've bought a jumper that I'm comfortable wearing in public for Christmas Jumper Day which will be on Friday, 16th.

Christmas Jumper Day In The UK Is A Thing - And Often Not The Most Fashionable


For my non-British readers - Hello Germany, US and Australia! - Christmas Jumper Day is a charity day celebrated in the UK to raise funds for Save The Children. However, the concept of wearing festively themed knitwear is widely popular here in Britain. 

People go crazy and start wearing funny Christmas jumpers as soon as it hits December 1st. This rather unique (and odd) phenomenon to the UK is something that I'm not 100% sure I will ever warm up to (sorry for the pun). However, I'm venturing into the seasonal trend and found a cool Christmas jumper at John Lewis. 

christmas jumper by joules

JL sell a collection by Joules and it first got my attention during their crafts event that I helped to organise a few weeks ago. I love their simple, yet classy designs. The fabric of the jumpers is perfect for the relatively warm winters in London as the material is breathable, lightweight and super soft. 

The toned colours and the cute print of a Mini Schnauzer wrapped up in Christmas tinsel further ticks all the boxes for me. A stylish fit, pleasant colourway and an adorable dog - what's not to like?

mini schnauzer christmas jumper
funny christmas jumper
christmas jumper day UK

At £49 this is a rather pricey Christmas jumper. If you're as picky as I am and dislike wearing jumpers in general, then finding one that looks great and flattering becomes a challenge - so when you finally find THE one, you shouldn't be sceptical. You should buy it regardless - and with Christmas approaching faster each day, once it's gone, it's gone. 

christmas jumper

Here's What I'm Wearing:

Joules Ladies Festive Intarsia Jumper: John Lewis (current AW 16/17, £49.90)
Black Stretch Jeans: Uniqlo (permanent, £29.90)
Tan Boots: Lotus (current AW 16/17, £120)

Thanks for reading, 

Till next time, 
Carolin

Stocking Fillers & Secret Santa Gifts

Thursday, 8 December 2016

inexpensive christmas gifts

The end of 2016 is here and everyone is excited about 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.  

1. Secret Santa Gift Idea: Monogram Tree Ornament, £5


Personalisation in fashion has been a huge trend and lots of lifestyle brands followed. From monogram letters for your bookcase to monogrammed travel tags, your initials have been seen on most everyday items throughout 2016. 

John Lewis follows the trend, too, and have released a monogrammed Christmas Tree ornament range. The letters in a deep festive red colour are powered by two AAA batteries so you can light up your ornament and let your initials, or a special Christmas message, shine from your tree. 

I love the idea as they make great presents for Secret Santa or can also be used to add that special finish to your Christmas wrapping. The change of batteries though is a bit tricky, as you'll need a mini screwdriver to open the battery compartment at the back of the ornament. Fiddly, but oh so cute when it is lit on.

monogram christmas tree ornament john lewis

2. Stocking Filler Gift Idea For Christmas: Clock Ornament, £6


I have a thing for chronographs and watches, so this Victorian-inspired clock ornament was a must-have for me when I saw it. John Lewis seems to have these in their standard range of Christmas ornaments, as I remember missing out on buying those last year. Luckily they had them back and I bought two to use for my own tree and as decoration when I'm wrapping up presents. The clock resembles for me the magical midnight hour on Christmas eve and the moment of swapping gifts on December 24.

clock christmas tree ornament john lewis

3. Secret Santa Gift Idea For The Office: Polka Dot Mugs, £5


Do you love Kate Spade? Then you'll be surprised to hear that these are John Lewis' own brand and cost a fraction of the price, the designer label charges for its china. I found those on the ground floor in the random gifts section of the department store and bought a few. 

They are very stylish and Kate Spade-like, perfect for when you love the label but don't want to fork out a fortune. Wrap these up in clear cellophane gift wrap and fill the mug with chocolates for a perfect small Christmas gift to treat friends or colleagues for Secret Santa.

christmas stocking fillers

4. Stocking Filler For Santa Clause: PNY Power Pack*, £14


Hands up if you bagged yourself a new phone in the Black Friday sale *lifts hand* Yup, I got one, too to give to my mum. As it is her birthday and Christmas a few days later, I thought I should not only gift her the new phone but also all the accessories. 

Like all the standard essentials that you need to start out with your very first smartphone including phone case and power packs. This one is from PNY, a tech brand that I got introduced to at the Bloggers Festival in September. Not only do these rose coloured packs look super trendy, they also come in a very handy cardholder size. 

No excuse to not take them in your handbag! I've been using mine ever since I got it and it is so easy and uncomplicated to use. Unlike other packs, it doesn't get hot and has so far been very reliable.

PNY rose gold power pack

I'm really pleased with the small gifts and presents that I've got this year to give away. Rather than the usual scented candle or sweets, I feel these are practical, thoughtful and stylish. Plus I hope today's post on Christmas gift ideas has been proven that you can get some pretty inexpensive Christmas gifts and Stocking Fillers that won't break the bank. 

Thanks for reading, 

Till next time, 
Carolin


*PR Sample

The Annual Nightmare Before Christmas. Winter Coat Shopping.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

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 persistent rain and humidity in the UK, hence why ugly bobbling 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.

french connection coats
winter coat from FCUK
winter coat shopping


FCUK Have Some Stylish Winter Coats In Their Current Season 2016 Collection


It wasn't until my friend's wedding a couple of weeks ago that I got a crucial hint from my other friend who was at the wedding, too. She had this beautiful grey long coat, nothing too fancy but a very classy tailoring and neat cut with a cosy faux fur. 

At first, my guess was Ted Baker but she revealed it was French Connection. So where did I go to during the Black Friday sale? Right, I checked out the winter coat sale at the Oxford Street FCUK branch and found this platform felt faux fur collar coat. It was reduced by 30% from its original £225 to £157. 

Still, a bit OMG-slightly-pricey but the incredible quality of the faux fur collar and its perfect fit convinced me to invest in the piece. Plus this ladies winter coat is a UK8 which means for the first time in a while I could buy a smaller size than to my usual UK10 and make me feel good about my shape (not like H&M where my standard UK10 is now a UK12 or UK14 shaking up my body confidence tremendously).  

The French Connection coats this season mostly feature simple yet chic designs. Mine is a wool-cashmere blend long coat with a changeable revere faux fur collar. The zip-fastened flap pockets are big enough to hold my Oyster card and phone. For today's look, I've teamed it up with a cosy, white jumper from Stradivarius and black Uniqlo jeans. 

My tan boots, which I have won a few weeks ago a blogger giveaway, are from Lotus. These equestrian design inspired leather boots are perfect for Autumn and Winter looks, as the warm brown colour harmonises perfectly with the usual seasonal colours of white, black and grey. To me, a gorgeous pair of tan boots is an absolute wardrobe essential and shouldn't be missed in your collection.

ladies winter coats french connection
Platform felt faux fur collar coat french connection
FCUK winter coat

Here's What I'm Wearing:

Platform Felt Faux Fur Coat: French Connection (current AW 16/17 season, sale £157)
Jumper: Stradivarius (AW 14/15 season, £20)
Jeans: Uniqlo (permanent, £30)
Kennedia Tan Boots: Lotus (current AW 16/17 season, £120)

Thanks for reading, 

Till next time,
Carolin
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