My top picks of the best wee pretties around, starting at £10.
1. Charbonnel et Walker pink Marc De Champagne truffles (oh dear god, my favourites), £11.50, from Liberty (ships internationally).
2. D.L. & Co Le Pomme rose mini candle, £30, from Liberty (ships internationally).
3. Stella McCartney Knickers of the Week camisole, £65, from Net-a-Porter (this links to the UK store, so be sure to select your own country before purchasing).
4. Bourjois limited edition Paris-themed blush pots, AU$20, for Australian stockists call 1800 181 040 (available from Boots in the UK).
5. Guerlain Or Impérial Sublime Radiant Powder Face & Body, US$85, from Sephora.
6. Pink Rob Ryan journal, £12, from John Lewis (only ships within the UK).
7. MOR Lychee Flower Lip Delight, AU$14.95, from MOR. (UK readers can purchase MOR products from Space NK).
8. Strange Invisible Perfumes in Prima Ballerina, £120, from Content (ships internationally).
9. Day Birger et Mikkelsen pearly knitted open-ended necklace, £60, from Net-a-Porter (this links to the UK store, so be sure to select your own country before purchasing).
Are the days of the dodgy family photo card behind us now? I certainly hope so, and these exceptionally charming cards from the Rifle Paper Co prove that you can still go to town with your annual family portrait Christmas card – just with a lot less cheese. Featuring hand-painted portraits in your likeness and lettering by Anna Bond, you can expect a one to two week turnaround for your card.
Thanks to India Knight for her tip about Rifle Paper Co and their genius customised business cards.
Some of my favourite wee finds for blokes, including some good blokey present cliches, like socks (but look, they're Happy Socks!), chocolate (but look, it's shaped like a penknife!) and shaving stuff (but look, it's beautiful old school English stuff!). How did I do?
1. Chocolate Swiss Army Knife, £2.75 each, from Pedlars (ships internationally).
2. Taylor of Old Bond Street Manicure set in leather case, £49.95, from Selfridges (ships within UK only).
3. Handy Dad: 25 Awesome Projects for Dads and Kids by Todd Davis, £11.89, from Wee Birdy’s Amazon book store (ships internationally).
4. Hand-crafted wooden micro radio, £150, from the V&A shop (ships internationally).
5. Music Balloon speaker for MP3 players and phones, £35, from Pedlars (ships internationally).
6. Hand-crafted wooden desk set, £75, from the V&A shop (ships internationally).
7. Taylor of Bond Street Sandalwood shaving soap with wooden bowl, £16.95, from Selfridges (ships within UK only).
8. Lazy Oaf for Selfridges Fats Dom T-Shirt. £28, from Lazy Oaf (ships internationally).
9. Five-piece chocolate bar library, £27.50, from Fortnum & Mason (ships internationally).
10. Mustache on a stick, US$36, from Something’s Hiding Here’s Etsy store (ships internationally).
11. Five Colour 01 socks, US$10, by Happy Socks (ships to selected countries. Sydney readers can find Happy Socks at Incu).
Solid bronze bird hair pins, US$58.60, from WoodlandBelle's Etsy shop. Also available in antique pewter shade for US$18.50.
Solid bronze bird's nest hair pins, US$58.50, from WoodlandBelle's Etsy shop.
Not birdy but would make beautiful Christmas presents: Gilded bronze tiny twig hair pins, $20.50, from WoodlandBelle's Etsy shop.
I can't help missing London right now, with all the sparkling Christmas lights, glowing department store windows, mulled wine in little shops, and a sprinkling of snow. I'll especially miss the little traditions I started over three years, like my annual Christmas shop at Fortnum & Mason, where I stocked up on pretty tins of biscuits, Fortnum's potted stilton and special Christmas tea.
So my Advent Calendar pick this year is a very special Fortnum's one, depicting the beautiful facade complete with festive windows and the famous Christmas trees lining the awning. An unfilled calendar is £95, but you can refill it every year with your own treats, like homemade sweets and chocolates. The filled calendar is £125, and is filled with Fortnum's treats including sugar mice, chocolate coins, jelly beans, truffles and Fortnum's chocolates. Pricey for an advent calendar (and I still have a soft spot for the humble cardboard nativity version) but it's a lovely keepsake and souvenir of London.
Fortnum's Advent Calendar, from £95, from Fortnum & Mason.
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'Like this' handmade coffee mug cozy, US$13 from knotworkshop's Etsy shop.