With Christmas well underway and gift shopping in full swing, I’m once again as confused as ever when it comes to making my loved ones happy. I’m not really the person to buy gifts. And it’s not because I don’t like giving. There’s nothing that makes me happier than seeing the person across me excited as they rip that beautiful gift wrap that took me so long to do!  I love the idea of giving but I’m more about the non-material gifts such as experiences and memories. A box under the Christmas tree is great but will you remember what was inside in two weeks? Not really. Unless the person giving it to you has really put some thought into it and made it a little more memorable.

This year I came to a decision. Since my family loves Christmas a tiny bit more than I do (well a LOT more actually) I have to make the effort and create a truly personal experience. Each and every gift is carefully selected and has a special meaning to both me and them. And let’s be honest, that’s not an easy task! It’s much easier for me to do what everyone else does, get a jumper and some socks and get it done with. But people who do that are just doing Christmas the wrong way! To me the meaning of gift giving goes far beyond any ritual or tradition and it has more to do with who you are as a person and what the person receiving the gift means to you.

 

While looking for inspiration for my list of top meaningful things to give this Christmas, I came across a few quotes that really inspired me to be more creative with my gifts and go the extra mile this year. Here is what I discovered:

The beauty of Christmas is not in the presents but in the presence.

The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.

Each day is a gift. Don’t send it back unopened.

The greatest gift you can give someone is your time. Because when you give your time, you’re giving a portion of your life that you’ll never get back.

And that last one really got me thinking. Is there a better gift than time? We’re all short on time. If you ask the person next to you if they have time to grab some coffee after work, chances are they don’t. They have to pick up the kids from school, or go to the gym, or do some shopping. The lack of time is something that we all experience. So when Henry London approached me to collaborate on this post, I knew right away, it was the perfect TIME!

As I said above, I want my presents to be meaningful. It’s not just about a watch in a box. What’s special about Henry is not only the watches arrive beautifully packaged but they also offer the opportunity to have your watch personalised through their exclusive engraving service. Personalised? Sign. Me. Up. There’s nothing better than having the option to make a gift that extra bit special by customising it with initials, a special date or a personal message. There is so much you can do with engraving and I decided to give you a few ideas and hopefully make it easier for you.

 

Dates:

The date that you met that person; Their birth date; The date you’re giving them the watch

Initials:

I wouldn’t go just for the first initials like M.N for example. If you want to make it special, either have their full first name and second initial or the other way round. In my case it would be Mihaela N. Anyone could have the initials M.N.

Quote:

I asked Henry Watches to engrave “All we have is now” on mine as I really thought this goes perfectly with the watch. If I was to give this as a present, I know it has a special meaning. It’s like saying to the other person, here’s a reminder that you shouldn’t waste your time on things that are not worthy. Also remember that yesterday is not coming back and tomorrow is not here yet, so focus on the present moment.

The engraving service is available on their complete watch collection but the length of the engraving depends on the case size of the watch. If you’re unsure, just get in touch with them and they will be more than happy to help.

Check out there amazing new collection here.

Michelle x

Photography by Olga Kim. Find her on Instagram @olgakimphotography

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Time is a funny concept. Do you ever ask yourself where has time gone or why is it flying so fast? And then there you are staring at your watch, counting down the hours, minutes and seconds left until your workday is finally over. We’re always in a rush for summer to come, for the kids to grow up or to grow up ourselves. For Halloween to come and go so we can wait for Christmas and all the madness to be over soon. Right now, I’m waiting for my birthday in February so I can be 25 because I feel like 24 is a weird number. That won’t be the case when I turn 35 though, that’s for sure. I’ll be holding onto 34 like a kid holding onto a parent’s leg.

It’s this paradox nature of time that’s got us running in circles, always trying to catch up, yet always feeling behind. Creating a balance between work and family and finding a minute for the things that we love seems hard. I have read all sorts of suggestions on how to save bits of time here and there, so you can have it for the really important things. Some people would record their favourite TV shows so they can fast forward through the adverts. That saves them enough time to cook a healthy meal instead of ordering a takeaway. Do you know what else can save you that time? Not watching TV at all.

I saw a TED talk a while ago about gaining control of your time and as I was writing this I remembered  a story. The lady giving the talk was studying this group of people with extremely busy lifestyles and schedules for a book she was writing. She came across a businesswoman with 4 kids who had a broken pump in her house. All the work surrounding the broken pump cost her 7 hours of her week. Yet if someone asked her at the beginning of that week if she had 7 hours, she would have said no due to her busy schedule. This just goes to show that we cannot create more of it but time will stretch itself to accommodate what we choose to put into it. The key to time management is to treat our priorities as if they were that broken pump.

Using time wisely can mean different things to different people. Some would like to wake up early in the morning and have a twenty minute workout. Others would prefer to spend that time sleeping or reading a book in bed. I love spending my lunch breaks outside even if it’s cold just because I find it relaxing. If you say you don’t have time to read but you want to, what about reading on your morning commute to work? Even audio books are a thing now, so you really can’t make excuses anymore. We all find time for what’s important to us and usually the phrase “I don’t have time” means “I don’t want to do it.” Not having time is an excuse that we make when something is not our priority.

I’m not going to say start planning your life and you’ll find time for everything. Writing a weekly plan does not guarantee you will end up ticking everything off your list. It’s hard for me to count the amount of times I’ve written my weekly schedule and then things have popped up last minute and messed it all up. I think if you break down a week into 168 hours and take out the hours that you work and sleep, that still leaves you plenty of time to focus on other things as long as you decide to make them a priority.

I’ve said that before. I never used to be a watch person and didn’t really see why people needed them until I got one myself. Now the days I go to work without a watch, I’m just feeling lost and confused. Having an idea of the time helps me plan my day better and more effectively and allows me to focus on making time for the things that I love doing. The Classic Petite Ashfield watch by Daniel Wellington is the perfect companion for those short winter days when it seems like time is just flying. The rose gold detail is like a little ray of sunshine which I’m really missing in the cold months. You can use my code MIHAELA for 15% off everything on www.danielwellington.com

Michelle x

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*This post was created in collaboration with Daniel Wellington.

 

The temperatures here in the UK have been rising in the past week and all I think about is my summer wardrobe. Oh and ice cream too. When it comes to dressing in the hot months, there’s so many options, vibrant colours and different styles and it can be easy to overdo things. So in terms of accessories I like to keep things as simple as possible. I’ve never been much of a jewellery person. In fact you can rarely see me wear any sort of bracelets, earrings or necklaces. But there’s one thing I can’t go without and that’s a simple and elegant watch to add to any summer outfit.

It’s hard for me to find a piece that looks feminine and makes a statement at the same time. Luckily, Daniel Wellington have their new collection out and this Classic Petite Bondi is everything I can ask for in a watch. Most of the time I opt out for a leather strap but it’s nice to know that the straps on these can be easily changed to create a completely different look in no time. Its ultra-thin case design and rose gold detail make it the perfect addition to all my summer looks. I love that I can mix and match it with some silver and gold toned pieces and it still looks sleek and sophisticated.

For today’s shoot I opted out for this white lace dress (similar one in black here) that I got from TK Maxx. It’s a striking maxi dress with a layered design and a sheer crochet overlay. An off the shoulder style and these pom pom details were definitely a winning factor too. The reason I love this dress so much is because it’s something you can go to the beach with and then have dinner in a nice restaurant and you will look equally fabulous.

3 ways I would style my Classic Petite Bondi

Skinny cropped jeans, oversized shirt and a classic stiletto

Distressed denim shorts, simple white t-shirt and my nude Nike Thea trainers

Khaki shirt dress and leather slides

P.S. What’s even better you can now use my code MIHAELA15 and get 15% off anything on the Daniel Wellington website. Plus free worldwide shipping! It’s valid until the 15th of July so don’t miss out.

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