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If you came here expecting to see a list of perfumes, shoes, designer handbags and jewellery, I’m sorry to disappoint you. As the title suggest, this won’t be your typical gift guide. If you read my previous post, you already know I’m the kind of person who pays attention to gifting and the present itself. However, with stocking fillers, you can be a little more cheesy. As I was browsing for Stocking Filler Ideas the other day, I came across this and I’m not gonna lie, I wanted to purchase one of each item, so there’s one for each and every person who is present in my life right now. And you didn’t hear this from me but most of the items are 50% off at the moment.

Another great stocking filler idea are these Roxanne Campbell nail polish sets here. I had the pleasure of trying the colours from her winter collection and I was pleasantly surprised by the quick dry time and longevity of the products. The colours you get in the set are this deep burgundy/wine colour, a classic red and a grey. Perfect for the holiday season and one thing is for sure, they won’t sit in the cabinet. Also how cute are their names – Stormy Weather, Wine and Dine and Expensive Taste.

For the scent lover

If you want to buy a gift for someone who is a fragrance fanatic but already owns the entire fragrance universe and all the latest perfumes on the market, there is so many other options. My favourite one has to be a scented candle. People who are fascinated with fragrance, are just as obsessed with how their home smells, as they are with their own scent. This Byredo Candle is certainly going to steal the show. The scent is inspired by an old library with leather hardback and dusty floors. I don’t know about you but I absolutely love the smell of an old library. Complement the gift with this Glass Dome and you definitely have a winner there.

For the boss girl

I gave this book to myself as a present when I literally had no money in my bank account. And let me tell you something. It felt GOOD! London-born and LA based Phoebe Lovatt, founder of the Working Women’s Club, provides the ultimate guide to career satisfaction. This read is filled with practical advice on developing and driving a working life you love. Add this pearl embellished Stradivarius notebook in Dusty Rose and complete with a stylish pen from M&S. Because who needs a notebook, if they don’t have a pen. Oh wait, I do. I only buy notebooks to use in flatlays. Sorry, not sorry. Or if you want to be a little extra, you can totally get them this Dior pen from Vestiare Collective. The difference in price is only about a £100.

 

For the photography enthusiast

If the person is an enthusiast then surely they have some sort of camera already. Let’s say they don’t and they want that Olympus PEN EPL-8 to start with but you don’t have over £500 to spend on them. Because let’s face it, you have to think about treating yourself to something too. Then I can suggest a gift card with money to put towards the camera. Another great option is to get them a lens. I use the Olympus PEN and this 45mm lens is a dream to own, so if I find it wrapped up in a box under the Christmas tree, I’ll be the happiest person ever. Research the camera they have and look for compatible lenses. You can get brand new boxed ones on Ebay for half the price, so you better start looking because time is ticking.

Accessories for their camera like straps, pouches or camera bags are always welcome. Those are the things that us camera people don’t really want to invest in, so we wait until others give it to us as a gift. And last but not least, a mini Polaroid camera is literally the best thing you can get someone for Christmas. We consume so many photographs on a daily basis because of social media, so it’s nice to actually have the best memories captured and printed instantly on paper, so they never get lost and forgotten.

For the frequent traveller

Well, that person you can buy pretty much anything. They never spend their money on anything else than travelling so whatever you get them will be a bonus! Another good thing is you know what their hobby is, so you can never get the gift wrong. A passport holder is always a winner! I love this one from Kate Spade. Plus, you can never have too many. It’s like a phone case basically. A kit with their travel essentials won’t do harm either. These Molton Brown ones have everything they may need. They come in this waterproof clear pouch which is perfect for when you’re in a rush and the products are still wet.

A travel water bottle! That’s probably the one people think of the least. But when you’re going through customs, you don’t want to be messing with bottles of mineral water. This one you can just empty and refill after you’ve gone through the whole process. And last but not least, a travel sized perfume! The bottle of this Armani one from their private collection is so sleek and it’s the perfect travel companion. Because who doesn’t want a cute mini version of their perfume to bring along when they’re setting off on a new adventure.

Is there anything I need to add to my list? What is your dream gift for Christmas this year?

Michelle x

Images Olga Kim Photography

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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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Now that the weather in London is so much nicer and all the trees are blossoming, it’s all about spending time outside. Organising a fun afternoon in the sunshine seems like an obvious thing to do. London is such a diverse and dynamic city, and there is something for every mood and occasion. So much that sometimes we find it hard to sift through all the options.

When I’m searching for inspiration and places to visit in my favourite city, I normally look on Instagram first. However, the place we visited this time, I discovered by accident a few years ago. It was one of my first times visiting London back in my student days. I was traveling on a budget, so coaches back then were the only affordable option for me. I met my friends near Victoria coach station and right next to where they had parked, I saw this girly, blush pink cafe. It was like a fairy tale come to life.

A couple of weeks ago, while browsing on Instagram and Pinterest for some girly inspiration to match my new pink skirt, I stumbled upon the same pink cafe again! I could not hold my excitement and messaged my friend to meet up. Cake included, of course! You cannot go to Peggy Porschen without trying her award-winning treats. I highly recommend a slice of the strawberry and champagne one, with a side of macarons, if you too are a fan. A selection of Peggy’s own blend teas, inspired by flavours from her kitchen, is also available. We couldn’t get enough of the jasmine one, which had such a beautiful aroma.

Later that afternoon we went on a quest to find the most instagrammed pink door in the area. I’ve seen it scrolling through my Instagram feed a million times but I had no idea where exactly it was. I remember taking a screenshot of it on my phone but it wasn’t there anymore. That’s the problem with having no memory – you end up deleting important stuff. Luckily, everything’s online these days, if you are lucky enough to have battery on your phone of course.

After a long stroll down King’s Road in the sunshine and a few stops on the way (mainly at florist shops), we found ourselves on Oakley Street. We had to stop and admire the beauty for a while before continuing ahead. And just when I thought the afternoon could not get any better, we discovered a pink bridge at the end of the street. It lead to the beautiful Battersea Park where we spent the rest of our lovely afternoon.

I would love to know where you guys find inspiration and places to visit. Do you have any tips and different sources to Instagram and Pinterest?

The photos were taken on my Olympus Pen camera.

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H&M Spotted Blouse | New Look Pink Leather Skirt | Dune Patent Heels | Katie Loxton Pouch

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