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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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We all have that one person in our lives whose confidence is just so damn out of this world. Their presence can be felt the minute they walk in the room. Their attitude is what society refers to as ‘goals’ and they conquer the day like it’s nobody’s business. If you want to know how to be that person, I can’t tell you. But below you can find some of the ways that always help me when I’m in need of a little confidence boost.

Stay out of your comfort zone

A comfort zone is that invisible line we draw around ourselves. Nobody moves, nobody gets hurt. At first it doesn’t feel right. The more you stay within your comfort zone though, the more you feel like it’s okay to have an average life. Have no expectations and you won’t be disappointed, right? As happy as you can be in your comfort zone, that’s not where you’re meant to be. At least not yet. Fear can be a good thing when it makes us aware of danger and keeps us safe. But not everything we fear is actually harmful for us. Sometimes, the things we’re afraid of, end up being the most eye-opening experiences. Best-selling author and podcaster Tim Ferriss recommends incorporating as many challenging activities in your daily life as you can. I always find it hard to start a conversation with a stranger. But the satisfaction I get whenever I do, and that stranger turns out to be an interesting human being, just makes it all worth it.

Try power dressing

When I say power dressing, this image of Miranda (The Devil Wears Prada) wearing a high waisted skirt, crisp white shirt and a tailored blazer pops into my head. Let’s just be honest here, you learned a lot about confidence when you saw that film as a teenager. We’ve all been there. In the late 70s and early 80s, power dressing was adopted by women who wanted to establish their authority and project an image of efficiency. If they wanted to be taken seriously, they had to fit in a world strictly dominated by men. W Magazine have this brilliant piece on power dressing for 2017, so have a read. I find that even the tiniest change like wearing heels to work for a day makes such a difference. It’s time to unleash your inner Miranda.

 

Find yourself a girl squad

Call them your clique, crew, gang, whatever. Having your girls by your side to remind you how beautiful, intelligent and strong you are is the ultimate dream.  The amount of #girlpower I see in media and life in general, just makes me feel proud I was born in this age! Moving from a ‘Mean Girls’ era to a ride or die relationship with your BFF’s is just what we all need. Finding yourself a support team to lean on can be a huge confidence boost. I can’t even count the times I’ve been crying on my bestie’s shoulder for hours until we get to that point when she reaches to get me a lipstick from her bag and tells me to pull myself together. That’s exactly what you need when you find yourself in a difficult situation, isn’t it?

Book a flight

Sometimes, we need to step aside from a situation, in order to see things from a new perspective. I’m just making excuses to book my next trip, really. As if I need one. Travelling allows you to be in control and choose your own path. It’s the only time when your boss is not around (unless you’re on a business trip) and you’re completely free to do whatever feels right at any given moment. When travelling, we find ourselves in situations where we have to overcome language barriers, get a taxi without being ripped off, eat something of a questionable origin or even survive without wi-fi for a couple of hours. The latter being the hardest one to cope with. Most of the time we don’t even realise how travelling helps us confront our weaknesses and challenge ourselves in a productive way. If that’s not the kind of confidence boost you need, I don’t know what is. Have you started looking at flights already?

I would love to hear what helps you build your confidence the most?

Yours

Michelle x

 

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Before heading off to Granada, all I knew about the place was that temperatures could rise up to 40 degrees in the summer. Little did I know about how much 40 degrees actually is! Granada is situated in southern Spain’s Andalusia region and the climate is very hot and dry. By that I mean my hair was completely dry five minutes after coming out of the shower, no hair dryer involved. To ensure I was minimising my chances of a heat exhaustion , I had to keep in mind a few basics.

STAYING HYDRATED

When travelling to a hot country, my number one priority is to avoid dehydrating and stressing my body. Travelling on its own can have a huge impact on dehydration. Add some heat to the mix and you have a reason enough to consider giving your body maximum hydration. First and foremost, drink your water. I know it sounds obvious but if you wait until you’re thirsty, that means you are already dehydrated. Eating fruits and veggies that contain a high percentage of water is also a big plus. There’s a reason watermelon is called that way you know!

WEARING A LIGHTWEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTED CLOTHING

Linen is a highly absorbent natural fibre. It gives the benefit of keeping you cool in hot weather due to lower thread counts compared to fabrics such as cotton. Linen garments have another great advantage – they remove perspiration from the skin. Linen’s capability of absorbing moisture is a great reason to wear it in the heat. It means you don’t need to worry if your back looks sweaty and feel uncomfortable about it.

ALWAYS APPLYING SPF BEFORE GOING OUT

I’ll tell you a little story. For the past three years I have been unable to go in the sun without wearing 50 SPF. My skin has never been sensitive but I got so badly sunburned. After exposing myself to direct sunlight only having applied tanning oil, my skin got allergic to the sunlight. Every time I tried to sunbathe with an SPF lower than 50, the skin on my arms was getting red and itchy. I hope that’s a reason enough for you to consider bringing that tube of sunscreen with you when you’re escaping to paradise. Wearing SPF on your face and neck will help block UVB rays and prevent from burning, hyperpigmentation, and the damage than can cause skin cancer.

TAKING FREQUENT BREAKS IN THE SHADE TO LET YOUR BODY COOL DOWN

Giving your body a chance to cool down and avoiding sunlight in the afternoon hours can help you survive in the hottest of days. If that’s not possible and a dip in the swimming pool is not an option either, there is another way to cool yourself down. Dabbing water to the body areas where heat tends to gather, and to pressure points will help cool your whole system. I normally press a bottle of ice cold water to the inside of my elbows and it works almost instantly.

What other tips should I add to my list?

Michelle x

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