Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Gift Guide for Her

There is always that one last present to get, regardless of how prepared we believe we are, there will always be at least one last item we'd love to gift someone. Throughout the years it has been proven that the men in my family will usually be the ones doing the last minute panic buying but that's not always the case as I find myself in the same boat this year, despite my best efforts!

Last minute gift buying can be tough and buying for women, though we believe it to be easy, maybe isn't as straight forward as we'd like to think. I've been married for almost 10 years now and I'm lucky that there have been very few bad gifts. I know it's not polite to talk about bad gifts - it's poor form because at the end of the day there is usually thought behind those presents. For instance, my husband, on our first Christmas together, thought he was doing a really sweet thing in buying me a pink electric razor for shaving my legs (because I had mentioned I hated disposables)... These things can happen which is why we have a solid system in place. Stick. To. The. Basics. Do this and you really can't go wrong.

Of course, there may be instances where you've asked outright if there is something someone is hoping for at Christmas. Hallelujah in that case, your work is done! If you're anything like me though you will probably still want to get what I refer to as filler gifts, the gifts that the person maybe isn't expecting. They mightn't cost much but they're great to unwrap and admire!

Gift Guide for Her, Last minute Christmas gift ideas, The Style Guide Blog
Pictured: Be Bright & Sparkle Mug, Bombay Duck London | Marble Rose Gold Watch, Lola Rose | Luxury Soft Scarf, Lou's Boutique | Alphabet Votive Candle, Bombay Duck London | Winter Candle, Bog Standard | Seventeen Strobing Kit, Boots

The first gift I'd recommend for her is a scented candle. Granted, there are women who don't like scented candles and if this is the case they'll have told you that in some way but for a large proportion of us, scented candles are the epitome of luxury. They're what we'd love to be treating ourselves to all the time but find the cost hard to justify.

Gift guide for her, Last minute present ideas, alphabet candle, initial candle, Bog Standard, Winter Candle, Christmas Candle

There are still plenty of scented candle options to get your hands on, I'd thoroughly recommend Bog Standard, made in Ireland and packed full of lasting scent. I was recently sent their Winter Candle and although this is now out of stock online they have some stunning options that I had the pleasure of sniffing through on my recent visit to McAuley's in Ballymoney. My picks and suggestions would be Linen, Moss and Clover. All really beautiful fragrances and without a doubt a brand worth looking out for in any local stores. I've also recently enjoyed my Alphabet Candle Votive from Bombay Duck London, who are another brand I fell in love with over the course of this last year.

Gift Guide For her, Last minute presents, Bombay Duck London, Cara Pharmacy, The Style Guide Blog, Christmas nails

Bombay Duck are still taking orders for Christmas deliveries and their site is packed full of gift-able present ideas. We all know someone who loves a fancy mug and there are many to choose from, plus I can vouch from personal birthday gift receiving experience, these are special to open because they come presented in a stunning pink round giftbox with gold lettering.

*If you're an Irish customer try your local Cara Pharmacy for Bombay Duck London!* 

There are many other options for last minute gifts that you don't need to overthink, a pretty notebook is always a good bet, a cosy scarf will never go unused especially if it's super soft and little beauty gift sets will always be appreciated.

If you have found yourself in a tizzy over a last minute star gift, you were going to go for some kind of jewellery or accessory but that can be it's own minefield so you're stuck... A watch is the perfect answer. A watch is one of those gifts that, whether the recipient wears it daily or just on special occasions, you can know that it will be treasured.

Gift Guide for Her, Jewellery, Watches, Lola Rose, Anne Shiels Jewellers, Marble rose gold watch, The Style Guide Blog

Another brand I recently discovered is Lola Rose London, a stunning collection of watches beyond any I've seen before. Perfectly crafted for modern instagram lovers and the like, these are something seriously special. Luckily, they seem to be a brand well stocked in the likes of John Lewis and a fair few independent Jewellers. This particular one is called their White Magnesite Stone Face Watch and I was so incredibly overwhelmed to have been gifted it recently by Anne Shiels Jewellers in Ballymoney so I know for a fact they have a great range displayed in store as well as other brands. If you do give the gift of a watch this Christmas, why not make a date with that person to have it engraved as well? It's hard to beat a personalised message.

Whatever the last minute gift is that you're running around panicking over, stop and breathe for a moment and remember, a gift given with heartfelt thought is almost always well received!

*This post contains gifts and items my husband and family have gifted me also

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Gift Guide for Dogs

We welcomed Kim into our family a year and a half ago now and it took us a good 5 years after losing our beloved cocker, Fudge, to even contemplate being able to love like that again. Much as though Fudge will forever own a piece of my heart, in the same way my childhood dog pal Fresca will, it is a wonderful experience to be able to welcome another furry fiend into our home. They're a special sort, aren't they? You tell them all your worries, your secrets, they know just when to nose you into giving them a pet in order to cheer yourself up and they become such an integral part of your family unit. Is it any wonder most of us will spoil them at Christmas?

Gift Guide for Dogs, lhasa apso, Christmas dog, Dog in a santa hat, The Style Guide Blog

If any of you are lucky enough to be able to get doggy clothing on your furry pals, I envy you. We tried to coax Kim into wearing a Santa dress (don't judge!) but she was having NONE of it. She's a bit of a diva, a clutzy wrecking ball of a diva and we love her entirely so of course we've made up a stocking for her.

If you're thinking of picking up some last minute bits for your fur-ever friend, I've put together a little gift guide and I've included some information on how to keep your pets safe at Christmas because I know how tempting it is to allow them 'treats' but please do ensure it's the safe type of treats. They rely on us to make those decisions for them!

What to buy your pets at Christmas, RSPCA, Keeping pets safe, Doggy Gift Guide, The Style Guide Blog
Squeaky Cracker Toy | Dog Christmas Jumper | Doggy Antlers & Collar | Dog Treat Box | Wreath Light Up Christmas Collar | Rawhide Rudolph Treats | Tennis Ball Elf Pull Toy | Personalised Dog Blanket

My biggest tip is don't be tempted to buy cheap treats wherever you spot them. Take the time to research what goes into what you're feeding your pet. Ensure you buy from a reputable source or why not bake your own doggy treats like Karen from Yankee Doodle Paddy! The treats she bakes up for her furry friend Stella look amazing - have a look at the recipe here

Don't forget to hang a stocking for your dog or your cat this Christmas, they're a huge part of our lives and they deserve to be treated as so. They earn that much given all the time they put in listening and loving their owners unconditionally. 

*Kim was gifted some doggy treats in return for her owner writing up this post but I'm sure you won't begrudge her ;) 

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Gift Guide for Him

I know we love them dearly but men can be some of the hardest to buy for at Christmas. Especially when it comes down to filler presents. Luckily, in this house, we've established a handy hinting method wherein Mr Style Guide simply tells me what he'd like. I'll usually try my best to source his request but then I have to admit, I like to pop in a few unexpected presents that I myself have put some thought into.

Through the years, I've been surprised at some of the choices Mr Style Guide has thrown my way. The traditional graphic novels and album specials have been sidelined for the likes of a cosy dressing gown or some new shoes. Seems I'm rubbing off on him!

Christmas Gift Guide for Him, Gift Ideas for Him, Presents for him, Adidas Original

Take these stunning Adidas Original Hamburgs for instance, I never in a million years would have thought my own love of red shoes would be mirrored by my husband and yet, they were top of his picks this year round!

To make things a little easier for you, per chance you're sat browsing at home and you've gone around in so many circles trying to buy for the fellas in your life, I've compiled a gift guide for him based loosely on gifts that have gone down well in this house during recent years.

Gift Guide for Him, The Style Guide Blog, Christmas gift guide, Top presents for men, Scotts Menswear
Homeys Slippers | Noel Men's Lush Gift Set | Jason Shankey Skincare | Crosley Record Player | KitSound Black Boombar Speaker | Luxurious Navy Hooded Dressing Gown | Paco Rabanne Invictus Set | Deer Fairisle Men's Christmas Jumper | Taylors of Harrogate Coffee | Marley Tan Jamaica In Ear Headphones | Henry London Watch | Adidas Original Hamburg

I find as long as you don't overthink it, present wise, you can't really go wrong with the basics. A few tips I can pass along from previous years; Homey's are the best slipper brand either I or Mr Style Guide have ever tried, sturdy and durable yet incredibly comfortable to wear. They honestly feel like a hug for your tired feet. Coffee is always a good bet if you have a coffee lover in the house and Taylors of Harrogate's Hot Lava Java is THE blend for robust coffee connoisseurs, though their Christmas blend is pretty special also! If you're going down the dressing gown road (everyone loves a bit of hygge!) the firm recommendation from our home is to opt for one of the hooded options from Next, they're so beautifully soft and warm, so much so I steal his sometimes. The Noel Gift Set from Lush is also a great option because it does all the work for you, a gift box that includes some shower jelly, shampoo bar, soap and more wrapped up in a nice festive bow, and don't go ruling out skincare as a gift option for him anymore! We're seeing a huge surge in men starting to take more of an interest and incorporating skincare into their routines and a I guarantee a few bits from The Jason Shankey Skincare Range would go over a real treat. I know I struggled for a while in buying himself shoes because they can make it so tricky with how fussy they are (you KNOW it's true!) so believe me when I tell you the range of Adidas Footwear available at the moment is a pretty good bet. I'm told they feel as though they're made specifically for your feet and it's ''like walking on clouds''... I'm only a little jealous his are not in my size!

If in doubt, there is no shame whatsoever in asking your dad / brother / grown nephew / boyfriend / partner / cousin / husband what they might like this year for Christmas. I've learned through the years that a lot of men don't view presents such as we women do. For a lot of us it's about the surprise, the pretty gift wrapping and the actual presentation of the gift and the thought behind it moreso than the actual present itself, that's why I always think women are easier to buy for! Mr Style Guide completely disagrees on that point...

May the shopping odds be ever in your favour this Christmas and remember, above all else, DON'T STRESS. Don't let it get on top of you. Set your own pace and remember, we are in a position of privilege where we CAN take the time to really enjoy Christmas, there are so many in the world who are not in our position. Don't sweat the little things. Gifts are given from the heart therefore you will always choose the right present.

Don't forget to check back for our last two gift guides popping up this week!

*Post contains a PR sample

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