Christmas Gift Guide #5: The Mini Me’s

Today I’m moving onto the mini-me’s. It can be hard to buy for the little ones and that old cliche about the cardboard box being more interesting than the present really does ring true. I also find that toys veer far too much down the plastic-fantastic route and try my best to steer well clear of those, preferring instead to buy choices I know the parents of any little one will love just as much as the little one themselves, if not more.

Christmas Gift Guide, Kids Gifts, Childrens Gifts, Kiddies, Little Ones, Christmas, Festive, Gifts, Pocketful of Dreams

What do you think readers, do you have little ones to buy for? What are your top tips and finds this year?
Michelle xx

Follow on TwitterInstagram and Pinterest

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE #3: Stocking fillers

In my family, it’s customary to have a main christmas or birthday present, and also some small presents too, which is lovely to receive but tricky to accomplish sometimes. It’s hard to find stocking fillers that are both ‘wanted’ and also within budget as they can easily add up. I’ve rounded up a selection of my favourites here for girls and guys (although of course some you might disagree with me – cheese lovers I’m looking at you! ;) )


Earrings £6 Accessorize // Burt Bees Lip Balm, John Lewis £3.14 // Tangle Teezer £10.99 John Lewis // Glitter Tape, £3.50/roll Paper Mash // Bespoke pencil set £25 Abigail Warner at NOTHS.com // Meringue Girls Cookbook Amazon £10.20
Happy Socks £8, ASOS // iPhone initial case – Paperchase £12 // Stag and Owl Wine stoppers, Paperchase £8 // Ravioli cutter, Tesco £5.99 // Alex Ferguson My Autobiography, Amazon £12 // Wensleydale with Fig and Orange truckle £1 ASDA

For the girls…

  • Pretty studs for every day
  • A sweet lip balm
  • For girls of all ages, a hair brush guaranteed to get through those knotty ends
  • Sparkly tape for all manner of gift wrapping and crafty plans
  • Personalised pencils for the smartest girl at school (or in the office)
  • For the domestic goddess, or sweet toothed, the cookbook of the moment.
For the boys…
  • Christmas cheese for festive nibbles
  • The most talked about autobiography (and book?) this year, a must for any football fan.
  • For the foodie, a ravioli press to make his own filled pasta parcels
  • Happy socks, because black socks are boring.
  • An initialled Phone cover
  • For a litte bit of gentlemanly style, a stag wine stopper.

I know I always find picking out budget stocking fillers tricky without resorting to the same old same old and without spending a fortune, so I’d love to hear if you have any great ideas?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Christmas Gift Guide #2: For Mums (of all ages) by Esme

Today’s gift guide is from Esme, who is bringing us a list of pampering and spoiling suggestions for new mums and in fact, mums everywhere of all ages. Hint: Forward the link to your OH and thank Esme later ;)

Under £20

£20 – £30

Splash out

Can you add to this list readers – We’d both love to hear any suggestions you might have. It’s looking like the Joules pyjamas are pretty hot this year!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Christmas Gift Guide #1: My Wish List

It’s December people so time to hold on to your hats as we bring you a range of gift guides from me and the wider Florence Finds team. I’m kicking things off with a bit of a wish list more than a guide, but I suspect it will give you some ideas of things you might want to buy your lucky friends and family :)

  • Origins Moisturiser with SPF £35 I’m ready for a new moisturiser and need something heavier for the winter, but I never forsake my SPF.
  • Joules Pyjama bottoms £29.95 For winter cosiness and spring time florals all in one.
  • Checked Scarf, Zara £19.99 Because I love the trend for tartan during the Christmas season. 
  • Little Parcel friendship bracelet, Astley Clarke (15% off until midnight tonight readers!) £175 I’ve long wanted one of these and fell for this one to remind you of someone important.
  • Silver Zatchel saddle bag, Atterley Road, £70 Because I want a small winter bag for wearing over winter layers and gleaming metallics are bang on trend.
  • Big Antipasti plank, Jamies Italian £17.50 For sharing lingering meals with friends.
  • Cocktail Shaker, Anthropologie £20 To add a little something to my bar tray for seasonal parties.
  • Walnut Owl, Howkapow £25 Because I didn’t get it last year…
  • Cashmere Jumper, Boden £149 (currently 30% off) Always an investment, Always luxurious, eternally practical and stylish.
  • Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner in Black Mauve Shimmer £17.50 An old favourite recently resurrected and promoted to top of my make up favourites
So what’s on your Christmas list ladies?
Love,
Rebecca
xo

Florence’s gift guide #1: For your cool sister/friend

I was in two minds as to whether I should put together some gift guides for Christmas 2012 this year as they take some time to do and I wasn’t sure how useful you guys find them. I decided to go ahead for two reasons. One, I love reading gift guides myself and spotting things on them that I wouldn’t have thought of and two, I love browsing gift guides and finding things that I would like for myself. ;)

Today’s gift guide is for the stylish, lovely female friend or maybe sister in your life who you love to spoil. The person that you think of about 25 things to buy for every year but have to settle on just one or two.


Girls Aloud, Ten [Deluxe Edition] // Lucas Jack Star Ring // Sequin wash bag, Ted Baker // Yves Purple Shoes, Reiss // Merino lined wellington boots, EWE Wellies // Caviar and Oyster Eye Pallette, Bobbi Brown // Ice Queen necklace, Banana Republic // Nail Polish gift set, Topshop // Candle, Fox & Crow // Young House Love book // Glitter Clutch bag, Miss KG

Happy Shopping!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Monday Must-Have: Fox and Crow Candles.

This morning, I’m delighted to be able to share something I’ve been wanted to shout about for a while now, indeed you may have read some of my tweets about Fox and Crow who make beautiful scented soy-wax candles. They contacted me a little while back to see if I would share their products and kindly sent me a sample which I was very pleased about. I love scented candles, don’t get me wrong, it’s so lovely being surrounded by gorgeous smells. Sometimes they can be over powering, sickly or headache inducing though so I was happy to recommend them having smelt it myself.

I was instantly smitten by the bronze foil embossed packaging and cute Fox and Crow logo, but I could smell my Lavendar Ice Cream candle before it was out of the box. Indeed it made my room at work smell beautiful and then did the same at home before I even lit it.

Just this week Fox and Crow secured their first stockist in London, Home & Kids, who also do mail order, so this is my tip to you readers – if you’re looking for Christmas gifts, stock up on these and your friends and family will not be disappointed! I’ll certainly be purchasing some :)

Happy Monday readers!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Florence’s Favourite: Children’s books

Yesterday I was very honoured to become a Godmother to my friend Helen’s 16 week little boy. As most of you will know, I don’t have children yet and I really felt quite overwhelmed at the responsibility that lies before me, but it’s a role which I’m looking forward to and I hope gives me further insight and tips for babies in my own future! (Helen is akin to Super-Nanny when it comes to managing her little ones.)

However, my first responsibility was to find a gift! I was christened and I still have many of the gifts I was given then, but it has to be said that most of them are pretty impractical; things that I look at once in a blue moon rather than getting any use out of. I hate to give presents that are ‘dust gatherers’ as my Mum would say, but obviously the occasion requires something a touch more sentimental than a baby-grow.

Eventually I settled on a collection of books that I read as a child and remember my Mum reading to me or my sister. I figured it could be the beginning of his little library and I can add to it throughout his life, plus it has an intimate connection to me.

I chose:

I could have gone on forever though, The BFG, Harry Potter, The Water Babies, The Velveteen Rabbit, The Little Match Girl…

Before I came to this decision however, I asked the almighty genius of my twitter followers and received so many brilliant suggestions, I thought I would use them for a gift guide in case any of you required some similar help in the future. Most of them would make great gifts for any celebration in fact.

Other suggestions included a course of swimming lessons, (genius Aisling!) a tree planted in his name, or wine that matures on his 21st. (I’m not sure I would have appreciated fine wine at 21, but good idea!)

After an enjoyable afternoon scouring a couple of book shops and feeling nostalgic – it’s amazing how many memories children’s books bring back, I thought I would ask you all to share the books you were read at bedtime as a child that bring back lovely memories?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Pssst! It’s a 3 post Monday! Pop back at 1pm to see who the winner of the Swoon Worthy Homewares giveaway was and then for a brilliant and ethical idea later on…

Florence’s Florals: The V-Day Edition

This afternoon, it’s one of my favourite monthly posts, Becky Hay from Blossom is back with some most beautiful florals for V-day or in fact any other special day that takes yourfancy. Book mark it, forward it on to your loved one, or to anyone else who needs some gift giving/brownie point achieving advice. :)

In my world, February is a month dominated by St. Valentine, sadly not because my husband whisks me away to spend the month in Paris. It’s one week of the year in the shop when the pressure to get it right is immense. No other day comes close to instilling so much panic in men. What to purchase to convey the correct sentiment?

The red rose doesn’t reach my list of favourite flowers, and I know I’m not alone. The most popular Valentine bouquet at Blossom doesn’t include red roses, something I’m rather proud of my customers for! I’m not saying that the premium red roses aren’t very beautiful or romantic. They most definitely are, but they don’t suit everyone.

Whilst I’m sure that Rebecca will be taking care of some non-floral gifts for Valentine’s day, I thought I’d put a floral wish list together providing some alternatives to the red rose. Hopefully it will include a gift that you will find a little more individual. You could always forward a link to your significant others….there’s nothing like a little nudge in the right direction.

And if Valentine’s Day isn’t for you, please bear with me this month. You could always replace the ‘V’ word with ‘Birthday’ for the rest of the post. Regular service will resume in March.

For something truly British and seasonal:
This Limited Edition Green Velvet Luxury Valentine’s bouquet from the Tregothnan estate in Cornwall just shouts spring with some unusual ingredients.

One of my all-time favourite flowers….50 stems of Cornish Anemones grown and picked by Clowance nurseries – With their jewel tones and furry black centres, no flower is exactly the same.

For the keen cook:
A Kitchen Herb Bouquet from the Tregothnan estate in Cornwall will last for ages in a jug on the kitchen window sill or could be hung upside down to dry in a warm spot.

For the keen gardener:
A beautifully fragrant rose plant from David Austin. You do need a sunny spot in your garden for success with these. How about ‘Wollerton Old Hall’, ‘Eglantyne’, or ‘Gertrude Jekyll’?

A book on growing cut flowers, and a selection of seed packets of flowers with romantic names such as ‘love-in-the-mist’, ‘forget-me-not’, and ‘sweet pea’.

For the outdoor type:
A Snowdrop day out – these beautiful flowers carpet woodlands in February and offer the perfect backdrop for a romantic walk. Countryfile magazine has chosen their top 5 snowdrop gardens or find a garden near you using this guide.

For the very extravagant:
Not just one bouquet of scented garden roses, but a bouquet subscription from The Real Flower Company – There are some serious brownie points attached to this gift.

For the wo/man who almost forgot:
I beg you to not stop off at the petrol station on the way home but instead use The Good Florist Guide to find your nearest quality florist and call them directly. It’s more than likely they’ll be able to come to the rescue at the very last minute….we always do!

And finally, if my Valentine is reading, you know how much I love a snowdrop, or how about one of these…. ; )

Xx

L’italiano guida regalo di Natale – Florence’s gift guide #6

Ciao Bellas! Gemma here, with a little bit of Christmas chat inspired by my love of travel.

Ever since I visited Italy for the first time at 15, I’ve wanted to go back there for Christmas. I feel like the yuletide season in Italy would be like Christmas to the power of 3 – I mean, even the Italian flag is in Christmas colours! I’d love to go to a Christmas service in one of the beautiful ancient churches for hymns and carols sung in Italian and mass in Latin. To gorge myself on Italian Christmas delicacies like il torrone (Italian nougat) and Panettone, (Italian Christmas fruitcake, baked in a tall mould with light buttery dough and filled with candied fruit, raisins, ginger, honey, almonds and hazelnuts) and to wander the winding, snow-covered streets cradling a caffe corretto (that’s coffee ‘corrected’ with a shot of cognac or another spirit ;) hand in hand with a handsome man.
However. This year the handsome man and I are staying at home for Christmas in our new rental flat in London, so instead, I’ve come up with an Italian-inspired gift guide which hopefully includes something for everyone.

First up, for the tree (considering we had the Christmas tree up in our house before we had plates or cutlery it’s safe to say I prioritise ‘decking my halls’!) this stunning decoration from Versace. I know that the price of it is a little bit ridiculous, but that’s what makes it so fabulous and it would definitely become a family heirloom.

Cibi e Bevande (Food and Drink)

  • Toast the season with a traditionally Italian tipple – Prosecco. And if you’re after a gift for a wine buff, you could give them a bottle with some Riedel Prosecco glasses (I know Riedel is Austrian but they went to a LOT of trouble working with Italian Prosecco makers to design this glass which directs the drink to the right part of your palate so that it maximizes the sweetness and fullness of the wine while minimising bitterness… it would be scrooge-ish of me not to include them, no?) Panettone: this amazing cake, which is similar to brioche in texture, can be eaten on its own, smothered with nutella (what? It’s an example..) or used in any recipes that call for bread – once you’ve tried bread and butter pudding made with this you’ll never go back.
  • Italian coffee: this is self explanatory. I’m name-checking Lavazza here. They’ve been making the stuff since 1895, and am I the only one who loves the styling of their ads? Giving a pack of ‘posh coffee’ along with a stove-top Espresso maker like this beauty from Bialetti can be a truly life-changing present for people who’ve only ever had instant at home before.
  • Italian food cookbook – The Italian Diet, Gino Di Campo. For anyone who thinks Italian cooking is; a, too easy, b, too fatty and carby, or c, boring, this is the book. Lots of fresh ideas that are healthy, and lots of unusual dishes that go past the basics like lasagne. I picked up a friend’s copy and went to write a few dishes down, then I realised I liked the sound of so many I might as well get the book.

Per la casa (for the home)

  • Alessi Stovetop kettle: I have wanted one of these for a vairrrrrry long time, but as I’ve just bought an enamelled grey whistling kettle that was more ‘in-budget’ please let me know if any of you are getting this for Christmas or indeed already own one. I like the pale blue/burgundy colour combo best, and yes I’d like to see home photos.
  • MOR Italian Blood Orange candle
  • Venetian mirror – in my quest to make our rental flat homey and livable (at the moment it’s homely and laughable) I am after a statement mirror. I have bored many people, including Rebecca, with mirror-chat. So to shut me up, someone please direct my long-suffering husband to this Laura Ashley Valencia mirror.
  • Murano glass paperweight – yes, a paperweight, potentially the world’s most-given, least-thought-about gift. Except that if someone gave me this I would so totally put it on my desk, stat. (Well, if they gave me a desk to go with it)

Divertimento (entertainment)

  • Ok, so her mother is Icelandic but she obviously gets her name from her Italian father, and if you’ve never heard Emiliana Torrini you might want to keep one of her albums for yourself. My fav of her tracks? Jungle Drums, Heartstopper and her exquisite cover of Tom Wait’s I hope that I don’t fall in love with you. This Rarities
    vinyl is also frameable.
  • In my Christmas day schedule I’ve set aside time for film watching in my pjs. First up is Life is Beautiful, (which is not to be confused with A Beautiful Life) an Italian film that will make you laugh and cry, and then I’ll be sighing over polka dot dresses with La Dolce Vita.
  • Having learnt to speak Spanish in the last year and wishing with all my might that I’d payed attention to Italian lessons at school, I think the Rosetto Stone Italian lesson program is a fab gift. Rosetta Stone really works, too.

Vestiti (clothes)

  • Oh, Italian fashion, how I love thee. Maxmara reversible cape? I’m talking to you. Oh, hello there Missoni sweater – I do agree you’d be trans-seasonal and therefore a justifiable expense and Miu Miu calf leather boots and coat, why, it’d be a crime to buy one of you without the other. Sigh.
  • However, back here in the real world, I do like the look of this Italian Silk scarf for men which is very, um, stealable borrowable… I mean, only when he’s not wearing it…

I’d love to hear from anyone who has spent a Christmas in Italy – what have I missed? Do you have a dream Christmas destination?

Gemma x

Florence’s Gift Guide #5

Welcome back and Hip Hip Hooray, it’s time for my favourite gift guide… for Home Lovers. I would snap each and every thing up on this list for myself if I could so if that’s not seal of approval enough for you all, then I don’t know what is. To narrow it down slightly however, I am seriously lusting after that gold chevron stripe tray and am going to need the Design Sponge at Home book in my life this Christmas. I’ve waited long enough!

  • Any stylish home lover simply has to have this… Design Sponge at Home
  • Super stylish but generic enough for a female secret santa, Pure White Unscented Voitives (set of six) – The White Company
  • Gold chevron Zag tray – Up in the Air Somewhere (US)
  • A Cosy winter checked throw – Laura Ashley
  • Everybody loves a scented candle and I personally love the Christmas ones but christmas day is a little late to unwrap one I feel so go for this fresh fig one. (As a lover of expensive scented candles I think The White Company ones are a great compromise on price but still an authentic scent.) – *Save 15% & Free Delivery at the moment!
  • A lot of these items may seem like slightly off the wall gifts, but as anyone who is doing a house up will know, money often runs out when it comes to accessorising. Quirky home owners will love these botanical wide life cushions from Dwell, or who would have thought this stylish deer could be found in M&S?
  • I couldn’t leave this cute little white owl behind when I was shopping in M&S earlier this week and at £5 it’s a seasonal bargain for those people you need a tiny present for but want to keep it stylish.
  • Brown Dog door stop – Laura Ashley
  • A subscription to my favourite interiors magazine… Living Etc.

What do you think readers? Added any of these to your lust list?

Come back this afternoon as it’s a three post Thursday and we’ve got a very special and stylish treat in store for you all :)

Love,
Rebecca
xo