10 ways to make your gift wrapping stand out this Christmas

So, who has bought all their Christmas presents? Not me obviously as I am always a last minute kinda gal, but I’m sure all my sensible followers have bought at least some, if not all, of their Christmas gifts. I do love a nicely wrapped present and think it really adds to the whole gift giving experience so always try and make my presents look nice.

I was actually taught to gift wrap at Harrods when I was a junior window dresser so know a few tricks too to make them stand out from the crowd. I’ve created 10 looks to make your wrapping look amazing this year…plus none of it requires much outlay and much of it you probably already have. Oh yes, we are going to be eco-friendly too and do a bit of recycling! Lets get inspired…

Idea 1:Use fresh foliage –

Theres always so much stuff to use for free – you just have to look for it. Head to your local park for Holly, Ivy, Fir and berries. You’ll only need a few small bits, which you can leave in a small amount of water or damp oasis and then add them a few days before you gift your presents so they don’t dry out.

Christmas gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blogPillow pack / Wilkinsons

Idea 2: Get personal with personalised paper* –

For paper that really grabs peoples attention why not create something truly unique? Pretty Gifted is a fantastic online seller of personalised gift wrap – you pick your paper colour, your print foil, your font and your message and they do the rest. For £7.95 you get a large sheet of fantastic quality wrap, a gift tag and a metallic pen. I went for a little message to my boyfriend to wrap one of his presents in – ‘gifts are nice, but our love is everything!’ Lets get this whole season of buying stuff in proportion, eh?!?

Christmas gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blogGift wrap sheet, tag & metallic pen / Pretty Gifted*
Curling ribbon / The Works
Wooden decoration / Demelza Hospice shop

Idea 3: Map it out –

Know a person who loves to travel? Maps are something of a blast from the past these days but whenever I see old ones I want to make use of them. Dig out your old ones from the back of the cupboard or source vintage maps from charity shops and second hand stores and you will have some ready-made and totally personal, wrap. Just add ribbon…

Christmas gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blogVintage maps / various charity shops
Ribbon / Tiger Stores

Idea 4: Make part of the present the wrapping –

Giving a gift of a scarf or similar? Why not use it as the gift wrap? Theres nothing like getting two presents for the price of one! If you can’t use the gift itself you could use a beautiful off-cut of fabric – just wrap it around the gift, add a satin ribbon to fasten, and you are done!

Christmas gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blogVintage scarf / my own
Satin ribbon / John Lewis
Gift tag / Clintons

Idea 5: When theres not much time but you still want to be individual –

We’ve all seen all the gift boxes you can get in the card shops – they are easy to use, but usually not that exciting. However, life gets busy so for a short cut use pre-made gift boxes, but do it your way. Change the ribbon and the tags and add some personal touches such a giant bows and christmas decorations – now your box is totally unique.

Christmas gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blogGift boxes / The Works (striped), Card Factory (glitter), Sainsburys (gift card)
Curling ribbon / The Works
Tree decoration / Demelza Hospice shop

Idea 6: Christmas decorations –

This time of year its easy to find a different decoration to suit every type of person, so why not add it your parcel as a personalised gift tag? The person can keep it afterwards and add it to their tree as a keepsake. For a special gift, look for collectable decorations and for a more budget friendly version check out the supermarkets, Wilkinsons or charity shops – many charity shops have ranges of new decorations for sale and you can help a worthy cause at the same time.

Christmas gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blogChristmas gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blog25th Dec wrapping paper / Clintons
Wood & raffia decoration / Demelza Hospice shops
Set of 3 porcelain decorations / Georg Jenson at John Lewis
Ribbon / Tiger Stores

Idea 7: Recycle that newspaper –

Boring old newspaper can look amazing as a present wrapping. Use an unfamiliar paper such as one from a foreign country or as I have here, the Financial Times. Look out for vintage newspapers and comics – for a really individual touch you could use one from the year that person was born.

Christmas gift wrap wrapping Newspaper style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blogChristmas gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blogFinancial Times / selected newsagents
Ribbon / The Works

Idea 8: Doilies –

Paper doilies have gone out of fashion in recent years but they are easy to track down in the party and disposable plates section of many stores. They make a fabulous addition to gift wrap particularly with a simple paper underneath. Want a truly unique gift wrap? Then this look is for you.

Christmas Paper Doilies gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blog

Brown paper / Poundland
Decorative string / The Works
Paper Doilies / Tesco

Idea 9: Tins –

Tins, both vintage and Christmas themed are really a gift in themselves for wrapping smaller presents. Look out for unusual ones throughout the year and then add your smaller gifts into them. Finally just add a bow and boom – done!

Christmas gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blog

Tins / charity shops, Poundland, Ikea
Ribbon / Tiger Stores, M&S

Idea 10: Tinsel is not just for the tree –

For a fun look tinsel can work perfectly as an alternative to ribbon. Look for rolls of mini tinsel which is usually used as a garland or for smaller trees and wrap it around your wrapped gifts. Cut smaller sections and tie together to make a starburst bow and your gift will look amazing!

Christmas gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blogMini tinsel garland / John Lewis
Gift tag / John Lewis
Wrapping paper / Poundland

And finally, some tips to make your wrapping look great. Remember with gift wrapping, the basics matter –

  • Measure out how much paper to cut by rolling out your wrapping paper and then placing the item (ideally a box) in the centre of the paper, upside down, so the seams of the paper will end up on the bottom of the package. Bring the paper up one side and over the top of the box, all the way to the opposite edge estimating how much additional paper you’ll need to cover the side of the box that’s not yet covered and then cut the paper.
  • Bring one side of the paper up the side and halfway across the top, affixing it to the box with a piece of tape.
  • Before bringing the second side of paper up and over the first, create a clean seam by folding over the last half-inch or so of the paper, using your fingers to create a tight crease. Now bring this side up so it just overlaps the first one and affix with tape – double-sided tape can be used for an even neater look. Position the fold on an edge for a seamless look, making sure you line up any patterns.
  • Fold the paper on each side of the present and starting on one end, fold down the top flap onto the side of the box, creating two little wings at the side. Flatten those in against the box, then fold the remaining triangle of paper up against the box. Fasten it in place with a small piece of tape.
  • Add your bows and tags as required. Curl ribbon with the underside of a sharp pair of scissors and cut ribbon ends into forks or angles.

Enjoy getting ready for the holiday season! If you use any of these ideas I would love to see! Tag me on Instagram – @blueskygirlie.

.

*items marked with an asterisk denotes a gifted item but all views stated are my own. For more information please see my disclaimer section.

All photos are my own and cannot be used without permission.

Doing Valentines Day your way…

Now lets start with a disclaimer…I am no fan of Valentines day. In fact I wrote a whole blog about it being a marketing ploy that we should not get caught up in (read my thoughts here). I personally don’t like being guilted in to acting a certain way and all these ‘holidays’ do seem to do that.

Instead lets talk about things I do love…

  • Fashion
  • Hearts
  • Vintage
  • Personalisation
  • Cute design
  • Being romantic

Regardless of the date, let me share some lovely ways to be cute around Valentines Day or Galantines Day or just a random day in February depending on your view, using things I love.

Dress the part –

Don’t worry, I’m not talking sexy underwear (although most men would agree its never a bad idea, I’m sure!). I’m talking a cute reference to the season without looking like you tried too hard. This cropped jumper looks great and I co-ordinated it with a leather skirt for a low key sexy look. It has a sense of humour (a key part of fashion for me), is a great price and best of all you can wear it any day of the year! After all, who doesn’t love LOVE!

Jumper / Divided at H&M, Skirt / Very.co.uk

Get retro –

As you may know I love vintage (I run a vintage shop full of curated pieces on Etsy – take a look) and buying vintage items is a cheap and cheerful way to add a unique touch to proceedings. I discovered these 1960’s glasses in a local secondhand shop and just had to have them.

…and they came in a pair so are perfect for a glass of bubbly with a loved one during a cheeky romantic meal – or how about using them for a yummy dessert?

Smell great –

They say our sense of smell plays a huge part in arousal and smelling good makes you feel confident which in turn makes you sexy. So add a few sprays of a great scent onto your skin and see what happens! Lately theres been some fantastic perfumes launch that don’t break the bank, in fact my two favourites at the moment are actually budget buys from Missguided and Primark.

Pink Candy fragrance / Primark, Babe Power fragrance / Missguided

Wrap a gift but make it personal* –

I discovered Pretty Gifted just before Christmas. They are a fantastic online seller of personalised gift wrap – you pick your paper colour, your print foil, your font and your message and they do the rest. For £7.95 you get a large sheet of fantastic quality wrap, a gift tag and a metallic pen. This time I chose the new rainbow foil effect and went for a cute little message to my boyfriend to wrap a token gift in – ‘can I borrow a kiss? I promise to give it back…’ I’m smooth right!?!

Wrapping paper / Pretty Gifted, Ribbon / Wilkinsons

I have kindly been given a code for my followers to receive an exclusive 10% off all orders – bluesky18val . It is valid until their Valentines cut off (midday on Friday 9th Feb)

Have a nibble –

My local independent baker makes the cutest cookies and cakes for Valentines (and lots of other seasonal events) and I bet yours does too. For just a £1.50 or so you can pick a super cute treat for a favourite person to have with their coffee which is guaranteed to make them smile and remind them how much you care…oh and you get to support a small independent business too!

Be cute not crass –

One of the reasons I’m not a fan of V-day is the pressure it creates. It encourages us to spend money we often cant afford on booking restaurants or spending £50 on roses that will be dead in a week, feel we must be waiting in red underwear ready to ‘perform’ as if we were in a XXX movie and the fake world of social media has just made it even worse. Thanks Facebook/Snapchat/Insta but I don’t need to see 37 photos of *insert name here*s Valentines day…no one does!

Often a token gift can mean much more than something expensive but with no thought behind it. A pretty pair of earrings because he knows you love to dress up, a lip balm because he loves to kiss your lips, a Lego mini figure of a favourite comic book character, a book mark because he knows you love reading…These type of things mean much more to me and are the things I have come to cherish particularly as I get older…

Heart Peg / The Works (pack of 10), Earrings / F&F, Trinket dish / Clintons, Lip balm / Beauty Base , Silver Love Heart / Suck UK , Love potion bottle / East of India, Harley Quinn figure / Lego.

So for a simpler way to celebrate, put your phone away, don’t broadcast what you’re doing or not doing and just do something that makes the person you love (whether its a lover, a friend or yourself – self love counts too remember) happy. Write a note, share a memory, make a favourite meal or just sit on the sofa watching a favourite film. Obviously feel free to do any of the other ‘Valentiney’ things if thats your bag, but do them because you want to and can afford to, not because you’re trying to out-do the rest of Facebook, impress your friends or feel pressured to by others.

Celebrate or don’t celebrate, but do it you way!

…And most importantly, none of the ideas shown in this blog cost a lot… because I truly believe love shouldn’t come with a price tag! xx

*items marked with an asterisk denotes a gifted item but all views stated are my own. For more information please see my disclaimer section.

10 ways to make your gift wrapping stand out this Christmas

So, who has bought all their Christmas presents? Not me obviously as I am always a last minute kinda gal, but I’m sure all my sensible followers have bought at least some, if not all, of their Christmas gifts. I do love a nicely wrapped present and think it really adds to the whole gift giving experience so always try and make my presents look nice.

I was actually taught to gift wrap at Harrods when I was a junior window dresser so know a few tricks too to make them stand out from the crowd. I’ve created 10 looks to make your wrapping look amazing this year…plus none of it requires much outlay and much of it you probably already have. Oh yes, we are going to be eco-friendly too and do a bit of recycling! Lets get inspired…

Idea 1:Use fresh foliage –

Theres always so much stuff to use for free – you just have to look for it. Head to your local park for Holly, Ivy, Fir and berries. You’ll only need a few small bits, which you can leave in a small amount of water or damp oasis and then add them a few days before you gift your presents so they don’t dry out.

Christmas gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blogPillow pack / Wilkinsons

Idea 2: Get personal with personalised paper* –

For paper that really grabs peoples attention why not create something truly unique? Pretty Gifted is a fantastic online seller of personalised gift wrap – you pick your paper colour, your print foil, your font and your message and they do the rest. For £7.95 you get a large sheet of fantastic quality wrap, a gift tag and a metallic pen. I went for a little message to my boyfriend to wrap one of his presents in – ‘gifts are nice, but our love is everything!’ Lets get this whole season of buying stuff in proportion, eh?!?

Christmas gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blogGift wrap sheet, tag & metallic pen / Pretty Gifted*
Curling ribbon / The Works
Wooden decoration / Demelza Hospice shop

Idea 3: Map it out –

Know a person who loves to travel? Maps are something of a blast from the past these days but whenever I see old ones I want to make use of them. Dig out your old ones from the back of the cupboard or source vintage maps from charity shops and second hand stores and you will have some ready-made and totally personal, wrap. Just add ribbon…

Christmas gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blogVintage maps / various charity shops
Ribbon / Tiger Stores

Idea 4: Make part of the present the wrapping –

Giving a gift of a scarf or similar? Why not use it as the gift wrap? Theres nothing like getting two presents for the price of one! If you can’t use the gift itself you could use a beautiful off-cut of fabric – just wrap it around the gift, add a satin ribbon to fasten, and you are done!

Christmas gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blogVintage scarf / my own
Satin ribbon / John Lewis
Gift tag / Clintons

Idea 5: When theres not much time but you still want to be individual –

We’ve all seen all the gift boxes you can get in the card shops – they are easy to use, but usually not that exciting. However, life gets busy so for a short cut use pre-made gift boxes, but do it your way. Change the ribbon and the tags and add some personal touches such a giant bows and christmas decorations – now your box is totally unique.

Christmas gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blogGift boxes / The Works (striped), Card Factory (glitter), Sainsburys (gift card)
Curling ribbon / The Works
Tree decoration / Demelza Hospice shop

Idea 6: Christmas decorations –

This time of year its easy to find a different decoration to suit every type of person, so why not add it your parcel as a personalised gift tag? The person can keep it afterwards and add it to their tree as a keepsake. For a special gift, look for collectable decorations and for a more budget friendly version check out the supermarkets, Wilkinsons or charity shops – many charity shops have ranges of new decorations for sale and you can help a worthy cause at the same time.

Christmas gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blogChristmas gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blog25th Dec wrapping paper / Clintons
Wood & raffia decoration / Demelza Hospice shops
Set of 3 porcelain decorations / Georg Jenson at John Lewis
Ribbon / Tiger Stores

Idea 7: Recycle that newspaper –

Boring old newspaper can look amazing as a present wrapping. Use an unfamiliar paper such as one from a foreign country or as I have here, the Financial Times. Look out for vintage newspapers and comics – for a really individual touch you could use one from the year that person was born.

Christmas gift wrap wrapping Newspaper style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blogChristmas gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blogFinancial Times / selected newsagents
Ribbon / The Works

Idea 8: Doilies –

Paper doilies have gone out of fashion in recent years but they are easy to track down in the party and disposable plates section of many stores. They make a fabulous addition to gift wrap particularly with a simple paper underneath. Want a truly unique gift wrap? Then this look is for you.

Christmas Paper Doilies gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blog

Brown paper / Poundland
Decorative string / The Works
Paper Doilies / Tesco

Idea 9: Tins –

Tins, both vintage and Christmas themed are really a gift in themselves for wrapping smaller presents. Look out for unusual ones throughout the year and then add your smaller gifts into them. Finally just add a bow and boom – done!

Christmas gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blog

Tins / charity shops, Poundland, Ikea
Ribbon / Tiger Stores, M&S

Idea 10: Tinsel is not just for the tree –

For a fun look tinsel can work perfectly as an alternative to ribbon. Look for rolls of mini tinsel which is usually used as a garland or for smaller trees and wrap it around your wrapped gifts. Cut smaller sections and tie together to make a starburst bow and your gift will look amazing!

Christmas gift wrap wrapping style guide via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie style blogMini tinsel garland / John Lewis
Gift tag / John Lewis
Wrapping paper / Poundland

And finally, some tips to make your wrapping look great. Remember with gift wrapping, the basics matter –

  • Measure out how much paper to cut by rolling out your wrapping paper and then placing the item (ideally a box) in the centre of the paper, upside down, so the seams of the paper will end up on the bottom of the package. Bring the paper up one side and over the top of the box, all the way to the opposite edge estimating how much additional paper you’ll need to cover the side of the box that’s not yet covered and then cut the paper.
  • Bring one side of the paper up the side and halfway across the top, affixing it to the box with a piece of tape.
  • Before bringing the second side of paper up and over the first, create a clean seam by folding over the last half-inch or so of the paper, using your fingers to create a tight crease. Now bring this side up so it just overlaps the first one and affix with tape – double-sided tape can be used for an even neater look. Position the fold on an edge for a seamless look, making sure you line up any patterns.
  • Fold the paper on each side of the present and starting on one end, fold down the top flap onto the side of the box, creating two little wings at the side. Flatten those in against the box, then fold the remaining triangle of paper up against the box. Fasten it in place with a small piece of tape.
  • Add your bows and tags as required. Curl ribbon with the underside of a sharp pair of scissors and cut ribbon ends into forks or angles.

Enjoy getting ready for the holiday season! If you use any of these ideas I would love to see! Tag me on Instagram – @blueskygirlie.

.

*items marked with an asterisk denotes a gifted item but all views stated are my own. For more information please see my disclaimer section.

All photos are my own and cannot be used without permission.

Prince of Wales check – vintage style

Sometimes a fashion item is just EVERYWHERE. Now, I love to update my wardrobe but I also love a bargain. When everyone started wearing Prince of Wales check blazers I wanted one too. I tried on the £17 one in Primark but it looked terrible on me, I tried on the £65 Topshop one but couldn’t justify the money. So what is a girl to do?

Well in the case of an item which is a re-do of a style from the past you choose vintage!

This whole trend is a re-hash of an 1980’s look so I set my sights on sourcing a vintage 80’s ladies suit jacket and after about a month of searching I found one! Often true vintage will need a little updating and in this case it was a case of removing a set of shoulder pads but then it was ready to go.

This is the result – for a £3 spend I think it works pretty well. £3 – can you believe it? Another reason I love to look for vintage items…

Vintage prince of wales check jacket blazer via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie fashion style 40plus blog

Vintage prince of wales check jacket blazer via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie fashion style 40plus blog

Styling-wise I went for a smart casual look, wearing a slim fitting roll neck underneath then rolling up the sleeves. Jeans made the whole look more modern, as did a pair of silver boots.

Vintage prince of wales check jacket blazer via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie fashion style 40plus blog


I love the more relaxed look of boyfriend jeans and western boots. These silver boots are currently in the Primark sale at just £3 too! They are really comfortable too so definitely worth grabbing if you see them.

Vintage prince of wales check jacket blazer via Always a Blue Sky Girl blueskygirlie fashion style 40plus blog

Jacket / Cancer Research UK
Roll neck / M&Co.
Jeans / TU at Sainsburys
Boots / Primark

So would you rummage through a charity shop or two to save yourself some money? Eco friendly, charitable and gives you more money to spend on other things…I think its always worth a look!

Birthday Bonanza 

So last month it was my birthday. Its lovely to receive presents particularly when most of the year youre spending your money mainly on other people (kids I’m looking at you). Want to see a selection of what I was lucky enough to get?

As a working mum/stepmum of three boys, doing up a house, with a foreign summer holiday on the cards, there’s nothing too extravagant here but have a look and hopefully get inspired for some present choices of your own…

V by Very colour block coat, V by Very embellished cross-body bag / Very.co.uk

I had been after this coat for a while and when it went 50% off in the Very sale pointed my boyfriend towards it. It is wool with different colour panels and really looks fab with just jeans and a t-shirt.

This bag was another item that went into sale, it was out of stock for ages but when a few appeared online I made sure one of them ended up as a birthday gift for me! The detail on the strap is just lovely and has got quite a few comments plus they go together nicely too!


Embroidered sleeve peasant top / Next

Everywhere on Instagram, this top will be a summer staple for me. Be warned though it comes up quite short so I went up a size to the medium. The detail is amazing though and it looks like a £300 top not a £40 one.

Love you to the moon and back artwork / Clintons


I am going to hang this within a collection of artworks on one of our feature walls – its a phrase my fiancé always says to me so has real meaning too.

Boho jacket, fluted sleeve jumper, assymetrical earrings / M&S


I had been given some money so put it to good use in good old M&S. The fluted sleeve ‘it’ jumper had been on my wishlist since Christmas so I decided to treat myself but instead of my usual grey I went pink!

Reasons I love you gift box / Not on the High Street

This was the cutest little birthday gift from my fiancé…there are 10 handwritten notes in this pretty box saying reasons why he loves me ☺️ I do love a personalised gift and a romantic gesture too. 

Bloom by Estee Lalonde/ Amazon


I was interviewed by Estee as part of the behind the scenes filming on the Garnier advert I filmed last December and was struck by her cool Canadian style. Her book has all sorts of tips and information in and I really like its relaxed but stylish vibe.

‘Hello Lovely’ hanging mirror plaque / Wilkinsons


Because if you can’t have a mirror tell you youre lovely then whats the point? This is really lovely and adds a feminine touch to my usually quite retro tastes.

Vintage 1980’s necklace / Vintage Fair


Ah my best friend knows me well! I will wear this with a black polo neck or t-shirt while channeling my inner Melanie Griffiths in Working Girl. I love vintage jewellery for its uniqueness and love this look.

And that is a selection of the bits I got!  I hope my presents gave you some style inspiration – its lovely to receive gifts you love and I usually set up a wishlist or ask for money to achieve just that. 

So I’d better start building it back up – its only 8 months to Christmas!!!

You can never have too much (bargain) Jewellery

They say accessories make an outfit and for me having a selection of different jewellery I can dip into to add to an outfit really helps me make a difference when styling my clothes.

Just want to wear a white t-shirt and jeans today? Add a fab necklace and it will take your outfit to the next level. The other bonus is costume jewellery is usually quite cheap so you can grow and a collection quite quickly without spending too much money. 

With jewellery I am quite a believer of quantity over quality and will happily rummage through the sale areas of high street stores to find some bargain bits!

In todays blog I’ll share with you some the pieces I have bought recently, none of which cost over £5…


Crescent moon necklace /Primark
3D ring earrings / New Look
Heart earrings / New Look



Silver hoop earrings / New Look
Ribbon corsage / vintage (charity shops can be great to pick up unique and bargain priced pieces)


Tassel earrings / H&M


Rose gold disc necklace / Topshop 

You’ll see these pieces appearing accessorising my regular outfits very soon! Who says you have to spend a lot to look great???

What bits have you got recently that you love?

The boon. Christmas Shopping Challenge 

When boon. got in contact with me and asked me if I wanted to take part in their Christmas challenge I just couldn’t say no. Their challenge if I chose to accept it? To find some fabulous Christmas fashion available on the high street now, paying via my phone using the boon. pre-pay Mastercard and then share it with you guys.

I had to find the following –

  • A Christmas party outfit that could be worn 2/3 different ways
  • A secret santa gift for a friend that says they’re not a hipster, but are, bought from a charity shop.
  • A Christmas party accessory
  • A Christmas jumper

So far, so exciting. But first of all I bet some of you are thinking, what is a boon. card? Well, good question. I am new to using boon. (and Apple Pay in general) and was a little nervous at first. But my worries were unfounded – its super easy to use, very secure and a great way to stick to a budget (something I always need help with!)

So boon. (the full stop is part of its name) is basically a digital, prepaid MasterCard. You download the app and sign up to use it with Apple Pay and store it in your Apple wallet. You can top-up your account via your bank account, debit or credit card and it works via your phone at any contactless payment terminal.

It is very secure (my primary concern) as when you add a credit or debit card to Apple Pay, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device, nor on Apples servers. Instead, a unique device account number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored on your device, then each transaction is authorised with a one-time security code. You have an app on your phone that tracks your payments, sending you a message when money leaves or enters the account as well as providing you with a statement of your spending.

So, phone in hand, I was ready to shop… but what did I choose?

The Christmas Party Outfit – 


Sequin sweatshirt / £10.00
Metallic pleated skirt / £15.00
Leopard boots / £12.00

Earrings / £2 all Primark

This will be my boxing day/night outfit but then I will wear the top with black jeans and the leopard boots for a more casual party look later in the week for a night in the pub and the metallic pleated skirt with a lace top and heels for a sexier, party look which would be perfect for New Years Eve. Mix and match party dressing – perfect!


The Secret Santa Gift – 

I saw these 1980’s Ladybird books in one of my local charity shops and I just had to get them! Retro and cool Ladybird books would remind any hipster of their childhoods and we all love a bit of nostalgia dont we? They could even frame the illustrations and front covers to create some really cool art for their walls.


Disney is always a hit whatever your age but then I saw this ‘Frog Chorus’ one and I had to buy that too…how perfect for Christmas is that!?!  I have no idea why this is a Christmas song but it is on about every Xmas compilation I own! All together now “Bom, bom-bom, baw-ah-wah, Bom, bom-bom, We all stand together…”


Ladybird books / £1 each all Scope Charity shop

Did you know some charity shops take boon. too? If they have a contactless payment terminal you can use your phone to pay just like anywhere else and if you want to get in on the secret santa action, boon. are currently running a competition on Facebook where you can win some credit for yourself too. Check out their Facebook page for more details!

The Christmas Party Accessory – 

Lately I have been wearing more things with a high neckline and consequently have been moving away from wearing necklaces, prefering statement earrings and bracelets. This stunning duo look glitzy without being tacky and would go with any colour party outfit.  I like that the earrings are hooped rather than chandelier style, keeping their style contemporary and the bracelet is adjustable like a necklace – perfect if you have tiny feeble wrists like me!

Diamante bracelet / £4
Diamante earrings / £3 both Limited Edition by Atmosphere
I also couldn’t resist these gift bow earrings…so cute for subtle Christmas dressing up.

Bow earrings / £1 Primark

The Christmas Jumper – 

Ok, so I’m gonna level with you – I’m not really a Christmas jumper person. I like being festive and I LOVE sparkle and embellishment but having a cheap, novelty jumper on isnt really my thing. I will if I have to, but at 43, I’d rather create something a bit more stylish. However I do like to embrace the festive period so I thought about how could create a Christmas jumper that wasnt actually a Christmas jumper and my stylish solution was this…


Pink roll neck jumper / £9.99 
Brooch / £5.99 Wreath brooch / £5.99 all New Look

I added a couple of my own vintage brooches, and….et voila!
Bow earrings / £1 Primark
Vintage brooches / my own 

I love this look – it has all the sparkle you want at Christmas but it is not silly, plus you can wear it all year round – if you want to make it a bit less Christmassy you can just remove a few (or all) of the brooches. I’m going to wear it with a metallic skirt and  silver brogues over Christmas for a pretty, girlie look.


Skirt/Socks/Shoes my own

So you’ve seen my Christmas Shopping Challenge buys – I stayed within my budget and came home with a set of items I just love and think will improve my existing wardrobe, plus I donated to charity too.  I hope you love my choices as much as I do and they inspire you this Christmas whether you are buying for yourself or for friends and family.

This post was written in conjunction with boon. but all views expressed are my own. Find out more about putting boon. in your Apple Wallet here.

MY STYLE: The Kitchen/Diner

My fiancé and I are currently in the process of doing up our home but one area that is done is the kitchen/diner. Whenever I share images of it on Instagram it always gets a great reaction and in todays blog I show some of the styling in more detail.

The Diner:

Two rooms have been knocked through and the diner part of the kitchen is all about curves. An original 1960’s Arkana tulip table and chair set takes pride of place (I had the seat pads reupholstered into a more child friendly brown vinyl) and a curved statement lamp provides focused light with inset ceiling spotlights providing the general room lighting. Many of my favourite posessions sit in this space together including a lot of pieces by the designer Piero Fornasetti which I collect…Table & chairs / eBay,  Side table / eBay,  Lamp / Marks & Spencer,  Gazelle head / Marks & SpencerLarge artwork & frame / IKEA, Black & white canvas artwork / Primark Home, Vintage robots / eBayFornasetti upholstered chair / eBay, Fornasetti cushion / eBay,  Black & white cushion / Primark HomeVintage vases & bowls / eBayFornasetti ‘Themes and Variations’ plates / Selfridges, Liberty, eBaySet of drawers / Matalan,  Balloon dog / The Range,  ‘Endless Style’ trinket box / Wilkinsons

The Kitchen:

Looking back from the diner into the kitchen the main focal point is our orange Smeg fridge/freezer. This is a strong design statement but luckily the kitchen itself is all simple white gloss with no visible handles which the previous owner had installed and I, miraculously, liked! (the worktops, like the cupboards, were here when we moved in and not my ideal worktop choice but until I can afford granite they will have to stay…)Fridge / Smeg, Toaster / Dualit,  Kitchen roll holder / Alessi, Canvas art / WilkinsonsDish rack / House of FraserStorage jars / Alessi,  Spoon rest / IKEA,  Utensil pot / Homebase, Utensils / Dunelm Mill, TK Maxx, SainburysJuicer / Alessi, Salt Mill / Matalan, Pepper Mill / SainburysHello sign / Primark

We are working through the house one room at a time but this area is one that I just love to be in. And the next area of attack? We have the finishing touches to add to the master bedroom and then a big project – to create a utility room, cloakroom and study in a space that is currently derelict!!! Watch this space…

Find my previous blog on what we did to the hall, stairs and landing here.

My vintage buy of the week

Welcome to another of my new semi regular blogs! As you may know I run a business on Etsy selling vintage items and often end up keeping things I fall in love with.

In these blogs I will share what I’ve bought and why (hopefully) it was a good buy! 

Currently I am adding the finishing touches to our bedroom re-vamp and am on the look-out for unusual and quirky pieces to add an ‘Anthropologie’ (the shop) vibe to the room but at a more realistic price. So far La Redoute and TK Maxx has been my friend but those good old charity shops are providing some unique touches too.

So say hello to this little fella! I love owls and this 1950’s/60’s French porcelain trinket pot is a great collectable.  Nice quality pieces like this are always a good investment and sell very quickly when I have them in my Etsy shop, plus – well look at him, he’s adorable!

And here he is, in position in the bedroom. I do love mixing different types of vintage storage together for a eclectic look and best of all my huge jewellery collection is almost getting organised!



Owl trinket pot via Cancer Research charity shop

What bargains have you found recently in the world of charity and vintage shops? I would love to know…

To shop my Etsy Shop click here
To shop my eBay shop (where vintage clothing ends up) shop here
To follow my Instagram (where most of my buys get shared first) follow me here 

Look out more more vintage buys in coming weeks…