Christmas shopping

Ally Bee blanket.jpg

“What’s on your list?”

This question is posed around September time in our family – mainly by myself I must admit, but with many of my gifts already homemade with love and wrapped up, there is plenty already taken care of. That’s not to say I don’t need a bit of a helping hand, nor does it mean that my own wishlist doesn’t continue to grow.

So, here are a few of the things that have made the shortlist for this magical Christmas…

 

Wearing it well

It’s difficult to know how much longer I will gazing longingly at non-maternity clothes and my old wardrobe, so I’m trying to stop myself from getting too wrapped up in the swathes of new arrivals I see in my inbox each morning - although I seem to be unable to resist the charms of Arket; I’m yet to see one thing that wouldn’t be perfect in my life.

For the finer things in life, Daniella Draper and Dainty London are two wonderful jewellery brands that I hold dear. Given how wonderful the women behind these brands are, I will forever recommend them and their stunning creations to anyone looking for a gift with sparkle.

As loungewear is now a firm staple in my wardrobe, nothing quite beats the luxurious feel of anything Robe de Voyage – the Kyoto pyjamas get my vote this year – the perfect attire for Christmas Day this year, I would say. They say that the sign of a good gift is one you wish to keep and Genevieve Sweeney’s monogrammed socks are just that sort of gift, so good there are a fair few under the tree this year – Don’t get me started on her metallic Cashmere Merino pieces, I can't get enough - next year's Christmas day outfit is already sorted.

Now that my unbearably swollen cankles are starting to look normal again, I’ve started to believe in the possibility of wearing attractive footwear once more… Ivylee Copenhagen boots will forever be an aspiration and the leopard Stella boots are at the top of that list right now.

 

Smellies

According to the mister, any lotions and potions of mine that can’t fit on my shelf are fair game, thus, my conveniently small shelf. The upside of this is that any smellies I get for him will end up being fair game for me too. So on the list, we have Herbivore’s pink clay soap and Weleda anything - particularly the Rosemary or Calendula ranges, with the stretch mark oil being a constant must-have.

For when five minutes peace are an actual reality, Soveral’s marble facial stones are the most incredible things – made from carefully selected salvaged marble in Portugal, with each piece chosen for its rich quartz properties. If you can name me a new mother with bags like mine not grateful for soothing assistance like this, I would prefer you to keep me away from her. I’d rather keep envy at bay for a while longer.

There’s nothing like a bit of candlelight to keep things calm and smelling divine, even with a little one and all their, delights, shall we say? Scandinavisk’s Rö candle is my personal favourite from their dreamy collection, and Feldspar’s Kelp candle blends the most exquisite scents together, both wonderfully gentle and calming, so make for natural additions to the list.

Homewares

Our nest is well and truly loved at the moment and our love for soft furnishings isn’t showing signs of slowing down. Having worked with Ally Bee over the last few months, I can confirm that the insatiably soft lambswool ‘Fireside’ blanket is what dreams are made of.

My love for Arket doesn’t stop in the clothes department. Another present I wish I could keep is from their ceramics range and I think I may have bought at least one of each of their vases for lucky ladies this year. Graham & Green consistently has the mister & I making monosyllabic groans over everything in their catalogue and The Modern Nursery is our current favourite for anything to add to the little madam’s dreamy surroundings.

With the pregnancy diet coming to an end, I can finally have liquorice again, the thought of anything from Lakrids has my mouth watering. With caffeine still being a distant thought and alcohol levels needing to be kept at a devastatingly low level for the foreseeable future, my love for Fortnum & Mason’s decaf tea grows stronger by the day – not to mention the trusty Seedlip for dry but tasty cocktail hours ahead.

 

Reading up, getting ‘lit’

Still got it, still down with the kids...

Subscriptions are a godsend for me, keeping the spirit of giving going throughout the year. The Gentlewoman, Cereal, Kinfolk – the unimaginative wishlist for pages of life goals for myself continues. For the positive thinkers in my life, subscriptions to Ethos Magazine, Positive News and The Happy Newspaper are all top contenders (See my piece on ‘Good news outlets’ to find out more). For the dapper gentlemen around the tree, of which there are several, Fantastic Man and Monocle are strong considerations – they will just need to wait and see if any of these made the cut.

For a more substantial read, Kinfolk Entrepreneur will have the high-achieving peacocks around the tree entertained and inspired for hours, along with Alexandra Soveral’s pearls of wisdom shared for the first time in her book ‘Perfect Skin’, and for those rare moments of escapism, Emily Ruskovich’s ‘Idaho’ is a novel I might need to add to a holiday reading list one day.

 

For the little lady

The first Christmas with our little daughter was always going to be pretty unforgettable, so I was keen to make sure we marked it with a special something for her to treasure in years to come. For this challenge, think Goldilocks meets The Devil Wears Prada – only the absolute best would do. I finally settled on a ceramic reindeer from Wedgwood, special enough to make it onto our tree for years and years to come and then onto hers one day, I hope.

When it comes to keeping her under wraps in a literal way, Marloe London and Etta Loves remain firm muslin favourites of ours – practical and stunning all in one. The Little Natural Co and The Modern Nursery have a countless number of dreamy must-haves. No little girl can ever have too many toys it seems and I’m finding this squidgy Polly pillow pig by Maileg utterly irresistible.

Given the high-achieving academics in her life, the little one’s going to be needing a pretty exhaustive reading list. Along with the classics, ‘Little People Big Dreams’ is the collection at the top of my reading list for her to introduce her to just a handful of inspirational ladies.

The search for a bulbous Christmas pudding outfit for her to wear on the day continues…

So, whilst we continue to enjoy the final moments of peace and quiet in the house before our festive bundle of joy arrives, the wishlist continues to grow. With things like Black Friday to make the undeniable desire for more 'things' reach new heights, and whilst I thoroughly hope to treat all my loved ones to something they will treasure, as corny as it sounds, this year is undoubtably less about the presents and far more about who is around the tree... As it should be.

And we can't wait.