All posts tagged: accessories

Origami bow: Having fun with gift wrapping

Most people dread gift wrapping. I get it – it’s much more fun selecting a gift than figuring out how to wrap it.  Took me a while to make my first decently-looking bow out of a silky ribbon that’s just not meant to stay in place (use two knots, not one), or to cut wrapping paper straight (there’s still no magic solution there!). But, it can be fun! If you have a bit of time (and if you like YouTube tutorials) – read on. This was my first attempt to create an origami paper bow. For that, I found some double sided wrapping paper (from Waterstones on Piccadilly, sadly they don’t sell it online) in funky summery colours, bright green and raspberry pink. You can happily use standard one-sided paper too, but having both sides gives you a bit more wiggle room to be creative. I didn’t take pictures of my progress (I was concentrating too hard on the task itself), but here’s the video that shows it perfectly step by step. For the extra …

Jewellery gifts: Who says pearls are old-fashioned?!

Pearls have a reputation for being old-fashioned (if not dated), with many magazines that target older women praising chunky pearl necklaces for their ability “to bring light to the face”  (is there any truth in this?). Which is why I was so pleasantly surprised when I came across trendy and inexpensive pearl jewellery from Jersey Pearl whilst gift hunting for my closest girlfriends. Now, what do you need from a piece of jewellery to become a great gift? First and foremost, it has to match the age of the receiver or be slightly younger in style. A perfect illustration would be Swarovski jewellery: quite acceptable for a 16-year old, but don’t attempt to give it to anyone past 30. It will look ridiculously cheap and out of place. Miranda Kerr can just about pull it off because of her dimples 🙂 Another factor is price,  which again is indirectly linked to age. A young woman wearing a massive diamond can be perceived as vulgar, whilst larger, more precious jewellery on a mature woman can tastefully …

Christmas 2014: Forget Ties and Cufflinks, Your Boyfriend Needs a Belt

Christmas is still a month away, but my Inbox is already full of annoyingly identical emails ‘Hi Ilona! Here’s our VERY UNIQUE gift guide, click to buy NOW’. Whilst hitting on the ‘Del’ button once again today, I figured, I might as well come up with my own gift guide! Agreed, I don’t have any clever software to magically discover what items you are most likely to desire (have you ever wondered why Amazon is so good at guessing what you might buy next?), but some of you may find it at least entertaining, so I’ll give it a go. First topic on the agenda – boyfriend gifts. If you haven’t noticed yet, men’s belts are making a comeback. From James McAvoy to Brad Pitt, our favourite celebrity crushes opt for belted trousers, whether during casual or more formal occasions. With men’s accessories being one of the most popular gift items this season (and rightly so, very few men are patient enough to choose their own!), here’s my guide on how to choose a perfect …

The ‘I can’t justify spending so much on myself’ gifts

I’m sure a lot of women out there will relate to this. There are certain things which are always at the bottom of our list of things to buy; however, they always make the very top spot every time we create Pinterest dream boards and Xmas wish lists. Yes, I’m talking about expensive lipsticks, evening bags, cute accessories and the likes. So, if you really-really love your girlfriends, don’t make them wait till December to get those dream goodies, and become a spontaneous Santa for them (no need to rock the beard and a red jumper!). Here is one of my latest presents from this category – a compact mirror from Aspinal of London. Realistically, no one needs such a fancy mirror in red leather to re-touch make up on-the-go. But, at the same time, it makes a woman feel special, and that’s worth a lot more to me.  Aspinal is the perfect shop for a treat of this kind, as they do amazing leather goods (both for men and women), which you can personalise …

Discovering gift-worthy accessories in Paris

These are the moments when you really start loving your job— you are being sent to Paris “to network at a conference”…Paris is a holy grail of all things beautiful, from food and wine, to accessories and fashion. When my mum “hinted” that she wanted a leather backpack for her birthday, it was a no-brainer to dedicate part of my trip to shopping and search for something uniquely French. After some online research, I fell in love with this leather backpack in rich brown: With my target set, I headed straight to Galeries Lafayette.  After spending 15 minutes in the queue just to get into the Longchamp boutique (that was a first!), the real “sac a dos” was too plain and surprisingly uncomfortable to wear. Panic! Dedicated gift-givers never panic, that’s our rule number one. As a true believer that things do tend to work out, sometimes with a little bit of patience and commitment, I continued my journey through the store until I discovered Kesslord, a much less-known accessories brand with refreshingly democratic prices …