All posts tagged: christmas

A a science book for Christmas? Yes!

I vividly remember the excitement of finding carefully wrapped books under my Christmas tree when I was a kid. Don’t get me wrong, I was also expecting Barbi houses and pretty dresses, but my parents did make sure I was hooked on books early on. It’s a tough task for any parent to engage children in reading, especially if it’s related to science. It’s much easier to get distracted than to focus on the words you don’t know about things you’ve never heard of before. The trick that worked well for me was illustrated encyclopaedias, where serious subjects like General Theory of Relativity were explained using images as much as words, with helpful pointers and highlighted boxes to keep me entertained. I could spend hours browsing History, Geography and Biology tomes, fascinated by the richness of imagery. I didn’t fully understand everything, of course, but it trained my brain into being constantly curious about the world around me. The one book that I would recommend as a universal all-rounder with amazing quality of illustrations is …

My favourite beauty stocking filler

This little invention under £5 is my top 2015 beauty discovery. Every year there’s this one beauty stocking filler that becomes a hit (last year I got three Beauty Blenders for Christmas!). I think this year it’s going to be Invisibobble. These little transparent spirals may not look like something useful or sturdy, but the difference they’ve made to my hair routine is unbelievable. My beauty-savvy colleague told me that I’ve been breaking my hair with conventional elastic hair bands. These little spiral bands apply even pressure to minimise breakage and are surprisingly good at holding my heavy straight hair in a pony tail even during exercise. Ideal for those hair days when you just want it up, I’ve just bought ten of these in different colours to give to my girlfriends as little add-on Christmas gifts, and I cannot wait to hear their thoughts about it. If you’re even thinking whether you need it or not, it’s currently £3.75 with free delivery on Amazon, so I’d say simply buy it and see how you get on. …

How to much should I spend on gifts?

Christmas is a budgeting nightmare. To help us figure out how much to spend and on who, even MS Excel offers a ‘Holiday Gifts’ template. But ultimately it’s up to us to decide, and it’s a bloody hard task. There is no gifting etiquette which would clearly establish how much you should spend on a gift for someone. Our society has come up with all sorts of precise instructions for various social interactions, leaving gifting completely out of the equation. Gifting for me is as much a creative process, as it is a pragmatic calculation of your current resources, so it’s really important to know what you can afford. A favourite designer of mine, Artemy Lebedev, argues that his best creative ideas never come out from the “outside the box” thinking. Instead, having clear boundaries and goals can help you streamline your thinking. It allows you to focus on the problem at hand – so you are essentially “inside the box”. In the context of gifting, think of “the box” as your pot of money, …

COMPETITION (UK only): Win a Christmas party beauty kit

  UPDATE: The winner is Emily Hearts. In association with Ravishing Roses. Hurrah! It’s Christmas party time, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the beginning of the festive season than by giving one of my female readers a beauty gift! If you are anything like me, getting ready for a Christmas party is a long process of dress/shoe browsing weeks in advance, but on the actual day I have about 20 minutes to get ready (we’re all busy ladies, right?). So to make it a bit easier for you, Ana and I have prepared a little emergency beauty kit that will help you sparkle at that special evening event. The top colours for this Christmas are metallics (think golden and silvery tones) and black, so we’ve used this palette to guide our choices. What’s in the bag?  My all-time favourite and an absolute beauty cult classic – compact tangle teezer in gold. I have a full-size one in pink, but I have to admit this one is way prettier. Fits into a …

The “I care about you” stocking fillers

“All you need is love”, argued the famous Beatles almost 50 years ago! Love to me is many things, but the most important showcase of love is taking care of even the smallest needs of your loved ones. It’s definitely winter here in London, so unless you’re a lucky person in tropical far-away paradise, you’re reading this post with warm socks on and a hot cup of tea (or hot chocolate, as it often happens to me!). We’re generally quite good caring about the warmth of our clothing, but we often forget about the only vulnerable part that’s always outside whatever the temperature  – our lips. Boys are as likely as girls to get chapped lips, but they are generally too “manly” to go and buy themselves a lip balm. My boyfriend’s reaction to my suggestion of getting him a lip balm was a categoric “No way!”, followed by a very judgemental facial expression. Cutting the story short, I went out to test lip balms for men in order to find the perfect one. What’s …

Christmas 2015 Gift Guide

It’s this time of the year again when we start thinking about Christmas gifts. Some of us will be well-organised and have a plan in place (I’ve seen spreadsheets with names and budgets!) but most are just beginning to browse favourite blogs and websites in search of inspiration. In this post I’ll attempt to give you some top line tips and ideas that might inspire you. Let’s talk colours first First of all, let’s figure out the colour palette for this Christmas. Not surprisingly, gifting fashion is closely linked to “real” fashion. The most iconic London trend setters – Claridges hotel and Selfridges department store – are heavily featuring metallics in their festive interiors, with strategically placed black accents to bring depth and sparkle to silver and golden tones. So there you have it – the most fashionable gifts will be made of metal (or at least gift-wrapped in monochrome metallic paper) with optional ornaments and dark sequins. Key themes for 2015 I am a huge advocate of personalised gifts where you figure out exactly what …

The perfect Christmas present for “night owls”

Ironically, this ingenious invention was recommended to me by my ex-boss, who was struggling to wake up early as much as I did. It’s the most horrible feeling in the world when your alarm goes off at 6 something in the morning (7 on a lucky day!) and it looks like it’s the middle of the night. I remember those dreadful mornings when the alarm would go off, I would frantically try to find my mobile with eyes still closed and then get up 10 minutes later hitting something (typically a corner table, followed by a lot of cursing) on my way to the bathroom. 6:15am and the day is already crap. Sounds familiar? For those people who do get gloomier in winter months when days are short, Lumie has developed a rather simple way of naturally waking people up – a Bodyclock. It works like this: you set up an alarm for the time you need to be awake (say 6:30am, hello gym bunnies and commuters!), and this cute little machine starts to slowly …