December seems to have flown by and I can’t quite believe we’re only five days away from Christmas! I’ve barely had time to catch my breath over the last few weeks and as well as a fantastic trip to London to see the Meadham Kirchhoff V&A Fashion In Motion show, most of my time has revolved around hitting the big 3-0. Now that I’ve almost recovered from an epic birthday weekend which included a go on a helter skelter (because that’s what grown ups do isn’t it?!), I thought I’d share some of the gorgeous presents I was given.
After blogging about it way back in June, I finally got my hands on an a-england ‘Rose With Thorn’ necklace in rose gold. It’s so beautiful and delicate in real life and definitely a piece I will treasure forever. A grown up birthday also demands a slightly more grown up wallet than my current Liberty Print Hello Kitty one so this Biba leather wallet is perfect!
Once a Manic Street Preachers fan, always a Manic Street Preachers fan so this Babycham gift set from one of my oldest friends (who’s also in the ultracool band Pris) really reminds me of my misspent youth. Coupled with an amazing mix CD (including a cover sleeve feature some of my more dubious outfit choices), this was the perfect nostalgia present.
It’s always lovely receiving presents on my ‘a bit too indulgent to justify treating myself to’ wish list so I felt like a very lucky girl this year. I’m a sucker for a good red lippy with MAC’s ‘Lady Danger’ being my go to shade (nothing like a strong lip to distract from you looking like death, a trick I employed over the days spent recovering from my birthday!) so I was glad to receive a new one to replace the rapidly running out tube in my handbag. I was also given the slightly darker matte red shade ‘Ruby Woo’ which I always debate buying when the weather turns autumnal but can never decide between it and ‘Russian Red’. I’m glad my sister took the dithering out of my hands and picked this shade on my behalf as it makes me feel very glamorous which is just how you should feel on your birthday!
Another brand I have trouble with is Jo Malone – there’s just too much choice! My friend who really knows her way around the range got me a bottle of the gorgeous smelling ‘Earl Grey & Cucumber’ cologne and my heart leapt at the sight of the little black and white box tied with their distinctive ribbon.
I’m not sure when owls became my thing (although I possibly kicked it off after buying a fantastic Lea Stein Buba Owl Brooch on eBay) but now most birthdays seem to feature them. For my 30th I was given this cute silver owl necklace from the shop at Manchester Art Gallery which matches a ring I have. I love a good art gallery or museum gift shop and my new necklace proves what amazing treasures you can find!
Completing the glam theme is this stunning Karen Mabon silk scarf. Again this is a brand I’ve previously blogged about and I utterly love Karen’s quirky designs. I’ve now got my fingers crossed that the Midnight Feast scarf from her winter collection is waiting for me under the Christmas tree…
I think it’s fitting that my final gift combines both my love of literature and, er, hot men… Pulp! The Classics is a new imprint which gives classic novels retro looking pulp fiction covers with a twist. Whether you like your Pride And Prejudice with a side order of Colin Firth’s ‘Darcy’ or, like me, the eternal youth of Gosling as Dorian Gray, the eight novels in the collection will not only brighten up any bookshelf but are also guaranteed to raise a smile from fellow commuters during the rush hour slog!
I’m a bit of a nail polish addict to the point where I probably own more Barry M than can be found on a Superdrug counter! I’ve also started investing in ‘indie’ nail polishes and this morning my latest purchase from Lush Lacquer arrived (which I’ll blog about later as they’re so pretty they deserve their own post). Most of the current indie makers are based in the US so it’s nice to find a UK company who are flying the flag for us Brit based polish addicts! a-england have so far released four collections inspired by various literary, historical and mythical figures (Nail polish and literature? Be still my inner lacquer lit geek!) but not content with just making amazing polishes, the supremely talented creator of the brand, Adina Bodana, has collaborated with jewellery designer KristinM London on a range of fine jewellery to accompany her polishes.
Consisting of earrings, necklaces and pins with prices ranging from £45 – £85, the hand crafted sterling silver ‘Roses’ collection comes in finishes of silver and plated 18ct gold or rose gold. The Pre-Raphaelite beauty of the delicate designs really compliment the aesthetics of a-england’s polishes and the ‘Rose with thorn necklace’ in rose gold is on my wish list as I love how the thorny stem adds an edge of toughness to the delicate flower.
If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to these thorny beauties but you still want to channel some Pre-Raphaelite drama then a-england’s polishes are well worth checking out with Bridal Veil, Beauty Never Fails, And The Moonbeams… and Tess d’Urbervilles being my personal favourites.