Self Care: Things we need to stop stressing over in 2020

It’s January and officially a brand new year! Self care is so important during this month in particular, as after the huge Christmas build up (which pretty much starts the moment Halloween is over) it’s a well known fact that people can feel a bit deflated and the January blues can kick in. I wrote a blog post about this last year HERE if you would like some tips on how to keep positive during January.

There are a few things that we need to stop stressing about and leave well and truly behind in 2019. We really shouldn’t be over-thinking or worrying about these sort of things and I’m sure you will be able to relate. 

Cosmetic procedures

Cosmetic procedures used to be a little secret and not something to really broadcast or talk about. However these days it seems that EVERYONE has had some sort of enhancement. Lip fillers are now a standard procedure and the majority of girls that I see on Instagram have had some kind of lip treatment and I have found myself starting to wonder if this is something I need to have done myself. I have never had any issues with my lips before, but it just goes to show that the images we see online on a daily basis, can really start to affect the way we think and how we look at ourselves, which is not a good thing. This has even led me onto looking at jaw fillers, nose fillers and an obsession with having the perfect straight, white teeth which I actually had done last year. I have nothing against anyone having a cosmetic procedure if it’s something they really want and if it makes them feel better, that’s amazing. But having procedures just for the sake of it, or because it’s seen as a trend is not healthy and we all need to learn to love ourselves as we are without comparing ourselves to how others look.

Also, our beauty regime these days is not a cheap process! We can’t just apply a quick layer of fake tan with a face of make up for a night out anymore. Now days there are so many things that us females feel the need to have done, from micro bladed brows, Russian lashes, hair extensions at £400 a session, nail extensions, tan, make up – the list goes on. To add to this,  new beauty trends pop up all the time and the pressure to be involved in these sort of trends are constantly looming in the background.

Baby Gate

“When are you having a baby then?

“You better get a move on now that you are in your 30’s” 

“You don’t want to be an old mum though do you?”

If only I had a pound for the amount of times I have been asked these sort of questions! It seems that when anyone has been in a relationship for any length of time, it becomes the question that everyone feels they have the right to ask you. Perhaps some of us are just happy being a couple and enjoying life together without children. A crazy thought right?

I’ve found myself starting to get annoyed with these sort of questions. They have started coming from friends that have had their own children and there’s nothing worse than your own friends ‘pregnancy shaming’ you. I have even been questioned by my boyfriend’s friends about this subject which really surprised me. I don’t know about you, but being told by a male that you are “running out of time” just seems bizarre to me. My womb is my own business thank you very much!

So, I feel that people really should avoid asking couples about this subject. You never know, they could be trying for a baby and not getting anywhere which could be distressing for them. For me personally, it starts to make me panic and makes me feel that I am falling behind others my age which is really silly and a classic example of peer pressure. I love my life at the moment – if I want to go on holiday or on a last minute night out, I can. I don’t have to try and find a baby sitter and I don’t have scary child care costs to worry about and that suits me just fine. But equally, I do want a family of my own and I do appreciate that there is a time restriction for females but we should be allowed to do things at our own pace without judgement and without feeling the pressure from others.

FOMO 

The fear of missing out. This is another modern day thing that I feel all of us suffer from which needs to stop. Social media is the biggest route cause of this and we all need to remember that these platforms are a showreel of someone’s life. No one ever posts the boring bits of their day or the part where they are sitting at home in their pyjamas looking like Hagrid. 

So, when you see everyone else on yet another luxurious holiday, or with yet another brand new outfit, dont let it make you feel that you are falling begind or that you are not in the same league as these people.

It’s easy to look at friends too and compare yourself to what they are doing. It’s normal to so this but it’s also important to stress that everyone has their own path in life and just because you know someone that is buying a house or getting a sparkly new kitchen and you aren’t at the moment – then that’s ok! Your time will come and if anything, it will encourage you to work towards your own goals more so enjoy the process of your own personal journey in your own time.

Lipstick – special Isabel Marant collection by Loreal

The most luxurious sports accessories of the moment

Image: Pinterest

These luxurious sports accessories are a sure way for every fashionista to be able to exercise in style! From basketball to skiing, tennis to skateboarding, the leading fashion designers have got all sporting activities covered. It’s the start of a brand new year (as well as a new decade) and usually top of everyone’s New Years Resolution list is to up their fitness game, so what better way than to get started with some of these fabulous items:

1) Louis Vuitton volley ball

The Louis Vuitton Monogram volley ball, Priced at £1680, is a combination of leather and canvas in a patchwork effect, creating a playful spin on the characteristic Louis Vuitton Monogram. This comes with a bag in similar colours, which also features Monogram details.

2) Chanel Basket Ball

The Chanel basketball with Chanel inscription in the classic black and gold, even comes with it’s own carrying chain. Around £2,000

3) Burberry Yoga Mat

The monogram Burberry yoga Mat, priced at £320

4) Supreme Skateboards

Supreme skateboards, spring-summer 2019 collection

5) Chanel surfboard

There have been several versions of the Chanel surfboards produced over the last few years, priced at around £7000 and only available upon request.

6) Chanel Tennis racket

Who can remember that episode of ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ with Kris Jenner and her Chanel tennis equipment? This racket and matching ball set will definitely turn heads on the court!

7) Chanel Ski wear

It’s clear to see that Chanel are leaders in this trend and they have been adding their logo to a variety of sports equipment. Recently, we’ve seen Kylie Jenner all over Instagram dressed head to toe in her Chanel and Fendi ski-wear, covered in the monogrammed logos.

If sports equipment is not your thing, you can still get involved with this trend with designer swimwear or winter accessories for skiing such as these Chanel earmuffs which are absolutely stunning. 

For hints and tips for buying luxury designer brands, head over to my recent blog post HERE.

I personally think this is such a fun way to link fashion and sports together in this way. Although I’m not too sure I would want to actually use the items considering how much they cost, and I would probably keep them as display items/collectors pieces instead as they are guaranteed to increase in value and become investments in the future. Either way, it’s making me want to get exercising and start my new year fitness regime!

How to decorate your Christmas tree differently this year

image www.limelace.com

Getting the Christmas decorations out and putting up the tree, making my home look all festive is one of my favourite things to do every year. I personally don’t like to get them up too early as it makes it feel like a long wait for the actual day, but I have put mine up this weekend and I’m so excited about it!

I’ve been spotting some amazing ‘non traditional’ tree decorations and baubles recently and this is such a fun idea to have something different to previous years, creating a decorated tree that is unique and special to you.

If you are also thinking about having unusual and quirky decorations on your tree this year for a change, I have found THE BEST places to find fabulous baubles that will make your tree really stand out. I’ve picked out my favourites for you in today’s festive inspired blog post. 

Choosing a theme 

First of all, it’s a good idea to decide if you want to have a particular theme for your decorations and to buy baubles that will work well with it. I will list my top 4 themes below. You could also choose a particular colour pallet that you like and choose your decorations based around that. 

1. Fashion Lovers

For the fashionistas, there are some really gorgeous baubles that will be just perfect for this particular theme. I really love this idea myself and would love to have a tree decorated with fashion related baubles. You could decorate your tree with cute miniature shopping bags, high heels, lipsticks, glasses, and I’ve even found a bauble of the famous Vogue editor Anna Wintour available at Selfridges Simply fabulous darling..or AbFab even!

If you want to take this theme to the next level, you can even get little fashionista angels to add to the top of the tree! I love these gorgeous angel toppers by De Carlini – These are also stocked in John Lewis.

Heel bauble from John Lewis

lipstick by savethedattedesignsco at Etsy UK,

Selfridges car and Anna Wintour from Selfridges

Karl Lagerfeld bauble from Lime Lace

2. Food & drink Lovers

This theme is probably one of the most fun options to try as there are so many food and drink related baubles available out there. Choose from sweet treats like popcorn and donuts, or bottles of pink gin or champagne to name a few. Any foodie will appreciate a tree decorated with their favourite treats and it’s a great way to have a Christmas tree with a twist!

All baubles from Sass and Belle except the lolly which is from Fenwick

3. London Brittania

This is a fab theme if you love visiting London or if you live in the city. Incorporate Union Jack flag baubles, with iconic red London phone boxes, or add street signs along with classic London landmarks. Fortnum and Mason have an amazing selection of British themed decorations such as tea cups and their famous hamper baskets which are just gorgeous.

Bus, union jack, phone box, Oxford Street sign from John Lewis

Freddy Mercury from Lime Lace

Selfridges yellow phone box from Selfridges

4. Animals

This theme would appeal for all ages, and I’ve found some really lovely animal related baubles. If you like a bright and fun tree, you could have a tropical style with parrots, flamingos and have a really stand out display. If you have a monochrome theme, why not include some zebras into the mix!

Seahorse and Flamingo from Sass and Belle 

Zebra from Fenwick

Here are a few other decorations that I’ve spotted which will give you that Instagram perfect Christmas tree this year!

What was your favourite theme from the above?

How are you planning on decorating this Christmas?

If you’re looking for Christmas gift ideas, check out my last blog post HERE

Gingerbread man from Selfridges

Cassette tape from John Lewis

Rainbow from the gifted few

Red car and Skull both from Sass and Belle 

Miffy from Fenwick

6 non-physical gift ideas to give this Christmas.

Burberry high tea

It’s that time of year again and the Christmas count down has officially started! The John Lewis advert is on the TV, the Christmas lights are now turned on everywhere and the stores have suddenly transformed into full on festive mode. So now is a good time to start planning your Christmas gifting.

I really love buying gifts for people, but it can sometimes be tricky to know what to get everyone. Usually if we want things we will just buy them for ourselves during the year. So instead of buying actual items for someone this Christmas, another great idea is to get them a ‘non-physical’ gift, or an experience. In a world where everything is focused on consumerism and we are all consistently buying ourselves things, stepping away from that and spending more time with the people we love and having a special day out that you will look back on can be worth so much more.

These are my top 10 non-physical gift ideas:

1 – A Spa or beauty Treatment 

This would be the perfect gift to give to a new mum, or someone that has been stressed with work. A voucher for a lovely massage, facial or a day of getting away from it all in the spa could be just what they need, and not something that a lot of people will often buy for themselves.

2 – Afternoon Tea

An afternoon tea experience is always so much fun! If you’ve followed my blog or Instagram for a while, you’ll know that I love trying out new places for afternoon tea. Often they are held in beautiful hotels and there is something really lovely about tasting all of the delicious cakes and treats, as well as receiving a great service, making it a special way to spend time with family or friends. I will leave a few links below for some of the places that I have tried this year.

Prêt-à-Portea at the Berkeley Hotel, London

My favourite Instagrammable coffee shops

Elan Cafe, London

Peggy Porschen, London

3 – Theatre tickets

Another lovely gift idea is theatre tickets to go and see a musical or a West End show. You can get some really good deals for theatre tickets online these days and there is always something great to go and watch, especially around the Christmas period when they have all of the beautiful ballets and festive shows. You can get tickets to London shows on various websites and I have found some great deals with London Theatre Direct HERE

Ballet

Image @Pinterest

4 – A magazine subscription 

Ok, so I know this is more towards a physical gift but I wanted to include it as it’s a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. If you know someone that loves fashion or interior design for example, a magazine subscription is a great idea as they will receive a copy of the latest magazine delivered to their home. It’s a little treat to look forward to and means they don’t have to go out and buy it each month themselves. We are all on our phones 24/7 these days so to take half an hour away from that, to sit down with a good magazine and cup of tea is really lovely and relaxing.

Vogue Magazines

Image @Pinterest

5 – A hobby inspired course

If you know someone that has been saying for a while that they would like to do a photography course, learn a new language or has a genuine interest in something like cooking for example, then you could get them a voucher towards a course. It might just be that encouragement that they need to get started on something that they will really enjoy working on and be good at.

Cooking flat lay

Image @Pinterest

6 – A special Train journey

Even though I spend a lot of time travelling on trains during the week, I really want to go for a day out on one of those old steam trains where you are wined and dined in luxurious surroundings, whilst travelling through the English countryside. It looks like such a fun experience and not something that you would get to do every day! This would be a really nice gift idea for mums or grandmas where you can sit together and enjoy being waited on, relaxing. You can pick up tickets for this sort of experience HERE

If actual gifts are more your thing though, I will be putting together some gift ideas in an upcoming blog post so make sure you keep an eye out for that! I really enjoyed putting together some gift ideas last year which you will find HERE and HERE  so I’ve been looking out for new things to recommend for this year too.

What is your favourite non physical gift idea from this blog post?

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

Luxury shopping – should you buy in store or online?

Louis Vuitton store London

The luxury market is booming and has continued to grow over the last decade. Social media and celebrities have been two major factors in keeping our attention on the big name luxury brands and keeping everyone interested in buying the latest fashion pieces.

With most brands, the trend has been that the majority of shopping is done online and fashion retailers such as Asos, Pretty Little Thing and Missguided have taken the lead with this, becoming huge giants in the industry. On the flip side of this though, it has been affecting the sales on the high street and we are losing a lot of stores. This isn’t the same for the luxury market though as there are a lot of positive points for shopping for luxury goods online as well as in store.

The Online shopping experience

In 2017, luxury e-commerce grew by 23% which is more than three times faster than total luxury retail growth. Net-a-Porter were one of the first to bring global luxury fashion house products all together online. The online shopping experience that you get with them is fabulous, from the beautifully packaged parcels that they send you, to the extra special services they have such as delivery within the same day in London. Since the success of Net-a-Porter, there are now a lot of other similar websites such as FarFetch, Matches Fashion and My Theresa to name a few.

Luxury brands themselves though were pretty slow when it came to getting into e-commerce – Chanel being a good example of this. Perhaps they didn’t expect online shopping to become as huge as it has or perhaps they were not too bothered until they realised that every brand was moving into the digital world.

Netaporter shopping

image @ Pinterest

Savvy online spending

75% of luxury shoppers research online before they make their purchase which is a huge figure, however 72% of shoppers say that they actually prefer to purchase in store. This does not surprise me and I feel exactly the same way. If your going to spend a large amount of money on something you want to feel the product first, check that it fits and get an overall feel for what you are buying. A lot of shoppers are now doing this the other way around though, by trying the item in store first, and then buying it online using discount codes. Luisaviaroma are the best at offering discount codes and flash sales and are perfect for savvy shoppers that want to save themselves some coins.

Netaporter shopping

image @ Pinterest

Top 5 reasons to shop for Luxury goods online

  1. Using discount codes to get money off and for cheaper than the price you would pay in store.
  2. Some people feel uncomfortable shopping in designer stores which can have a reputation of being snooty with unhelpful shop assistants.
  3. It is a quick and easy process, with often same day delivery and a good returns policy. Some designer boutiques will not allow refunds, but give you in-store credit only.
  4. You can browse a selection of designer brands all under the one online destination.
  5. You can search for the same item over various online stores to find the best deal and again, often cheaper than in the boutiques,

The in-store shopping experience

For me, shopping in an actual boutique is a much more exciting experience than shopping online. Consumers want to feel special and be offered a good quality customer experience when they are buying luxury items. In stores like Louis Vuitton, Dior etc there is often a queuing system where you have to wait to be served by one of the sales assistants. This can take quite a long time which is the downside of this. However with the majority of these brands, you need to build a relationship with an SA (sales assistant) and they will help you when it comes to reserving the latest pieces from the new collections. Hermes is one of those brands where this is crucial. If you ever want to purchase a Birkin bag, you will only ever have the chance if you are a known regular shopper with a solid relationship with an SA.

Saint Laurent handbag

Beautiful surroundings

Luxury stores know that we are living in a digital world now but they still want us to go into the stores. They know the importance of looking fabulous and are creating insta-worthy spaces to inspire people and encourage new visitors into the store. This is great advertising for them as images are posted onto social media and it gets everyone excited about going to visit the store. The Alexander McQueen store on London’s Bond Street is like an art museum with a huge egg in the doorway like something out of a Lady Gaga music video, as well as having the windows covered with nets holding bejewelled beetles. Louis Vuitton have just opened their newly refurbished store and it is also incredible – which was to be expected. And look at the Dior flagship store in Paris – the displays they put on the front of the building are so beautiful and worth the visit to see them.

Dior store Paris

Dior store Lady Dior bag

Dior store Paris

Top 5 reasons to shop for Luxury goods in-store

  1. You get to experience the overall feel for the brand so much more in-store.
  2. For the first class customer service and experience
  3. Being able to build a relationship with an SA so that you have a point of contact within the brand and they can help you to source items before anyone else – especially those extra special items that are hard to track down or sold out.
  4. Your purchase will be wrapped in their branded box, tissue paper and carrier bag which will be beneficial if you are a collector or if you plan to sell the item in the future.
  5. Being able to try on the clothing, to check the fit and feel of the products you are buying so you can be 100% sure that you are happy with it.

Saint Laurent packaging

Saint Laurent packaging

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog post. How do you prefer to buy luxury goods?

What was the last thing you bought?

I would love to know your thoughts so leave a comment below.

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