Holiday Gift-Giving

A Girl, A Style _ Gift-GivingSomehow, the holiday season is already upon us and Christmas is a mere few weeks away. I love the act of gift-giving; hunting down the perfect gifts for my favourite people and lovingly wrapping them, ready to tuck under the tree on Christmas Eve.

If you’re anything like me (almost zero free time combined with a complete dislike of traipsing around the stores along with every other stressed individual in the lead up to the holidays), then the key is to do everything online (bonus festive points for doing so in your pyjamas with a side of hot chocolate and the Rat Pack’s Christmas album playing in the background).

Here’s my roundup of the best pre-holiday sales and the 50 best gifts and stocking fillers for everyone on your list (yourself included!). If all else fails, you can’t got wrong with a beautiful book, a luxe scented candle, cashmere anything, a monogrammed coffee mug (with a bag of roasted beans), the perfume you know they’ve been coveting, or a little sparkly something.

AGENT PROVOCATEUR: 20% off all styles + free worldwide delivery with code ‘MINGLE’ (until 1st December)
ANTHROPOLOGIE (UK/EU): 20% off site-wide (until 1st December)
ANTHROPOLOGIE (US): 25% off site-wide with code ‘HOLIDAY25′
ASOS (UK): 20% off site-wide with code ‘CYBERWKND20′ (until 2nd December)
ASOS (US): 30% off site-wide with code ‘TGIBF’ (until 30th November) + ‘ILOVEMONDAYS’ (until 2nd December)
BAUBLEBAR: Get 15% off 2 items with code ‘FRIDAY15′, 25% off 3 items with ‘FRIDAY25′ and 35% off 4 items with ‘FRIDAY35′ (28th – 29th November) + 20% off with ‘CYBER20′ (30th November – 2nd December)
GAP: 50% off everything with code ‘BLKFRIDAY’ (28th November)
J. CREW: 30% off most full-priced items, extra 40% off sale and free shipping with code ‘HOLIDAY’ (until 30th November) + ‘MONDAY’ (1st December)
JOHN LEWIS: Site-wide promotions and discounts on select lines (until 30th November)
LIBERTY: 20% off site-wide (until 30th November)
LULU GUINNESS: 20% off site-wide (until 1st December)
SELFRIDGES: 20% off site-wide with code ‘SELF14′ (until 30th November)
SHOPBOP: Save up to 25% off site-wide with code ‘GOBIG14′ (until 1st December)
TOPSHOP: Site-wide sale on select items + free worldwide shipping (until 1st December)
URBAN OUTFITTERS: Site-wide sale on select items + free shipping with code ‘BFDELIVERY’ (until 1st December)
WEST ELM: Save up to 25% off site-wide with code ‘SUPERSALE’ (until 1st December)
WHISTLES: 25% off site-wide (until 1st December)

Happy present-buying!

Love, Miss B xx

 

My Favourite Instagram Accounts

A Girl, A Style _ The Best Instagram Accounts

Instagram is, unquestionably, my favourite social media platform. I love getting to see glimpses into the lives of people I admire around the world, and it is such a happy community (some of my best friendships were made via Instagram). Things I love on Instagram: pictures of Paris or New York or places I’ve never been to (but long to explore), flowers, cute dogs and beautiful lighting (things I hate: too many blurry selfies, messy backgrounds and accounts that only repost other people’s images). Here are the Instragrammers around the world that I just can’t get enough of:

parisinfourmonths
Carin’s feed is a beautiful love letter to her (adopted) city. She has the most beautiful vision, and Paris through her lens looks like the set of a Woody Allen film. A must-follow for anyone who dreams of Paris as I do.

sarahkjp
Sarah’s feed is the manifestation of the New England American dream; nautical adventures, preppy field trips and summer spent travelling around the North East coast. As polished, preppy and picture-perfect as her darling blog, Classy Girls Wear Pearls.

garypeppergirl
Nicole has achieved remarkable success with her blog, but for good reason. Her ‘outfit shots’ are more worthy of the pages of Vogue; grand editorials set in all the most breathtaking locations around the world. My favourite of the ‘super-bloggers’ by a mile.

juliahengel
San Francisco-based Julia is cute as a button (and just as sweet in real life) and shares my weakness for flowers and anything pink. I love the daily outfit posts she shares from her blog, Gal Meets Glam, and her current travels around Europe make me want to take a month off to explore the Continent.

nicolettemason
Full disclosure: I can’t be impartial when it comes to Nicolette because she is one of my favourite people in the world. Regardless, her feed is a beautiful documentary of her feminine style, her incredible home (where she lives with francoisethepug) and her life in New York.

carly
Carly, who writes The College Prepster (one of my daily reads), is the perfect girl next door; in fact, I wish we were actually neighbours so I could hang out with her and theodorefitzpatrick in Central Park every week. She lives on the Upper East Side, loves bows and books in equal measure (girl after my own heart) and shares all my Type A-tendencies.

lucylaucht
Lucy’s was one of the first blogs I ever followed (back when she was an English girl living in Australia), and I just love her aesthetic. These days, she lives in Brooklyn and shares snaps from around the city, her enviable travels and her flawless style. Expect lots of colour, perfectly-styled still life photos and the prettiest flowers.

amy_stone
Amy’s feed is a perfectly curated vision. From the nautical-inspiration to summer in Nantucket and her quest to find the most handsome doors in New York, her account is a delightful shot of escapism.

katiearmour
Katie, who edits the charming digital monthly, Matchbook Magazine, is, simply, one of the coolest girls I know. Part cultured neo-traditionalist with an appreciation for art galleries and old libraries, and part cheeky Tomboy with a fondness for smoking slippers and walks around New York with her dapper pug, Alfred, she has a style I adore.

thisisglamorous
As the name suggests, Rosalie’s feed (just like her equally gorgeous blog by the same name) is a tribute to all things beautiful, feminine and glamorous. I love peeking inside her home, the snapshots of Edinburgh (where she lives), and the abundance of blooms in all her pictures.

What are your favourite Instagram feeds? I’d love to read your suggestions in the comments!

P.S. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram here!

Love, Miss B xx

7 Ways to Welcome Autumn with Bobbi Brown

A Girl, A Style _ 7 Ways to Welcome Autumnjpg

Outside, the brisk evenings are drawing in and there is the palpable feeling of change in the air. As the leaves begin to fall and autumn announces its arrival, I suddenly desire  a few new pleasures; cosy cashmere to snuggle into, a refreshed beauty aesthetic and a little luxurious glamour. I’m thrilled to team up with Bobbi Brown (one of my favourite everyday beauty brands) to celebrate the new season.

1. As the temperature drops and the seasons change, so too do I crave a few changes come autumn. For me, the easiest way to transition my look for the season is with an overhaul of my beauty bag. I switch my fresh summer fragrances to those with a little more depth, step up the hydration, and tweak my makeup look. Pastels are replaced by warm hues, and my everyday bronzed eye becomes a little more smoky and sultry. My favourite go-to is the Bobbi Brown smokey nudes palette; I’ll wear a contoured 60s eye for day, a smudgy, smoky look for evenings, or a molten metallic for parties.

2. As with the changes to my beauty look, each season I look forward to refreshing my wardrobe. Girlish pieces are pushed aside in favour of a slightly more sophisticated, classic aesthetic, summer’s floaty white blouses and lace dresses are paired with tuxedo jackets and polished accessories, and a neutral palette is offset with a singular pop of colour in the form of fuchsia nails or berry-stained lips (I like Creamy Matte lipstick in ‘Bright Lily’).

3. Make the most of the last warm days of the year with a gloriously lazy weekend filled with all your favourite simple pleasures. Team a chic neutral beauty look (try with your favourite weekend uniform for a leisurely brunch and a walk around the neighbourhood with someone you love.

4. Treat yourself to a few fabulous dates with your girlfriends. As the nights draw in, I like to retreat to cosy, glamorous haunts where I can get dolled up (a smokey cat eye using inky black kajal liner is always appropriate in this scenario) and linger over good conversation and a marvellous cocktail or two.

A Girl, A Style _ Bobbi Brown 2

5. Make the most of the harvest season and stop by your local farmer’s market for a bounty of local autumn produce. I love stopping for a hot chocolate and s’mores, buying armfuls of flowers, and going home with a basket of plump figs, apples, blackberries and pumpkins and turning them into something delicious.

6. Transform your place into a cosy, inviting retreat. Invest in a few new home comforts  (I like those to aid luxurious hibernation; scented candles, divine bed linen, gorgeous lighting and a good supply of tea and books), spend an afternoon organising your wardrobe and beauty cabinet, and add a few fresh flowers in each room. Invite your friends around for an old-fashioned movie night/slumber party, or host a cocktail party for a few of your nearest and dearest. Just add a swipe of red lipstick (Creamy Matte lipstick in ‘Heart’ is my current favourite) and a swinging soundtrack.

7. Play tourist around town or take a trip to the countryside to see all the changing colours of the season. Go for a long bike ride, visit an apple orchard or pumpkin patch, tour a historic home, and jump in piles of crunchy leaves.

Love, Miss B xx

P.S. Stay tuned for my tutorial on how to achieve the perfect smokey nude look for autumn using the new Bobbi Brown collection.

This post is in partnership with Bobbi Brown

How to Make a Sick Day Better

A Girl, A Style _ How to Make a Sick Day Better

As a bona-fide Type A personality, I struggle with the notion of being forced out of action by something as mundane as being sick. But it happens to us all, and sometimes, you just have to admit defeat and call in sick to the world for a day. Here’s my guide to making it as good as can be (NB: none of this is ground-breaking advice, but we can probably all do with a little reminder to slow down when we need to):

1. Ditch the guilt + woe. If you’re anything like me, sick days will inevitably induce feelings of guilt (“but I don’t have time to be sick! There is so much to do!” etc. etc.) or self-pity. Getting sick is your body’s way of telling you to slow down, so listen and do as it says. Guilt-free. (No one will congratulate you for forcing yourself to work when you’re an incubus of germs anyway)

2. Take care of yourself. Your body will be devoting all of its energy to getting better. Help it along by wrapping up warm, taking the medicine/remedies you need and getting plenty of fluids and healthy nutrients. Tea, soup and orange juice were invented for days like this!

3. Get cosy. You’re not leaving the house all day (really, no one else wants your germs), so get comfortable! Fluff the pillows, change into your favourite pyjamas, and fix yourself a tray of healthy snacks, tissues, medicine and supplies so you don’t have to move more than you want to.

4. Rest. You’re home for a reason, so give your body what it needs and spend the day doing as little as possible. Go straight back to bed after breakfast, have a nap every few hours or just rest as long as you need (no guilt allowed).

5. Indulge in a little escapism. There is no point even attempting anything energetic, so spend the day as peacefully as possible. When I’m feeling horrid, I like to escape with a happiness-inducing book, some light-hearted TV or an old-favourite movie (avoid anything too intense or cerebral, or you’ll just fall asleep anyway).

A Girl, A Style _ How to Make a Sick Day Better 2

Pictured: (Top) John Lewis bed // Marks & Spencer lamp // White Company bedding // Diptyque candle // Aerin fragrance // (Bottom) Warby Parker ‘Huxley’ glasses // Anthropologie monogrammed mug (a gift from Nicolette). 

6. Pamper. You’ll probably feel dehydrated, achey and flat, so a little nurturing won’t hurt. I try to take a long bubble bath (the heat eases aches and pains and the steam will help clear your sinuses), slather on a face oil before climbing back into bed (to combat parched, dull skin), and a healing balm to soothe dry lips and nostrils. A spritz of face mist during the day and a few drops of relaxing lavender oil on an oil burner also work wonders.

7. Tidy up a little. No matter how sick you are, wallowing will only make you feel worse. Open the window and spend five minutes collecting all the tissues, straightening your room and washing a few dishes. The outer order will improve your mood, if nothing else.

8. Indulge in small pleasures. Don’t waste your precious energy on anything elaborate, but now is the time to indulge in a few of your favourite small pleasures to cheer you up. I like to light a few candles (even if I can’t smell a thing, it lifts the mood of the room – just don’t fall asleep with them lit!), have a piece of dark chocolate and make a pot of my favourite Laduree tea. Such pleasures certainly won’t cure any ailments, but they will make you feel a little rosier.

9. Do one small task. even though I only take sick days when I’m so unwell I’m physically incapable of leaving the house, I struggle with productivity-guilt if I do nothing with my day. I find it helps if I do at least one tiny task. Now is not the time to do anything requiring sharp focus or decisiveness. Tidy a junk drawer, file a stack of paperwork or clean out your medicine cabinet.

10. Go back to bed! Just when you’ve spent the day resting, go back to bed and sleep some more. Hopefully, you’ll wake up feeling like yourself again (and if not: rinse and repeat tomorrow!).

How do you try to make the most of a sick day?

Love, Miss B xx

Pictures via my Instagram (because who whips out a DSLR when they’re sick?!)