BLOGMAS – Five Christmas Gifts For Men

My husband is not into sports…or fishing or fashion. The only thing that genuinely tickles his fancy are cars and as much as I would love to present him with his beloved Audi RS3 its just not gonna happen! When it comes to buying Christmas gifts it is always, without fail the men in my life who are the biggest pain in the bum! If you’ve read my post The Anniversary Conundrum then you’ll know how much of an issue I find buying presents for the male of the species. They want nothing. They need nothing. You spend a small fortune desperately trying to raise a smile of genuine delight that never seems to materialise. So, I have trawled the interweb (sorry I just cannot do real-life shops – particularly at this time of year with a pushchair in tow) for five Christmas gifts for men which, although they may not do cartwheels of joy over, may just like enough to utilise….

The Experience – Gin & Botanical Dining Extravaganza (£200) Not On The High Street

Yes, this is a substantial gift but I have a sneaking suspicion that it could be a winner. One of the best presents I ever managed to pull off was tickets to see Michael McIntyre. If in doubt an experience could be the way forward. Whether he’s into his drinks, racing, food or flying, a day or weekend learning something new is a great idea for a really special gift!

Gin & Botanical Dining Extravaganza For Two

For The Coffee LoverMonthly Delivery Coffee Subscription (£29 For Three Months) Not On The High Street

There’s a plethora of beauty boxes and subscription packages available for the girls but (as ever) a very limited selection when it comes to the boys! When I stumbled across this package that delivers fresh coffee from independent farmers each and every month I thought, ‘Yes’, that is something that could actually be appreciated in my household (Mr.R and his caffeine affliction are something of a standing joke). I love the idea that it’s not just a one-off gift and you can choose how long you want your subscription to last – you could choose to have fresh coffee delivered right up until next Christmas!

Coffee Subscription - Christmas gifts for men

For The Drinks CoinneusserCocktail Chameleon Hardback Book £40 Mr Porter

A few years ago I bought a beautiful coffee table book called ‘Vintage Cocktails’ for Mr.R without any real expectation that he would be interested. But against all odds, it was a surprise hit. There’s an abundance of lovely cocktail recipe books out there and at this time of year, I don’t think you can go wrong (who doesn’t love a cocktail at Christmas)?

Cocktail Chameleon Book

For The Techy Bloke – Sonos Play 1 Smart Speaker £149 John Lewis

I’ve yet to come across a bloke who doesn’t have at least a passing interest in anything a bit techy. I’m talking speakers, sound systems, tv’s…you get the gist! We have two of the Sonos Play 1 speakers at home and to be honest they’re a bit of a no-brainer. They link up to your phone which means you can play music from your library or even from your Spotify account and it’s great to be able to have different playlists in different rooms. We also have the soundbar and subwoofer (Mr.R’s pride and joy) which make great gifts if you’re looking to spend a little more (last year the whole family chipped in to get the subwoofer for my dad who is notoriously hard to buy for).

Sonos Play 1 Smart Speaker

For The FoodyPembridge Indulgent Chilled Hamper – £120 Marks & Spencer

Men like to eat right? Of course, they do and who could resist a hamper full of cheese, crackers and a few bottles of wine? When I start to get stressed with Christmas shopping I always try to remember the incontrovertible fact that a beautiful hamper will be always be appreciated, used and enjoyed and at the end of the day, that’s about as much as any gift giver can hope for! M&S have a gorgeous selection of hampers in a wide variety of price points that make fabulous gifts for men (or indeed for anyone really)!

Sonos Play 1 Smart Speaker

I hope you were able to find a little inspiration here. Do you have any top tips on how to buy Christmas gifts for men?

Elf On The Shelf – The Adventures Of Tuukka Tuukka DAY5 

elf cooking candy canes
Watcha cooking Tuukka Tuukka??? 

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BLOGMAS – My Fantasy Christmas Wish List

One of my favourite past times is perusing the virtual shelves of luxury online stores and adding all the loveliness to a wish list or fantasy shopping basket! Now it’s a momentous day when I actually make a purchase so all of this is purely in the realms of fantasy but hey, a girl can dream right? Here are my top ten fantasy buys that are getting me hot under the collar this Christmas. Mr.R, if you’re reading…

dear santa...my fantasy wish list

Balmain Blazer

The Rolls Royce of blazers make no mistake! We all know I love a blazer and this one has been on the life lust list for quite some time! The Balmain signature blazer is significantly more structured than my usual picks and yes it will always be just a little bit ‘wag-ish’ but hey, I’m cool with a little bit of wag style now and then!

Black Balmain Blazer

BALMAIN BLAZER

Jimmy Choo Romy Pumps

My Jimmy Choo Black patent Abel pumps are probably one of the most worn pair of shoes I own so I’m desperate to add the Romy (in the lower 85mm heel) to my collection. This blush suede pair are the perfect paradox of practical and impractical…they’ll go with anything and everything but blush pink suede? Did someone say high maintenance?

Jimmy Choo Romy Pumps

JIMMY CHOO ROMY PUMPS

Prada Handbag

A year or so ago my mum bought me what is essentially a wallet on a chain…a small bag big enough for your phone with card slots and a zip compartment. Now as much as I love my other bags, this is the one I reach for on a day to day basis. It’s small and light, it basically acts as a purse and I can wear it cross body. This Prada bag would be the perfect upgrade for days where something a little more dressy is required.

Prada Cross Body Bag

PRADA BAG

Chloe Susanna Boots

I feel like I’m hugely late to the party with this one. The Susanna boots have been on the market for so long they have doubled in price and spawned a Topshop dupe! They are definitely having a moment right now but I can see me wearing these until my dying day! They remind me of (a much more glitzy version of) a pair of Ash cowboy boots I had and wore until they had been re-soled so many times they dropped to pieces.

Chloe Susanna Boots

CHLOE SUSANNA BOOTS

Diptyque Dragon Scented Candle

A Christmas candle is always such a special treat and really helps to get you into the festive spirit! I adore Diptyque and the Christmas collection this year is beyond gorgeous! Three warming, festive scents in the most beautiful glass votives (I use mine for storing makeup brushes once the candle has burned down) choose from Dragon, Unicorn or Pheonix…I’m not gonna lie, I think I need fall three the only issue being I feel like I need this in my life right now so festivities can well and truly commence!

Diptyque Christmas Candle

DIPTYQUE CANDLE

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Masterclass

I’ve always been more of an eye than a lip girl but I’m starting to feel that now I’m in my thirties I really should have mastered the art of applying a proper, full-on lip! This collection by Charlotte Tilbury has given me all the heart eyes and surely would give me the incentive to play at ‘being a real grown-up who wears lipstick and everything’!

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Masterclass

CHARLOTTE TILBURY LIP MASTERCLASS

Maria Tash Mini 18-Karat Gold Diamond Earring

I mentioned a while ago that I’m having a bit of a moment with earrings and have been lusting after anything from Maria Tash for quite some time. This super simple yet super chic mini hoop would be quite a delight to find tucked away in my stocking…Santa if your listening?

Maria Tash Gold Hoop Earring

MARIA TASH EARRING

Mejuri Beaded Ring

These gold skinny stacking rings are so bloomin awesome but present me with two problems. Firstly, despite my best efforts and intentions, my hands are looking a little rough, dry and just generally a bit worse for wear. Not the best for showing off these delicate little beauties. Secondly (and yes I’m aware that this is a bit of a first world problem) which one do you choose? They’re all so morish! Obviously, I can’t do much about the latter (except maybe buy all the rings which does seem rather excessive) but if somebody would like to gift me some products by Margaret Dabbs well that would be just fabulous!

Mejuri Beaded Ring

MEJURI RING

Acne Scarf

Isn’t this baby blue colour a dream? This scarf seems made for snuggling up on icy, wintry days and manages to look both cosy and ‘tres chic’ all at once! I have a feeling that this is the type of accessory that would live in your wardrobe for a long long time!

Acne Canada Scarf

ACNE SCARF

Joseph Leather Leggings

Many years ago I was the proud owner of the ultimate leather leggings from By Malene Birger. Supple, soft, stretchy leather that didn’t ‘knee’ or ‘sag’ they were perfection. Unfortunately, said leggings were involved in an incident which even now makes me wince. If I said the incident involved a bottle of ‘bleach heavy’ mould and mildew remover would you get the gist? Yes…it was a sad sad day indeed. Anyway, since that sad day, I have never had the heart (or the pennies) to replace them but I’m pretty sure this fantasy pair by Joseph would greatly help the grieving process along!

Joseph Leather Leggings

JOSEPH LEATHER LEGGINGS

What’s on your fantasy Christmas Wish List???

Elf On The Shelf – The Adventures Of Tuukka Tuukka DAY3

message written in toothpaste
That was a new tube of toothpaste Tuukka Tuukka!

elf on the shelf cleaning her teeth

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A Pre Christmas Holiday In The Sun

Winter sun has never really featured in my yearly plans. The typical summer holiday is always a must and pre-baby Mr.R and I were rather fond of the odd city break (Manchester and Edinburgh always topping the list). This year however after a manic couple of months which saw us celebrate our daughters first birthday and open a new business (and with Christmas looming), we decided now was the time to grab a bit of winter sunshine! I’m not going to lie, this holiday was exactly what we needed and we really lucked out with the weather (November in Spain can be a little hit or miss)! We ate, we drank, we shopped. We visited each and every one of my favourite spots and yes we did the ultimate holiday activity…we watched Highlander and Bird On A Wire (maybe that ones peculiar to us – don’t knock it till you try it guys)!

What to Do, See & Eat On Holiday In The South Of Spain

What We Got Up To – Where To Explore

Having travelled to the South of Spain since the age of 9 months (coincidentally exactly the same age as Luna was on her first visit), I feel particularly well placed to recommend the things to do and places to see! But (and it’s quite a big but) if you’re after a guide to archaeological sites or want to know just what one wears to a pool party at the Ocean Club then this might not be for you! On the other hand, if shopping, eating and just generally chilling out is your bag then read on…

  • Puerto Banus
    Puerto Banus is my happy place. Look I know it’s not for everyone but in my mind, there’s nothing like sitting with a glass of wine watching all that life has to offer stroll by! The shopping is fantastic and contrary to popular legend isn’t confined to high end or luxury. All of my favourites are there – Zara, Massimo Dutti, Uterqüe as well as the huge department store El Corte Inglés for niche and premium brands, beauty and the shoe hall of dreams! Grab a coffee at Goyo and lunch at Picasso’s (which FYI was closed for refurbishment when we were there – how very rude). I’m a huge fan of ‘The Port’ during the day. Evenings, on the other hand, aren’t really my bag which leads me nicely on to…

 

Family Holiday In Spain

Goyo's Cafe Puerto Banus

  • Benahavís
    When we first discovered Benahavís it was a tiny little village nestled in the hills, accessible only by a winding potholed road – authentic and gorgeous. Today the road has been widened and tarmaced. The roundabouts have water fountains to rival Las Vegas and the restaurants have multiplied by five! But to me, this is still the prettiest, most atmospheric place and the restaurants are almost universally good! Try Los Abanicos for steak and Rufino for the best prawn pill pill in the world!
  • San Pedro Market
    You can’t go to Spain and not enjoy a mooch around a traditional market. This market is so authentic and you can get your essentials for far less than the much more commercial and ‘touristy’ market at Puerto Banus. We paid 2 euros for a huge bag of olives and 6 for a whole kilo of sweeties (yes we did scoff the lot)!
  • Olivia’s La Cala
    The latter half of my pregnancy was marked by the Rio Olympics and Elliot Wright – Playa In Marbella! For the uninitiated let me explain. The programme centres around Elliot Wright (cousin to Mark of TOWIE fame) and the ups and downs of opening a new bar/restaurant in Spain. For obvious reasons Mr.R and I were glued to this particular ITV Be spectacular and we couldn’t resist paying Olivia’s a cheeky visit! The fact that Elliot – fresh from honeymoon made an appearance was the icing on the cake!

Olivias La Cala

  • The Bullring Market
    Expensive and commercialised it may be but the Saturday market at the Bullring Puerto Banus is a must visit! The bricks and mortar stores on the plaza at the very top of the market are always worth a visit and don’t forget to start the day right – with a slap-up breakfast from Yanx…the triple stacked pancakes are to die for!

Puerto Banus Bullring Market

What I Bought

I had such good intentions of getting a good start on my Christmas shopping on this holiday but, (much like Black Friday) things rapidly went downhill when I spied a blazer… and a camisole (or maybe two)! I hit Zara, Massimo (you know what a soft spot I have for Massimo) and one of the aforementioned shops at the Bullring. Gunnels is a gorgeous little boutique with brands such as Wildfox, Twist and Tango and Samsøe ⏀ Samsøe! I couldn’t resist adding to my gold bangle stack and when I spied the lace camisole of dreams it was a done deal (despite the fact that it has given me serious underwear issues  – the post-breastfeeding boobs are definitely not up to braless these days)! I did rather better on the Christmas shopping front for Luna! I may have gone a little crazy in Neck & Neck (a gorgeous Spanish baby boutique) but it’s just beyond me to resist all those teeny tiny sweaters and lace trimmed shirts!

Caroline Svedbom Gold Bangle

Massimo Dutti Velvet Camisole

Samsøe ⏀ Samsøe Camisole

Neck and Neck Childrenswear

Holiday Shopping

As you have probably gathered, Spain for me is a bit of a home from home and I have a very concise and particular list of what I like to do and the places I like to visit. For me, its simply a little slice of heaven, a retreat and the most special of special places! Winter sun is definitely the way forward and the only downside I can think of is that as soon as we stepped off the plane in Newcastle, we were hit with the realisation that Christmas is just around the corner and, despite the very best of intentions my Christmas shopping isn’t quite as advanced as I had hoped! Are you a fan of the winter getaway? Whats your favourite holiday hotspot for a little winter fun in the sun?

Luna Belle