|1. 2. 3. 4.|
Gift sets are great, in fact there have been many occasions where I've quickly run into Boots and picked up a beautiful Soap and Glory or Sanctuary Spa gift set as an emergency present for someone knowing that they'll like it and that everything inside will be used. However I buy for a few particular people quite frequently and I knew that I wanted to branch out a little bit this year. Independent retailers are a brilliant way to find unique items and show support for small businesses.
I've been into a couple of indie bookstores to top up my mam's book stash, and I'm going to pick up a couple more and perhaps some DVDs from Hive, which is a great website that provides all the convenience of shopping online but also allows you to support a local bookshop of your choice at the same time.
To avoid getting too specific and risking pairs of peeping eyes spoiling their surprises here are a few of my favourite websites to find unique and beautifully made pieces:
+ Rockett St George
+ Dianne Tanner
+ Oh My Clumsy Heart
+ Matt and Nat
+ Quill London
+ Nomads Clothing
Also, Sophie from The Private Life of a Girl has put together a comprehensive guide to independent shopping in the UK, which has been very helpful and introduced me to a lot of different websites I haven't come across before.
This year I've been especially grateful for the plethora of gift guide inspiration posts that I have been greeted with daily when looking through my bloglovin' feed. Sophie from Sophie's Makeup has put together some really lovely (and beautifully photographed!) gift guides this year that I have found very helpful. When I think about shopping online my mind immediately goes to the same handful of brands, but I must admit that it's been nice to browse some websites that I wouldn't usually, such as Anthropologie and West Elm.
Through gift guide posts I've also been introduced to websites like WozNow, Octer and Lyst, which collate items from a number of different retailers and let you bookmark things to look at again later/compare with other items or show you what's gone on sale. It's been so incredibly helpful to browse by category and see everything in one place without having to have a million and one tabs open at the same time because I haven't really known exactly what I was looking for. I've managed to find a great deal on something for Mark that I think he's really going to love and although Christmas isn't about the presents at all, I'm looking forward to wrapping it and putting it under the tree because I don't think he'll be expecting it at all.
There's still something about the novelty of having my name on something that hasn't quite worn off, that began with those personalised headbands that were incredibly popular when I was in Primary School, and I know I'm not the only one. I mentioned a few posts ago that after being given the chance to pick out some personalised Mr Men pieces that I was going to buy a few things as Christmas gifts and I'm so pleased with how they've turned out. I can't photograph them because I don't want the recipients to see them before Christmas morning but I think they're going to be a big hit and bring a lot of smiles!
Did you know which holiday gifts you were going to purchase ahead of time, or have you turned to the internet for a little bit of inspiration this year too?