Hi guys! Ok so I am back with a post. It’s been a busy old weekend with the beginnings of Christmas shopping well on its way. I have to organise some of my presents early in order to make the Christmas post to Hong Kong…so I feel ok about Christmas shopping this year. I’m busy putting together some posts on Barcelona and you might have noticed I still have a steady stream of photos appearing on Instagram. It was the best holiday ever but more on that very soon. It’s about time I updated this blog with some of my current favourites and while I very rarely put a Christmas gift guide together, these might be great ideas for people you know, or even building your own wishlist. So here are my favourites at the moment!

A friend of mine bought me Nib & Ink by Chiara Perano and some calligraphy accessories for my birthday and it couldn’t have been a more perfect gift. I’ve been obsessively practicing my letters, purchased some more pretty coloured inks and I can’t wait to incorporate them into my doodles. It’s definitely a challenge to unlearn how you write (especially as my writing is already quite scripty) and it’s going to take a while before I am really happy with my calligraphy but it’s really fun and totally relaxing. It’s so easy to spend an hour of the day writing out random words and phrases!

I have also well and truly got the travel bug and I now swear by the Lonely Planet guides. Despite the fact that I kept forgetting to take it out with me while we were exploring Barcelona, we used it as an in our initial planning process as an inspiration for our days out with key places we knew we had to explore. It’s super easy to use, has great facts about the key attractions (perfect for when you don’t quite want to fork out the extra Euros for a printed guide). It’s the perfect companion for a short trip away to Barcelona with lots of recommended places to see/do and eat by area. I’m definitely going to be buying more of these for future trips away.

Time for make up! House of Fraser very kindly sent me a Benefit Cheekathon palette from their huge range of make up gift sets for Christmas. It arrived just before my trip to Barcelona and as I was too afraid of smashing it on holiday, I’ve only just cracked it open this week – and I love it. For a while now, I’ve been eyeing up the blushers that everyone seems to own –  Dandelion and Coralista, swatching the shades on my skin every time I come across their counters. So I was excited to find that this includes both of them and a couple of their other iconic blushers in full size. I’m really impressed as I think that’s awesome value for money so this would be a fab Christmas gift. I’m a total Benefit newbie, but the box smells pretty damn good too – is that a Benefit thing?

As another birthday gift, my sisters bought me the Urban Decay Ultimate Basics palette. I already own the original Naked Palette and this one is EVEN better. I tend to stick to nude tones for my make up and I prefer matte shadows so this everything I could ever want! I love everything in the shade of dusky pink at the moment so it’s no surprise that my favourite shade is the muted pink shade in ‘Instinct’. The packaging is more plasticky than I expected but on reflection, it’s so better than the original velvet packaging which doesn’t stay pristine for long. While a heavier tin might have been more luxe, the plastic means it’s more practical for travel and has the benefit of having a big mirror inside.

Lastly I have been printing out lots of my Barcelona phone snaps onto Instax film (my Instax printer SP-1 is still THE best) and I popped them into this lovely little frame. It’s another gift from an awesome friend and I had a hard time selecting just 5 pics.  Oh and yes, that is a Mojito with ’30’ candles in it! My friends bought me a cocktail on my birthday and because I resisted cake (I know, I know, I didn’t realise what they were doing!) they popped the candles in a Mojito in the coolest little bar in Barcelona. It makes me smile every single time – it really was the best birthday ever, I can’t wait to share more of my pics soon!