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Holiday Gift Guide: For Her

Finally… It’s that wonderful time of the year again… My favorite holiday season is quickly rolling in and, even though it is certainly the least of the things that make it so special, gift giving (and buying) is a big part of it.

Now, if you are anything like me you take your gift choices very seriously, to the point of obsessing over all the different possibilities months in advance and sometimes still not having come to a conclusion – when you suddenly realize that the 24th is just around the corner!!!

If that’s the case (and you are still wondering what to get your most treasured ones) you might wanna keep an eye out for my Holiday Gift Guide Series this week. The plan is to tackle a few different themed gift guides – publishing a couple each day and concluding the series at the latest by Sunday the 17th (thus, hopefully, still giving you enough time to go out and purchase any items that may have taken your fancy). There is no specific reasoning behind the choice of gifts mentioned – just a mishmash of things I’d love getting myself or offering as gifts to those I love…

With that said, I’ll jump straight to it and start by giving you a few ideas as to what you could get the women in your life. As a woman I’d be happy to receive any of the items mentioned below – and I’m pretty sure that most mothers, girlfriends and/or spouses would feel the same way, for at least some of the choices. If you don’t find something that is quite a fit for that special someone (and their particular interests), don’t fret. There will be separate (but complimentary) guides for the beauty obsessed, fashion lovers, bookworms etc. in your lives.

1. Automatic Handbag Illuminator: This is totally genius. It might be small but I’d consider it a priceless addition to my arsenal against bag fumbling – and would therefore love the person who gifted it to me, forever.

2. Lomo ‘Instant Yangon Camera Set: If you’ve got female friends who enjoy photography I can almost guarantee they will adore this. I know I did. I mean… it’s instant, it’s gold and all the lenses you might need are included in the (lovely) gift package. What more could a girl ask for?

3. Chanel Travel Makeup Pallette: I hardly think there are any women out there who do not love Chanel. This little compact would, subsequently, go down especially well with mostly everyone – and even more so with the chic & discerning frequent traveler in your life.

4. Erin Condren Metallic Painted Petals Life Planner: We all have a planner girl in our group of friends. This gorgeous Erin Condren planner, in grey and rose gold, would be absolutely ideal for her. Careful though, you might start coveting one for yourself…

5. Kat Von D Everlasting Mini Liquid Lip Set: I’ve tried these and they’re absolutely brilliant. Sure they are a bit drying (as most liquid matte lipsticks tend to be) but they are most certainly everlasting in the truest sense of the word. They’re also quite pricey, so this miniature set would be an ideal way to treat the beauty buff in your life.

6. Godiva 24 Piece Signature Truffle Gift Box: Belgian chocolate in general, is admittedly some of the best in the world. Godiva in particular is my absolute favourite. I could never begrudge anyone bringing me this – even if it would be long gone, way before the New Year. With flavors like Aztec Spice, Salted Caramel, Double Chocolate Raspberry, Hazelnut Crunch, Oranges & Creamsicle, Crème Brulee & Strawberry Crème Tarte included in the mix the foodies in your midst are guaranteed to love it as well.

7. Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Scented Home Candle: I really enjoy winter-y smelling candles, especially around the holidays. There’s just something so special & festive about lighting scented candles around the home at Christmas, don’t you think? Pomegranate Noir is a great scent and a bit of a staple for Jo Malone – and these are some of the highest quality candles around. Plus, there’s a variety of different scents so you are sure to find the perfect fit for that special someone who loves cuddling up on the sofa on winter nights.

8. Voluspa Vermeil Mini Tin Candle Set: I have never tried these myself, but they seem to come highly recommended. Also, just look at them! You’ve gotta love those mini tins. I personally think they’d look lovely on any vanity (long after they’ve outlived their initial purpose).

9. Nescafe Dolce Gusto Mini Me Automatic Coffee Machine: This would come in handy, for anyone who is forced to get an early start to their day (and have limited desk space at the office). It will, most probably, save them a trip to the communal kitchen (usually accompanied by a lot of unwanted, early morning chatter) and enable them to prepare & have that first essential cuppa in the privacy of their own office, instead. 

10. Dune London Livie Leopard Silk Scarf: It’s silk, it’s chic, it’s animal print and it’s burgundy. Need I say more?

11. Henry Bendel Chic & Chilly Eye Mask: This is one of those things all women would use, but none usually get for themselves. The added bonus of the chill feature makes this quite interesting – it would feel amazing after a hard day’s squinting at the office computer, a long tiresome flight or on the morning after some serious partying (which there’s bound to be a lot of during the holiday season).

12. Eberjey Gisele Basics PJ Set: Most men agree there’s something really sexy about a woman, draping herself in her boyfriend’s shirt in the morning. This PJ set from Eberjey combines that vibe, with the comfort all women look for in homewear. I love the black pair, with the light pink detailing – but there’s more color combos to choose from, if that’s not your cup of tea.

13. Dune London Dimogen Double Compartment Shoulder Bag: Not sure what to say here, except… I LOVE THIS BAG! The texture of the leather, the muted gold detailing, the perfectly measured (not too long, not too short) handles… It’s perfect. I am seriously thinking of getting one for myself. It’s  spacious and it’s classic and it will certainly prove to be one of those pieces that comes in handy in almost all occasions…

14. S’well Water Bottle: These, stainless steel vacuum insulated, water bottles keep cold drinks cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 12 (!!). Plus, they are designed by the fastest growing woman-owned company in the US, give back to charity (the company works with UNICEF, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and (RED) amongst others) and look stunning (unfortunately my favourite is currently out of stock, or I would have gotten one for myself).

15. Prosecco Made Me Do It Cocktail Recipe Book: Prosecco. Cocktails. I guess this one is pretty self-explanatory…

16. Pearl Compact Mirror (& USB Charger): Combining two major bag essentials, this is a genius little accessory for any woman. You can refresh your makeup and boost your phone charge – all in one neat package. What’s not to like?

17. Hair Tie Bracelet: I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one constantly loosing my hair tie(s). This is clever design with a purpose and would make a great last-minute gift or stocking filler.

18. Stained Glass Birth Month Mini Dish: Plain, simple and functional. The colors are lovely and it would look great as a jewellery holder on any vanity. I’m thinking it would make a cute, add-on, gift for the mothers out there.

19. FRESH Sugar Lip Lovelies Gift Set:  FRESH is world-famous for its lip products and this festive cracker jack would make for a great gift – especially with the cold weather finally kicking in as of late.

20. Clinique Sweet Pot: Another subtle-pop-of-colour product from Clinique. I’m personally not a big fan of the natural lip, but these look so cute they are actually tempting. Plus, the sugar scrub addition makes them way more useful during the winter months. Top it all up with the Clinique quality guarantee, and these are sure to be a welcome gift – especially for fans of a more basic, makeup routine.

“… and you thought your mum was nuts …”

Ok… So, this is definitely not the kind of thing I usually post – but it made me laugh so hard this cold, Wednesday (!) morning @ the office, that I simply had to share…

If you are over a certain age and still not engaged or (better yet) married, you probably know all about how stressed and disillusioned parents mums can get over your not settling down and starting a family like a proper young lady. But I suppose you’ve never received a text quite like this:


or these, for that matter:

Well, Kate Friedman- Siegel has and, to her credit, now makes a living out of it…  After the Instagram account she created, to share her mum’s (100+ per day) texts, went viral Kate quit her job at Condé Nast and set up Crazy Jewish Mom. She and her mother, Kim Friedman, are now an internet sensation – with thousands of fans, an online “advice column”, a podcast and most recently a New York Times bestseller. And, to be honest, they’re absolutely hilarious…

To be fair to Kim (an amazing, strong and very funny woman), there’s also a multitude of non- ovary related texts that are lough-out-loud funny. Here’s just some, of the many, examples:

Kudos to Kate for making the best out of what could have just been an overbearing situation – and thanks to Bored Panda for introducing me to this crazy pair.

{Photos: © Lenny Stucker Photography 2016, from Millennium Magazine}
{Screenshots: @crazyjewishmom}


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman ~ A Review

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Harper Collins (18 May 2017)
ISBN-10: 0008172110
ISBN-13: 978-0008172114

Buy in English here
Buy in Greek – not yet available

If I am to be honest I must say that I picked this up on a whim, partly ’cause of the catchy title & cover blurb, partly ’cause I really enjoy discovering new authors and this happened to be a debut novel.

To begin with, it slightly reminded me of Graeme Simsion’s ‘The Rosie Project’ (my review of which can be found here) so things were already off to a great start. While I read on (which really didn’t take long, since I practically devoured this in about a day and a half!), however,  I realised that the only thing the two books had in common after all was the quirky main character angle. I also, quickly and slightly painfully, realised that Eleonor’s story would influence me deeply – in a way that Don’s story never did.

Through her, easy going but consistently interesting and vivid, writing Honeyman brings her (few) characters to life and creates a story that keeps you glued to the page and reading well into the night. I think the best way to describe this book, without giving too much away, would be to say it’s heart warming and heart breaking in equal measures. It’s fun and it’s sad – and it’s got a bit of the unexpected thrown in, for good measure. Plus, Honeyman gets all the brownie points for not going down the staple ‘and they lived happily ever after’ route (despite maybe hinting at it, in the end).

Overall, this was a highly enjoyable read that made me think, made me feel and will stay with me for some time to come. I’d easily recommend it – and will consider it a pleasure (and privilege) to pick up more of this talented new author’s work in future…

[Lifestyle Counter Rating: 4.5/5 stars]


Headphones at the Ready: November 2017 Vol.II 

Contrary to last week (see Headphones at the Ready: November 2017 Vol.I), a number of this week’s new releases actually had me smiling contentedly and tapping my feet to the beat on the train downtown, last Friday night. Here’s a quick heads up – re: a couple of the latest albums I really think you should check out.

Paloma Faith – The Architect (Deluxe)


Blue Lips – Tove Lo

Now, I’ve been a Paloma Faith fan ever since ‘Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful’ was released, back in 2009 (and my faith – no pun intended – in her has just been renewed by this latest offering) but Tove Lo had somehow managed to fly under my radar – until sometime in early 2017, when I chanced upon ‘Cool Girl’ on Google Play Music and looked her up. I like my pop a little dark sometimes so I appreciated the vibe I got from her – and when I saw this I just knew I had to check it out. Suffices to say, I wasn’t disappointed…

Also on the list of new releases this past week was a quirky (#surprisesurprise) offering from Sia – whom I love. ‘Everyday is Christmas’, as the name clearly suggests, is entirely seasonal but for those of you who love Christmas as much as I do (#swoon) and feel like putting a bit of an alternative spin on it, it might be just the ticket. Have a listen and see what you think…


Sia – Everyday is Christmas

And with that, it’s time to wrap things up for the week. If you do listen to any of the albums mentioned above, please drop me a line and let me know what you thought. Also, keep in mind that I love discovering new music, so do let me know if you’ve recently come across anything you consider worth a listen.

Pick Your Five: ZARA Special Price

Now, I need to start by saying I “blame” this purely on Mostly Me + Certain Others (#instigator). This popped up on my WordPress Reader, earlier this morning – and led to my discovering an entire “special price” section on the ZARA website (which I… 1. curiously knew nothing about, 2. promptly browsed through and 3. am now itching to buy half of …). You might wanna drop by and have a look, especially if you’re into the mood for some guilt- free, treat- yourself, pre- holiday shopping or in need of grabbing some budget gifts for family and friends (nothing I saw was priced over 30). Meanwhile, to get you in the right frame of mind, here’s five items that took my fancy:

[Images: ZARA]