The Memoir Gift Guide: Part One
12/15/2018

The Memoir Gift Guide: Part One



In case you missed it; I am rather fond of memoirs. It satisfies my inner curious cat and fondness for stories. Naturally it's a genre I delve into a lot of the time and I do take it seriously. So when it came time to deciding on Christmassy blog posts, I knew I wanted to do one dedicated specifically to memoirs to gift and read. As you'll see, this is part one because this post was going to be hella long. I also have to give credit to one of my friends for helping me out a bit on the review side of things too. So without further ado, here's part one of my memoir gift guide...


Becoming* x Michelle Obama: The must-have memoir and a book that has unsurprisingly raced to the top of the in-store bestseller lists since its release. I am going to be devoting some serious time to this book once work wraps up for the year but so far, it is wonderful. I mean, how can you not love Michelle Obama? This is going to be an inspiring and brilliant book, I can tell. 

Everything I Know About Love x Dolly Alderton: I do name-drop this book a lot but with good reason. It is undoubtedly one of my favourite reads during 2018. It's moving, brilliant and such a wonderful look at female friendships, women and relationships in every form. Dolly is the Nora Ephron for my generation without a doubt and that is why it is resonating with so many of my friends. I will definitely be revisiting this book and making it an annual re-read for sure. If you are in Auckland, I know this is flying off the shelves at the independent bookstores but you may just find a copy hidden amongst them. 


M Train x Patti Smith: I love Patti Smith's writing and I thoroughly loved reading and annotating my way through M Train. This is definitely one for the writers and artists in your life. Though I feel anyone who appreciates books and coffee, two of life's greatest pleasures without a doubt, will also relate to this. It's beautifully written and I highly recommend it. If you're wanting to treat someone as well-this newly released, illustrated edition of her book Just Kids would be well received I am sure. 


This Will Only Hurt A Little x Busy Philipps: I loved this book and think Busy Philipps is incredible so apologies for the incredibly biased, incoming musings. Naturally her book is candid, hilarious and at times deeply moving. You'll laugh and quite possibly cry reading this book. Her writing is honest but not in a 'tell-all, make sales from all the scandals' kind of way. If anything, it made me appreciate the nature of the beast that is Hollywood. Another one for your girlfriends to read and enjoy this Summer. Actually this'd be the great poolside or beachside read. 

Small Fry* x Lisa Brennan-Jobs: My friend L borrowed this from me and loved it. I know typically she takes a while to get into books sometimes but this one she raced through. I am yet to read this but have read an excerpt and think it's going to be really fascinating. Admittedly I don't know a lot about Jobs the person, beyond his tech achievements so I am looking forward to getting into it from that perspective too. I feel like this and the Michelle Obama memoir would go hand-in-hand this year for inspiring, fascinating reads.

-What books would you recommend for Christmas? Stay tuned for part two soon!

*Review Copy
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The Christmas Gift Guide / 2018
12/10/2018

The Christmas Gift Guide / 2018



'Tis the season for gifting! Whether that be treating yourself, or the rad people in your life. Today we have a little mini gift guide of bits 'n bobs I personally think would be rather neat to receive this Christmas. In fact, I've actually purchased some of the items on this list and through my bookish gift guides, see the first here. There's beauty, reading material (of course), some homeware bits, stationery (again, of course) and some miscellaneous bits. Enjoy! 


*Fruition Print x Pigment Studio: As an aside, Albertine is one of my talented pals and I've actually purchased the A5 print of this for myself this Christmas. I love it!


*Useless Magic  x Florence Welch (Gucci Edition): Isn't this stunning!? The original is exquisite also but this Gucci edition is next-level. How special would this be to unwrap? Ahem.

*Oh Comely Magazine, Issue 46: One of my absolute favourite magazines. I've recently bought a subscription because waiting for it in the shops here in NZ was becoming too much of a task. In all seriousness, get yourself/your mates the latest issue with their Christmas presents. Support print everybody.

*Human x Dodie (signed EP)


*Burnt Sage Candle x Crushes: My pal Emma gave me this candle for my birthday and it is the best. I love its scent and its ability to fill my space with the most divine fragrance. I highly recommend giving the other Crushes candles a sniff as well. They're exquisite.

*Runaway Girl Round Towel x Karen Walker: Round towels=the ultimate backyard staple for reading sessions under a tree in the sunshine. Or a picnic. Or just to y'know, sunbathe responsibly. 


*2019 Diary x frankie magazine: I've purchased this as a gift and it is beautiful. If I hadn't gone and been super organised and bought my Kikki K diary as per usual, this diary would be mine. I LOVE the floral illustrations x Edith Rewa throughout.

*Enlightened Ornament x Mecca Cosmetica


*End Of The Rainbow Toiletry Bag x Gorman: For some reason I'm kinda obsessed with rainbow-print accessories at the moment and whilst I don't exactly need a new makeup bag, I am being drawn to this. Also, makeup bags are useful af. If you want to go the extra mile-fill it with some of your favourite products for the recipient to enjoy.

*Trio of Navy Pens x Kikki K: If you saw my Advent Calendar post, one of these pens ended up included as a gift. Trios like this and the Stila set are great for dividing up amongst people. 


*Treats x House of Chocolate

*Terrazzo Drop Earrings x Emily Green

-What are you gifting this Christmas?
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The DIY Advent Calendar
12/07/2018

The DIY Advent Calendar



'Tis the season and whilst I am a 20-something, I still get excited by the prospect of chocolate advent calendars. And just advent calendars in general really. So when I found out one of my friends had never had an advent calendar before it set off a lightbulb in my brain. One; because I'd been considering what to gift her for Christmas for weeks and two; because it just seemed so genius and obvious that it was going to be this. I have to give full props to Tara and Ellen from shopstyleconquer for the inspiration here. These ladies have made one another DIY advent calendars over on their YouTube channel for the past few years and it definitely made me want to join in on the fun. I have instructed my calendar recipient to stay off my blog for the month, so if you recipient, yes...you are here, get off my blog now! You have been told. Everyone else, here's how I did it.

I don't want to call this a full-frontal DIY because honestly it was pretty easy to compile and I cheated a bit design-wise. So if you're after the next level things, go to Tara and Ellen's channel. 

What You Will Need: *Presents/Items (more on this below), *a handy drawstring bag, *tape, *scissors, *notepaper (if you are like me and want to leave little notes to accompany gifts), *wrapping paper, *gold gel pen, *card for your number labels.

/ I made my calendar for two weeks. The idea being that the recipient can open it closer in the lead up to Christmas but also because let's be real, these things can get expensive. She also had the option to open it every alternate day but again, each to their own. 

/ I purchased this drawstring bag from Kikki K when they had one of their member sales. I think these are also designed to be like 'Santa Sacks' to leave out for presents. Did anyone else have those back in the day? Or the OG pillowcases? Sorry, showing my age... Anyway, I know this kind of detracts from the visual advent calendar aesthetic. It's not a box with windows but I saw this and the gold and navy stars and thought it was beautiful. Plus, it can be reused rather than thrown out/abandoned like cardboard more than likely would be. 

/ The notepaper is not an essential but because I like writing and also wanted to provide some notes so my friend knew why I'd included certain things, I just thought it was a fun touch. Initially I was going to make like Ellen and include some compliments/little notes for her but I actually over-allocated days. Next year perhaps!

/ Again, another lil' thing I borrowed from Ellen was the idea of cards labelled with handwritten numbers. Initially I was going to use stickers here but I couldn't find any that met my admittedly fussy standard. Plus I wanted to go for the handmade look more. This card with the gold painted edge is actually repurposed. I received these as part of a baking themed present and there were a lot of them so I measured them up for the days and then cut around them to use as the labels. 

/ As well as wrapping paper, I also used some decorative boxes I found at a $2 shop. I went to a few $2 shops for decorative ideas and if I do this again I will utilise them more. I particularly love the gold glitter box I've included, it's actually for Day 14 of the calendar as I wanted it to stand out. 


The gifts: As this was my first year making one of these things I tried to achieve a few things gift-wise. I wanted to include; things my friend could use for a bit of a pamper, some of my favourite beauty products, a book I had on my shelf to read so that we can buddy-read it, stationery and some Christmas decorations.

So without being too specific, though these images are spoiler-y enough-friend, please click away right now if you are here, here's some examples of what I included.

Beauty: A favourite lipstick of mine (shoutout to you Velvet Teddy, she's already opened this day so I can get away with it), micellar water (bit of an in-joke as well as being useful), face masks and my favourite mascara of 2018 (this one which I purchased discounted from Chemist Warehouse).

Stationery: I think it's a given with any gift I give; stationery will most likely be a part of it. I included some of my favourite pens (I need to get someone else on the Muji bandwagon) and also this teeny-tiny calendar because I just thought it was cute and would brighten up her work desk a tad. You will also see a notebook though that forms the crux of the calendar so I can't say much on it. Sorry! 

Miscellaneous: Chocolate, standard advent calendar inclusion really. I opted for Malteser Reindeer and also the Cadbury Mousse Snowman. Two of my favourites, plus I thought they were a bit more exciting than the standard wrapped chocolates you can buy any old time during the year. I also included a mini jar of Nutella. Side note; how cute are these!? Decorations: The glittery star you see is from Stella and Gemma and the glittery bauble was part of a set I already had from H&M Home.



So that's the gist of the advent calendar in a nutshell. If you've ever considered making one, do it. They are so fun to put together and wrap up and the rest. I honestly had the best time working on this.

I hope you're all having a lovely start to December so far! I will be back soon with another bookish gift guide for y'all so stay tuned. 
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November Favourites
12/04/2018

November Favourites



Why hello, Happy Tuesday and happy (almost) end of the year. So crazy to be typing that, yet alone thinking it. Today we have November's favourites. On the beauty side things there's a few tried and tested loves, plus of course some music and literature in the mix as well.

Patti Smith prose: Meditations on life, art, music, literature, artists and the smaller things. All so beautifully compiled and woven together like a tapestry by Patti Smith. Earlier in the month I read and underlined M Train to pieces and I am now doing the same with Just Kids, though the latter is a reread. I lovelovelove Patti's writing immensely. She's currently working on a new book too. Can I get an amen?

Coco Mademoiselle Intense: Honestly, I'm too much of a fragrance flitter to really declare one scent a signature but Coco Mademoiselle x Chanel has been my ride-or-die for a while now. Yes it's luxe but it lasts an age. My original bottle from three Christmases ago is still going strong. And now I have this lil' lovely. Well actually I've had it for most of the year but seemed to have neglected to sing its praises. Think of Mademoiselle Intense as a stronger version of the original. It packs more of a punch but not in an overpowering way. If anything it lingers a lot longer on the skin which is fine by me. If you're a fan of the original but want something with a bit more oomph, I highly recommend this.

MAC Tan Pigment: This. Pigment. Though. I am so glad I finally caved and treated myself to this earlier in the year. I'd literally been lusting after it for years and it's easily one of my favourite beauty products of 2018. It's a soft, rose-gold pigment with a slight metallic but sparkly finish. You can use it wet or dry, I apply it wet to amp up the colour more. It pairs so beautifully with shimmers but also more sepia and bronze-y toned shadows. I love using it to layer as it really adds another level to eyeshadow looks and always looks stunning. MAC Pigments are one of those products you'll have for years and because you need hardly any per application, they last a lifetime. If you're looking for a cute Secret Santa gift for a makeup-lover, I highly rate this. 

Bioderma: Over the years I've tried many a micellar water but none of them compare to the cult classic. In my opinion at least. Now we can finally get it in New Zealand too, from Chemist Warehouse. Again, can I get an amen? I've even bought a bottle of this for my friend's advent calendar to get her hooked as well. It doesn't have that tacky feel, no scent and just removes makeup like nobody's business. It's a bit more expensive than the micellars lining the supermarkets but I honestly think it's worth every cent. 

Queen: Ever since seeing Bohemian Rhapsody, twice, Queen has been on high rotation on my playlists. I actually have the greatest hits compilation in my car right now. I'm terrible at reviewing music but I love it and it brings back nostalgic memories of driving to school. It seemed to be in the family car stereo for a while there and I just remember thinking their music was so clever and brilliant. I still think it's brilliant. I mean Bohemian Rhapsody is an anthem, don't @ me.

-What did you love during November?

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Six Stocking Stuffer Books To Gift in 2018
11/17/2018

Six Stocking Stuffer Books To Gift in 2018



'Tis almost the season for gifting and celebrating the people we love, Summer, summer fruits, summer fruit-themed drinks (ahem, frose...hello), and all that good stuff the end of the year seems to symbolise. I pride myself on my gift-giving and I'm not ashamed to admit that, however egotistical of me that may be. I do find book gifting a bit trickier but that's probably just because I am so biased and I know it. That being said, these are all books I've read in the last year or so and loved. They're all under $25 and would make perfect stocking stuffers for yourself, if you want to quite literally, treat yo'shelves or for the people in your life. Books and chocolate or books and wine or books and...whatever they fancy to accompany books. You cannot really go wrong.

devotion x patti smith: My love for Patti Smith's writing knows no bounds. She just does it so wonderfully and really evokes all I love about the nuances of day-to-day-life. The smaller details, the beauty that is art and artists and love and life. Devotion is her response to the question posed to Windham-Campbell prize recipients, that being why they write. Buy it, underline it, slip it into your pocket and wander the streets with a coffee. 

what would the spice girls do x lauren bravo: Say the words 'Spice Girls' to me and my mind instantly becomes a nostalgic, glittery, translucent accessory, yelling lyrics and "peace+pout" kind of zone. I still remember how fancy I felt with my Spice Girls Impulse spray, though I am not quite sure how I managed to wrangle that one. And not a day goes by that I don't regret getting rid of my photo collection and Spice magazines among other things. Hoarder? Pfft. Anyway, if the Spice Girls and feminism, and growing up as a woman in the years since they arrived on the scene appeals, get this. It'll make you laugh, it'll make you smile. It'll have you opening up Spice World and trying to not lip-sync along on the train. The latter definitely didn't happen, I don't know what I'm saying ahem... I loved this book so much. It's a good time.

poukahangatus x tayi tibble: Poetry is a bit more subjective but I don't know anyone who hasn't read this debut collection and not connected with it. Tayi Tibble is a force to be reckoned with and I love how she effortlessly combines pop culture with her heritage and experiences growing up. I also read and loved Hera Lindsay Bird's latest book, Pamper Me to Hell & Back as well as Indy Yelich's debut Sticky Notes. Both also by New Zealand women which I'd recommend as well for gifts.

300 arguments x sarah manguso: I was talking about this book the other day with someone and I think my enthusiasm alone was enough to convince them to go out and look for it. 300 Arguments is quite simply a spontaneous flow of ideas that read like a diary. It's a very powerful book and I found it a really clever way of writing. So much that I try to have writing sessions where I just write whatever ideas come into my head down. I don't necessarily always find nuggets of wisdom but it's a really fascinating way of writing. I'd recommend this if you like reading autobiographical essays but also books that play with the non-linear structure. 

the clothing of books x jhumpa lahiri: One for the book enthusiasts out there. An essay that looks at the way in which readers and authors connect with books and their design. It's well considered and evocative. 

ariel x sylvia plath: After The Bell Jar I feel like Ariel is probably the next most recognisable Plath title. Whether she drew inspiration from the fairy-like character in Shakespeare's The Tempest is up for debate but it's such a poignant volume. Her writing is just beautiful. I'll leave you with this line from Words; "From the bottom of the pool, fixed stars / Govern a life." 

-What books would you gift in 2018?
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