I don't mean to get all Miss World on you, but in total honesty- Christmas present shopping is one of my favourite things to do, and there are few things as lovely as giving something filled with sentiment to someone you love- and knowing they'll probably love it just as much. I'm the kind of person that tries to listen in carefully whilst on shopping trips way before the big day- keeping out for the important 'ooh I'd love this!' However, sometimes, as we all know- it isn't that easy. There's always people, who, no matter how close you are- you can never quite hit the nail on the head. But when it comes to trawling the net, or dragging your heels up and down Oxford Street- there's only so many times it can be done. SO! I've tried to do the hard work for you. Ok, this probably won't cure all of your pressie needs, but I've hit my favourite sites (and it's taken a while) to dig out some of my favourite online treasures- and all in good budget! Happy shopping!

ppppp Bestie3
(Afternoon Tea Book, Soap, Pyjamas, Paul & Joe Washbag, Hot Water Bottle, Jo Malone Candle, Alphabet Mugs, Slippers, Diptyque Candle, iPhone Case, Make Up Bag, Pink Bag, Percy Pigs, Necklace)

After looking back on these it seems these are probably just a collection of things I'd treat myself to if I could (hence the, erm pink)- but in all honesty, I'm in love with this selection. With the bag coming in at under £10, and the phone case being one made from my dreams (I like living in London ok?) Plus which girl would say no to a Jo Malone or Liberty Diptyque candle? Exactly.


HERS Hers3
(Orla Kiely Cushion, Body Creme Selection, Dressing Gown, Cowshed Hand Lotion, Cath Kidston Cutlery, Recipe Book, Make Up Brushes, Estee Lauder Gift Set, Chopping Board, Eyeko Gift Set, Birchbox Subsciption, Diffuser)

A mixture of home ware (can you fault it, if it's Jamie Oliver?), pamper basics (there are no words as to how amazing the Real Techniques brushes are) and some general treats (ahem, Alexa Chung for Eyeko) are probably what I'd describe as the perfect picks for any mums, friends, sisters or nans in your life. Additionally, it sounds lame, but last year I received the first dressing gown for Christmas that I've worn since I was about 7- and it changed my bedtimes (it makes me feel like I'm in a plush hotel- EVERY evening) and that feeling can't be substituted at Christmas.

HIS His3
(Watch, Backpack, Personalised Cushion, Gardening Kit, Film Print, iPad case, T Shirt, Film Vinyl, Vinyl Player, Kiehls Gift Set, Headphones, Mini Phone Speaker)

I think it's official that men are the hardest people to buy for. There's only so many pairs of socks one man can own (even though I saw Joe's 'Odd Sock Box' yesterday and was quite taken aback) but sometimes being uber original is hard. Some of my favourite things from the above are the more personal things- like the cushion you can customize (the cutest) and the film posters, and film soundtracks on vinyl (perfect to pair with a frame from Urban Outfitters). Guys also like techie stuff, so anything that requires charging or a battery should be ok too!

meettheparents HisnHers3
(Mini Hamper, Coffee Maker, Mr & Mrs Print, Popcorn Maker, Initials, Mr & Mrs Mugs, Mini Pie Maker, Mum and Dad Mugs, Lamp)

If you ever need to buy for boyfriends parents, your parents, or a newly married pair these are a few of my favourite wee ideas- including a popcorn maker (because I'm pretty sure EVERY household needs one of these), one of the most reasonable and cool lamps out there- and some gorgeous Emma Bridgewater mugs, because everything that lady creates is beautiful.

I hope these have helped spur on some ideas a little! Happy shopping!

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Olivia's Christmas Gift Guide 2013

Leopard Pinafore Dress Burgundy Autumn Outfit Leopard Pinafore Dress Burgundy Autumn Outfit MINKPINK Farshion Coat What Olivia Did x Baia
(Hat: ASOS, Coat: MINKPINK, Jumper: C/O Pure Collection, Dress: ASOS, Boots: Very old but similar here, Bag: C/O Baia, Lipstick: Kate Moss for Rimmel)

You know when you put get dressed- and on the rare occasion, love every single item you're wearing (much like a toddler wearing a Disney Princess dress, Converse and a baseball cap) you just can't bring yourself to change? For me this was what happened when I got dressed here, and although it was certainly a bit of a bold outfit (colour blocking faux faur, colour mixing and print clashing? Who DO I think I am)- I was quite fond of the busyness and even though my plain black skirt gave me the 'it should be me' look as I walked out, I think it went ok...

Also- a wee bit of exciting news! I designed a bag- this bag in fact! A few months ago when Susy from the lovely Baia got in touch proposing the idea- I jumped at the chance, and along with a few other talented ladies, created a bag under my own name- which is beyond surreal! I wanted to go for something quite simple and timeless, and ultimately something that would pretty much go with anything- a wardrobe staple if you like. Seeing as maroon is pretty much my favourite colour from September-March (may have something to do with the fact it was my Primary school uniform), it seemed like a pretty safe option- and being pretty roomy, it's been accompanying me everywhere ever since. Baia have also produced 25 of these bags for sale, so if you fancy investing in a little something special I'd head over there too (I'm biased, but it's really quite lovely too).
Leopard Pinafore Dress Burgundy Autumn Outfit Leopard Pinafore Dress Burgundy Autumn Outfit What Olivia Did x Baia Cute slobbery dog
and here's what I wore...


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A winter's day, a bitter snowflake on my face

Over the past few weeks I've acquired a few treasures and treats which I've been loving, all of which have started to get me into a bit of a festive mood (as of yesterdays it's less than a month so I am allowed to say that)! From foodie favourites, beauty indulgences, a few favourite books and some other cute items- these bits have been brightening up afternoons on the wintry lead up, and on top of that- I'm certain all of them would make pretty excellent Christmas gifts too- the Lindsey Kelk book being mine to you! If you head below you'll find all the details, but see it as an early Christmas read from one of my favourite authors... Teapigs
As well as naughty hot chocolates past 8pm (I am stunned at how truly delicious the Weight Watchers one is) drinking tea which literally smells like Christmas is another favourite festive past time. This little bundle from Tea Pigs is certainly ticking the boxes, and makes a welcome change from my Earl Grey (and if you're that way inclined, the packet also encourages an addition of Brandy- ooer)!
Christmas Reads I actually received Emily Schuman's book for Christmas last year, and have found myself reaching for it for cute styling tips, recipe ideas and homey things (basically everything I want my blog to be- le sigh)! It's incredibly inspiring, and much like this Mollie Makes book (which is perfect for a more DIY Christmas) offers some really useful tips for this time of year. Additionally, it's no secret as to how much of a fan I am of the lovely Lindsey Kelk and I am SO excited to read Angela's newest adventure in I Heart Christmas- read on to get your hands on a signed copy too!
Festive Make Up Favourites You say Christmas I say? Glitter! Duh. Why else would I dress my nails in Model's Own's new (and green glittery) cocktail scented nail polishes (I know, they're as amazing as they sound)? And the Topshop gold face glitter? That's pretty amazing too (I wore it to a Reflektors gig and felt right at home). Additionally, can we talk about the new Anna Sui x ASOS collection for a moment? I don't think I've ever seen so many beautiful (inside and out) pieces ever- just LOOK at the Minnie Mouse Lipstick. On top of that, as ever, the Katy Perry falsies from Eyelure are my absolute favourite lashes- and I'm starting to stock up for the odd Christmas party! On top of that, the Christmas edition of Kiehl's Creme de Corps, may be the most moisturising treat ever (and perfect stocking filler)- with this adorable Andrea Garland bunny ring being the moisture go to for my lips (it's filled with lip balm don't cha know!)
She & Him Christmas Album I've been trying to wait until December to even consider opening this playlist, but my Spotify Christmas playlist may have had a small play whilst doing the washing up last weekend, and since then I'm having trouble thinking about anything else. With She & Him's album being one of my go-to's during this period- I've also added in some other serious choooonz- it's all yours here. Please send your Christmas song recommendations too!
Camera Stamp French Badge Finally, a couple of adorable knick-knacks I couldn't leave out. Firstly, is this camera stamp from Tiger Lilly Quinn which is the perfect way of literally putting your stamp on cards and letters (or just customizing everything you own) and cute as a button. Finally, I had to include this badge from Ginger Pickle. I've been meaning to include it in a striped top-and-red-lips outfit, but having been a little busy haven't been able to. Instead I thought I'd show you here, and encourage you to check out her other gorgeous badges of similar chic nature (we're talking daschund necklaces, Breaking Bad brooches and everything in between).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Festive Favourites

Winter Pastels Blue Topshop Coat Winter Pastels Pink Motel Skirt Issy's Milky Way Islington Storm Pink Watch Sparkle Topshop Mid Heels Issy's Milky Way Islington
(Coat: Topshop, Collar: COS, Jumper: ASOS, Skirt: C/O Motel, Shoes: Topshop, Bag: Whistles, Bangle: C/O Kate Spade, Watch: C/O Storm)

As much as it seems (and is pretty true) that I only ever wear a burgundy fedora and black over sized boyfriend coat in the winter months, when I'm not busy rushing for trains (oh the 8:20, you cheeky thing) or catching up with sleep in my favourite pyjamas- I love to get properly dressed up, and what better way to do so than in some cosy winter pastels (and nude tights, FYI) and a good clean bit of sparkle?

To offset the pastel blue coat (which I actually bought in Spring and has seen me through since- well played Topshop), I added a new favourite A-Line skirt from Motel Rocks (see, it's not all too cool for me), a mini Whistles pouch bag, the most adorable chunky watch from Storm (no bling here) and a Kate Spade bangle that had me at hello- who'd have thunk I'd be one to accessorize so much? Judging by how versatile these pieces are, this isn't going to be a one off either...
Winter Pastels Pink Motel Skirt Winter Pastels Blue Topshop Coat Issy's Milky Way Islington Mike n Ikes Kate Spade Bow Bangle Issy's Milky Way Islington
and here's what I wore...


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Issy's Milky Way

The Brownie Bar Homemade Brownies The Brownie Bar Homemade Brownies At first there was the pizza delivery, then in 2011 there was cupcake delivery (both of which, let me tell you, I still love)- and now, the brownie delivery. But these aren't just any brownies. These are little squares of milk chocolate sponge goodness- with a cheeky rich brownie edge. The lovechild of a good cake and brownie- with cookie dough, sweets and Oreos occasionally thrown in for good measure, not bad huh? Plus, you guys all know how much I love brownies.
The Brownie Bar Homemade Brownies The Brownie Bar Homemade Brownies The Brownie Bar isn't like lots of places- everything is done in house, in kitchen in fact- and takes the term 'home baking' to a completely literal and sentimental level. All recipe creations, orders and bakes are done in one place- by a small team of three sisters, with a true love of baking- and a talent at that too. They pride themselves on putting together recipes, using only the freshest and most organic ingredients, ready to deliver as a gift, personal treat (duh)- or as a little surprise. Pretty perfect in time for the festive season, non? And completely ideal if you can't bring yourself to get baking- the lazy girls home baking fix is here, and I'm a fan.
The Brownie Bar Homemade Brownies

You can check The Brownie Bar out here

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The Brownie Bar

Traffic People Jacket Seventies Outfit Traffic People Jacket Seventies Outfit Traffic People Jacket Seventies Outfit
(Hat: ASOS, Jacket: C/O Traffic People, Top: Traffic People, Jeans: American Apparel, Shoes: C/O Sarenza, Bag: Zara)

So, I've come to terms I won't ever be Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac being at Glastonbury next year will be more than enough for me) and it's almost certain I won't ever have the kind of cool that Janis Joplin oozed almost completely naturally- but when feathered jackets like this one fall into my wardrobe, it kind of feels possible - even if I don't have the floaty layered chiffon bell sleeved dresses, messy power curls and spangly tambourine to match.

...Saying that, with a little help from the Toni & Guy's Reverse Conical Wand I created something a little more laid back and undone with the ol' barnet- which meant less hair spray and more feeling a little 'relaxed Woodstock' (because 'relaxed Woodstock' is definitely an appropriate way to describe a hairstyle) which I could probably get used to. Additionally, when paired with my favourite Autumnal fedora and mannish Sarenza boots- I'm pretty sure I'm getting there, slow and steady, slow and steady.
Autumn Leaves Traffic People Jacket Seventies Outfit Traffic People Jacket Seventies Outfit Clarks Sarenza Boots
and here's what I wore...



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Sister of the moon

Ciate Nails Inc Nail Varnish Collection Nail Varnish: Topshop's Bashful, Rimmel's Rose Libertine, Nails Inc's Tate, Revlon's Gold Sequins, Models Own's Buff Pink
Although finding time to paint my nails is a bit of a rarity (that, and I usually end up smudging them), when I do find ten minutes of good ol' sit down t.v time these are my shades to curl up with. Due to a bit of a penchant for pastels, these Bashful, Rose Libertine and Buff Pink are perfect go to shades- and make for lovely layering shades if you fancy piling on the glitter too. On top of that I'm also loving Tate by Nail's Inc- as if ever in doubt, a good red'll sort you right out (I'm a poet too!)

Nail Kit: Ciate's Feather Manicure
Now, along with the whole aforementioned timing issue, if I am feeling adventurous I love trying out a new fancy manicure technique- with Ciate's Caviar being my festive finger choice last winter. Although applying feathers to nails is a little daunting (and fiddly) this little bad boy worked surprisingly well- and lasted too! I love the effect well done nail art has, so this was the perfect solution for a really effective mani- top marks Ciate.
Marc Jacobs Daisy Marc Jacobs: Honey
If you know me, you'll know pretty much the only fragrance I ever wear is Daisy (I'm pretty sure I've been wearing it so long, that when I first liked it, It wasn't a 'blogger cliche') and haven't looked back since (if you've seen this image, you'll understand). I actually picked Honey up whilst at Duty Free in Ibiza, the day before it's UK launch (which feels like the flashest beauty thing I could have/have ever done)- and being a fan of every Marc Jacobs fragrance it seemed like the natural procession to make- and I'm pretty sure it was love.
Jo Malone Fragrance Jo Malone: Peony & Blush Suede
In terms of fragrance, I'm not one to actively search out a new scent (once you got a good thing going and all that- see above for reference), and will only ever investigate further if someone I'm with smells really good to which I'll usually say 'Oooh I love your perfume, what is it?!'- but apart from that I'm a lazy perfume buyer- and mainly resort to waiting until Christmas and Birthdays to treat myself to anything new. That was, until, this Jo Malone fragrance dropped through my letterbox and Marcy met his match. This fragrance is beautiful- and I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it. It feels like a more grown up fragrance to my normal offering, and has the most beautiful floral notes (I think that's a perfume-y word) with a hint of jasmine to match- something I'll definitely going back for once it's run out.

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Beauty Favourites #3: Autumn Winter 2013

Orla Kiely for Uniqlo Collaboration Orla Kiely for Uniqlo Collaboration Orla Kiely for Uniqlo Collaboration Red Cat Eared Hat
(Hat: C/O Tigerlilly Quinn, Top: C/O Orla Kiely x Uniqlo, Skirt: Miss Selfridge, Shoes: ASOS, Bag: Lulu Guinness)

You may or may not have heard that a couple of weeks ago I participated in a very exciting Google hangout with the incredible Orla Kiely and some of my favourite talents from the blogging and magazine world. The hangout was to celebrate Orla's new Heattech collection with Uniqlo, and we were offered the opportunity to ask about the inspiration behind the collection, what we can expect next- and a little about the design process- something I was exceptionally excited about. With Orla's presentations being my 'I HAVE to go to' during fashion week it was amazing to have a small peek into the real Kiely world and even a nosy at her beautiful pad!

My beautiful pal Carrie hosted the hangout, and did an absolutely stellar job of keeping her cool (even in my tiny square I felt a bit nervous)- making it super fun (even if I did have to refrain from several bouts of the giggles) and certainly aided with my question asking. I was so thrilled with the answers given, and can assure you this lady is one of the most inspirational in fashion, what I'd give for her to design my whole wardrobe! At least I can pick up some Uniqlo bits... You can check out the hangout below- certainly worth a wee watch!
Orla Kiely for Uniqlo Collaboration Orla Kiely for Uniqlo Collaboration Orla Kiely for Uniqlo Collaboration Red Letterbox

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Hanging out with Orla Kiely

MEET OLIVIA

MEET OLIVIA

Hello, you! I'm Olivia, or Liv- a 23 year old girl living in London, spending most of her time blog writing, photo taking, social media updating and occasionally cake baking.

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