Posts tagged Bag

What I Wore: Victorianesque

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I’m not usually one for wearing skirts, but for some reason today felt like a skirt day, so I decided to wear one out for lunch with family at my favourite country pub.  I recently picked up this lace midi skirt on sale at Primark for just £3 (yes, £3!)  It’s lined with a silky teal fabric which contrasts beautifully with the black lace, and it’s so pretty and intricate it only really needs a basic top to go with it!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPrimark Black & Teal Lace Midi Skirt / Primark Pocket Top / Dr Martens Regina Heeled Boots / Alchemy The Raven Necklace / Juno Black Patent Grab Bag

For a slightly Victorianesque Gothic look, I finished the outfit with my lace up Dr Martens Regina brogue heeled boots, and my stunning Raven Alchemy necklace.  Alchemy are a company close to my heart as they’re based in my hometown, and I own quite a few of their pieces, but this is one of my favourites as it’s based on my favourite Edgar Allan Poe poem, ‘The Raven’.  Of course I also had to add my trusty Juno patent grab bag, which I reviewed here last week.

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What do you think of this look?

Naomi x

What I Wore: Birthday Dress

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Yesterday was my birthday, and my fiancé and I went out for a lovely birthday/Valentine’s lunch at one of my favourite bars. It might have been freezing cold and chucking it down with rain, but I was determined to wear the beautiful black jersey maxi dress that my mum gave me as a gift, so I layered it up with tights, my Primark faux leather biker jacket, and my Fraas stars & skull wrap.

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M&Co Black Jersey Maxi Dress / Primark Faux Leather Biker Jacket / Dr Martens Grace Denise 8 Big Eye Boots / Fraas Tonal Stars & Skull Wrap / Juno Black Patent Grab Bag / Primark Tights and Gloves

This wrap is my go-to piece to add a splash of colour to any outfit, and the great thing is it’s reversible, so you can alter the shade to suit your mood. The combination of pink, orange and purple is really pretty, and the stars and skull pattern is right up my street. It’s made of high quality wool too so it’s beautifully soft and warm; perfect for this time of year.

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Wet weather also calls for trusty boots and a waterproof bag, so I wore my Grace Denise floral Dr Martens to colour match the scarf, and this stunning Juno patent grab bag from Where Shall I Wander. I used to only ever use shoulder bags, but lately I’ve really started to appreciate classic, structured handbags like this one (although it does come with a detachable shoulder strap). I absolutely adore the contrast of gold on shiny black, and for patent it’s pretty classy looking.

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Another thing I love about the bag is how it fastens. It zips along the top but also partly down the sides, so no water can get in whatsoever, but when it’s unzipped it expands so it’s really roomy, with one main compartment and three little pockets. I use it to carry my camera around with me as I don’t have to worry about it getting wet.

If you want to see what I got for my birthday, check back soon for a little haul post!

Naomi x

*The Fraas Tonal Stars & Skull Wrap and Juno Black Patent Grab Bag were sent to me for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*

What I Wore: Batik & Black

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Hi everyone!

Today I thought I’d share with you what I wore on New Year’s Day.  My outfit of choice consisted of a gorgeous new pair of jeans that I purchased from ASOS in their winter sale, which I paired with a simple black zip back jumper from Primark.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPrimark Black Zip Back Jumper / ASOS Only Batik Skinny Jeans / H&M Black Ankle Boots / H&M Black and Gold Clutch Bag

I seem to have collected quite a few black tops over the past few months, so I decided to invest in some colourful pieces to wear with them, and these Batik Skinny Jeans by Danish brand Only do not disappoint.  Purple is my favourite colour, and I’ve always been a fan of batik/tie dye style prints, so as soon as I saw these I knew I had to have them.  They’re an excellent fit as well.  The sizing is accurate, and they have a range of leg lengths to choose from, so they are plenty long enough for my 36″ inside leg!  These jeans cost me £12.50, down from £60.00, and they’ve now been reduced even further to £11.00, so I have ordered another pair as I love them so much.

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To finish the outfit, I went for more black.  A few weeks ago I received a couple of fashion items from BLOGGERS[edit] to review, so I decided to give them a whirl with this outfit.  Despite only expecting one item from them, BLOGGERS[edit] actually sent me two (thanks!) – a gorgeous pair of black ankle boots, and a surprise black and gold clutch bag, both from H&M.

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Those who read my blog regularly will know that I have a thing for black, and a thing for boots, so these Black Ankle Boots are right up my street.  They’re made of imitation suede which looks and feels almost real, and they have a sturdy but flexible rubber sole so they’re easy and comfortable to walk in.  One thing I always look for in simple black footwear is a little bit of a twist to make them a bit more interesting, and these pass that test.  The boots have a curved panel on the front, and a lip at the top that sits higher than the back, giving them a slightly more unusual shape.  At £24.99 these are a real bargain!

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This Black and Gold Clutch Bag is a little beauty, and even comes with a chain strap hidden inside, so you can wear it over your shoulder if you so wish.  The bag has a sturdy gold metallic shell, which is underlaid with soft black suedette, and it fastens with a large clip on top.  Despite only costing £14.99, the bag oozes quality, and adds a touch of glamour to any outfit.  It’s not the biggest bag in the world, but it’s roomy enough for your phone, keys, money, lipstick and chewing gum, which is just about everything you need on a night out.

What do you think of this outfit?

Naomi x

*These Black Ankle Boots and Black & Gold Clutch Bag were sent to me by BLOGGERS[edit], on behalf of H&M, for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*

‘Spend or Save’ Fashion and Beauty Christmas Gift Guide

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Whether you’re on a tight budget, or you’re able to flash the cash this Christmas, today’s festive post features a selection of ‘Spend or Save’ fashion and beauty gift ideas for women.  The ‘Spend’ section includes a variety of luxury options for those who want to spend that little bit more on a loved one, and the ‘Save’ section includes some great alternatives that are just as good, but don’t cost the Earth.

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Spend:

Alexander Wang Kirsten Bag $295 from ialexanderwang.com / Jurlique Rose Shower Gel (300ml) £14.40 from LookFantastic / Urban Decay Naked2 Palette £33.30 (was £37.00) from Debenhams / Ciaté Tree Trinkets £21.00 (was £30.00) for 6 from Ciate / No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum (30ml) £23.95 from Boots / Dr Martens Cherry Red 1460 Boots £100 from Dr Martens

Save:

Multi Belt Two Way Bag £38 from Rings & Tings / Bayliss & Harding Wild Rose and Raspberry Leaf Shower Creme £1.99 from Superdrug / MUA Undress Me Too Palette £4 from MUA / Lacura Multi Intensive Serum Aqua £3.49 from Aldi / Limited Collection Mini Nail Polish & Lip Gloss Bauble £5.00 each from M&S / Burgundy Boots £24.99 from H&M

I’ve been lusting after Alexander Wang’s Kirsten Bag for ages, but it’s really quite expensive and difficult to track down, so when I spotted the copy on Rings & Tings I just had to share it with you all!  I don’t yet have either bag myself, but from photographs the copy looks pretty impressive.

I currently have both the Jurlique and the Bayliss & Harding rose shower gels in my bathroom, and they are equally lovely.  The Jurlique one foams better, but each has a distinct sweet rose scent and luxurious packaging, making them both gift-worthy.

The Urban Decay Naked2 palette is perhaps one of the most highly sought after beauty products in the blogosphere, so would make an excellent gift for any beauty blogger.  If it’s a bit out of your budget though, MUA’s Undress Me Too palette is the perfect dupe.  I have it myself and the eyeshadows are all excellent quality, and at £4.00 you really can’t complain!

I’m new to serums, but have recently started to use the Lacura Multi Intensive Serum from Aldi.  It’s aimed at women aged 25-35, so I’m almost in that age bracket, and it makes your skin feel so soft and plump.  It’s lovely, and an absolute steal, but if you want to gift a more classic brand then No.7 is the way to go.

When I first put this guide together, Ciaté’s Tree Trinkets were £30 for the set, but they have now been reduced to £21 which is actually a pretty good deal, especially if you want to split the set up as smaller gifts.  If you want more for your money however, M&S’s beauty bauble contains a nail polish and two miniature lip glosses for £5.  I also spotted a Primark equivalent earlier this week, costing £2 for a bauble containing 3 little lip glosses, which is even better value for money!

I absolutely adore Dr Martens and am building up quite a collection.  They last forever and, once they’ve been broken in, are incredibly comfortable.  But if you’re looking for a cheaper version for your fashion-loving friend this Christmas, H&M’s burgundy boots look fab.

Check back soon for another ‘Spend or Save’ gift guide!

Naomi x

Student Fashion Essentials: A Good Bag

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If there’s one thing a student should invest in, it’s a good bag.  During my five years at university I went through countless bags because I was buying cheap and filling them with heavy books, and in the end the straps or zips just gave up.  Overall, I ended up spending a small fortune on bags, rather than buying one good quality one that would’ve lasted me years.  Needless to say I’ve learnt my lesson, and though I’m no longer a student myself, I still work at a university, and I’ve discovered the perfect bag for all your university needs – a Vida Vida Satchel.

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Vida Vida was started in 2005 by husband and wife Matt and Andreya Townsend.  Their brand combines British design with a passion for travel and worldwide workmanship, and they work with suppliers and craftsman from around the world to create their beautiful range of bags, belts and jewellery.  Reassuringly, Vida Vida have an excellent ethical policy, and all of their products are fairly sourced for a fair price, and Matt and Andreya visit their suppliers annually to ensure they maintain strong relationships.  Their leather is also ethical, as they use leather which is naturally processed and coated, and is a bi-product of animals used for meat, rather than from animals killed primarily for leather.

The Vida Vida satchel I use is the dark tan Large Leather Satchel, which is made of soft and supple vintage-look leather that has a natural, earthy charm to it.  One thing I love about the look of this bag is that it isn’t perfect.  Due to the natural tanning process Vida Vida use, the leather has small marks on it that some would call imperfections, but they actually give each bag a unique character that gets better with age.  It’s lined with a thick fabric too which is extremely hard-wearing, so is unlikely to rip or get damaged easily, even if you use the bag a lot.

 

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In terms of size, this satchel is just right.  30cm high, 38cm wide and 10cm deep, to be precise.  It’s big enough to fit everything you need for your studies, but not too big that it’s awkward to carry.  The bag has a large compartment inside with a divider, which can easily fit a 15″ laptop, folders and books, an inside zip pocket, and another zipped section and a buckle pocket on the front.  Vida Vida actually demonstrate what you can fit in each bag here, but I thought I’d recreate the image for myself to prove just how much you can pack inside this Tardis of a satchel!

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As you can see, I managed to fit in an A4 binder containing paperwork and a notebook, a book, a pencil case, an umbrella, my purse, a hairbrush, my phone, my bus pass, a bottle of water, paracetamol and make up, and there was STILL plenty of space left for snacks, extra books and possibly more.  Impressive, right?  Due to the suppleness of the leather, it expands to fit what you need, and since the bag fastens with traditional buckles, it will still close.  I like to use the front buckled pocket for things I need easy access to, such as my phone, bus pass and coins.

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The satchel is also really easy to wear and carry.  It has a carry handle on top, and an adjustable shoulder strap so it can be worn at whatever length feels right for you, and it’s also the ideal width for comfortable wearing.

I adore my Vida Vida satchel – it’s practical, stunning to look at, works great with any outfit (keep an eye out for styling posts coming soon), and is excellent quality.  This particular satchel retails for £80.00, and it’s worth every penny if you want a bag that will last you for years and save you money in the long run, as you won’t have to keep replacing it!  You can view the full range of Vida Vida satchels here.  There are various sizes to choose from, so if you like this satchel but think it’s too big or too small for you, you can size up or down accordingly.

Which bag would you choose?

Naomi x

*This Large Leather Satchel was sent to me by Vida Vida for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*

 

What I Wore: Cool Summer Weekends

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July’s heat and sun seems to have given way to a much cooler August, so a lot of my summer clothes have taken a back seat and my spring skinny jeans have made a reappearance.  Last weekend was particularly rainy, but it’s not quite cold enough for jumpers just yet!  As such, I’ve been making compromises, and have invested in a dip hem shirt which is perfect for the recent unsettled weather.  The long length and sleeves make it great for those cooler days, but it’s sheer and light so not too warm.  I think this is a look that will work well in early Autumn too.

So, here is my go-to outfit for this month’s not-so-summery summer days.  I wore it recently to see a band play at a pub, and I’ll be wearing it tonight with comfortable flats for a meal out with my partner.

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Dip Hem Shirt, Vest and Skinny Jeans – Primark

Suedette Shoe Boots – New Look

Studded Skull Bag – Everything5Pounds

Handcrafted Silver Bat Skull Necklace – Birthday gift from my Dad (bought from Etsy)

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What have you been wearing on these cooler summer days?

Naomi x

Thrifty Finds No.2: ASOS Rabbit Across Body Bag

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As my regular readers will know, I’m always on the hunt for a bargain, and last week something special caught my eye through the window of my local Oxfam charity shop – a gorgeous little bag with a rabbit motif on the front.  Unfortunately the shop was closed, but I knew I needed that bag, so the next morning I whizzed on down to buy it, with my fingers firmly crossed in the hope that it hadn’t already been sold.  Luckily it hadn’t, and I was surprised to find that a) it was an ASOS bag (I half expected it to be from Primark), and b) it looked brand new!

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A quick Google search revealed that, though ASOS no longer stock this bag, it was quite a popular design last Autumn/Winter, and cost £20.00 on their website, and is regularly being sold on eBay second-hand for close to that.  I paid the small sum of £4.99 for mine, which I’m very pleased with considering it looks new!

The bag itself is made of mink coloured faux leather and is also lined.  It has a nice sturdy shape to it and is accented with gold corners and, of course, that beautiful little rabbit motif.  The strap is long so it fits across the body, and adjusts with a buckle.  I just love it, and though it’s not a colour I’d usually wear, it’s neutral enough to go with almost anything.

What do you think of this thrifty find?

Naomi x

Zatchels Factory Shop VIP Launch Event

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Last Friday I was among a few lucky bloggers and press who got to attend the Zatchels Factory Shop VIP launch event in Leicester.  For those who don’t know (and I’m sure there aren’t many) Zatchels are a fashion brand who design and create leather satchels, saddle bags, barrel bags, duffel bags and other accessories, using traditional British manufacturing methods.  Their factory is located in Leicester, where highly skilled staff make every single bag by hand, and everything is made to order.  Leicester used to have a thriving manufacturing industry, which many of my relatives worked in, so as a Leicester girl born and bred I like to see a Leicester brand doing so well, and I was very keen to support them on their factory shop launch day.

The event started with a chance to meet the brains behind the brand, including Company Directors Dean Clarke and Brian Brady, and Zatchels Creative Director and celebrity stylist Gemma Sheppard, who it was great to meet.  We also got to preview some bags from a few new collections which are yet to be launched, and they are absolutely stunning!  This pretty little thing was my particular favourite…

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Once everyone had arrived Dean and Brian took us on a tour of the Zatchels factory, which had a friendly atmosphere and bright interior, what with all the piles of different leathers – it was amazing to see!  We got to watch how each bag is made by hand, from selecting the leather, cutting it and putting all the parts together, right up to quality control and packing.  It was so interesting to see the process from start to finish, and I can assure you that so much care and effort is put into every single product.

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After the tour, we were taken to the factory shop for its official opening.  There were some yummy ‘Best of British’ nibbles on offer, including Zatchels cupcakes from Bitsy’s Cupcakery and Sweet Eve strawberries, and we had the opportunity to browse the bags on offer and have another chat with the other guests and Zatchels directors.

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The Zatchels Factory Shop is based at 10 Charter Street, Leicester, which is located very close to the city centre (about a 5 minute walk) and has ample parking.  The shop will be open every Wednesday to Friday from 12pm until 6pm, and Saturday 10am until 5pm, and there is a mix of factory seconds and sample bags for sale, as well as quality retail products.  Every bag in the shop has been graded and priced accordingly, as follows:

Grade A – Perfect Quality – Full Price

Grade B – Slight Imperfections – 30% off

Grade C – Stitching Imperfections or Scratches – 40% off

I checked lots of the bags over myself to see how noticeable the imperfections are, and even the Grade C bags are still brilliant quality (I could barely find anything wrong with them) so you really can get yourself a bargain.

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I had such a fun day at the Zatchels VIP event.  It was really nice to meet some other Leicester bloggers and chat to the Zatchels team, and I loved having a look behind the scenes at the process that goes into making every single Zatchels bag.  All guests left with a goody bag too, which was a really nice touch.  I plan on doing another post soon with advice on how to style your Zatchels bag, so keep an eye out for that!

Naomi x

Bailey & Quinn Embossed Leather Tote Bag

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Everyone needs a stylish, timeless bag in their collection which goes with anything, and this Embossed Leather Tote from Bailey & Quinn, which was sent to me to review, is mine.  Bailey & Quinn are a designer brand exclusive to Debenhams, and offer a wide range of handbags and purses in a variety of patterns and colours, all of which are crafted by hand from top quality leather.  With prices starting at £12 there’s something to suit everyone’s pocket too.  My Embossed Leather Tote sits at the top of the brand’s price range, and at £179 is a bit of a splurge item, but its excellent quality means it will last forever and will soon pay for itself.

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When I received my bag in the post and hurriedly unpacked it, the first thing I noticed was how lovely it looked and felt.  The whole bag is obviously well made, and the neat stitching and attention to detail reflect this.  The leather is thick, but soft and supple, and has a nice weight to it which is telling of its quality, and it also smells great!  The front of the bag is embossed with a large ampersand logo motif which looks a bit like a celtic knot, and features an engraved metal tag.  It’s these little additions that make the bag stand out from the standard leather totes you find on the high street, and they certainly catch people’s attention when I’m walking down the street.

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Though I’m not usually one for choosing neutral shades, I actually really like the delicately grey-tinged cream colour of this bag as it can be paired with almost any other colour without clashing, making it a very versatile piece when it comes to coordinating outfits.

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The Embossed Tote can be carried in several ways as well, making it even more versatile.  It has two strong, padded handles so it can be carried in comfort by hand, and it also comes with a removable shoulder strap.  The shoulder strap adjusts with a buckle, like a belt, meaning it stays exactly where you put it and won’t slip out of place like the sliding adjustments on some cheaper bags do.  This is a real bonus for me, as I always end up unwillingly adjusting my bags by accidentally tugging on the strap, but the buckle solves that problem.

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Perhaps most importantly, the trapezium shape of the bag lends to it being spacious enough to fit the essentials, and a whole lot more.  As such, it is suitable for just about every occasion, and whether you’re using the bag for work, university, an evening out or for every day use, it has room for everything you need.  The bag has three main compartments, and many useful features.  The centre compartment is where I keep the items I carry with me every day, such as my hairbrush, make up bag and bottle of water.  It contains a small zip compartment for all your valuables, two open pockets, including one for your phone, and a handy key holder to keep your keys safe, and fastens with a magnetic dot.  The other two sections fasten with secure zips, and it is in these pockets that I keep my diary, books and folders for work and university, and my purse, as I feel it’s safer when zipped away.

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Since receiving this bag, it has become an integral part of my daily wardrobe.  Its size, space, appearance and quality are all top-notch, and I will be using my Bailey & Quinn Embossed Leather Tote Bag with pride for many years to come.  As will my mum and grandma too, I imagine, as they keep asking to borrow it!  The bag is available to purchase online for £179, although it currently has 20% off and is on sale for £143.20, so grab it cheaper while you can!  You can also view the black version of this bag and the rest of the Bailey & Quinn range online here.

Naomi x

*This Bailey & Quinn Embossed Leather Tote Bag was sent to me on behalf of Debenhams for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*

Fashion and Beauty Christmas Haul

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Well!  After weeks of preparation – shopping, cooking and decorating – Christmas Day has been and gone, and we’re all probably a few pounds heavier than we were this time last week!  I hope you all had a wonderful time, celebrating in your chosen way with the people you love, and I hope Santa brought you everything you wished for.  I personally had a great time!  The highlight of Christmas for me is playing games and doing quizzes with my family, and they were definitely done in abundance.

Christmas isn’t just about the presents, but I got some really lovely fashion and beauty related things this year, so I thought I would share them with you today.  I also got a lot of chocolate, baking equipment, geeky stuff (including a bat detector which I’ve been wanting for AGES) and books – my friends and relatives know me well!

So, here are some of my Christmas gifts.  Apologies for the strange colouring in a few of the photographs…  They were taken in bad lighting!

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My dad bought me this absolutely beautiful sterling silver Bat Skull necklace.  He mentioned that he got it from Etsy and it was handmade in New York by an obviously very talented maker.  I instantly fell in love with it when I opened the box, and in my surprise I ended up dropping the box in my mug of tea, woops!  I adore bats so I am going to treasure this piece.

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I also love hares, so my dad gave me this large pewter moon hare pendant as well.  Isn’t it stunning?  I need to find a chain for this pronto so I can start wearing it.

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The dinosaur at the top was from my sister, Rex from Toy Story was from my fiancé, and the owl was from my fiancé’s sister.  Owls, dinosaurs and necklaces are a few of my favourite things, so I was very pleased to receive all three of these beauties.

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I received three different perfumes this year, all of which are replacements for perfumes I already have.  Cacharel’s Amor Amor (one of my all time favourites), Vera Wang Princess Night, and an Accessorize Gift Set.

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I didn’t get much make up this year, but my cousin gave me 17’s Smoky Eye Palette and a few little 17 lip glosses.  The red gloss is gorgeous!  The guy at the bottom is a rather cute owl lip balm.

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How amazing are these?!  My fiancé’s sister gave me these Batman nail transfers.  I was so excited when I opened them and I cannot wait to give them a go.  Definitely expect a review of these soon.

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This cat bag from my mum was one of my favourite gifts this year.  It’s big and furry and very soft – it needs to stop raining now so I can use it!

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Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a scarf, gloves or socks, and this year I got all three.  The scarf is purple with green skulls and is nice and light – ideal for spring.  The socks have squirrels on them, one of my favourite animals, and the rainbow mitten gloves are SO SNUGGLY – win!

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Not the best photo in the world but my mum got me a BATMAN ONESIE!  Amazing, right? <3

A massive thank you to everyone who spoilt me this year, I am extremely grateful.  Did you get anything fashion and beauty related for Christmas this year?  I’d love to see your hauls too!

Naomi x

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