Gift Guide: For Him

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think men are the hardest to shop for. At least the men in my life are! They aren’t metro men, so skin care or simple treats don’t really spark joy. If there is something they need or desperately want, they buy it. That only leaves items that are way out of anyone’s budget and a few obscure buys. If you have a similar experience when it comes to buying for men, or you’ve left Christmas shopping until the last minute for any other reason, this guide might help you.

Games

If the man you’re shopping for enjoys games, either on a console or board games, then this is a good place to start looking. While game consoles and even new games can make for fairly expensive gifts, the accessories that come with it often doesn’t have to break the bank. Things like a second controller, protective covers for controllers or an older game (like Grand Theft Auto) can make great gifts.

As far as board games go, our two favourites have been Decrypto and Codenames. Expansion packs on board games like Catan are also a good option. I think a board game could even pass as a gift to a couple.

Tools

This screwdriver set is a good basic and the discounted price is great, but be sure to sneak a peak into the guy’s toolbox to see what they are missing. Don’t have a tool box? That is also a great gift! This cordless drill is a little bit of a splurge, but an essential for any home owner.

Bar Cart

This golden shaker and stirrer by Country Road will be a prised possession of any bar cart owner, but this (more affordable) bottle stopper is also a great basic! If you’re after something more affordable, H&M home has some beautiful bottle openers and this agate opener from Poetry is just stunning. A delicious bottle of their favourite tipple, like Amarula or Disaronno will also always go down a treat.

Clothing & Accessories

Lounge wear and pyjamas are your safest bet here. These are all things he’d never purchase for himself, but really appreciates once he has them on. My husband really appreciates a cotton T-shirt, good slippers and a luxe feeling robe. This linen robe from H&M is a good bet and is available in-stores in SA.  If it’s accessories you’re after, you can’t go wrong with this classic leather wallet. These days most men’s wallets are glorified card holders, but not this one! The simple design is complemented by it’s functionality and the beautiful leather has held up fairly well as my husband has been using it for most of the year.

Gadgets

Now I could include a drone or two on this list, but honestly I wouldn’t want to rob any men from choosing their own! These Sony noise cancelling headphones are much less exciting, but will likely be used much more. They are very similar to the popular Bose ones, just at a more affordable price point. I also think a good sports watch and heart-rate monitor is a great gift for the active men out there. Sportman’s Warehouse has a great range. Lastly, rechargeable batteries powers all the best gifts and doesn’t have to break the bank.

Beauty

As I mentioned above, I don’t have a metro man in my life. That doesn’t mean I haven’t tried gifting beauty product – I mean even the active (modern) caveman must use a sun block! So here is my roundup, if you choose to brave these muddy water. Woolworth’s Aftershave Moisturiser takes the sting out of razor burn and doesn’t break the bank. They also do a good beard oil, although I don’t think anything beats Buffelsfontein Baardolie’s marketing. If you’re looking for something more luxe, then a Clinique set is a great all-in-one gift and the Kiehl’s Facial Fuel UV Guaca nrd is a great moisturiser/sunblock duo. Lastly, The Body Shop’s men range is also a great place to start.

 

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Christmas Gift Guide: For Her

It is that time of the year again! If you haven’t purchased gifts for all the ladies in your life yet, then perhaps some of these ideas might serve as inspiration.

Home

I’m starting with my favourite category, home goods! H&M Home and Poetry are usually my first stops. A beautiful plant (cactus or orchid) with a pot is one of my favourite gifts to give. This one from H&M fits the bill perfectly. I also recently bought two very pretty plant pots for under R200 each at Weylandts (not available online), so definitely worth a look. You also can’t go wrong with a marble cheese board. This one from Poetry is sold out online, but the wooden one is similarly priced and just as pretty. Occasional cutlery also makes a beautiful gift and I just purchased this cake fork set for myself. These golden tea spoons are just as pretty from H&M.

Books

I love my book collection and most recently added but this book, It’s Beautiful Here by Megan Morton. Next on my list is Dream, Design, Love by Paloma Contreras. It is a beautiful decor book that seems to have the perfect balance of inspirational and educational content. I’m also sure that Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi will be one of the most popular cooking books under Christmas trees this year. P.S. I have taken to ordering all my books on Raru as their pricing is generally great and I haven’t had a problem with quality yet (fingers crossed)!

Accessories

Pretty hair slides are making a big comeback and this sparkly one from Woolworths is sure to make any recipient smile. It doesn’t hurt that it looks so much more expensive than it is! If gifting for someone slightly more daring, you can’t go wrong with a pair of tortoise shell earrings. Mine are from Woolworths (can’t find them online to link), but I am trying to convince myself that I don’t need this pair as well. The Woolworths ones are the perfect medium size and the Zando ones look like they will be too. Both Woolworths and Zando have larger styles as well.

Beauty

Beauty gifts can be quite personal, so if you don’t know someone very well I think a beautiful hand lotion and nail polish are your safest bet. These hand butters from Woolworths are absolutely beautiful and come in a variety of scents and packagings. You’re sure to find one to suit everyone! Plus it is often on offer, either a three-for-two or their 20% off beauty offer. Whilst choosing a nail polish colour can be quite personal, I think you’re safe with either going with something similar to what the person has worn before or a classic red or nude. My favourite nail polishes are by Mavala as they are free from some nasties found in other nail polishes and their colour selection is impressive.

If you’re feeling flush, a beautiful scent can be the ultimate gift. I’m currently using Diptyque’s Do Son which is an intense tuberose, orange blossom and jasmine fragrance that wears down quite beautifully throughout the day. Other favourite scents include Chanel’s Chance and Jo Malone’s Peony and Blush Suede. But be warned, fragrance is a very personal gift so try not to veer to far away from what the person is currently using.

Pyjamas

Lastly you can’t go wrong by giving the gift of comfort, especially if it is beautiful to boot! Poetry make some of the prettiest summer robes around, like this one. If you fancy a satin slip that I promise will last you years, these are the ones you’re looking for. I just recently replaced my previous ones that has lasted years with the floral monochrome one. Edgars also has some pretty PJ sets in stock at the moment. Their online selection is very limited in comparison, but I like these as well.

Creative

A good gift idea for the lady that already has everything is a creative workshop or some basic supplies for her chosen hobby as these are always needed. Workshops can be pricey, so it is worth giving some thought as to what she might enjoy most. CK-Ramics give ceramic classes in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs, Creative Arts in Durbanville offer artist workshops and Sweet Lion Heart often offer baking workshops in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

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Six of My Favourite Coffee Table Books

Coffee table books

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but it is so much easier said than done! There are so many amazing books to choose from that it can be hard to narrow down which ones are worth the shipping costs, so I thought I’d give you a peak into some of my favourite coffee table books. They cover a vast range of topics from wanderlust inducing books on the City of Love to Caroline Khoo’s beautiful confectioneries that are literally the way to my heart.

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What to Buy on Your Next US Trip

 

US Beauty shopping

I’ve shared my New York wishlist on the blog, so most of the items featured in this post shouldn’t come as a big surprise. I’m excited to share with you what I decided to take home as well as some of my favourite stores in case you might have an upcoming trip to the US or a willing mule. I know I did brig home quite a few things, but I want to disclaim that I had been saving for a while and that it also was my birthday so I had quite a bit of birthday money to splurge on myself as well.

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My US Shopping List

My US Shopping list

I’m incredibly lucky and excited to be heading to New York in a week’s time for my birthday! As a surprise to no one, I’m definitely setting aside some time for shopping. Between shopping for my home and hauling beauty products I also hope to find some time to squeeze myself into some Old Navy jeans- this is the land of fast-food after all! So fingers crossed I find something that fits.

If you’re heading to US any time soon or can get your hands on a willing and able mule, you might consider adding some of these to your list. I’m hoping that by listing everything I won’t go overboard or forget to check something when overwhelmed on that side. If there is anything you think I’ll regret not getting, please holler at me in the comments below.

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Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Valentine's Day MacaronsI’ve loved rounding up this Valentine’s day gift guide because I feel like I can really indulge in my love of blush pink without any shame! Most of the gift are fairly simple – I say save the big ticket items for anniversaries and birthdays – but their just kind of token  of appreciation I’d appreciate. I hope that there is something in here for you too!

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Christmas Gift Guide for Him

Mens gift ideasI mentioned in my previous gift guide that I find buying gifts for men incredibly hard, which does not explain my delay in publishing this post, but perhaps makes you feel slightly less alone? Either way, with four days to go to Christmas you might find this gift guide for men helpful when it comes to shopping the beloved men in your life.

Comfies

In my experience, new clothing rarely excites men as it does women. So if you’re considering a cloth-based gift, might I steer you in the direction of lounge wear. So far this has gone down a treat with both my husband and brother. Things like slippers, stretchy pants and robes aren’t necessities but they sure make life that much more enjoyable! These H&M pants (in a different colour) are a firm favourite in our household and these slippers look so cute.

Tech & Accessories

This might possibly be the most frequently requested gift category for men. Ranging from techy watches to the latest phone gadgets, there is sure to be something tech related on their Christmas wish. Whether it comes in under budget is a completely different question though!

If you recently won the lotto, I’m sure the VR Playstation will score you extra brownie points that might carry you to the next gifting opportunity. Quality over-ear headphones is another favourite, that can easily be scaled to suit your budget. Noise cancelling seems to the next big things, with the price increasing if you choose to go with a wireless option. Both Sennheiser and Sony make good options, but these Bose ones are more common.

Leather tech covers and laptop bags are also often welcome gifts and will be a treat for both your eyes, especially if there is a tendency to have these lying around. My husband has a leather iPad pro cover (similar to this) with storage for the iPen, which would have made the perfect gift if he didn’t already own it. We don’t spend that much on Christmas gifts, so this leather bag is out of the question, but it sure is beautiful and would make a great gift.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Thank goodness the digital age makes gifting for men a little simpler! With online gaming platforms like Steam it is easy to purchase new games (often on special) or things like game time for their favourite game. Game time can also be purchased for gaming consoles, so best find out exactly what he has before whipping out the credit card.

If so inclined, a carefully selected board game can also result in hours of fun lasting well into the future! Personally we like CarcassonneCodenames (much less dramatic) and Dungeons and Dragons. Raru has a pretty impressive selection online, so time to start browsing!

Tools

If you’re buying for the handyman, chances are there is something that can be added to his tool kit! Whether they’re missing something basic or require something specific for a future project, scanning their tool box might soon reveal a gift idea. Multi-tools are popular for a reason, but this year my husband requested a more specialised laptop screwdriver set. This is perfect for the guy who likes to tinker with his tech, but an electric screwdriver set could also be a nice gift – this I can personally attest to!

Books

For some reason it seems like e-books tend to be more popular with men, but that doesn’t mean that the category has to be foregone when purchasing gifts for men. Whether you settle on a hard copy or electronic version, we’re sure there is something to suit every man’s interests.

Books my husband recently read and loved:

Travel Accessories

If you’re buying for a frequent traveller, anything that can make travelling more comfortable and relaxing would be much appreciated. I can personally attest to how wonderful packing travel cubes are, so if you’re buying for a frequent traveller this is certainly where I’d start. Noise cancelling headphones are also high on the list for most travellers, with other accessories like a neck pillow being slightly more personal choices. If you are aware of an upcoming trip, then buying a travel guide for that specific destination could also be a lovely personal touch. Although guide books might be dying out, these DK Pocket Map & Guides are my favourite. As they are small and have a handy map, they make great travel companions when WiFi isn’t readily available.

Old Favourites

If you still find yourself stuck or simply don’t know the person you’re gifting to that well, you can rarely go wrong with a good tipple, roast or related paraphernalia. My husband likes a good whiskey but I’m completely lost when it comes to buying mid-ranged whiskeys. I’ve found buying the most expensive one you can afford with the word “Grant” in the title is a good way to ensure you’re getting the best value for money. Other things like a beautiful glass whiskey decanter or even some freshly roasted beans would also always be welcome. I like the idea of purchasing some beans from your favourite local place. We love both Boston Coffee and Alchemy Coffee Roasters. Special coffee mugs are also always welcome, especially when bought in pairs.

On the other end of the spectrum, fragrances are incredibly personal. So if you find yourself in a position where you know the person well enough to gift this, receiving a back-up of a favourite is always a lovely sentiment.

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Christmas Gift Guide For Her

Flatlay featuring Christmas gift ideas for the women in your life.

It is that time of the year again, and if you’re anything like me you might already have finished your Christmas gift shopping! Somehow though I always end up having to get something last-minute, whether it is a distant family member joining the festivities last-minute or a friend you’re seeing around the holidays, I always end up rushing to the shops in the last few days leading up to Christmas. So gift guides are always useful to me and hopefully to you too, whether you’ve made headway in tackling your list or are only just compiling it!

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Testing Basics: Slouchy Black Tee’s

I recently found myself on the hunt for the perfect slouchy black tee, as summer is around the corner and all that. I bought one last year from Mr Price and found myself constantly grabbing it from the washing line, before it was even properly dry, so knew I wanted to invest in at least one more. I don’t like spending a tonne of money on these as they often need replacing, so kept them all under the R200 mark. Below you’ll find some really unflattering pics of me and my review of each that might save you some time should you also be on the hunt for the perfect basic tee.

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Wishlist

wishlist numbered

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

I don’t know what it is about May, but I always seem to have a longer-than-usual wishlist around this time of the year. Maybe it is the new stock that makes its way into the shops due to the change in seasons or perhaps its just simply the birthday mood that gets me. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely won’t be adding everything above to cart and checking out. For me, it’s more about the growing online wishlist. Knowing there is a safe spot where I can keep an eye on everything that has drawn my attention. Some of these items aren’t even perfect (I’m looking for a smaller purse and have already bought these PJs which are similar but better than the ones above).

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