Buying gifts can be such a joy if you know what you’re looking for or what you’re loved ones would like. If you don't know what you're looking for though, it can sometimes feel a little monotonous or worse, you're simply stuck.

I want to show you that buying gifts doesn’t have to be painful, or unoriginal. You can buy stunning, unique and interesting gifts by getting just a little creative and looking in different places.

I’ve scoured the Internet and off the high street boutiques, to hand pick some unique, quirky and individual pieces that would make perfect gifts for your friends and family. Many of these come from small business, gifted artists and talented crafters, and will hopefully provide you with some wonderful inspiration!

First on my list to show you is this stylish Pantone Milk Jug (*from I want one of those, IWOOT).  I really love the clean and bold design of all Pantone's homeware, plus they also make the perfect gift for anyone with a creative and culinary flare. In case you aren't familiar with Pantone they are one of the most famous producers of colour pigments for all things creative and crafty. So for the crafter or art geeks out there, Pantone homeware is such a fun idea.

IWOOT also have a whole range of fun and interesting products that make for great gifts.
You can find something for everyone  by checking out their Christmas Gifts page!

You also really don't have to spend a lot of money to find fun and unique gifts for your friends who love to get creative in the kitchen.

I recently went exploring the hidden treasure in all my local boutique shops and came across these adorable cupcake cases by (dotcomgiftshop, £1.95). They also do a whole range of fun decorations, crockery and Tupperware in this design which make great gifts for all your adult (big kid) friends and your little kids too. dotcomgiftshop is a treasure trove of fun and sweet ideas for gifts and all so affordable.

Just goes to show you really can get something special and unique by shopping locally and supporting small business without breaking the bank.

I bought these in a lovely boutique called Polly in West Wales, but I also found them online (dotcomgiftshop) for you if you'd like to treat someone (or yourself!) to them this Christmas!

If you're looking for something to really treat someone to some natural beauty and relaxation *TheNakedSkinCareCompany is perfect.

I have literally fallen in love with these products from TheNakedSkinCareCompany. When I came across this local business on one of Twitters #handmadehour chats, I had to get in touch and I'm so pleased to feature them here. I love the ethos of only using simple natural ingredients and pure essential oils, the combination of scents are just so unique (and to die for!) 

From the packaging and beautiful tags to the scents wafting through the box, you can see just how much effort is put into each and everyone of the handmade products down to the final presentation. 

Having tried and tested them myself I can truly say how perfectly harmonious the scent combinations are. The Ylang Patchouli & Orange bath bomb, and Rosemary bath bombs were such natural, raw and subtle blends my muscles instantly relaxed letting my mind wander and my worries clear. 

But I must say, of them all, the Sandalwood & Geranium bath bomb was the perfect remedy for my busy week. Finished off with the delicate scents of the Sweet Orange & Frankincense Hydrating skin balm I felt totally replenished, my mind now clear and my skin well nourished. The balm really goes a long way too so I know it's going to last and it'll make a staple in my beauty routine.

I can be really picky with bath products and find that some can just be so over whelming but the blends in all TheNakedSkinCareCompany are perfect to unwind without being overpowering and feel incredibly nourishing on my usually dry skin, now silky soft. Bliss!

At only £2.50 for bath bombs and £8.95 for the skin balm these also make for perfect and special gifts for your friends who love to use natural products and treat the body to some well needed pampering. These products will also be making there way into a Christmas gift set very soon so keep your eyes out for that!

For a full list of all the ingredients and their great natural properties for the nourishment and health or your body and the calming benefits for your mind be sure to visit the website!

While on my adventures through the hidden streets of my home town I had to head to my favourite boutique of all time Her Dandy Wolf, a small local business in Aberystwyth, Wales. They source and stock some of the most stunning pieces from all over and I never leave without something new and unique to add to my home and my wardrobe. This trip was no exception as I found these three beautiful pieces all from housedoctor and again, so affordable.

The wonderful thing about supporting small businesses is that you know you're going to get something that no one else has, and you can really find some artistic, stylish and functional pieces that can add a bold and beautiful statement to any collection. Artistic but functional pieces make for the most perfect gifts! This bold geometric pattern bag was only (£14.95) and the brass statement necklaces were (£13.50, £11, left to right).

housedoctor is one of my favourite companies for modern home decor and personal styling, they have everything from furnishings and carpets to jewellery! Again I got these in my local boutique but I tracked them down online for you to pick up too and check out the full range on the website and find a webstore or boutique stocking them near your.

Last but not least, if you're looking for something especially artistic this season illustrations can make for a wonderful gift. Not only especially unique, illustrations can come in such a wide range of mediums and presentations you can find something that truly reflects your personality. Both beautiful and functional art work has to be one of the most memorable and treasured gifts I've ever received.

*Sarah Lovell's precious illustrations are no exception and make for wonderful gifts all year round! I find it impossible to choose a favourite among all her stunning drawings, but I'm so personally drawn to the tattooed Illustrated Animal range (£3.50), and know that the Three Friends Under the Stars print (£15, also available as A6 card £2.95) will be taking pride of place in my friends new nursery.  By framing 3 of the bicycle cards (£2.95) I've also made a wonderful hanging piece too. (All prices inc. UK postage too!)

All the cards come with a coloured envelope and are blank inside so you can use them for any occasion and fill them to be more personable. All the cards have also been hand illustrated and printed on Dorset 'Carbon Captured' paper with biodegradable inks making them truly local to the UK and environmentally friendly too (brownie points from me!)

She has such a range of illustrations from A6 cards up to A3 prints including some wonderful Limited editions (Midsummer Night Fairground A3 Print, £18. See image 1). 

Each is so individual, details and beautifully pigmented, to see the full collections you have to visit her website.

Sarah also has a range of illustrations that she's made into these gorgeous colouring books (£4.95), each with its own naturalistic theme. From Wildlife to Minibeasts, each image comes with a lovely description and a page for you to draw your own illustrations. These make the perfect gift for adults and children alike. Let your loved ones sit back, relax and let their minds wander into the magical and therapeutic illustrated world of Sarah Lovell.

For more of Sarah's designs, prints and illustrations be sure to visit the website, and sign up to her Newsletter for regular updates on what she's up to, where she might be, new illustrations and special offers!

So that's my Gift ideas! With each of the items I've selected, I've tried to make them both beautiful and functional.

Each and everyone one of these small businesses and talented creators provides something special and unique, making for exciting gifts you're friends and family would never expect!
When you shop this year look for something a little different, something you know no else is going to have, and shows you care not only for your loved ones but for supporting local business.

You can find some wonderful ideas by shopping around, whether your hunting on Etsy, Folksy or even by joining in a chat like #crafthour or #handmadehour on twitter.

I hope I've given you some inspiration for gift ideas, and if you head over to any of the creators I've shown you today let them know I sent you!

Here's the links to each of the businesses and creators I've included today so you can go and check out there full range!:

TheNakedSkinCareCompany (WebsiteFacebookTwitter; Pinterest)
housedoctor (WebsiteFacebookInstagramPinterest)
Sarah Lovell Art (Website; Facebook; Twitter; Instagram; Pinterest)

You can also find all of these items and more on my Pinterest boards with links to everything on their websites!

If you'd like to see more unique and special way you give gifts to your loves ones let me know, I'd love to do more of these in the future.

I hope you have a lovely day and I'll speak to you very soon!

*Some items were provided for review (marked with *). All views and opinions are my own.

Slowly but surely my geeky side has been edging onto this blog and I can’t say I’m not happy about that! This has always been my personal space where I can share the parts of my life that bring me joy, growth and the little pleasures in life.

MyGeekBox is a monthly subscription box that my younger sister has been raving about for a while, so when I was given the opportunity to review a box and really see what all the hype was about I was so excited to do so!

The boxes start from £17.99 (inc postage) and you can make more savings the longer your subscription.

This months box was especially exciting because it’s the month of Halloween and the theme?

The Afterlife Box

So without further a-do here’s what arrived in this months MyGeekBox.

Inside the box was a range of Afterlife themed products. First out of the box was this t-shirt.

Although I’m still envious of some of the comic themed t-shirts I’ve seen my sister receive in the past, I’m really pleased with this. Overall the material is good quality, a perfect fit, super soft and the design though simple it right up my alley.

I know I’ll be wearing this all year round.

Inside I also found this window badge, Zombie metal plaque and Dracula puzzle game. In completely honesty I wasn’t super excited by them, but they are good quality and they’ll make good addition to my Hallowed eve decorations. I do like to test my logic too so I’ll be having a go at the Dracula puzzle later today.

Last but not least, the hidden gem at the bottom of the box was this:

A beautifully presented and printed Graphic Novel. My first in fact! I’ve long been tempted to delve into this world so I’m really looking forward to reading this and building my collection.

So that’s everything I got in this month Afterlife theme MyGeekBox.

Overall? I liked it but I think I’ve seen a little better. The postage service wasn’t great and I did have to contact them to remind them to send it out, but I’m not going to hold this against them just yet.

One of the Pros and Cons of any subscription box is you never quite know what you’re going to get. The great thing about that is the anticipation, I can’t wait to open a subscription box and see what hidden gems are inside. Sometimes there really are some Gems and sometimes there’s not, but having seen previous My Geek boxes and some of the awesome products they have in the online shop I think I’ll be giving it another try before I make my final decision.

There's definitely some pieces in there I'm going to enjoy, and will give all of them a try.

So what did you think? Did you like it? Would you think of trying MyGeekBox? Let me know in the comments below!

*This was provided for review. All views and opinions are my own.

I've read this through quite a few times and I think it comes off as a rant, but it's not my intention, so with that in mind we'll get to it.

To start the ball rolling. I’m thin, I’ll just get that out there now.

I always have been. It’s not due to dieting, or sacrifice, or vanity - I’m just thin. 

Once upon a time my Mum and my Dad did that thing that makes a human. They put these little tiny building blocks together that would eventually turn into a small soft lumpy pink thing called me.


Some of those building blocks were my Dads and some were my Mums and it turned out kind of long on top, a bit peculiar and bunched up around the middle and after all that there wasn’t much left for the spindly support beams, but it’s the way I was made and like each individual out there it’s a part of me. Sometimes we get along, and quite regularly we don't, but it's me none-the-less.

But regardless of my size I’m first and foremost a person. A person with opinions, and feelings. I evaluate my place in society just as much as the next person and sometimes I come out on top and sometimes I don’t.

As a slender woman I rarely voice my opinion on body shape because I feel I shouldn’t. That society won’t accept my opinion, because my lot in life has been determined as "lucky", so any opinion beyond thanks is not acceptable. I couldn’t possible understand self-confidence issues right?

Looking back on it, I don’t think anyone has ever asked me what I would like to look like (I can tell you its very different!) I think the general assumption is that I fit societies’ rules so that’s that.

People will always have their views, some will be kind, others won’t, and a lot of people frankly won’t care either way, but in a world where we’re told the grass is always greener, I’m going to share my part.

I’ve had friends that come and go in my life of all shapes and sizes. On average most of them have been bigger than me, a simple fact I’m very aware of, and has very likely affected who I am and my self-perception.

This is a question I’ve heard and asked too many times over the years

“So how do I look?”

When I see a friend try on a new dress for the first time and I think she looks great, the words that first reach my lips are usually one of the following “Beautiful. Gorgeous. Sexy. Stunning. Classy. Sophisticated. Fantastic.”

I don’t ask that question anymore and the reason why is the most common response I’ve ever had was:

“You look so skinny!”

It’s meant to be a compliment. But when you have body confidence issues just like any person has right to, what I hear is “you look disgusting”.

Have you ever looked up the definition of the word ‘Skinny’?

With my dictionary to hand this tells me:
“(of a person or part of their body) unattractively thin.”

Not what you might have thought!

So I’m not here to complain but to say, we are all bombarded with information our whole lives telling us that there’s something better than what we are and everyone has a different ideal.

The reality is there are a huge number of factors that determine our body shape. Some we can control and some we can’t, but if we can learn to be happy with who we are ‘right now’ surely that’s the best outcome?

I was born this way and there’s very little I can do about it. I might not like it but I hope I can one day come to accept it.

I have incredible respect for ANYONE who can love himself or herself, because it takes work and it's a continuous journey, and ITS HARD! But it’s essential.

There’s still of course one more important point that I would feel wrong not to include. That setting vanity, and body image aside health is also important. Whatever your shape or weight it’s incredibly important to try and maintain a healthy body (and a healthy mind). Your body is a pretty kind of important part of this whole being alive thing, and its especially important to pass that message onto our younger generations.

In that, I think education is and will be incredibly important, but we shouldn't rely on just our schools to teach those things. We have a responsibility to live by example and to teach and express joy for living healthily.

When you consider whether you are healthy or not, how are you doing it? Do you read a magazine? Do you look online for scientific papers proving it one way or the other? Or do you look inside yourself and say "Do I feel healthy? So what am I going to do about it?"

So I will finish on this. Putting it all into one big picture, let’s just try not to judge. Ultimately happiness has to come first, because a life however long, will only be worth it if we value it.

Do not confuse fighting for acceptance and happiness.

Ultimately we need to look inside ourselves. Don’t compare yourself (when you can, we’re all weak sometimes) but especially don’t judge others for their choices or their shape (Taller, shorter, bigger or thinner), because they very likely feel the same issues and challenges as you do. If your body truly brings you happiness then that is the best gift life will provide you, but if it doesn’t, learn to find it where you can, and improve it where you can.

I’ll let you do you, and you let me do me, and hopefully somewhere in there we’ll all find happiness.
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