FESTIVE NIGHT IN ESSENTIALS

A few months ago I did a post on my pamper night essentials, and I suppose this will be quite similar but now, it's getting festive. It is now the time to overdo it completely with everything Christmas related, and this post is basically a compilation of all the things I love and need to have the perfect chilled out, festive evening.

The first is obvious, Christmas movies. Because what kind of relaxing night is it without appropriate films? My favourite is The Santa Clause and the sequels to it as well, I watch them every year and every year they make me ridiculously happy. Elf is another obvious one, everybody loves Elf and watches it at this time of year but the hype is real and it's one of the best classic Christmas films. My family and I also watch The Polar Express every single year but I don't think any of us actually like it very much, it's just become a tradition now. Arthur Christmas is one relatively newer film that I really love, I never usually bother because you can't beat a classic, but I can tolerate that one. I hadn't watched Miracle on 34th Street until last year but I actually really loved it, and the little Matilda actress is adorable in it.

What goes with Christmas movies? Christmas CANDLES. My first stop for festive candles is usually B&M, they do the best Bath & Body Works candles and the quality is comparable to Yankee Candles, in my experience. I never like to splurge on candles and these retail at about £2.99 for a relatively big one that'll last you literally all season, so it's really good for a stinge like me. I love having candles lit and it helps massively when they're festive scented, it gets me right into the mood and I just feel ridiculously cosy. Primark is also a good place to go for cheap candle jars and festive scented tealights - this pug one was about 90p I think.



We all need festive pyjamas, like these from Primark. It doesn't even need to be garishly festive, I'm not saying everyone has to have Santa prancing around their pyjamas; my favourites are actually just these red tartan, but I do love an OTT Christmas outfit. Primark is probably the best place for things like that - things you'll only wear for a month and then they get thrown to the back of the wardrobe because you have no use for a reindeer jumper in February. You can get cute festive pieces without breaking the bank, which is a big thumbs up from me. Getting your room in the right mood is also important, but there's a whole separate post in the works for that and I don't want to spoil anything here!





I think it's absolutely essential that, in order to chill yourself out, you need to have a bath or a shower. Mostly to heat you up, but also to just relax you and get you ready to wind down at night. Now that our bathroom has been redone and I can actually have a bath, I've been trying to love them more. Failing that, a shower with an assortment of festive scented products will do. Anything spiced apple scented will get me right in the mood, I have a Body Shop spiced apple scented hand cream that I'm obsessed with so I'm always hunting for other things that smell the same. Gingerbread is popular with me too, or anything cinnamon-y or the classic berry Christmas scent. I don't shop at Lush a lot but I just couldn't resist getting a few bits and pieces this season to try and make me enjoy baths again.

In terms of refreshments, it absolutely has to be a cup of tea or a hot chocolate in the biggest mug you can find in your house - mine is this L mug from New Look. You'd think the mug being so large would make the drink inside it last longer, but you'd be wrong. I can still manage to down it all in about 3 seconds. I like a really sugary cup of tea or a Cadburys hot chocolate with loads of marshmallows chucked in, because nothing is better than a mound of melted marshmallows (satisfying alliteration or what?).

How do you like to relax at Christmastime?


CONTACT ME - loulabelleenquiries@outlook.com

KEEP COSY ON A BUDGET

I'm trying really, really hard this season to budget my money, in the run up to Christmas and pre-empting the amazing gifts I'm going to be buying everyone means I don't have a lot of money going spare for me to treat myself with. I still want to keep up with trends though, and today I'm going to share a few of my favourite trends that I've managed to bag on a budget.

Most of the time, I will hunt for the cheapest option possible, but, as someone who hate physical, in-store shopping, my options are limited. I also prefer to buy literally everything on ASOS because of that free next day delivery, but that's not always the most budget-friendly place. eBay and Depop have become my best friends, I love being able to find some amazing pieces at less than half the price.

 
Primark is one of the more budget friendly high street stores, whilst still maintaining trendy products. At the Busy B event last month, one of the girls had the dreamiest teddy coat on and because I'd had a glass of prosecco and felt mildly confident, my opener was "WHERE did you get that coat?!" - Primark. Shook. I managed to grab the last small size in my local store and I don't think I've ever been so happy in my whole life; I genuinely haven't taken it off since I got it. At £25, it's a beautiful style steal and the quality is above the price, which can be a bit of a hit or a miss in Primark but I got pretty lucky this time round. The best part is it's SO warm. It makes a nice change from having to choose between being stylish or warm, and almost always making the wrong choice. I didn't think I'd be able to pull it off, but I genuinely think it looks really good. I felt so high-end pairing it with my red boots, which are actually just from Asda, and it doesn't have to be a fancy coat. I've worn it with jeans and a jumper most of the time, normally all black so I can make the coat the focal piece of the outfit.

I'm gonna cheat a little bit and include a dress I got in the Black Friday sales - so although it's no longer a budget buy, they were for me. Is that even allowed??? Oh well, I've already done the photos. It's from Missguided, who had the best Black Friday sale in the entire world, not even joking. 50% off EVERYTHING. I was supposed to be on a spending ban/trying to save what little money I had left but I just couldn't let a deal like that go by without getting some things. I was actually a bit unsure about it at first, it's a white jumper dress with a tie round the middle, which shapes it more like a skater dress. I initially tried to tie the ties like a bow which looks bloody ridiculous so don't do it, but I like that the ties bring your waist in because I find dresses with a bit more shape suit me a lot more, hence why I've been kinda resisting jumper dresses that are't bodycon or can't be shaped with a belt.  



eBay is always associated with secondhands pieces, and people usually flock to Depop for those sorts of things now, but a lot of stock on eBay is actually independent stores selling amazing pieces at low prices. I've been completely obsessed with Stranger Things recently, I made it through the whole 2 seasons in about a week and then rewatched them just for fun. So I was feeling festive and loving Stranger Things, and I thought "I know what I need! A Stranger Things Christmas jumper." And I found the perfect one on eBay. It's not too obvious, but if you've watched the show you'll get it - it has Eggos, compasses, the kids on the bikes, then Will and the Demagorgon in the Upside Down. I love it a ridiculous amount and may not wear many other items of clothing in December.

 

The last item I'm gonna share is one that I've been so excited about since I placed the order - I'd been admiring teddy coats for the longest time, I was unsure if I could pull one off but in comes eBay again with the cheap, good quality dupes for your favourite items of clothing. I don't really have any nice black warm jackets so alongside the famous tan teddy coat, I opted for black as well. I was unsure of it at first because it looked massive, but after getting reassurance from literally everyone and wearing it out, I've become obsessed with it. I genuinely think I'll never take it off. Because it is so oversized, it makes it perfect for layering up with loads of jumpers and scarves and I feel so lovely and snug in it. 

Where's your favourite place to go for cosy items?


CONTACT ME - loulabelleenquiries@outlook.com

THE CHRISTMAS TAG

Is there any better way to really immerse yourself in festivity than doing a pretty hefty Christmas tag? No there is not. I'm actually doing this in November so my festivity has maybe arrived a little early but I just bloody love Christmas. 

What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
- Definitely The Santa Clause movies, more so 1 and 2 than 3 because I don't like Jack Frost at all. I also love The Holiday and have made a deal with Max saying I'll watch Die Hard if he watches The Holiday with me, which I think is fair. I think most people love Elf and Love Actually, but for good reason because they are amazing Christmas films. Sometimes I worry I won't have time to watch all my favourite films because I do just think I love all of them.

Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
- Does anyone open their presents on Christmas Eve?!?! I cannot imagine that, it takes away the magic of Christmas morning. We have Christmas Eve boxes that we open on Christmas Eve, but all our main presents are for Christmas morning.

Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
- I always loved it when my eldest cousin came over, and we'd play Trivial Pursuit or some other Christmas game that resulted in us all falling out, but it was the most fun night of the year & she doesn't come round for dinner anymore so all I have is fond memories.

Favourite festive food?
- Turkey turkey turkey all day every day. Could honestly have several hundred helpings of the stuff.

Favourite Christmas gift?
- I'm not sure I can pick one gift because every year I get something I've really wanted or needed, so I am extremely lucky. I do remember getting a massive Disney Princess castle when I was about 6 though, I think that tops it all for me.

Favourite Christmas scent?
- Definitely spiced apple or cinnamon. I always gravitate towards those candles and body creams, I wish it was an acceptable scent to have all year round because it makes me feel so happy and cosy.

Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions? 
- As previously mentioned, we do Christmas Eve boxes every year filled with pyjamas and candles and things like that. We also watch The Polar Express as a family every year, even though it's probably everyone's least favourite film but I enforce it because it's a tradition, and we lay out a carrot and milk and a mince pie together even though none of us believe in Santa anymore.

What tops your tree? 
- A little angel that we've had for as long as I can remember, and it used to be kept in my room but I think she's been delegated to the garage now. Poor lass.

As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received? 
- It's not really crazy or extravagant but I always asked for Heelys for Christmas/birthdays, and never got them. They bought my sister Heelys for her birthday this year and I'm not even gonna pretend that it wasn't hurtful.

What's the best part about Christmas for you?
- I think my favourite feeling is when you've bought someone a bloody good present and you feel so excited watching them open it. I actually cried a few years ago because I arranged a holiday to Amsterdam, which was my boyfriends surprise present, and his reaction was priceless. I love making everyone feel appreciated and spoiled.

Have you ever had a white Christmas?
- Maybe once? I always wish it to happen but it usually comes in March or something ridiculous like that. Which actually wasn't too bad cos you don't get time off school if it snows over Christmas.

Where do you usually spend your holiday?
- In my house! We've started to go out to other family members for breakfast now because my mum has to do dinner, so she doesn't want to do breakfast, and it's still weird to me because for 17 years, we never left the house on Christmas Day.

What is your favourite Christmas song?
- Christmas (Please Come Home), all the Band Aid versions and I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday.

Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
- Rudolph, Dancer, Prancer, Donner, Vixen...that's all I got. I have an inkling that Donner isn't a reindeer and is in fact a kebab but we'll put him down there anyway.

Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
- It's a fake one! Couldn't be dealing with all the needles dropping all over the place. Plus we have an overactive puppy this year and a real Christmas tree wouldn't last as long as a fake one.

What is your all time favourite holiday treat/food/sweet?
- I love gingerbread, with a shit-tonne of icing on the top. Costa's festive drinks are amazing, I'm gutted they've not got the white hot chocolate this year because last year I think I had one every week. I also dream about Christmas dinner all throughout the year because I love turkey SO MUCH.

Be honest, do you like giving or receiving gifts better?
- As I've gotten older, definitely giving. When I was younger I would love to open my presents and get a new toy or a new gadget, but as you get older you get less because you get trickier to buy for, which is understandable. I earn my own money now, and it's a lot more than I earned in retail, so I can spoil my boyfriend and my family and watching them open all their gifts is the source of my joy each year.

What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?
- I'd love to have a hot Christmas one year; it would be super strange but if we're not getting the snow then I'd quite like the sun. So probably Australia or South Africa, I feel like a hot Christmas should be experienced by everyone at least once.

Are you a pro present wrapper or do you fail miserably?
- I always try my best but it never seems to turn out well. I tried last year to do the whole brown paper, colourful ribbons thing and it did not work so I think this year I'm gonna go for colour-co-ordinated wrapping paper, but I'm gonna do a separate post on Christmas wrapping so watch out!

Most memorable Christmas moment?
- I feel like this year will provide a really memorable Christmas moment; we've got a new puppy who doesn't know what Christmas is, so she'll be ridiculously excited, and I've got some amazing presents for people this year that I can't wait to see them open. Did I just cheat that question? Yes I did.

What made you realise the truth about Santa?
- My neighbour told me when I was about 11, it broke my heart. My parents were so angry because they were hoping for one more year out of me. I don't like being behind the scenes now, I miss going to sleep and waking up to see presents as opposed to having to put the bloody presents out myself.

What makes the holidays special for you?
- Everyone is happy! Stressed, but happy for the most part. Working in retail is a good indicator of this, the general population are nicer to you. I feel a lot happier around the holidays, and everyone is in a more giving mood and more willing to have family time. It's my favourite time of year.

The longest Christmas Tag in the world (or that's what it felt like). I've left the questions below to be copied & pasted into your own post, in case anyone wants to do it too. 

Leave me a link if you do decide to give it a go because I'm super nosy & would like to know what other peoples answers are!


CONTACT ME - loulabelleenquiries@outlook.com

What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
Favourite festive food?
Favourite Christmas gift?
Favourite Christmas scent?
Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions? 
What tops your tree? 
As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received? 
What's the best part about Christmas for you?
Have you ever had a white Christmas?
Where do you usually spend your holiday?
What is your favourite Christmas song?
Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
What is your all time favourite holiday treat/food/sweet?
Be honest, do you like giving or receiving gifts better?
What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?
Are you a pro present wrapper or do you fail miserably?
Most memorable Christmas moment?
What made you realise the truth about Santa?

What makes the holidays special for you?

NEW IN BEAUTY: PERFECTING MY WINTER ROUTINE

Would you believe it took me 20 minutes to name this blog post?? Probably. It's basically a big collection of new products I've been testing out and wanting to share my opinion on, and although it's not exactly the most festive or seasonally appropriate of posts, I promise there will be Christmas props in there somewhere to maintain the festivity. Listen to Christmas songs as you read it.

I was a very lucky girl last month and received a Debenhams gift card at an event that I'd been reluctant to spend until Black Friday happened, and even then I struggled to know what to purchase. I swithered between using it on Christmas gifts or spending it on myself, but as so many lovely people informed me, you cannot spend a gift card on gifts for other people. So that's that sorted. One of the things I went for was the Too Faced Born This Way foundatioon - I'd heard such good things about it and wanted to see for myself whether or not it lived up to the hype. I can definitively tell you that it absolutely does, this foundation is magical. It's the tiniest bit too pale for me, I got the shade Snow, but the coverage is insane and it's easy enough to bronze it up. There's minimal oiliness by the end of the day, and my entire face still looks intact which completely bewildered me - I thought I knew what long-lasting was but I did not. My skin genuinely looks radiant and free from acne (when pigs fly) and it's absolutely worth the money for it; I'd go as far as to say it's my new high-end holy grail.

On the other end of the spectrum, with my gift card I also bought the NYX Total Control Drops foundation. I'm not so impressed with this one. I was intrigued when I first saw it on the Boots website but, for some reason, I'm a bit funny about buying foundations and just put it off for as long as I possibly can. But I took the plunge and ordered it - it is a perfect match for me, shade wise, so that's not an issue. I just can't get on with the formula whatsoever. Compared to Born This Way, this lasts about 5 minutes and clings to dry patches I didn't even know I had. As a long-time oily skin sufferer, I have absolutely NO idea how to deal with dryness, especially with makeup. It just looks awful on me by the end of the day, which is such a shame. Although, I am a fan of high coverage foundations so I'm yet to try this with fewer drops, maybe when my skin clears up (when pigs fly).

The final thing I got on my gift card is the NYX Highlighter in Sunbeam and oh MY god. The glow from this highlighter, considering how cheap it is, is crazy. I'm not much of a liquid highlighter person but I've tried a few amazing ones recently and I genuinely think I've been converted. The pinky tone matches my skin perfectly and it blends in so well - I just use my finger - to leave a natural, but still very visible glow which is exactly what I look for in a highlighter. I want it to be obvious that I'm glowing to the high heavens but I don't want it to not match my skin tone or anything. I'll definitely be investing in more of these at some point, I think there's only 4 shades you can get but they're under £10 each and make this highlighter obsessed glowing weirdo very, very happy.

Onto more skincare based products to perfect my skin in order to get the best out of the makeup I'm putting on top of it - I was sent a few bits and pieces by Quest Personal Care by the brand Revenue. I'd never heard of the brand before and I love trying out new things for my skin; I got the Black Peel Off Mask and the 3-in-1 Scrub. I'm always very skeptical of 3-in-1 products - it somehow means, to me, that the product doesn't work as well. I don't know why my brain thinks this, but that's what's going on! I used this for the first time last week, as a scrub, and it completely cleared up the horrible, flaking spots (TMI) on my chin by the time I got out the shower. Shook doesn't even begin to describe it. I'm yet to use it as a face mask but honestly, I have extremely high hopes for it considering how amazing it is when it's only been on my face for a few minutes.

Speaking of face masks, the second Revenue product I was sent was the Black Peel Off Face Mask. I love peel off face masks, they don't hurt me whatsoever so I'm convinced the people in those videos are absolutely faking it. You can literally feel this pulling everything out your skin - I always cleanse  straight away after taking my makeup on so I was starting with relatively clean skin anyway, which I think is better because then the face mask is getting rid of all the nasty stuff that your cleanser doesn't get. It leaves my skin so, so soft, like baby's butt soft, and peeling it off is just so satisfying. When it doesn't catch on your nose ring, that is.

What products are you loving at the minute?

CONTACT ME - loulabelleenquiries@outlook.com

CHRISTMAS ROOM DETAILS

It is now officially the third room tour post I've done and I'm sure you're probably all sick of the sight of my room by now. But I feel like the Christmas edition is a Blogmas essential - it's my favourite time of year and I decorate my room accordingly. I've tried to keep it somewhat minimal this time, I'll let you decide whether or not I've succeeded.

I haveven't got any obligatory Christmas bedding this year because I'm on a bit of a budget due to one of my Christmas presents being ridiculously massive this year, so I'm literally spending near enough nothing on myself for the next month or so. I've been loving this bedding from ASDA though, and I feel like it's Christmassy enough for now because it's got some stars on there. I've compensated for the lack of actual bedding by swapping out some of my existing cushion covers for some festive ones! These 3 are all from Amazon, and although they took a few weeks to arrive as they were from overseas, they were so cheap and the quality of them is pretty good. My budget only allows for subtle festivity unfortunately, which is not usually my style.

Shoutout to my past self for buying a Christmas tree for my room last year when I could actually afford it. I love putting this up, I usually put it up earlier than my mother would like but there's nothing like it to get me into the festive mood. I put it up mid-November this year purely to help me feel festive for Blogmas planning. It's from Tesco, I think the tree itself was about £5 and the decorations were also super cheap. I'm not a fan of tinsel on trees (sorry) so I usually just decorate with fairy lights, but I have hung some tinsel around my shelves and I can deal with the tinsel in my bed because it looks so festive.



I went a bit mad when I was shopping for blog props this year, and have somehow ended up with a full snowy scene as a backdrop. It started off with just these 3 innocent copper glitter trees and a little red house decoration, and somehow escalated into fake snow and a further 3 little snowy trees. Fake snow is a nightmare, and it's literally all over the top of my drawers now. I tried to keep it contained to my little blog backdrop cube but as you can probably imagine, that didn't happen. I do think it looks super cute in product shots though, it's a shame I can't climb in there and have a little perfect background for outfit shots, but such is life. I can't remember exactly what is from where, but I bought all these things across Wilko and Hobbycraft. I bought a lot of Halloween props from there; everything is very cheap but such good quality.

As with my Autumal room details, I've kept my copper curtain lights up and it's not just because they're a bloody PAIN to get down. These also work as festive lights, which is coincidentally what the company that made them is called. Fairy lights are my favourite way to feel season and almost all of the fairy lights I have work for multiple seasons - a crafty way of keeping your lights up all year round. I also love a good Christmassy candle, but due to my budget I'm limiting myself to what I buy. I have this little one from Primark that I mainly bought because it has pugs on it, but it does smell pretty good too.


How are you decorating your room for Christmas?

CONTACT ME - loulabelleenquiries@outlook.com 

SENTIMENTAL CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS

Finally - we have moved away from the gift guide posts and are starting to get really into some festive content that I've been able to photograph. I'm not gonna lie, it has been nice to not have to worry about photos for a few days and shits gonna get real hard & stressful now BUT it's all good cos it's Christmas.

Today we have a little look into some of the more sentimental of my home's Christmas decorations, as opposed to the more general decorations that will be coming soon (tomorrow I think). Our tree and decorations aren't perfect, we've never been a minimalist family and prefer to stack our tree with decorations from our childhood and that we've had for years. For a while there was a toilet roll tube that was decorated like an angel on there - she's gone walkabouts this year though and I have no idea where she is...

We have our stockings hung up on the fireplace, in true traditional Christmas fashion. Myself and my 2 siblings have one each and they're all matching, which my parents are big on. If one of us has it, we all have it. There are spare stockings in a box somewhere that we dig out but these ones are always the ones that are used for Santa's stocking presents. Whenever I look at them, I have visions of my trying to yank out presents that are far too big for the stocking but have been squeezed in there anyway - I'm always worried it's going to rip because it is just a knitted one. Above the stockings on the fireplace, we have a mini fireplace with mini stockings. Why, you ask? I do not know. It's super cute though, and we have a little stocking for each of us as with the big ones. My dad loves this little fireplace, and we almost had a devastating situation earlier this month when we thought we lost 2 out of 3 of the little stockings, but it's all good. We've got them.

The most sentimental decoration we have was actually given to us for Christmas last year from our neighbours and it hangs on our Christmas tree - it's a little wooden plaque that has a picture of a dog on it, a dog that very closely resembles our first Goldendoodle, Kimmi, who passed away in January this year. It was a coincidence that we received this bauble and then she passed away - it was very sudden and not at all expected, but I'm so thankful that we have it. We do have Millie this year so it won't be a completely dog-less Christmas, but it'll still be strange to not have our big grumpy dog around for it this year. It's lovely that she's up on our tree watching over us though; watching a mini version of her destroy everything.

We have a few Disney decorations that we picked up from our trips to various Disneyland's over the years - my favourite is the Chip 'n' Dale one because I just love those boys. I don't know why, but I was so obsessed with them when I was younger and would always seek them out when I went to Disneyland for a photo and an autograph. I still have one of the autograph books that I took with me and I love to look through it and try to work out which character scribbled on what page. The Disney decorations hold a lot of good memories for me; I've been fortunate enough to go to the Paris and Florida parks multiple times throughout my life and the one memory that always stands out is watching the fireworks over the castle from our hotel room when we stayed in one of the hotels in the park. I remember them so clearly, and the parades as well and how excited I'd get when a character waved at me. I'm 20 years old and would probably still get as excited as I did when I was 5.

There's a lot of 'Baby's First Christmas' baubles that we genuinely don't know which child they belong to, apart from the one that explicitly says 'Lauren' on it. We have 2 of the little ceramic shoes that I think are mine and my brothers, and the red bauble is most likely my sisters because it's still in good condition. My one is a bit more worn and looks like it says Lurn's 1st Christmas on it, but I'll take what I can get. I like these baubles and they're obviously sentimental to my parents because a first Christmas is always exciting, even though I would have been 2 months old and had absolutely no clue what's going on, but I bet most people have a little bauble to commemorate it. Or maybe my family are too obsessed with them. Why do we have about 5 First Christmas baubles when there's only 3 children???

A few little odd bits and pieces that are sentimental to me because of how familiar they are, or the story behind them. We have a few of these little handmade stars, I think from my gran's friend, that say various family members names on them. I don't think the children have one of these because we have enough decorations for us, including these little Santa's with a photo of us in his belly. We all have one of these and the photos are absolutely awful, but they make for a good laugh when we're getting the tree back out. A few weeks ago, my mum sent my dad out to get some puppy treats for Millie and he came back with 6 little Santa decorations with our names on them. And no puppy treats. I put mine and Max's together because I'm soppy like that, and they are pretty cute I'll give him that. Can't resist more Christmas decorations that don't match anything else we have.

My favourite of all the decorations are the little Christmas villages we have. We have 2 that light up - one that has more neon lights that I'm not a huge fan of, and a more twinkly village that changes colour and is just absolutely beautiful. It sits on our fireplace (which is covered with my little sister's birthday cards at the minute) surrounded by other little village houses and the whole thing is just my favourite of all the decorations. Normally, every year me and my dad will pop down to Dobbies to have a look at all the Christmas villages they have, and back in the day we used to always buy one but they're just so ridiculously expensive now - there's no chance we're spending over £50 on a little light up village, no matter how beautiful it is!?

What are your favourite Christmas decorations?

CONTACT ME - loulabelleenquiries@outlook.com

SHOPPING INDEPENDENT AT CHRISTMAS

I'm a big fan of shopping independent, and I think it's important at Christmastime to support your favourite creators. Not only that, but you also get some adorable, unique gifts which I always try to do at Christmas - sometimes it's nice to move away from the high street stores and buy gifts that you can't really get anywhere else. I've compiled a selection of some of my favourite independent stores and my favourite items from each store, to hopefully make your independent shopping experience a little easier!

First up is Dorkface - I'm sure we all know Jemma and I've mentioned her a few times in various posts, but I've never mentioned her shop. Jemma creates the most adorable personalised items, drawings and sticker pack, and she works extremely hard on it all, you can tell. My favourite items from her shop includes the custom portrait illustration, which you can completely tailor to yourself and your interests, the city at night watercolour and this feminist print. All Jemma's work is of such a high quality, reasonably priced, and I would highly recommend buying from and supporting her because she is also just a genuinely lovely person!



The first independent shop I think I ever bought from was Sighh Designs - I'm not entirely sure how I came across Polly's shop but I fell in love with it and even now, a few years later, it's still one of my favourites. Polly works incredibly hard juggling her store and university, and I applaud her for managing to still release and create new, amazing products. Everything I've bought from her has been so high quality and I'm constantly checking for new products. My favourites from Sighh are the Doggies phone case (which I've just sent to my boyfriend to buy me), the Everyday Tote, that I own and use constantly, and the Please Let Me Pet Your Dog pin because it's relevant af.



Another one of the first independent stores I bought from was Dot Creates - their blog planners have cult status and I do use mine religiously. All of their products are so cute and photogenic, and of a really good quality. I love the amount of prints they have because I'm a massive fan of wall prints and cute, motivational quotes, so I'm in my element on their site. My favourite products are the Ultimate Blog Planner, I have it in grey, the Venice illustration and the biscuit coasters.



I've discovered a lot of new shops on my hunt for this post, including Pastel Elixir. There's a lot of cute cards, prints and pinks in the cutest colours and designs, plus the photos are complete flatlay goals. I haven't bought anything from this shop, but I don't doubt that everything is really well made and worth the money, not that it'll break the bank for you to get a few bits! My favourite products are the narwhal badge, the dog person badge and the positive pants notebook.



One of my all time favourite stores that I am yet to buy from is Maykher. They make toiletry bags, bracelets, scarves and hats and have the best values I've ever come across in an independent store. 10% of their yearly profit goes to helping females get an education in areas of the world where it is most needed - all of their products are made by women and not machines, using techniques passed down over years. My favourite products are the knitted beanie, the blue toiletry bag and the glass beaded bracelet. I need to make a purchase from here and I think everyone else should as well - we gotta support our fellow females.



A shop that I've just found and I know I'll be completely obsessed with is Sweet Allure. They do all of your favourite characters in watercolour prints; Disney, Stranger Things, Harry Potter. Literally all my favourite things! Such an incredible artist and just imagine how amazing everything would look in a frame on your wall. My favourite products are the Eleven print, Belle and Chip and Moana.



Another one I found whilst researching for this post is the North Doodle Co. They make the daintiest, cutest notebooks, cards, prints and brooches - I am particularly in love with most of the prints but I think they're something you'd have to save up for. I love the minimalism on their website and within their products, I am itching to photograph it all...My favourite products are the flower notebook, the bicycle notebook and the Christmas card.



If I was a shop, I think I'd definitely be The Lovely Drawer. All the colours, prints and designs stand out to me and I genuinely need most of the stuff they sell. It's mostly prints, but there's some phone cases and cards thrown in there as well. The baby milestone cards are pretty cute! My favourite products are the Dream print, the Moon Phases print, and the Brush Stroke phone case.



In case you didn't know, I recently got a puppy, and so I am obsessed with Hello Harriet. This shop is mostly items related to dogs or cats, which is right up my street. I'm the biggest dog fan in the entire world so even looking at the drawings of dogs on this site makes me ridiculously happy. My favourite items are the Dog tote, the Cute card and the Dog Gift phone case.



The last store on my little independent shop gift guide is Punky Pins. They do what the name says - they make pins, badges and keyrings BUT also jewellery and stickers. There is so much on their site, I could honestly get lost on it for hours. I have a few of their Christmas pins that they kindly sent to me, and they make me laugh every time I look at them. They're such good quality & extremely quick shipping! My favourite items are Friends Dont Lie pin, the Merry Christmas pin and the Puppy pin.



So there we go! We should all make an effort to buy at least one thing from an independent creator this season - support each others creative careers and buy someone something nice!

What's your favourite independent store?


CONTACT ME - loulabelleenquiries@outlook.com

© loulabellerose. Design by Fearne.