Last Thursday I found myself running through my local shopping centre Queensgate with my friend Emily, clutching my camera in one hand and a notepad in the other as we frantically checked our watches. Why? Well we were taking part in a fun Winter Wishlist challenge and we were a little behind schedule!
It started out calmly enough with a cup of coffee and a catch up with my fellow QBloggers in Pret A Manger. The Queensgate team gave us the latest news from the shopping centre including confirmation that the hotly anticipated arrival of a MAC makeup store could be as soon as November – yippee!
We also became inaugural Q Go card members, a new easy pay car parking service that will shortly be made available to all visitors to Queensgate. You get a card which you can top up with credit and can then use to touch in and out of the Queensgate car parks rather than having to queue to pay for parking on each individual trip. I think it’s a really good idea which will come in so handy over the busy Christmas period.
The Queensgate team also issued us with a fun challenge to complete. We were given an hour and a half to visit the retailers in Queensgate Shopping Centre and create our own Winter Wishlists.
…the only problem was that Emily and I spent so much time in our first chosen store Hotel Chocolat (whose manager was lovely enough to give us a sneek peek at all the Christmas goodies coming out at the end of this month) that we only left ourselves an hour to visit all the other stores. Whoops!
We did it though and here’s what my Winter Wishlist looks like! I have gone with things that are equally good in the run up to Christmas, or as Christmas presents themselves, so hopefully a little early inspiration for you if you’re starting to plan for the big day.
With the party season about to get into full swing, a beautiful contouring palette is a must for me. I’m a big fan of Charlotte Tilbury’s lipstick and eye quads and this has been on my ‘lust list’ for quite a while now too. The bronzer is used to sculpt your cheekbones, nose and jaw to perfection and the highlighter was beautiful when I swatched it. It had to go on my wishlist!
I spotted this clutch in Accessorize which I think would be just right for the party season, working perfectly with a little black dress. I also like that it’s big enough to fit my money, phone, bank card, ID and some makeup in.
I adore Liz Earle (read my review here) so I love the idea of being able to pass on the discovery to someone else all wrapped up in a neat little bow! I picked the Superskin Heroes collection because they are some of my favourite bits, but they have quite a few different gift packages to choose from. (Or, you know, just buy it for yourself because the contents are cheaper when bought together in the gift set!)
One of the great things about Christmas is that all the perfume gift sets come out. Using matching shower gels and body creams is a great way to layer up your scent and make it last longer, so pick up one of these for your mum/best friend/sister/girlfriend, then buy one for yourself in your favourite scent too!
I find some family members really hard to buy for but a foodie gift always seems to go down well and there’s just something a bit special about receiving a hamper full of goodies. I loved this one as it comes in a pretty wicker basket too so whoever you give it to gets a keepsake as well.
Champagne Truffles are the sort of thing you never buy for yourself, but you feel really special if someone buys them for you. Men – take note! (Oh and these ones are pink too. Extra brownie points!)
If Summer is about epic sunglasses, then Winter is about awesome socks! I love getting home from work and slipping on a cosy pair then putting my feet up on the sofa with a hot chocolate.
Speaking of feeling all cosy, Winter decor for me is all about texture. Faux fur, chunky cable knits, velvet… a lovely throw for the bed (which I invariably drag onto the sofa for movie night) is a must.
As a stocking filler, a mug isn’t the most exciting present in the world. Unless it’s ridiculously beautiful and can be featured in a million beautiful Instagram posts (come on guys, I’m a blogger after all!). Moral of the story – you don’t have to spend a lot on your presents, just make sure they LOOK like you did!
I found this in Menkind and thought it’d make a perfect boyfriend/husband gift for a man cave. Although having said that, I’d want to play with it too! I mean, who didn’t fall in love with BB8 after watching Star Wars VII? And you get to control him with a Force Band. YOU GET TO USE THE FORCE. Sort of.
This has so many uses! If you have a blogger/instagrammer in your life, they’d love it if you gave them one of these! It would be equally cool for a kid’s bedroom though too.
Before we left, Queensgate asked us to pick out our ultimate Christmas present. ‘Think gorgeous gems, dazzling diamonds, timeless timepieces’ they suggested! Now whilst I wouldn’t say no to a big sparkler under the Christmas tree, I have to admit that there’s something I’d love even more.
Or to be more specific, a Bean to Coffee Barista Machine.
It might not be a diamond, but it would sparkle in my kitchen!
Also, don’t shoot me for sharing some Christmassy bits in October, but this year the John Lewis display has left me feeling quite inspired so I couldn’t help myself!
What would be on your Winter Wishlist?
*Disclaimer: This isn’t a sponsored post but I did receive some lovely thank you gifts from the retailers at Queensgate for my participation in the challenge. Thus a big thank you back atcha to Millies Cookies, Paperchase, Boost Juice Bar, Hotel Chocolat, Boots and Lush!