All I want for Christmas... Perfect presents under €100
In a shocking turn of events, I've been thinking quite a lot lately about Christmas presents. Not for other people, weirdly – I've been somehow squirrelling away gifts in my spare bedroom since about September, and have almost everyone bought for, which makes me feel like I'm either really grown-up or really boring and anal (or both?) – but for myself, my favourite person to think about. This year, my other half and I decided we'd put a €100 cap on our Christmas presents to one another after a fairly flaithiúlach 2015 (I got him an iPad; I know, I'm the best girlfriend ever). At first, it seemed like a great idea – but then I realised that it pretty much excluded anything leather, almost all of the shoes I want and meant that neither of us is getting a holiday.
It took me a while, but I got there eventually and compiled a list of Christmas presents that I really want – none of which will come in too much over €100. After all, what's a tenner between friends?
Adidas weightlifting shoes from D8Fitness.com (€100)
I know, I know, I was surprised myself – and my mother nearly fell over when I told her I'd asked my fella for a pair of weightlifting shoes. "But... that's ridiculous!" she said. "What would you need them for?"
It may be time for us all to face up to the fact that, even on a "bad week", I lift weights three times. That's a lot of times – and I'm convinced that having the right footwear will make me better at that. Plus, I think they're cool. At €100, with €8.50 shipping, they come in a little over budget, but I can live with that.
A one-year subscription to Joosr (£19.95)
For a book-lover, an app that essentially distills books into summaries that take less than 20 minutes to read seems, well, insane – but I am a book-lover, and I love this idea. Joosr is the modern-day version of Cliff's notes, taking non-fiction writing, on topics like entrepreneurship, marketing, business and self-help, and giving you the need-to-know version. Usually £42.99, it's on sale for Christmas at £19.95 for a year's subscription – and if you buy one, you get one free for yourself, too!
Because honestly? I do not want to spend 20 hours of my life reading a book on how to get better at online marketing when I could be reading Revolutionary Road (again). Instead, I'll happily spend a 20-minute commute soaking up the salient points. Genius! Sign up for a 15-day trial before you commit (I'm on day two of mine and I'm pretty much sold...)
This Gola Bellamy tech rucksack (£40)
Ever since I started wearing my Herschel backpack around town, I've been a backpack convert. Sure, they make your back sweat more than you'd like it too, and you feel a bit like an overgrown child, but they're so handy – and you need never worry about overloading your handbag again.
For fancier occasions, I'll still stick to my lady purse, but for everyday pottering around, a backpack is ideal. This Gola backpack is kind of the perfect amounts of practical (padded room for your laptop!) and cute (not too big!) and I love the retro styling. Plus, at £40 (around €48), it leaves another €50 to play with which would be just enough for...
Pestle & Mortar's Hydrate moisturiser (€48)
This is an Irish brand that's been making a big splash – starting with its Hyaluronic Serum and now, with an expanded product range that includes this moisturiser and a night oil. Since visiting Neelu for facials, I've been cutting down on oils (my skin is a little overloaded, it seems) – but this lightweight moisturiser would do just fine.
At €48, it's expensive enough to feel like a luxurious gift, and I'd be supporting Irish – which I love! Plus, if you buy from Molloy's Pharmacy online and use the code ROSEMARY20, you can get 20% off until December 20th.
A voucher for Hang Tough Framing
I have loads of art in my home – art that I love, that I'm proud of and that makes me feel proud of my home, to boot. I also have loads of art in bags, in boxes, rolled up in tubes and scattered around each room, waiting to be framed. Sure, I do some myself, using Ikea frames, but for others, well, they're just too special to be DIYed.
But framing? Well, that shit's expensive, kids – so I'd love if someone would take care of a small portion of it by buying me a voucher for the good folk at Hang Tough to do what they do best. (Better yet, just art-nap some of my art and have it framed without my knowledge. Amazing surprise!)
Sweaty Betty's lava print leggings (£75)
Okay, so I have been known to take occasional flights of fancy and buy incredibly expensive items, but I have yet to splurge on a pair of €50-plus workout leggings. It just seems... too full of notions or something.
However, when it comes to Christmas presents, one must cast off one's reluctance to request ridiculously expensive items and embrace the fact that gifts are for receiving! Or something. Ultimately, it's better that someone else buy expensive leggings for you. Or something. Anyway, I love these Sweaty Betty leggings, can't justify buying them myself, but would like to own them. The end.
& Other Stories' suede stiletto pumps (€89)
Okay, so I'm kind of obsessed with & Other Stories lately (and I haven't even been in the Dublin store yet) – but these pumps are perfect. They're kind of treading that fine line between cool and ladylike, I love the colour and the heel is juuuuust right, Goldilocks-style.
Plus, I do just love that V-cut style – it feels sexy in such an edgy way (without, essentially, being in any way sexy at all) – and genuine suede at less than €100 is always going to be a bargain.
Diptyque's Green Figuier scented candle (€65)
Okay, so I get that those among you who are vehemently against the ridiculous notion of spending €65 on a candle are absolutely apoplectic at this moment – but I don't care. There is nothing in the world that smells as good as Diptyque's Figuier scent, and equally there is nothing in the world that feels as downright faaaancy as owning – and lighting, with aplomb – a Diptyque candle. (I know, because I once owned one I stole from my sister.)
Like those beautiful Sweaty Betty leggings, I wouldn't buy this candle for myself – but if someone bought it for me, I would most definitely love them at least 17% more than I did before.
There you have it – the definitive list of things I would love to own, each of which comes in at less than €100. Or, y'know, slightly above €100 but WHO'S COUNTING?! Clearly not I. Anything you love? Hate? (Do you think I'm insane? Come clean.)
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