The moment she was allowed to buy her own clothes, the colour revolution appeared. Red sumptous velvets and fuschia pinks. Emerald greens and rich jewel tones. Still, it wasn’t until recently that she truly allowed herself to experiment with colour. Monochromatic eco-friendly Christmas green essembles, a welcome contrast to the grays and blacks that London was in permenantly. Ochre yellows in a sunshine glaze, cobalt blues with dusky teals. It wasn’t just fashion either. A bright bold pink cat tree a welcome pop of colour, a sea of blue-themed paintings lining up the walls. Three cats dozing peacefully on tartan sofas, a heavily stacked bookshelf, with cascading tinsel. For Christmas was a time of year where bold colourfulness was welcomed. Sure, the usual colour scheme was red, green, gold and silver. But A, well she was never one to follow the rules. She was a quirky adult, whose colourful Christmas gift ideas were waiting to be shared with the world. She turned to her beloved colour wheel, where inspiration was tenfold. Crisp apple greens, and pillarbox reds. Deep royal purples, and clashing contrasts. It was there that she realized something important. Having a colourful Christmas wasn’t just about ‘colour’ but personality too.
To A, having ‘Christmas personality’ meant pure escapism. Unadulterated joy, laced with bubbling elation. Gifts that made you feel, that left you impossibly warm inside. Presents that weren’t just for a season, but whose impact would last a lifetime. They might make you giggle, and lose yourself for a moment. Not in the sense of losing your identity, but in a beautiful way. A child once more, living the colourful life you had always dreamed of. And what would that dream consist of? A new hobby, brandishing glittery orange roller skates with triumphant glee. Falling over without a care in the world, red-faced, doe-eyed. She looked like an advert for the 70’s joyfully wild, hopelessly in love. A novelty Christmas, that was sustainable too. Earth friendly fashion that just happened to have oodles of personality. Cradled tencel in floral deadstock fabrics, smooth caresses on skin.
She never felt more joyful than when she was surrounded by colour. There was just something incredibly energizing and reinvigorating about images shifting together, a kaleidoscope of hues. Spinning around in enchanting light that was oh-so-glorious. Even at night when the world was still, blurred out by an abyss of darkness, colour and personality remained. A galaxy night sky projector, three kitties desperately trying to catch a serpentine of stars. Convuluted constellations of the human mind , drifting on by. It was almost like her home was a cosmic wonderland, a love letter to Christmas, that radiated happiness. She was never one for ‘slow living’, not when life was fast-paced. But colour taught her to slow down, and appreciate the complexities of silence. To relish in the call of the robin, perching on the tree outside. To take inspiration from her now sleeping cats, and learn to feel comfortable in the stillness. To aim for balance, not fall into a life of extremes. To feel content in the in-between.
It was the in-between that helped her curate her colourful Christmas gift guide. There would be bold fashion, awash in a sea of colour, textures, and fabrics. Flamboyant dresses twirling in a woozy waltz. Nightgowns reinvented for winter, clonking boots and tights. Feminist t-shirts emblazoned in mustard and tangerine hues, with orange split denim trousers, sparkling rollerblades peeking underneath. A bag or two, in a monochromatic splash. Yes, it would appear that even she wore black and white. But worn the right way? It was personality personified. As much as A found solace in bold fashion, her beauty regime was no exception. Vivid in scent as well as aesthetic, yet always cruelty-free, powered by her devotion to animals. They always came first. She looked at her bathroom, pleased. A purple tub of Moonlight Slumber, kneaded into dry skin. Frizz magic enveloped into parched curls, as A held the water in her hands with thanks. Raspberry and orange blossom hand cream massaged into cracked-winter skin. A spritz of her new favourite perfume, caught in summer. Accords of coconut and pear lavished in Tequila sunrise, a hedonistic frolic.
Frolicking was golden. Magic caught in mundane reality. A chance to escape, and set yourself free. It’s why games were such a big part of her colourful Christmas gift list too. A couples chance to re-connect, and find themselves, emotionally and physically. Remembering the warmth of each others bodies, an adult fantasy. Snatched honeyed kisses, me amor. A board game like no other, explored relationship. In a society that worships competition, competiveness falls away. A loving game or two, peppered with flirtatious naughtiness. Candles lit, diffuser spritzing, the scent of love, lust, and sex in an amorous concoction. You feed each other plump strawberries as you play. One game fixated on cards, the other an adult version of Twister, spinner and all. Two games alive in sensual colour. The first a sea of seductive deep red, an open-minded splash of cards, red, black, pink, and purple too. Chocolates at the ready, melting hazelnut lulled on passionate tongues. The other, primary colours turned into intimacy. Reds, blues, and greens given a makeover. Spin, kiss. Spin, caress. After all, their love language was touch. Well, that and laughter.
As they played, they drank. Him, his favourite cider, gurgled into thirsty throat. Her, a mocktail or two, she didn’t have to miss out just because she couldn’t drink. She was on medication, and the mocktails made her feel good. A sunny yellow Moscow Mule, spiced ginger playing lemon-sour at its own game. A heady combination of tart, peppery, refreshing tasting notes, that made her melt. A faux-sangria, surprisingly like the real thing, in a royal purple can, gone within seconds. Spiced citrus enveloped in Sansgiovese, the sweet nectar of Jupiter. It felt like heaven had coming knocking on her day, she was blissfully happy. For as much as the fashion, and beauty were a part of her colourful Christmas gift wishlist, food and drink was up there too. A mocktail poured in a fancy glass flute, gurgling naughtily. Snacks at the ready, a buffet of decadent chocolate, savoury popcorn, and juicy olives awaited, her three favourite snacks. Her eyes sank back in contentment. Christmas was nearly here.
Of course, her kitty kats needed colourful Christmas treats too. The cats who owned her, all three. One black with a small white scruff, hypnotic green eyes widened in surpise. A young tabby kitten, nearly a year old, inquisitive yellow amber eyes. The third a long-haired tortoiseshell, orange, grey, and white, wide green eyes. They turned towards her; there would be one more addition to the colourful Christmas gift list. A sumptous buffet of salmon biscuit nuggets coated in fishy deliciousness. They went mad for it, practically salivating. Sniffing in heavenly rapture, hugging said biscuit morsels to their chest. They begged for more, craved its taste. But alas, at this rate there would be none left for Christmas day! Easier to digest, and high in fresh fish, all three tucked into their succulent breakfast with joy. At last they said, the festive season would soon be upon them. New visitors, new toys, new treats. Not just for the cats, but for all of them. Happiness ran high that festive season.
She was never one to follow fashion trends. As friends and family told her, she had her own distinctive, unique style that was recidedly her. Colourful, bold, unafraid. Monochrome vs clashing contrasts. Mixed prints, and matchy-matchy sets. A foray into maximalism casual, and Princess era ballgowns. A person whose style was feminine at times, flamboyantly relaxed at others. Playing with boundaries, risking it all. Not willing to put herself in a box. Part-time mermaid and unicorn at weekends, with a splash of Frida Kahlo. A love of maximalist accessories, flower crowns, hats, and tiaras too. Reds, greens, and blues too. A fantasy board game where clothing was centre-forward. Christmas was no exception …
Tatty Devine ERA YES T-Shirt
To A colour meant three things. Personality, expression, and identity. It took root in the causes she championed and the beliefs she held strong. Everything from the way she dressed, to how she decorated her house was a statement. A statement against the ordainairy. A statement against normality and boredom. Beyond the aesthetic level, it was a political statement too. An F-you to societal standards, who tried to control her identity. She would never let that happen. She was a proud feminist, animal lover, LGBTQIA+ ally and mental health advocate who lived life as colourfully as the values she held. She was unafraid to be herself, and challenge social norms. She believed in equality; fairness was the foundation for a fair society after all. In an Era of yes, it was about taking ownership, and living our most authentic lives.
Society saw equality as a battle between ‘men and women’ but it was so much more than that. What an outdated stereotype. What an archaic way of defining things. Equal rights was for all. Equality was for marginalized genders (non-binary, intersex, lesbian, Bi, Gay), and everything in-between. Equal rights were for social minorities, whether that was racial, ethnic, class, religious or linguistic minorities, who deserved to be heard. After all, the fundamental pillar of human rights were the principles of non-discrimination and equality. A had dealt with discrimination during her life, including classism, bullying, abuse, gender disparity and sexism. It’s why she was passionate about raising awareness and making a difference this Christmas. Tatty Devine had just the colourful Christmas gift to highlight the need for equality. It was time to nip inequality in the bud with their ‘ERA Yes’ T-shirt.
With a contemporary take on 70’s flower power, it was about freedom for all. Bearing the Equality Now’s stance on the Equal Rights Amendment, it represented their work to add protection not just for women and girls, but also for marginalized genders. It was a powerful sustainable Christmas present with political heart. A knew from personal experience that initiatives for gender equality (particularly in the workplace) focused almost exclusively on white, heterosexual cisgender women (like herself), alienating other gender and social minorities. A believed that it was important to create true equality within a queer, ethnic, feminist and intersectional framework. Even in the blogging industry, A always strove to support others. She would ask brands what their diversity policies were, whether they were working with a diverse range of creators, and look at their content to see whether it was ‘tokenistic’ or actually authentic. Brands like Tatty Devine actually CARED. From the models used, to the products, the brand was inclusive, diverse and non-discriminatory.
Printed on certified organic cotton, the feel good/do-good t-shirt was sustainable too. Not only did it care about people, but about animals and the environment too. Organic, renewable, and an example of circular fashion, the colourful Christmas gift was made to order. Using a minimal-waste factory powered by 100% renewable energy, it was printed in the UK with low-waste printing tech. With the factory audited for a wide range of social and sustainability criteria, it didn’t contain animal-derived products. As a cruelty-free fashionista, being colourful meant being socially, emotionally, and politically responsible. The welfare of animals, as well as humans, was incredibly important to her. An added bonus? All of the profits from each t-shirt sold were donated to ‘Equality Now’, helping end harmful practices, sexual violence, establish legal equality, and end sexual exploitation.
Impala High Heel Skates
If she had one goal for 2023, it was to step outside of her comfort zone. To be bold, and say yes to opportunities that would scare her. To test her personal boundaries. After all, life was too short to get stuck in the what-ifs, and should have beens. No, it was about taking back control, and being brave. Big or small, it was about trying new things that would make her heart sing. A hobby alone, or with people she loved. Some me-time, quality couple time, or precious memories with loved ones. Sure, looking at A’s life, you would presume she wasn’t one to play it safe. But at times she was hesitant, afraid to go after what she really wanted. Terrified of consquences, a prisoner to safety. Sometimes it was about throwing caution to the wind. After all there was no such thing as failure. Only meaningful mistakes to pave the way for life’s true path.
She would start small, a new hobby idea had already formed in her mind. Roller skating. She had wanted to learn for so long. After all, it seemed exhilirating, freeing, wild. Celebratory, joyful elation. It was retro and nostalgic, and for someone who harkened for vintage realities, it seemed like a dream come true. Impala was here to save the day, a renowned belover of colourful, quirky and unique skates to captivate her imagination. She held her breath, biting down the urge to squeal with joy. Oh lord, it was beautiful. Her very own Impala Marawa High Heel Skates in Sparkle Orange. She fell in love at first sight. Vegan skates, that were catered to all abilities. With a padded collar, and tongue designed for comfort, the waterproof boots were hard-wearing for ankle support.
She couldn’t quite believe her eyes, it was even more beautiful in person. With custom Marwa printed lining, and gold coated metal speed lace eyelets and hardware it was truly magical. The best part? The light-up orange sparkle Marawa wheels that glistened in the winter sun. As predicted, her roller-skating skills were questionable. But it didn’t matter. Sometimes, when she knew she wasn’t good at something, it helped her let go of her anxious perfectionism. It was like art. She knew she couldn’t paint or draw, and she wasn’t afraid to be bad. It was the same here. Sure, she wasn’t a natural. But she treated it like she was dancing; it was about letting go, having fun, and bringing personality into every step. Besides, it was her first time. She wasn’t going to be Roller Barbie overnight. Still, she could fantasize.
Roller skating on Saturn’s rings playing hide and seek. A cosmic symphony of ice, pieces of comets, asteroids and shattered moons, small particles. A jolt of adrenaline coursing through her body energectically. She felt alive, more awake than she had in the longest time. It seemed funny. Her outfit was hardly Jupiter appropriate but who cared. In this retro 70’s wonderland colour was alive. A mustard and orange cotton t-shirt tucked into vibrant denim split jeans. Sparkling orange skates that illuminated Saturn’s core. A small yellow bag, and a pumpkin orange beret, pulled together with a ochre yellow vegan suede jacket. It was 70’s alright, with a roller skating twist. It turned out that her roller skates were one of her favourite colourful Christmas gift ideas that she ever had. Boy, did 2023 need to be ready for her.
Planet Loving Company
Colour was joy, comfort, and familuarity. In colour her spirits were lifted, her mind cleansed. Without colour, it felt like something was missing from her identity. The way she dressed and presented herself was an integral part of who she was. Colour was her therapy, her reasonn to get up in the morning. People would ask her ‘how she could be depressed and anxious’, when she was well-dressed. What they didn’t realize was how much effort it took her to even get dressed. How on her most sluggish days, where her energy was slow, she’d picture the clothing she would wear and imagine wearing it as a suit of armour. Because that is exactly what it was. Not a mask. It didn’t conceal her identity. But a weapon, that made her stronger, mind, body, soul.
Wearing something special broke the monotony of depression. It blurred the chaotic edges of anxiety. It breathed life into her. Without colour, she wouldn’t be complete. It was something that Planet Loving Company (PLC) was all too aware of. Their clothes were designed to evoke joy, comfort and glamour, created out of love for the planet and its people. Colourful, bold, and vibrant pieces that were sustainable and unique. Simple in its design, yet immediately wearable. A combination of casual velour, night-time attire, and breathtaking cascading dresses with ripples. A pared back cotton t-shirt, and a cord bag. A velvet coord, and an all-day pyjama suit, breaking the boundaries of ‘fashion norms’. After all, A was known to wear pyjamas outside. It was all about how you wore them. She was getting ahead of herself; to PLC colour was vital. Whether it was rich scarlet reds, soft dusky pinks or sumptous purples, their pieces told a story.
Three outfits stood out to her, imploring her to come ever closer. The first, a limited edition wrap dress, quite unlike anything else she owned. A floral yellow and black maxi dress that was effortlessly chic. Sure, it wasn’t the obvious choice for Christmas, she’d give you that. But in her mind it was an all-year-round dress with endless possibilities. A New Years Eve dress drinking non-alcoholic champagne, a toast to the New Year. A summer dress with a wee sun bonnet, and sandals. A spring dress to watch the bloom of the flowers, and an autumn dress for the in-between. Worn with yellow patent heels, a matching headband, and a petite yellow bag, she brought sunshine into Christmas wear. The luxurious cupro was brought from Fabric House’s deadstock collection, with voluminous sleeves, rolling ruuffles, and a magical floral print.
The other two could be worn casually, or dressed up. The Day & Nightdress in powder blue, breezy, playful and feminine. Made from soft 100% Lyocell with a fitted bodice and tie-fastening spaghetti straps, it was incredibly comfortable. She paired it with a baby blue knitted cardigan, and duck egg blue beret for winter comfort, over-accessorized as always. She wasn’t going to apologize for it. Pastel blue chunky boots made up the look, with a matching signature look. And who could forget the ringe-garde necklace? The other, a rich scarlet red velvet maxi gown. On its own, it had no shape, no structure. It was effortlessly soft, inspired by the iconic Joan Didion. But A liked to do things differently. Made from Organic Cotton Velour, she set to work. A patent red belt to add definition, a red pearl beret. Her favourite Snow White Bag, and red heeled stilettos, it felt instantly right. Yes, PLC helped A curate a colourful Christmas gift guide that was oh so fashionable.
Flore Quo Cocoa Rose
When it came to handbags A loved something distinctive, wearable, and a unique. A bag that noone else was wearing. Eye catching prints, colours, and textures the flavour of the day. Sure, she normally gravitated towards colour- the brighter the better- but at times she craved prints, that were monochromatic yet bold. A bag that was multi-purpose, from day to night. Combining artisinal quality with a truly unique design. She was known for her outfits, but accessories were something of a selling point for A. From her flower crowns, to berets, her headgear was a talking point. But equally her bag choices were just as noticeable. A pink and white cupcake novelty bag. A small glittery Snow White Bag, an irridescent sea shell. Her choices were never conventional. After all, what was a colourful Christmas gift wishlist without uniqueness?
Flore Quo was no exception to the rule. A colourful luxury handbag brand, they would be releasing two vegan handbags in January and February. She couldn’t wait to be one of the first to have her very own cruelty-free luxury tote. Crafted by artisan experts, and made sustainably, they were aiming to replace all animal leather products with non-animal products as soon as they could find a reliable supplier. She appreciated their transparency, and honesty. She was comfortable working with vegan-friendly brands, and applauded their mission to be 100% cruelty-free in the near future. After all, luxury shouldn’t come at the expense of the planet, or its incredible animals.
There would be the Zebra Rose, and the Cocoa Lace. She hadn’t seen the Cocoa Lace just yet, but if it was anything like the Zebra Rose then she was in for a treat. The Zebra was instantly iconic, with an animal print emblazoned with a large red rose. It seemed like it would be garish, but it wasn’t. It was loud, playful, and vibrant. Colourful yet monochromatic. Wearable yet one of a kind. By day, if she wanted she could wear its plain black side, particularly for when she was working in events. But by night, the Christmas party had come alive. Animal free, they even pledged to donate 10% of profits from the sale of the Zebra Rose to Lifeling Animal Protection Charity (LAP), for the important work that they did. She was counting down the days until her very own bag would arrive. A Veganuary treat that transcended the Christmas season. She hoped and prayed that their vegan collection would continue to grow with bold bright primary coloured bags in all shapes and sizes. It would be a magical Christmas and New Year.
Then there was beauty. As the moon drowned in its mystical clouds, and the sun arose, a new dawn was born. A cruelty-free revolution, where animals were worshipped with reverence. No animals were harmed in the making of these products. She made sure of it. Household names, and indie brands. A healthy mix of both. New brands, and established ones. Skincare vs bathtime rituals. Dental hygeine, and perfume spritzes. Fresh scents permeating the air, a combination of shampoo, bath cream, and body sprays intermingling conspiratorily.
She peered into her bathroom mirror, gazing into the mirror version of herself. She was tired, dark puffy circles under her eyes, a blank expression on her face. She was sluggish today, caught in monotony of when life stood still. It was an unusual feeling for her. Normally, she was amped up on the adrenaline of anxiety. She would race around like she had ants in her pants, frantic and chaotic. But today, she was burnt out. Exhausted, fatigued. There was no way to sugar coat it, she had no energy. It took all her strength to even get up and go into the bathroom. Then she thought to herself. Why fight it? It was OK to sit still. It was OK to have downtime. If anything it showed she needed it. She made up her mind. It was time to have a vibrant spa day in the name of her colourful Christmas gift guide.
Ted Baker came to the rescue, a beloved classic. A selection of vegan-friendly goodies, from bathtime- to sleep. A ritualistic cleanse wrapped up in a sheeny red floral box. It was magical, an array of treats awaited her senses. The first, Ted Baker’s Bathing Collection 6 Piece Gift Set. It was oh so special. With a selection of raspberry and orange blossom goodies, she could bring the spa to her own home. After all, what was more Christmassy than a DIY spa day? She could think of nothing better. And so the routine began. A body wash for a nourishing and gentle cleanse. Creamy, fragrant, a rich spread across her body, oh so soft. It was almost as silky as the body lotion, in a gorgeous perfume like bottle. Enriched with coconut oil, with fruity pops of citrus and soft florals it felt magical.
A moisturising sheet mask here, a body butter there. The rest of the colourful Christmas gift ritual sped by in a scented blur. Hand cream enveloped in hands that has seen better days. Rough skin patches smoothed out with body butter. Spritz, squirt, slather, caressing skincare circles. There was one more step that she froze in time. Ted Baker’s Rose and Cassis body spray was effortlessly chic. Affordable, yet sophisticated, it had notes of delicious blackcurrant cassis. With a concentrated spritz she was enveloped in opulence; style, elegance and modernity. It was love at first use. She almost wished it was a perfume, but nevertheless it was long-lasting. Sugary sweet, it reminded her of berry picking in autumn, a welcome memory.
She was the girl with the frizzy brown hair, verging on black. Threaded with illuminated silver, laced with gray. Her partner would affectionately nickname her hair as a ‘fluffy bush’- he wasn’t wrong. Easily tangled, wavy halfway curls. Not the ringlets that she desired, but thick mounds of voluminous hair spiralling out of control. Reducing frizz was rare, messed up with winter air. As soon as her hair would dry, it would turn into a bushy halo, curlier at the bottom. Like a cotton candy head, a mass of hair begging to be tamed. Even when the trees were bare and Christmas was near, her hair never changed.
She looked into a magic ball, one name appeared. Noughty, a 97% natural haircare brand that claimed to create ‘pure hair magic’. She looked forlonly at her messy plait, tendrils escaping with hopeless abandon. It was worth a shot. She’d found a miracle cure for her dry ends, but frizz seemed beyond her control. There would be a Frizz Magic Shampoo consorting with conditioner, a matching hair serum napping blissfully in a pink microfibre towel. A cruelty-free vegan haircare brand rooted in the Science of plants. Would her hair be tamed into submission. A moisturising shampoo packed with marula oil, and daikon extract, would it be what she needed? It was early days, and although her hair was still frizzy, the improvement was vast. Soft, manageable hair that took less time to brush. Fly aways smooth, frizz reduced. Moisturized hair coated in delicious witchcraft.
With ethical farming, and sustainable packaging choices, Noughty seemed like a no brainer. After all, it was time the hair-care industry respected people, paws and the planet. Her hair was healthier than it looked in a long-time. It wasn’t just smooth, and nourished, but there was less hair breakage too. With SLMI (derived from coconuts), the mild water-soluble surfactant gave the Frizz Magic Shampoo ridicolously good lathering action. A high performance shampoo that was 100% sulphate free, could its counterpart live up to its magic? The conditioner was just as gorgeous. Coconut oil to smooth out frizzy tendrils, Marula to trap moisture. Daikon for super-shine, Camellia oil packed with Omega 9 to controll water loss. Together, it really was hair magic.
She wrapped her hair in a pink microfibre towel, kissing goodbye to breakage and static. Moisture absorbed rapidly, combating pesky frizz without heat damage. There was one more colourful Christmas gift for a hairtastic Christmas. The ultimate Frizz Magic Serum, providing heat protection up to 220 °C. With an internal frizz fighting barrier, she applied it onto towel-tried hair. The results were too good not to notice. With wheat bran extract to reduce volume and frizz even in the most humid conditions, her hair was transformed. Lightweight, it felt like silk in her hair, no grease allowed. Applying a small pea sized amount, the mini vegan beauty product worked like a blinder!
In slumber she napped, a wellbeing ritual to put her mind and body at ease. Caught in the fragments of dreams, layered memories seeping through. As the jangle of Christmas music slipped into her consciousness, she awoke, bleary-eyed. Christmas was nearing, but her stress-level was sky-high. She needed to re-balance and recuperate, but her anxiety was running away with her. Spiralling thoughts and overthinking. Tense muscles, and frozen actions. A whirring mind that never fully shut off. A body that seemed poised for fight or flight. She needed festive holistic wellbeing rituals more than ever. How to quiet that restless mind, that agitated body that never fully relaxed. She pondered into the dark embers of night.
The stars aligned, and the galaxies gleamed. She could see one, her home, Earth. It told her of a secret. Plantopia it whispered in Morse Code. That was the key to an empowered mind, body, and skin. Positive change for people and the planet, grounded by the use of adaptogens, and essential oils. She began with stage one. A Deep Peace Sensory balm, a dual-purpose pot of wonder. Laced with feel-good gernaium wrapped around tumeric, in a healing trance. Her senses stimulated, her tension reduced. Sure, the anxiety was still there. It always was. But it reduced, knowing she was doing something impactful for herself. Breathe in, breathe out. With a few inhalations, peace of mind restored. It would take practice, but soon she’d be able to unlock its full calming and reassuring benefits. Her eyes fluttered shut, deep breathing began. Pulse points annointed, wrists, neck, back and chest massaged gently.
It might have seemed like overkill. Keep your routine simple others would say. But for A simplicity was never an option. After all, it took her a while to relax. Even longer for her stress to reduce. Besides, she deserved the me-time, especially at Christmas. A blue elixir that claimed to be a Positive Charge Face & Space Mist walked into her world. She closed her eyes once more, spraying the mist in a rainbow shaped motion. Slowly, she exhaled, peppered with gingseng and lemongrass. The gingseng engergizing, the lemongrass an auromatherapeutic blend. When she wanted, she’d use it on her face, a radiance-boosting, conditioning mist that reduced redness while soothing her fraught spirit.
Then, there was the Radiance Reboot Face & Eye Mask of dreams. She would apply it as part of her colourful bedtime ritual. Ten minutes of time out to ease the impact of stress on her mind and skin. A gel formula to help the skin adapt to the effects of pollutants and free radicals. A radical reducing signs of tension and puffiness. Skin rebalanced, detoxified, and hydrated. She applied a generous layer to her clean, dry skin, using the time to reflect, and unwind. Breathing well was never one of her strong suits, but this collection sure was helping. As she took the mask off, her dull skin was reenergized. Fine lines smothed, tone and elasticity improved. Her skin radiant. There was just one more step in her holistic bathcare routine. The Moonlight Slumber Soak & Scrub, a dual-purpose bath treatment. An inducing relaxing soak, a delicate lightly scented milky veil. Melted into bath and skin, while gently cleansing. A soft skin polish lifting away dead skin cells, brighter softer skin. As the night came to its natural conclusion, she dreamed sweet dreams. A deeper, clarifying sleep, with endless possibilties.
The sweet scented wafted in the harsh winds of Christmas. A summer scent caught in winter. Coconut dancing with pear in a Tequila sunrise, a scent frozen in the wrong season. You sniff, transported to warmer climes. A colourful scent dancing in a flurry of ice cold snow. An intoxicating perfume, sensual and alive. Accords of floral heart notes making way for woody earthed patchouli, vanilla swirls and tonka beans. As sundown came, your spirit was freed. A euphoric scent that ignited your senses, perfume rain. The rhythm so perfect and wild, a scent that made you nostalgic. A retro perfume where she could feel the beat and up the heat. And what was its name? Why, only Missguided Beauty and their Babe Heat collection.
Her emotions were in hyperdrive, love that came alive with each spritz. She doted on the scent. There would be two gift sets: an Eau De Parfum 10ml gift set, a colourful bauble for Christmas. Burgundies and whites, with a slash of pink. The scent? Perfection, complemented by a lightly fragranced hand cream. Vegan and cruelty-free, she revelled in its fragrance, a generous portion squirted onto waiting hands. Hands still young, freshly painted, a burst of yellow sunshine. Hands caressed by cream, so light. Smooth and supple to the touch. There was a Babe Heat Eau De Parfum 80ml Gift Set too, triumphantly sweet. She spritzed the perfume, its drizzling droplets brushing against her senses. Memories awakened, a happier time. Though she loved Christmas, and the festivities, she yearned for the pure joy of summer. Long walks on silky sand beaches. Feet enveloped in tranquil clear waters. Ice cream dribbling down her chin, as she giggled young once more.
A body mist was fragrantly honeyed too. Droplets that carried happiness, sedated feelings coming through. Breaking through the angst that followed her like the dark cloud above her head. It felt oddly peaceful here, in the Christmas in between. Where Xmas and New Year were on the horizon, not too near, not to far. Essences trapped, oddly delightful. Tropical, sweet, generous aromas that drifted beyond the winter plane. Two seasons colliding; the blurriness of a snow storm meets summer paradise, heat vs chill. The paradoxes were suprisingly comforting, here in seasonal purgatory. A blissful odourland.
The first thing they noticed about A was her beaming smile. It wasn’t that she had the straightest or whitest smile. In fact, her teeth were crooked, it was a moot point when she was younger. A front tooth lifted higher than the rest, bottom teeth out of character.It was the confidence that she smiled with, the happiness that radiated within. A smile that told a thousand stories. Not bashful, but over-the top, a grin that told people exactly how she was feeling. How she would laugh, her eyes crinkling swallowed up. How she would angst, nibbling on her bottom chapped lip. It wasn’t pearly white, or straight by any means. But that didn’t matter, her teeth were colourful, and had character just like her.
Someday, she dreamed of straighter teeth. But despite the irregularities, her oral care routine was spot on. Brushing three times a day. Flossing the in-between, mind the gap! The mouthwash, and sustainable toothbrushes used. Every aspect of her oral routine was vegan, cruelty-free, and 70% sustainable. She had fallen in love with Dentek, whose interdental brushes were eco-friendly. Made using birch wood, less waste and energy used. Even more than rival eco materials like bamboo. In fact, the wood itself would absorb less water. It meant that the wire brush wouldn’t split from the handle when used in her bathroom. The floss was effective, morsels of food removed from her mouth without damaging her teeth or the environment. Made from a bio-resin using sugar cane plants, to manufacture the Eco Cross Flosser, Triple Clean and Triple Clean floss pick products it was planet-friendly.
After all, using this renewable material would reduce carbon emissions by up to 80% in comparison to plastic. It showed that the eco-range was far more sustainable than its mainstream counterparts. With Dentek planting more trees than they use, A could feel good knowing that her dental hygeine was both colourful, and climate-positive. It showed that she could take care of her teeth without harming the planet with more plastic waste. Though dentistry had been slow to provide sustainable solutions, Dentek was leading the way to brighter, healthier, and cleaner teeth, to create a more natural smile. She flashed her teeth, revelling in its cleaness. She would become a smiling dentist, reversing the tooth decay that began to settle in. Turning back time, brand new teeth, fresh gums. It felt good knowing she was looking after herself. She deserved it.
Hypnotized, she can’t look away. In the strong enveloping arms of her amour, his teal blue eyes glinting mischievously. Their love is unique, a memory that only they can access. Snatched honeyed kisses in a double bed. Sweet caresses in a masquerade of desire, innocent desire turned into something more. An amorous tumble between the sheets, their senses ignited. But this was no ordinairy lovemaking, a cresendo caught a’flame by games. Board games called Monogamy, and Fondle, a couples delight. Laying there in the dark with only candles to guide them, like new sweethearts once more. Everything felt fresh, everything felt novel. A relationship spiced up, peppered with naughtiness. Touchin’, kissin’, lovin’. 1,2.3.
A question lingered in her throat, bemused yet confident. Want to play a game she asked, a naughty twinkle in her eye. He had no idea what destiny awaited him. He thought they were playing Mario Party. If only he knew. The senseous delights that would await him, rasping breaths. An exhilirating exhange, something new. A colourful Christmas gift for couples who wanted to play. A board game like no over, that would transcend Christmas to become a dynamic anniversary present, Valentine’s surprise, early birthday reward. They would try new things together, revelling in their new-found freedom.
The board was created, and the cards laid out. Mobiles turned off, and her favourite candle lit. A drink for him, a non-alcholic one for her. They would create a place where they could surrender to their pleasure, guided by the cards. Exploring each others fantasies and desires without fear or judgement, inhibitions dropped. They lost themselves in Monogamy; when they landed on a square, they’d take a card. Whatever level they were playing would determine ‘his and her questions’ or tasks on the card. They began with the ‘Intimate Level, softer romantic tasks to help them relax and connect. They learned more about each other, revelled in each others company. Love flowing, hungry eyes, desired caresses. Shyness removed, brazen forwardness. It was sexy.
As they moved up to the ‘Passionate Level’ the questions and tasks deepened, naughtier by the second. The anticipation built, like a rising crescendo. Then there was Steamy, an unhibited world. Edging like never before. On the cusp of desire, passion and romance. A stolen courtship, desperation building, limbs a’quivering. A small number of the tasks were ‘Treats’ from surprising her beloved with a meal in a restaurant to sending them a naughty text at work. A secret shared between them, still madly in love all these years later. She watched her partners eyes widen in excitement, a surprised laugh, jumping to his feet. If only he knew what other ‘future treats’ he would be privy to. The game wasn’t over just yet. Everytime they passed go, one of the ’50 Fantasy cards’ would be picked up. Scenarios they had only dreamed about, come to life. Yet, only two fantasy cards would make it to the end. What would they choose? The decision was theirs. Everything to play for in a game where romance trumped. Lust kissing desire with tongue, love whispering sweet nothings to romance. Desire fraught with heat, giggling red-faced. The half-way between seriousness and giggles, a gauze of laughter veiling naughty thoughts.
Two sweaty bodies merged as one, entwined in limbs. A lone strand of hair trails out of her plait, cascading down her body like a tantalizing maze. He takes it in his hand, naive strokes, until her hair comes tumbling down like Rapunzel. She laughs elated, she beckons him closer. In his ear she whispers ‘ did you forget our other game’. He smiles unsure of himself, as she leads him down the stairs. ‘Twister’ he asks his eyebrow lifting furtively. She smiles ‘fancy a bit of fondling? It’s what I like to call adult Twister’. His eyes light up, greedy for her touch. If it was anything like Monogamy, then Fondle was a colourful Christmas gift that would leave him aroused for days to come.
They stood on a colour which matched their chosen glasses. Her with red glasses, him with a yellow pair. Right foot on a banana, left hand on an avocado. It seemed like nonsense words, comical fun. But there was a hidden agenda. Four fondle chances on the spinner; if a player landed on one, a forfeit needed to be completed. Fondle forfeits decided between the couple. What would it be? They could make the game as fun and as frisky as they wanted. Strip poker, an item of clothing removed. A kiss on the lips. A caress, fondle, something else. A treat for both players, a couple united by desire. Furious passion in an amorous makeout session. Clothing bundled messily on the floor, in a heap. Naked bodies and glistening foreheads, matted hair in a cloud of esctasy.
It was a Christmas treat, that would tantalize them for weeks to come. Laughter spiralling into the icy evening, snow falling down the window pane. The screech of boozy revellers outside, lost in the sauce. Festive lights switched on, a tree put up, the cats glancing inquisitively. But what mattered was the here and now. A naughty Christmas, just for them. Their own secret universe dictated by the rules of a game. Left foot, right hand, until they fell onto the mat, and lost their balance. She put her hand over her mouth, laughing uncontrollably. In between Monogamy, and Fondle, this was the most fun together they had in a while. Away from the confines of work, they came alive. Reenergized by a game where they lost all inhibitions.
Food & Drink
The way to A’s heart was undoubtably through her stomach. A super taster, adventurer of flavour, aroma hunter. A woman whose happiness derived from the food that she ate, and the drinks she consumed. A person who seemed permenantly hangry, craving her next meal. It seemed odd given she had health conditions including a stomach condition. But despite her ailments, food never ceased to lift her spirits. A twist on a Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, served with marinated artichokes, peppers and broccoli. A chickpea curry fragrantly spiced. Plump strawberries ladled in cream. These were a few of her favourite things. So it should come as no surprise that food and drink were on the list. Colourful mocktail beverages, slurped in fancy glasses at Christmas. A Scottish Lemonade Moscow Mule vs a Sevilla Red Sansgria. A Cookies and Cream popcorn packet, with delectable white chocolate. A vegan cheeseboard courtesy of Violife. Three incredible food and drink brands for a colourful Christmas gift.
A was never one who drank a lot. Sure, there were times in the past, where she had got too drunk. But it was rare and far in between. After all, she was often ill, and alcohol exerbated her health conditions. So when she did drink, it was sparingly. 1 or 2 drinks that was it, no more than that. She hated that feeling of losing control, the comedown once she lost the buzz. The stinking hangover from hell, and how it would wreak havoc on her poorly stomach. Don’t get me wrong, she liked the taste of alcohol, but it was rare that she would drink. At the moment, she was on a series of medications where she couldn’t drink. She wanted to find a mocktail alternative for the Christmas season, where she didn’t feel like she was missing out. So where could she find colourful vegan alcohol free drinks?
Mocktail Beverages were here to save the day. Mocktails without the artificial ingredients, preservatives or high fructose corn syrup. Small batch mixology inspired drinks with the taste of a real cocktail. No chemicals, no nasties, just pure utter perfection. 4 delectable cocktails, with a refusal to compromise on flavour. But what would be her favourite? A Karma Sucra Mockapolitan, subtle and sophisticated but not too sweet. It reminded her of an ‘adult cranberry juice’, with something extra special. Layered with lime juice, bitter orange, and citric acid, balanced out with Juniper berry. It felt decidedly grown up. She found that many Cosmopolitans were too sugary sweet for her liking. But this? A gorgeous drink that kept her coming back for more.
Still, it was no match for the Scottish Lemonade Moscow Mule. Peppery ginger root serenaded lemon juice in a tart retort. Apple extract sank its teeth into non-GMO sugar. An alluring taste, that was effortlessly balanced. Made with love, but not with alcohol, the project of master perfumiers. Botanicals paired in precisely the right quantities, a delicious and complex plethora of flavours. The Sevilla Red Sansgria was a close second; she did after all love Sangria. Poured into a wine glass, she breathed in its aroma. Bitter orange mixed with juicy succulent French, Italian and Spanish wine grapes. The finest spices and botanicals to create a subtle and sophisticated Sansgria. Transported to Seville, she closed her eyes blissfully. Despite the rain that hammered on her window sill, she pictured she was in summer. Christmas had come and gone. She was sitting outside on an unseasonably warm night, the air still light.
Notes of raspberry intermingled with clove. Black carrot enveloped in Tartaric acid. A welcome treat that she would enjoy on Christmas day too. Sansgria with dessert, gorgeous cheesecake made with love. Raspberries and white chocolate, on a crunchy biscuit base. The after thought when dinner was over. A Christmas pudding that would fill her heart with glee. There was one last mocktail waiting to be tasted. The Vida Loca Mockarita, with a classic taste. Lime juice, and bitter orange, with natural flavours seeping through. Ingredients, spices and botanicals from around the world, a flavoursome surprise. Later, she would make new mocktails. A ‘Nojito’ with the Mockarita, a twist on her favourite ‘mojito’. A berry Moscow mule, for a festive smash.
Colourful drinks aside, it was time to think of the snacks. An array of popcorn in a rainbow of flavours: cookies and cream, butterscotch, and Say Cheese (her personal favourite). There was something so retro, so nostalgic about popcorn. It reminded her of going to the funfair when she was younger, candy floss in one hand, a popcorn bucket in the other. Then as she got older, she associated it with movies. Sweet and salty she liked to mix it up. Tangy, savoury, sugary goodness enveloping you in a hug. At Christmas, there was no better snack than popcorn. She would start with Cookies & Cream housed in a blue Popcorn Shed. White Chocolate Caramel Gourmet Popcorn with Cookie Crumb Pieces, the best kept secret of the Arctic. Made by an elite team of penguins who teased her tastebuds. Senses reignited, she came alive.
It was a colourful Christmas gift in a range of flavours. Cookies & Cream at the centre of the North Pole. But wait, what was this? Underneath the glow of the Northern Lights, a new flavour waited. Say Cheese, in an orange snow shed outpost. Deliciously ripe and mature cheddar cheese that was ridicolously addictive. Inspired by a quaint farmhouse chateau shed nestled in an idyllic French ville, she could could almost taste the inspiration. Perhaps it was why it won a Great Taste Award in 2018, she pondered to herself. Rich and creamy, the tanginess filled her soul with happiness. Camped out in front of the TV, the couple sat munching on a snack feast, Popcorn Shed at the ready.
Though she loved savoury popcorn, her partner opted for sweet. She knew just the flavour to tickle his tastebuds. Butterscotch, that just happened to be vegan. Sweet, buttery, and smooth it toyed with their tongues. A hint of sea salt sprinkled a’top fluffy popcorn, lightly coated with butterscotch caramel. She had to admit, the butterscotch was a sweet flavour she could get on board with. She had tried it in the past and it tasted even better than she remember. Her taste buds in a spin, as they watched ELF for the 5th time, until the box was empty. With forlorn sadness she turned to her empty popcorn sheds. No more popcorn for Christmas? Whoops, she would have to buy some more. It wasn’t her fault that Popcorn Shed was so moerish. She couldn’t help herself!
If popcorn was a Christmas luxury, then cheese was a neccessity. Oozing camembert wreaths decorated with rosemary and sea salt. Rich blue stilton smashed onto black pepper crackers. Mature cheddar cut into chunky crumbling blocks slathered in tomato and chilli relish. A cheeseboard was always a must have at Christmas, she wouldn’t have it any other way. This year, she would make a vegan cheeseboard inspired by her Violife experience earlier in the year. It would be heavenly. There would be some changes to freshen up the cheeseboard for Christmas. Baked Camembert with vegan bacon, a sprinkle of chilli, chives and garlic in a hedonistic spread. Flanked by crusty baguettes cut into rough thirds, doused in extra virgin olive oil.
A sorcerer of cheeses, she could taste that it was vegan, but nevertheless it was delicious. A smattering of Violife Original Flavour Slices a’la mature cheddar on a grazing platter of dreams. Smoked vegan ham slices, with sweet pepper and grated vegan cheese bites, oozing seductively. Fresh pink lady apples, in a shape of a Christmas tree dusted with cinnamon. Tart raspberries and blueberries in double cream, a smattering of sugar. Cold cuts of vegan meats: vegan chicken slices and pepperoni bites, a hodge podge of flavours that melted in their mouths. Salted dough pretzels with vegan cream cheese in a cheesy wonderland. Beef cut tomatoes, and cucumber, vegan mayo flavoured with mild parsley. Avocado rocket salad, sprigs of watercress, a mouthful of flavour.
The last, a crumbly blue, paired with juicy red and green grapes, fed by hand. A vegan cheeseboard that was triumphantly colourful, reds, whites, yellows, greens, with a touch of blue. A rainbow wonderland, with a touch of beige. Roasted Hazelnuts, toasted Walnuts and chilli Brazil Nuts, mouthwatering flavour. Vegan cheesesticks made with plant-based butter, just like Lurpak. Salty, yet creamy, slathering smoothness. Everywhere she looked there was cheese, a maximalist cheese heaven. Grated, sliced, oozing, gooey, crumbles. Blue, yellow, smoked. Plain, smooth, soft. Washed down with a glass of non alcholic mulled cider, Cranberries swimming in a sea of spiced orange, with cinnamon sticks. Cloudy apple with Star Anise, a gulp of vegan honey. It paired with the cheese better than she hoped. Her favourite? The camembert, the saltiness of the vegan bacon swimming in a cheesy fondue.
Happy Pet Gift Ideas
Two cats thick as thieves, one cat on the outside looking in. A household where the cats rule the humans. Puss in Boots is in charge, a frantic meow indicating its dinner time. Furtive calls and widened eyes, cats circling empty bowls waiting for their next meal. Healthy salmon biscuits poured into personalized bowls, devoured at the drop of a hat. Nibble, nibble, crunch, crunch. The sounds of silence save for cats snacking, licking their bowls clean. Satisfied, with pooched bellies, they wander over to their favourite cat scratcher, in the shape of a carrot. Claws flexed, paws outstretched, scratch, scratch, scrape, scrape. For it was the cats turn to write the colourful Christmas gift guide. Two treats that made their festive season complete.
Three cats in a variety of colours. A black ‘Sabrina’ cat with luminous green eyes, and silky lustorous fur. A tabby young cat, soon to turn a year old, with hazel eyes. The third the newest addition, a long-haired ginger, white, and black tortoiseshell with piercing green eyes. The latter would eat absolutely anything. Fluffy roast potatoes stolen off your plate? Check. Spindling strands of spaghetti taken from your mouth? Double check. But despite her desire to eat everything in sight, she had a sensitive stomach. She had ‘special poops’, was sometimes sick, and had a number of behaviorial issues. A took great care to ensure the kitties were eating food that was good on their stomach. Yet in the middle of the night, the cats would conspire together with glee. Delving into the bin, and feasting on morsels left behind.
Earlier in the year, she had been introduced to Vets Kitchen, whose delectable range of cat treats left the kitties begging for more. A new cat wonder awaited, Sensitive Digestion Dry Food in Succulent Salmon. Carnivorous felines pounced on the biscuits with avid curiosity, an experimental lick. With one lick, they were hooked, tempted by its fresh fish flavour. With 80% salmon, and 64% freshly prepared, they could really taste the difference. It went down like a colourful Christmas gift should do; easily with no complaints. Easy to digest, the dry food was laced with chicory as a source of prebiotics for a healthier kitty tummy. The tortoiseshell in particular devoured the treats like they were limited-edition. With added dandelion, parsley and balanced mineral levels, it even aided a healthy urinary tract. Hypoallergenic, and formulated without wheat, beef or dairy, it was ever so gentle.
The kitties looked up at her expectantly, they had fallen in love. No longer did they want to shove the Christmas tree onto the floor, or vandalise the litter trays. Instead, they waited hoping for another salmon cat treat. With Omega 3 and Omega 6, the kitties coats became healthier, and glossier. Loki, the black kitty already had a sheeny-shiny coat, but even he was glowing more than ever before. The tabby looked healthier, and the Tortoiseshell’s thick fur was growing back at rapid speed. With quality natural ingredients, added vitamins and minerals, who knew if the salmon dry food would even last until Christmas. At the rate that they were eating their delicious food, it would be gone within the fortnight. But how could she resist their hearts desire? It was Christmas after all!
Speaking of desire, a bounty of treats awaited their hungry mouths. Little Heart Cat Treats in two sumptous flavours: succulent salmon with trout, and chicken with duck. But what would come out on top? The first a fishy surprise, what’s that smell they decreed thoughtfully? Why only crunchy Salmon biscuits peppered with trout, as they nibble, nibbled to their hearts content. Like the dry food, it was packed full of vitamins and prebiotics to keep them healthy during the Christmas season. Their personal favourite though? The chicken with duck, oh how they went mad for it. Little hearts with added fibre to aid digestion and good dental health. Cellulose to support the reduction of furballs. The most important thing? It tasted bloody delicious. At least, that’s what her feline friends told her, as they purred with satisfaction.
Red Candy Cat Scratcher
One more cat treat awaited, the mother of all presents. Sure, it was a present from earlier in the year. But that was before they got the third kitty. It was so good, that she couldn’t help but feature it twice. A giant carrot scratcher from Red Candy, a colourful Christmas gift that was a novelty, yet practical. Her other two kitties had relished running at their carrot cat scratcher, as a morning excercise. Claws scraping up and down the carrot scratcher, mewling playfully. But Nala, the tortoiseshell wanted to play too. She liked to play alone, running around with catnip balls in her mouth, as she raced towards the cat scratcher. Before, she would claw up the sofa, a sign of her annoyance. But now, the carrot would placate her, as she stared at it inquisitively.
She didn’t blame her. It was a giant carrot after all. Mind you, she would eat absolutely everything. So it came as no surprise to see Nala sniffing, biting, and licking the carrot scratcher, as though it was an actual carrot. When she realized it wasn’t edible, she meowed pitifully, how dare it not be real. Rude. Very quickly, she realized what its actual purpose was. At last, the hooman had brought her what she desired. She did after all need to sharpen, and file her claws. Her toys weren’t going to play with themselves you know. She flexed one paw testing it out, then the other, marking the scratcher with her scent. This time, the emotion wasn’t annoyance, stress or anger. Instead it was excitement, something new for her to try.
It was whimsical, and vibrant. An orange carrot with a green leaf top, plonked on a circular base. It seemed ironic given that cats were avid meat-eaters, but nevertheless she enjoyed the irony. As Nala scratched, and played, the other cats grew curious, once more falling in love with it. With a healthy tussle, they competed to take turns. Who would scratch the beloved carrot next? Would it be Luna, the tabby with a hundred stripes, who was the most adventorous of them all. Loki the gentle laidback cat, with a tender heart? Or Nala, marking her territory again, who they affectionately nicknamed ‘grumpy cat’. They meant it lovingly, she always looked angry. It would be Luna who would swoop in to steal the carrot, even going as far to climb the carrot, as the sound of ‘Home Alone’ in the background reverberated. The cats danced around the room like delicate flowers, nimble on their feet. The hoomans joined in, the sound of Wham warbling ‘Last Christmas’, as the candles ebbed, and the world outside was plunged into darkness. Street lights switched on, snow melting into ice. 2022 would be a good Christmas. They could feel it in the air.
What Colourful Christmas Gift Ideas Are On Your Wishlist?
AD. Please note I was gifted products in exchange for this blog post, but all thoughts are my own and are not affected by gifting. I was not paid for this blog post.