Welcome back to the 4th annual Bumbles of Rice What These Real Women Want for Christmas, the antidote to the Christmas Gift Guides in glossy magazines which recommend cashmere scrunchies for £350 and other frivolous luxuries that nobody either wants nor can afford.
This gift guide is brought to you by real women, and includes items that they would really like for Christmas. These women are mothers, they’re your sister, your friend, your wife, your cousin, your kids’ mother. This is what real women really want for Christmas 2017.
As always, entries appear in order that my blogger friends returned them back to me. This year’s some links (like to Amazon) may be affiliate links.
– A n d r e a-
Up first again this year Andrea from Officemum.ie, or should I say author Andrea Mara, whose own book “The Other Side of the Wall” would make a perfect gift for anyone who enjoys suspense novels, or domestic noir as I have learned they are called.
Oasis Jumpsuit €85 For the life I think I have (1)
Next pyjamas €22.50 for the life I actually have (2)
Grey shopper from Warehouse €35.25 (3) I got a grey bag like this a few years ago and I’ve used it so much it’s getting a bit tattered now. My criteria for a bag is that my laptop can fit inside and it goes with everyone – this bag ticks both boxes.
Earrings to go with my jumpsuit for all my non-existent nights out €16
Tin Man a book recommended by my friend Sinéad! (Bumbles says: Yes, that’s me, fabulous book)
-S a d h b h –
Next up is another blogger and author, Sadhbh Devlin, whose debut picture book (with Tarsila Kruse) Bi ag Spraoi Liom is out now, available from Futa Fata. Sadhbh blogs at the very beautiful Where Wishes Comes From and also has a Blag Gaeilge on www.sadhbhdevlin.ie
I have a very beloved leather satchel. I bought it for a song in Greece when I was 18 and it has seen me through college, to every meeting I’ve ever attended and, apart from a short break when it was replaced by a nappy bag, it is stillin daily use. Sadly, there are holes beginning to appear and it should probably be retired. The Cambridge Satchel Company make gorgeously grown up satchels – but they’re not cheap! I have my eye on this one (1) , but rumour has it that Kildare Village has an outlet shop where a heavily discounted version might be found!
As a certified stationery addict I would be thrilled with a subscription to Oh Deer’s Papergang. Every month a box of exclusive stationery and desk accessories designed by different artists (2) arrives at your door. Subscriptions start from as little as £10.95 Sterling and you can pay for 1, 3, 6 or 12 boxes. For every four boxes Oh Deer will plant a tree in association with Tree Aid too!
I think I put slippers from Accessorize on this wishlist a couple of years ago and my sister bought them for me. Just like the satchel, however, they are full of holes at this stage and it is definitely time for a new pair. I bought my other sister a pair of Homeys slippers the same year (we clearly have a thing for slippers in our family!) and hers are still in perfect condition. I’m jumping on that bandwagon and wishing for this soft grey pair (3).
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a new book or seven! I have Sally Rooney’s Conversations With Friends (5) and Jeffrey Eugenides’s Fresh Complaint on my list.
– Sinéad from Shinners and The Brood –
A new entrant to the What these Women want list this year is Sinead from Shinners and the Brood. Sinead’s Galway based and has a quick wit and lots of sensible advice on her blog Shinners and the Brood
Slippers (1) are basically a Christmas staple. I live in mine so I don’t mind spending a bit on them. I love these patterned black & white ones from Toms (1). Their range seems to get better each year and I’m torn between a tassled pair and these bad boys. Either will do, thanks!
Benetint Rose-Tinted Stain (2) I’m a creature of habit when it comes to beauty. When I find something that works, I tend to stick with it. I’ve been using Benetint since everyone went Benefit mad in the early noughties and I’ve just run out. It makes me look less like death, the shade seems to suit me and it does two jobs; lips and cheeks. Top marks for efficiency! (2)
A New Watch (3) I’ve lost two watches in the past year, hence the reason I’m reluctant to spend massive money on a new one. I’ve had my eye on the Cluse ones for a while. The price is quite reasonable and their range is just fab. I love the silver mesh strap on this La Boheme one. (3)
Martha Jackson Twig Ring (4) This sterling silver ring (4) I came across on notonthehightstreet.com is just lovely AND it’s adjustable – perfect of the larger-digited ladies among us! I think this might be my little gift to myself this year. So pretty and really affordable at only £20.
Leather Tote Bag (5) This quilted leather tote from & Other Stories meets all of my bag demands(5). Large and cavernous for multitudinous mom-items: Check. Dark in colour: Check. Sufficiently lengthy straps so that it doesn’t end up tucked under my armpit, thus throwing off my centre of gravity: Check. It’s on the pricey side but I think it’s worth the little splurge.
– L a u r a –
Laura from Dairyfreekids and Laura Kenny Digital has saved my skin a few times this year, she gave me so much IT support when I moved my blog to self hosted and even recently arrived on my doorstep with a grocery item I’d mentioned that I’d forgotten to buy that I’d mentioned online.
I love these pendants with silver silhouetted against wood from SilverBirch (2). They’re all stunning but the dragonfly is my favourite.
Star Top from Next (3) – I am delighted with the new trend of stars on everything from pyjamas to dresses and for kids and adults. I have a grá for stars and have them all over the house. This is my current favourite starry item of clothing from Next (3). Would love to see it under my tree!
Elephant beanbag(4) – I’ve wanted one of these for years, I love that these are spill resistant so hopefully are little boy resistant too. I’m not sure what colour I’d choose they are all fab! Available on Amazon here.
A Good Book – Because a girl’s gotta have a good book when sitting on her new Elephant Bean Bag sipping cocoa over the Christmas holidays! Reality will be a bit different I’m sure but a girl can dream. Books I have my eye on include There was a Crooked man by Cat Hogan and Little Fires Elsewhere by Celeste Ng.
-N a o m i-
Naomi from Dr How’s Science Wows (where we get lots of slime inspiration) always has some lovely local bits on her wishlist, and this year is no exception.
I love making lists and at this time of year I get to make wish lists of lovely things I’d like for Christmas, the best kind of lists of all. Here is what is on my wish list this year:
There is no such thing as too many candles and I always start my Christmas wish list with these. For a special treat you can’t beat a natural, handmade candle and I have my eye on this one from Rowan Beg Design Studios (1)
Scarves and handbags, a woman can never have too many of either, right? I love these infinity scarves and clutch bags from Galway based company Emerald and Wax Designs (2)
I love earrings, especially ones that are a little bit different. I absolutely love these dandelion wish earrings(3) by Ruby Robin Boutique.
Christmas isn’t Christmas without new pyjamas, it’s a fact! I always love the range from Next and, taking a break from stripes for once, I really like the look of these ones (4). They are 100% cotton too, which I love.
I love a good body cream. No nasty chemicals, just soothing, natural ingredients and beautiful subtle smells. For a real treat I love another Galway based company, White Witch. I have used many of their natural products on my children since they were babies and I always loved the fact I could rely on there being no nasties in them. I think my winter skin could really do with this Antioxidant Skin Conditioner and I love the packaging too. (5)
-H e l e n-
I’ve had a lovely – if manic, year in terms of getting back to myself a little bit more and I’ve really loved thinking of some nice treats that would be very welcome under the tree.
Ever the practical girl I could never justify this cost – but setting aside reality, the Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer (1) really would be a great splurge. I could (just about) justify it on the basis of those early morning escapes when I don’t want to wake everyone, when a fast and quieter blow-dry would be very welcome. I can also use it to conveniently gloss over the fact that this feminist has a secret crush on the Dyson Cordless Vacuum Cleaner. The Supersonic retails at €399 and is available from Arnotts, Boots, Harvey Norman and other retailers. It’ll restore my faith in Kris Kringle is this appears anywhere near me this year-but I won’t be holding my breath!
I’m a real nester and – our doing up our house with the kids and jobs in tow has been a big part of the last few years. Thankfully we’re past the bare walls stage and it’s nice to think of some finishing touches. We have a real mix of the old and the new going on and I’l love a Victorian overmantel mirror (2) for over the fireplace. Of course I need a fireplace first, but let’s not fixate on details. These are available from good antiques shops such as Fadó Antiques in Phibsboro for between €400 and €600.
I’m delighted to be back on my bike to work and feeling all the benefits. I’m well kitted out thanks to the ‘Bike to Work’ scheme but would love a new warm high-vis waterproof jacket that can withstand the driving rain and the nippy cold mornings. This one from Altura (3), available on www.wiggle.co.uk, hits all the right notes, isn’t garish yellow and has that handy extra bum coverage that saves bus commuters from getting an eye-full first thing in the morning. This retails for €82.
Who doesn’t get all the feels for a special perfume? I wore Laura Mercier’s L’Heure Magique Eau de Parfum (4) on our wedding day nearly ten years so (eek), and I’ve not worn it since I used the very last drop later that year. It’s available from Brown Thomas or on-line from the Laura Mercier website (www.LauraMercier.com) or from Space NK, at €60 for 50ml.
Finally, I’m always a sucker for a nice scented candle and the Max Benjamin (5) ones are delish. From the classic range I particularly love the Grapefruit and Pomelo, French Linen Water and Persian Rose ones, and the Assam and Lemon Tea from the Tea Collection is just lovely. These start from €23 and are available from shops including Brown Thomas and Kilkenny Design – and I’ve been known to even pick one up in TK Maxx for a little bit less.
– E l i z a b e t h –
One of our highlights this year was the night we spent at Hushabye Farm with Elizabeth and her family, and of course their alpacas. We just felt so welcome from the moment that we arrived. You can read all about life on the alpaca farm on Elizabeth’s blog Life on Hushabye Farm.
These are what’s on my wish list this year.
Nigella Lawson’s new cookbook At My Table (1) , both for the recipes and for the wonderful way she writes
A voucher for a cookery class at The Tannery with the wonderful Paul Flynn (2)
A hamper from Naturally At The Wrens Nest (€54) – like this. (3)
These decorations, or anything at all from Interiosity in Cork (€64) (4)
One of these gorgeous pebble art pieces from Oonagh K Designs (5)
Or finally…Classic Pyjamas from The White Company
– L u c y –
For the new year I am going to concentrate more on the whole area of self-care. I’ve had a tough time emotionally and mentally dealing with my Mum’s death and have also decided to add fuel to the fire by putting our house on the market. What would go down well is a spa treatment. In an ideal world of little financial worry, I would adore something like a Spa weekend in some fancy hotel but even a voucher for a day spa or luxurious facial or massage would do just fine! (1)
How very sad and practical but I love my electric toothbrush. Though sadly I fear it is nearing the end of its life. I would love a new fancy one. These days they come with all sorts of bells and whistles. I love this one from Oral B, though it’s price tag is hefty. At a more reasonable price point I like this one (2)
Aren’t black knee-high boots pretty much a staple in any woman’s wardrobe? I used to have a fabulous pair of black knee-high boots and a pair of brown knee-high boots. They are so great in winter to just throw on with a pair of jeggings or leggings and hit the road on the school run. I also love wearing them with long winter dresses. Unfortunately, my most recent pairs of boots have moved to the great big wardrobe in the sky and I am now facing into Winter with no knee-high boots. My criteria for a good pair of boots is relatively flat, I don’t do heels on boots, and no wedge heel either or in fact anything that will make walking more difficult, they should be up to the knee (obviously!) and relatively plain, no fancy designs or tassels or anything else. These ones here pretty much fit the bill and are a decent price too. (3)
A voucher for The Organised Store (4) – I recently heard that The Organised Store has opened up in Dundrum shopping Centre. I live on the other side of the city, so I haven’t had a chance to go visit yet, but I love all things organising and would love a trip over there some day. What would make the visit sweeter would be a voucher to do a little shopping there, rather than just lust over all the products. Any amount will do, and I’m not sponsored by them!
I have straight hair, but I love if going out to put a bit of a kink into it. I never go for the full curly blow dry as it inevitably falls out within an hour, but I would love a curling wand (5) that might just give a few gentle waves or bounce into my hair without having to spend a small fortune in the hairdressers. At least then if the curl falls out I’m not going to be bereft. It must be simple to use as I am not great with doing my own hair, particularly around the back. I like the look of this one from Babyliss. Easy on the budget and looks straightforward.
AND FINALLY ME!
– M e-
This year I’m struggling with this, maybe I’ve finally realised that I have plenty of what I need, so it’s more about what I want. As usual five minutes’ peace ranks highly on this list, but I think I’ll be content with snuggles on the couch with no feet in my face. Here are some nice bits that I’d like to find with my name tag on them.
Firstly, I’d love a night away, kid-free somewhere. Actually, make that a weekend, not too far away so we don’t spend all the time travelling, with nice bedsheets and thick carpet and nobody to wake us in the morning.
Tea is Life, but tea has to be in the right mug, china or porcelain, not too small, not too big, these from Avoca tick all the boxes. (€39.95) (1)
Then, to the practical. I use a tan not-leather crossbody bag all the time and it’s getting quite worn. This leather version from M&S would be a lovely upgrade. (2)
Christmas is the best time of year to get new pyjamas, and these grey star ones from Next are cute, I’ve gotten a thing for longsleeved ones this past year, I really am a cold creature! (3)
I tend to spend Christmas eating and then I buy new gym gear as I make my resolutions, so this year I’d love to be one step ahead of the posse, and these Adidas three-quarter leggings (4)available from Sportsdirect are pretty cool. (€24)
Christmas isn’t Christmas without a good book, on my wishlist this year is Cat Hogan’s that Laura mentioned, Nigella, Roz Purcell or Jamie’s latest cookbooks, or this new one from Zadie Smith. (5)
Finally, to keep prettyness all year around I’d love a print by local artist Kate Kos, this one “Dandy Times” is fabulous, as are her paintings and prints of Ballymoney Beach, available through her website Katekos.com (From €55 unframed)
Thanks to everyone who took part, hope you have some inspiration now!
*Links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links, which means if you buy by clicking through those links I may earn a small commission which will help me pay for website hosting etc