Lockdown Treats | What I Got For My Birthday

Thursday 4 June 2020

Birthday Gifts - Biba, Penguin Classics, Chanel

I turned 35 on June 1st, which is officially old. Its funny how you never realise when you're younger that you get to a certain point and don't feel any older, no matter what your passport says. 

The UK is still in lockdown, so I had a day at home with my kids and husband, getting all dressed up for afternoon tea and having a little disco in the garden.

I got some fantastic birthday treats as well, and felt very loved and spoilt in a nice way! It sounds silly but as we’ve been saving up for all the renovation work on the house and buying furniture and all that grown-up jazz, it was really nice to have some things that were a bit indulgent. 

When you get to 35 you’re not supposed to care about getting presents, but that’s definitely part of being a grown-up that I reject - I love presents! Although it goes without saying that the wobbly handmade card from your kids is the absolute best bit, of course. 

Penguin Classics F.Scott Fitzgerald Collectors Editions

Penguin Classics F.Scott Fitzgerald Collectors Editions

I always think truly loved books are the best present ever. As I’ve gotten older, I’m increasingly into the idea of gifting a story to someone and the little bit of welcome escapism it offers - especially in these troubled times. 

F.Scott Fitzgerald is one of my favourite authors, so I was absolutely thrilled with this set of Penguin Collectors Editions of his books. They come in the most beautiful art-deco metallic patterned covers, so they’re beautiful to look at, and the stories within are some of my very favourite. These are things to treasure forever and hand down eventually. 

Neom Organics Wellbeing Pod Aromatherapy Diffuser

I also got the Neom Organics Wellbeing Pod, which I have wanted for a while. Now that we’re finally almost finished with the building works, I’ve become a little bit obsessed with making my new space smell amazing. 

This is an electric humidifier that slowly releases essential oils into the room to uplift and calm your mood and make everything fragrant. You simply load the chamber with whatever oil blend you like and some water. I love Neom products because they’re gorgeous, and I loved the design of this visually as well as the idea of having a gorgeously perfumed, relaxing home. 

Dusk 'Twilight' Reversible Bed Throw

Speaking of home, it was a bit of a theme for gifts this year. I also got this gorgeous reversible bedthrow, which is part of the ‘Twilight’ collection from the beautiful bedding brand Dusk

It’s just the thing for adding to my brand new french oak bed, which is the latest addition to the master suite we've been developing. It finishes everything off beautifully. Our new room has navy blue walls and grey carpet, and we’ve used blush pink as an accent colour on the bench under the window and with cushions, so this ties it all together beautifully.

Biba Marble Bar Tools Set, golden cocktail shaker

A couple of other bits for the home - I also got this beautiful set of cocktail making tools on a marble stand from Biba, and this fabulous golden cocktail shaker to go with it. 

Once lockdown finally shifts, I’m really hoping we can do some entertaining here at home and I want to get back into making cocktails, so this was ideal for me. I had a job at a cocktail bar when I was a student and absolutely loved it, so I can make a mean espresso martini! 

I had all the kit at home years ago and always used to make cocktails for friends before an evening out, so I want to recapture that now we have the extra space at home.

Biba 'Original Sin' printed silk nightdress

Biba 'Original Sin' printed silk nightdress

Biba is one of my favourite labels right now. If you haven’t come across it, it's a brand that was very much the in thing during the 60s and 70s. My mum can tell tales of browsing in their store in Kensington back then, and the clothes had a wonderful Art-Deco-meets-rock-and-roll vibe. 

The brand died a death shortly afterwards, but it has since been relaunched a couple of times. In 2014, it made another comeback but this time with its original, legendary designer Barbara Hulaniki on board again. 

It all started for me when I bought a faux-fur jacket from them which was made with beautiful attention to detail, and since then it’s become a favourite. So this fabulous pink silk oversized shirt covered with snake patterns is ideal. 

Supposedly, it's a nightdress but I would and probably will happily wear this during the day too - I’m old enough not to care anyway now!

Pretty Little Thing Polka Dot Dalmatian Print Pyjama Sey

Because pyjamas are totally my vibe right now what with being confined to the house, I also loved this white satin spotted pair from Pretty Little Thing. Again, I would probably wear the top out of the house as a blouse, which could be lazy, but just might be genius. Lounging around on the sofa has never looked so good!
Whistles Bay Mini Crocodile Box Bag

I also got this gorgeous ‘Bay’ mini  nude coloured box bag from Whistles. I love the chunky tortoiseshell-and-gold chain strap detail, and because it's cube shaped, this bag fits a good amount in as well. It would be idea for taking out to drinks whenever this crazy situation is at an end.

Hugo Boss Woman Perfume

Finally, I also got some little beauty bits. My dad always gets me perfume as a tradition, and he has a really good nose for it. I still remember when I was 16 and he got me a bottle of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, It seemed impossibly grown up and wonderful (I was more used to Impulse body sprays back then and it was my first proper perfume) and I’ve worn it ever since. 

This time, I got some Hugo Boss The Scent For Her, which is gorgeous. I actually nearly bought this last time I was killing time at a airport, because it is such a pretty, light scent. At its heart is orange blossom, which I’m always drawn to - osmanthus flower, a heart of cocoa, and a top note of pink peppercorn which is another of my favourite notes. It’s a breezy, easy to wear scent and very me. 

Sensationail Rose Gold Gel Nails Starter Kit

Sensationail Rose Gold Gel Nails Starter Kit

Because I’ve been complaining about missing out on trips to the salon, I was also really happy to get the Sensationail Rose Gold Starter Kit, so I can do my own gel nails at home. This might just save me a fortune! You get a rose gold UV curing lamp, all the manicure tools, base and top coat, and two gorgeous colours as well - ‘Macchiato’, which is a warm nude, and their ‘Rose Gold Glitter’ -  the brand’s best selling shade. 

The reviews for the Sensationail range are really good, and say it's easy to go and gives great results that really last, so I think I’m going to be getting a lot of use from this.

Chanel Les Beiges Tan Soleil De Chanel Cream Bronzer

And I also got given a beauty product that’s been on my list to try for a long time -  the Tan Soleil De Chanel Cream Bronzer. It’s a little pot of magic that I’m hoping will give the beautiful, chiselled cheekbones that Mother Nature forgot!

So, some really gorgeous gifts -  I felt thoroughly spoilt. 

Birthdays are all about excessive food for me too. Now that I’m getting on a bit, I have to be aware of what I eat on a normal week so a celebration is an excuse to cut gloriously loose from all that. Perhaps my favourite part of the day was the birthday cake the Mr and the kids made together for me. Sticky and delicious! 

birthday champagne afternoon tea

Homemade M&Ms birthday cake

We decided to celebrate with afternoon tea, because lots of little fancy sandwiches and cakes make me happy. I’ve made it a rule since the age of 21 to always have champagne on my birthday as well, because really, why not? 

Once I’d sunk a few glasses of Laurent Perrier, I was ready for a bit of tipsy dancing with my little ones, who really know how to party. Seriously, I’ve been raising ravers, and they have some major moves. Dancing to Bowie in the sunshine with my little ones was my favourite part of the day. 

Once they’d gone to bed, I finished my champagne in a deep bubble bath in my new master suite - it was a Monday, so I drew the line under the rock and roll antics there. 

I was overdressed. I didn’t care. Perhaps that is the essence of growing old disgracefully. Here’s to loving and thriving while I’m thirty-fiving!

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