Saturday, December 21, 2013

M&S Bloggers' Secret Santa: part II

 

So you saw what I bought as my gift for the Marks & Spencer Bloggers' Secret Santa. Well, this is what I received…

A Ren Mini Gift Set for me and Spencer the Teddy Bear (see what they did there?) for Bargainista Baby. Anyone visiting my blog recently will notice that I've got a new little fella in my life, so it's very nice for him to be included in my Secret Santa gift and perfect to get some pampering products, too.

If you haven't visited Marks & Spencer's beauty department recently, check it out. As well as its own-label products, it now stocks some of my favourite beauty brands including Ren, Nuxe and Bliss.

Right, I'm off for a soak in the tub with my Ren goodies. Thank you Secret Santa – and thank you M&S! If you like the look of my gifts, they're now 50% off. Bargain.

Talking of bargains, if you've got babies to buy for this Christmas my top tip are these M&S Stacking Cups. They're a steal at £3, reduced from £6. Bargainista Baby has a set and they're awesome. They're so much more stylish and interesting than others I've seen, and great quality, too.

Friday, December 20, 2013

M&S Bloggers' Secret Santa: part I


I was sad to miss Team ELLE's Christmas party last week. Not only because it would have been fun to catch up with everyone, but because they did a Secret Santa. I love Secret Santas.

So when the online team at Marks & Spencer asked me if I'd like to take part in its Bloggers' Secret Santa, I was more than happy to oblige.

Assigned a blogger to buy for and a budget of £20, I did a bit of sleuthing to check out their style. This girl is cool! Black is a staple of her wardrobe, while statement jewellery cements her look. So I chose a black leather cuff from Marks & Spencer's Autograph range for £17.50. It's a little bit edgy and, thanks to the gold hardware, a little bit luxe.

I do hope she likes it as, along with the rest of my Christmas shopping, it was done in five minutes! But that's the advantage of purchasing online, it's quick and easy. So, if you've left your present buying until the weekend before Christmas, visit Marks & Spencer online now – there's lots of deals, offers and bargains to be had.

Btw, the Scandi wrapping paper pictured is also from M&S and it's now half price at £1.75. Being a perfectionist gift wrapper, I love the cutting grid on the reverse of the paper. Genius idea, M&S!

Come back tomorrow to see what I received as my Secret Santa gift.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Converse All Star for Bargainista Baby


There's a sneaker divide in our household. While the Stickman favours Superga, I'm a Converse gal. So to get Bargainista Baby on side, I got him a pair of mini Converse. (I'm shopping early as babies seem to grow so fast!)

Normally, I'd head to the Converse shop, which is above and part of the Size trainer store on London's Carnaby Street. But, as it's internet shopping for me right now, I visited Size online instead and got a pair of Converse All Star Ox Infants in red for Bargainista Baby. (They're going to look so good in his Christmas stocking!)

OK, £23 might be a little extravagant, but I think it's important to pledge trainer allegiances early. Anyway, there's plenty of room for him to grow into these considering he's not even crawling, let along walking yet! And, it goes without saying, Bargainista Baby is going to look so cool in his mini Converse.

Now, while I don't want to be too matchy matchy with my son, I did need a new pair of Converse myself. So I picked up a pair of Converse All Star Ox in white (£45) as my current Converse are so many shades away from white it's embarrassing. And Bargainista Baby, I'll try not to wear them when I've dressed you in yours. Promise.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Want a stylish wash bag? Thought so


Need inspiration for Christmas gifts? How about this Joules toiletries bag for starters. In the brand's distinctive florals, it's a reasonable £20. Plus, there's body wash, scrub and lotion to boot.

I love the design of this Joules toiletries bag. It reminds me of the style of handbags I heart right now, which look like two zip-up clutches that are sewn together. (My favourites are these from & Other Stories, Whistles and Zara).

A decent size (27 x 19cm), it's great for organising your toiletries. The two separate compartments mean you can keep your toothbrush, toothpaste, contact lenses and solution in one and your make-up in the other. And, made of a laminated PVC, the floral print is stylish rather than twee with a contrasting pink checked lining.

What's even better is that this Joules toiletries bag is part of Boots 3 for 2 Mix and Match offer. So buy three and they're £13.33 each. One to keep and two to give away as Christmas presents!

It's the perfect wash bag if you're packing to visit family for Christmas or going away for New Year. What better excuse to travel in style.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

BellField's winter woodland T-shirt


As a new mum, hitting the high street has taken a bit of a back seat for now. Instead, it's all about internet shopping. Luckily, most of the high street is also available online, so I've been sofa surfing aplenty.

In need of a new pair of trainers for when I am out pounding the pavements with the pram, a friend pointed me in the direction of Bank Fashion which stocks brands such as Converse, Superga and New Balance. It doesn't just do footwear though, other labels include Cheap Monday, Superdry, Vero Moda and Zatchels.

So you won't be surprised to hear that instead of trainers, I got a new top! This BellField T-shirt caught my eye with its autumnal colours and cute woodland creatures. I like the fact that a flattering silhouette and wide sleeves make it more stylish than a plain old tee. And, at £18, it's a good educational tool, too – I can teach Bargainista Baby his animals while I'm wearing it!

BellField is a new label for me, so check it out at Bank Fashion. I love the Fair Isle knits and socks and the men's knitwear, too.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Prince George and that aden + anais swaddle


When I started this blog post about aden + anais, Prince George was yet to be born and I was still awaiting the arrival of Bargainista Baby. Now he's here and I'm finally picking up where I left off.

And this is where I left off at the start of July…


Shopping for a baby is a whole new world of retail therapy for me. While I've cooed over Baby Gap many a time, there's so much else to discover.

aden + anais is a case in point. An American label with Australian roots, aden + anais offers the prettiest designs and a more generous-sized swaddle than most (120 x 120 cm). 

And, being Bargainista Fashionista, not only do I love the focus on fashion, the options for multiple uses is great, too, from pram cover to burp cloth to nursing cover to summer blanket to changing mat cover to cot sheet to pram and car seat liners and more. Style and substance? Now that's what I call value for money.

I wonder if the Duchess of Cambridge has discovered this baby brand yet?


If only I'd published this blog post back in July! As it turns out, Kate was familiar with aden + anais as Prince George left hospital wrapped in one of its swaddles. The bird print from the Jungle Jam 4 pack (£44.95) should you care to know. The set features a menagerie of bird, monkey, elephant and giraffe prints.

Within hours of Prince George's appearance in said swaddle, the aden + anais website crashed. And just over a week later, the company had 7,000 orders for it, representing a 600% increase in sales.

But listen up Prince George, Bargainista Baby was a whole 10 days ahead of you in the fashion stakes, sporting the swaddles from the aden + anais Make Believe 4 pack. The red and grey colourway makes for a good unisex choice and I particularly love the bunting and star prints (pictured above).

I've used my swaddles in a multitude of ways. As well swaddling Bargainista Baby, they've doubled up as a cover-up when feeding him, a pram cover when it was sunny and a pretty backdrop for photos, too.

Prince George and Bargainista Baby aren't the only fans of aden + anais. Beyoncé, Sienna Miller, Jessica Alba, Selma Blair, January Jones, Lily Allen and Peaches Geldof are just some of the celebrities who have kitted out their babies in this brand.

Oh, and did I mention aden + anais sells more than just swaddles? With bibs, burp cloths, towels, wash cloths, sleeping bags and blankets on offer, it could be a slippery shopping slope for me and Bargainista Baby. Imagine if aden + anais did baby clothes, too!

Check out the full range at the aden + anais website and look out for great price deals and offers at Amazon, Hamill Baby and Natural Baby Shower.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Get 10% off sheepskin boots at Koalabi

 

Move over Uggs. Hello Koalabi. Keeping your feet warm and fashionable just got easier as luxury Aussie label Koalabi has launched in the UK at debenhams.com and koalabi.co.uk.

It offers classic sheepskin boots (in tall, short and ultra short styles), laced, buttoned and fringed designs, plus heeled leather boots with sheepskin trim. There's also slippers and kids and baby footwear.

When I saw Koalabi's Baby Ugoo booties, I knew Bargainista Baby had to have a pair. They're a treat at £39.95, but as his very first pair of shoes I couldn't resist. And they are so cute, coming in a choice of raspberry, navy and chestnut. I like the velcro fastening, which makes it easy to get them on and off little feet.

Can you get shoe envy from a pair of dinky booties? I wanted some! Luckily Koalabi does an adult version in the form of its classic ultra short boots for £89.95. Available in red, chocolate, chestnut and black, I opted for the latter so that I wasn't too matchy matchy.

The ultra short style is great with my skinny jeans and perfect for this clement weather. In my tall Uggs, my legs would be overheating right now, but Koalabi's ultra short boots keeps my toes toasty while leaving my legs cool.

I love the paw print on the sole of the boots and Koalabi's aqua repel, which provides protection from splashes and spills, means I don't need to get the Scotchguard out. Result.

Fancy a pair? Koalabi is offering Bargainista Fashionista readers a 10% discount, so go shop! Your feet will thank you come winter time. Visit koalabi.co.uk and apply the code SUSIE10 at checkout. It's valid until 30 November 2013. Let me know what you get!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The best maternity dress

  PHOTOGRAPHS BY VICTORIA ADAMSON

I've been meaning to post these pictures for ages. They're from the What ELLE Wears blog at ELLEuk.com back in April when Bargainista Baby was about 33 weeks.

I'm very proud to announce Bargainista Baby has now arrived and is a gorgeous Bargainista Boy who is already three months old!

As for this maternity outfit, it's a non-maternity piece from Next. Remember this dress that I got last summer? I loved it so much I got it in both jade and black. And I'm so glad I did.

This dress flattered and accommodated my bump (thanks to the soft jersey fabric) and made me look and feel good, too. That's £32 well spent in my book.

Easy to wear and comfortable, it was perfect for the summer heatwave and saw me right through to the end of my pregnancy. I'm hoping to reclaim it next year as a non-maternity dress again!

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