Shop Independent: Top 5 Christmas Etsy Finds Under £10

Shop Independent: Christmas Etsy Gifts under £10
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I love dainty handmade accessories and you can see how much detail has been put into these little winter mittens from The Twenty Fingers! It's also worth checking out the set of three brooches which features an additional Christmas jumper and envelope.

Washi tape has so many uses and I couldn't resist adding these Christmas themed versions from Little Dutch Shop to my Etsy wishlist. The red stripe tape reminds me of candy canes and the little pine trees are super cute. 

This cute card by Maple Tea features an original illustration of a cosy Christmas jumper. Simple but sweet, the card is printed by hand using an antique letterpress which makes it even more charming.

JodieAnna has a few nail transfer options for the Christmas period, including holly and bobble hat designs, but these ones are my favourite. The pack contains 36 transfers and would make the perfect stocking filler for a sister or friend.

This washi tape from Fox and Star has been on my wishlist for quite a while now. Illustrated with reindeer, snowmen, cosy homes and chunky winter boots - how cute! You could use this for gift wrapping, to decorate envelopes or you could even experiment with handmade cards if you're feeling super crafty.. the possibilities are endless.

I love buying gifts from small independent businesses, you just know that your money is going to go a lot further and be appreciated! Lola Hoad did a little post on the subject here.

Will you be shopping independent this Christmas?

berlin travel diary | part two

Our second full day in Berlin began with a search for the perfect breakfast, but with no idea where to go we ended up in Dunkin’ Donuts with a terrible cheese toasty and water-y iced latte – tip: it’s best to stick to their donuts! We then went on to catch the Underground train from Alexanderplatz to Samariterstraiße, which took us nearby to a flea market at Boxhagener Platz. The flea market is held every Sunday and you can find an array of treasures like second hand bags, lamps, books and antique maps and prints. You could spend all morning wandering around the stalls. It’s the perfect way to spend a relaxed Sunday and there are lots of cafes and restaurants in the area. I bought some lovely A6 illustrated prints, which I plan to put in frames.

Flea Market Berlin

We then started walking towards the East Side Gallery, the world’s largest open-air mural that’s 1.3km long. The wall was transformed into a memorial for freedom in 1990 and consists of over 100 paintings by international artists. The paintings document a time of change, optimism and a free future for the world. It’s definitely worth going to see the wall if you’re in Berlin, but it’s a shame the wall is spoiled with graffiti. We walked back along the River Spree and went for lunch at Pirates Berlin, where we tried Currywurst for the first time, which did not disappoint!

East Side Gallery Berlin

We caught the train back to Alexanderplatz and decided to take a trip to the top of the Fernsehturm TV tower. It was great to see Berlin from 207 metres high but the reflection from the lights inside made it difficult to take any pictures or even see outside properly – it may be a better idea to go in the day. We then went for a burger at The Pub, which had beer taps at each table and pictures of pugs on the walls - whats not to love! We finished the night with some drinks and went to bed ready for our last day in Berlin!

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Find Berlin: Part One Here |  Keep an eye out for Berlin: Part Three!

miss patisserie bath and body

Miss Patisserie Bath Body Scrub Christmas Bath Bomb and Lip Balm, Cardiff

This time of year is crazy and stressful for many of us, but we often don’t make enough time for some much-needed self-care and pampering. It’s so important to unwind and what better way than to run yourself a therapeutic bubble bath and use all of your favourite products? If you’re on the lookout for some lovely (and affordable) bath and body products to treat yourself or a friend/family member to this Christmas, Miss Patisserie will more than likely have what you’re looking for!

A few weeks ago, bath and body brand Miss Patisserie opened their first shop in the High Street Arcade in Cardiff. After browsing the online store and instantly spotting the Parisienne influences and seeing the wide range of exciting products on offer, I knew I’d love the brand.

Miss Patisserie was founded in 2009 by Charlotte Ridgwell, whose love for creating bath and body products came by chance after buying a DIY bath bomb kit. At the time Charlotte, who had been working as an aromatherapist, had broken her leg and wanted to use her time off work to be as creative and productive as possible. After deciding to sell her bath bombs at craft fayres and getting a positive response, Charlotte quit her job and created Miss Patisserie. Charlotte is aware of the “benefits natural ingredients can have on healthy skin, body and mind,” so all products are handmade in Cardiff, cruelty-free and paraben free. The lovely Charlotte kindly gifted me some products to review and gave me a tour around the shop.

Miss Patisserie Le Pud Holly Christmas Bath Bomb

In line with the Patisserie theme, the window display is adorned with cupcake ‘bath bakes’ which are so cleverly designed – you peel away the cupcake wrapper and drop the cake in the bath, and as the base fizzes away you are left with the ‘icing’ of the cake, which you can then use as an exfoliator. There is also a selection of bath balls, pastilles and bath milk. If you want something that is truly Christmassy, ‘Le Pud’ bath ball is ideal, with scents of bergamot, tuberose, amber, black pepper and musk. I used this last Sunday and it turned my bath an amazing blackcurrant purple colour. Many bath bombs I’ve used in the past seem to last for only two minutes before the excitement is over, but I was surprised when this one was still fizzing away fifteen minutes later, and still revealing new colours! It left my skin soft and I felt so rejuvenated afterwards. ‘Le Pud’ and other bath balls are £3.49.

Miss Patisserie Watermelon Body Scrub Cardiff

The Watermelon Body Scrub is possibly my new favourite body product - I can’t get enough of the sweet and fruity fragrance. The sugar scrub is packed with anti-inflammatory jojoba oil, restoring sweet almond oil and renewing Vitamin E, which leaves your skin feeling the softest it has in ages. I had used body scrubs quite infrequently in the past, but after using this I will definitely be using them more often. There is a variety of scrubs to choose from, ‘Coco’ was also lovely and tropical. Each scrub is £11.99.

Miss Patisserie Pomme Lip Tint Balm Cardiff Beauty

Miss Patisserie offers natural balms to protect, heal and moisturise lips with ingredients such as Shea butter, candelilla and beeswax to keep them conditioned. Lip balms are a product I repeatedly use in colder months so they are always a handy Christmas present. The ‘Pomme’ lip tint is a true red apple colour which gives a rosy tint. I have been using this a lot lately and have noticed a difference in how much softer my lips are feeling. If tinted lip balms aren’t for you, Miss Patisserie also offers scented ones such as a mint and grape lip balm that smell incredible. The packaging features quirky little illustrations of Charlotte’s beloved pugs, Louis and Vinny. Lip tints and balms are £5.25.

Miss Patisserie Bath and Body Cardiff High Street Arcade
(images: Miss Patisserie Instagram + my own)

The Parisienne theme is translated beautifully through the packaging and you can buy gift boxes that are already wrapped for you - super helpful for anyone in search of Christmas gifts. The shop is full of so many amazing products, some others that stood out to me were the mineral face masks, which are dry powders you turn into fresh masks yourself with the addition of water, milk or honey. Also, the Spiced Orange Candle is perfect for Christmas, fragranced with warm clove, cinnamon sticks and sweet orange.

If you’re in Cardiff, you can find the beautiful Miss Patisserie shop at 7 High Street Arcade or alternatively you can shop via the website. What's your favourite kind of pamper product?