Winter Essentials Gift Guide

Monday, October 22, 2018
Today's christmas gift guide is all about practical, comfy and cosy christmas gifts that would be perfect for the winter season. When I think of winter essentials I gravitate towards cosy and comfy clothing, food or baking and hygge homeware and I think all of these gift ideas would be ideal winter essentials gifts for yourself or someone else.

*PPE Work Solutions Beechfield Twist-Knit Pom Pom Beanie (£7.59)
The first item is one of the cosiest and something I need to wear more often as it's a cute beanie which features a suprafleece band for extra warm! Manchester definitely gets very chilly during the autumn and winter months so this will be a must for me and I love the 'oatmeal twist' colour option I chose as it will pair with so many of my casual outfits over the winter months. I love the simple but homemade looking design! It is a little too big; however it's very comfortable and warm - an easy winter essential ticked off the list.
*PPE Work Solutions Result Womens Microfleece Jacket (£15.19, Black)
Next up is another cosy essential for cold wintery months and it would also be great exercise wear for colder days too. I love fleece jackets as they're the warmest jackets ever and this one is no different. It's incredible soft, cosy and warm which is great as Manchester is becoming very chilly and frosty already!

I have it in a UK Small and in the black colour option but there are various sizes and colours available. I'm generally a UK 8 or a UK XS or Small and this jacket fits pretty well on me so I'd say it's true to size. If you love giving practical gifts as I do then you'll have to check out PPE Work Solutions as they have a great range of items available.

*PPE Work Solutions Quadra Saddle Bag (£16.14)
Last but not least from PPE Work Solutions is this gorgeous saddle bag! I'm definitely a bit of a bag hoarder, I can never have too many but I don't have one quite like this. I love the shape, it's surprisingly large for it's dimensions and I love the colour too. I always like to carry around everything with me so this bag is perfect, although I will have to add a few more holes to the strap to make it a little shorter. Use the code: 2018WINTER to get 20% off at PPE Work Solutions which is valid until the 31st December.
*The Science Of Spice by Stuart Farimond (£20)
Baking and cooking in general is something I tend to do much more of during the colder months. I especially love to bake around the christmas period and recently I've been making warming and comforting soups, curries and creamy pasta which are all my go-to warming meals. One meal that I always make in the autumn and winter is a creamy spiced butternut squash (or pumpkin) soup with lots of herbs such as sage or tarragon.

I do love using the milder and more aromatic spices (rather than the more intense spices as I can't handle too much heat) at this time of the year so I had to request this book from the wonderful people over at DK Publishing. I've been lucky enough to work with them previously and I've loved all of the books I've read from DK Publishing.
The cover, diagrams and illustrations are all fantastic and I adore the layout of the book - it's one of my favourite things about the book! I'd love to learn how to use spices and in more creative ways so this book is perfect as it doesn't just go into the history and origin of the spices it focuses on but it also tells you food pairings, spice blends to try and how to use the spices. Also there are a few easy to follow and delicious looking recipes throughout the book as well involving the spices mentioned.

I think this book would be great for general foodies in your life or those who love spices, experimenting with flavours and book lovers too as there's so much information to get your teeth into...it's very easy to follow, filled with interesting facts and it would make a great resource book. DK Publishing have such a fantastic range of books for all ages and interests that would make wonderful gifts this christmas.
*Cook Share Eat Vegan by Aine Carlin (£6.99 - SALE)
I love gifting cookbooks and books in general because I love books and cooking so much! You might know that I've been vegetarian since I was 11 which is a very long time ago now and over the past four or so years I've incorporated more and more vegan options, meals and ingredients into my diet (which I'm loving). I only have a couple of vegan cookbooks, both of which are from Isa Chandra Moskowitz and I cannot recommend them enough but I wanted a few more so I was very excited to receive these vegetarian and vegan cookbooks from the amazing people over at The Book People.

I've seen this vegan cookbook on Amazon so often but never picked it up so I'm glad I now have it. Cook Share Eat Vegan contains over 100 easy vegan recipes that don't require a tonne of hard to find ingredients. I adore the layout and design of this book, it's so simple but I love it! However, some of the recipes are extremely simple (too simple), although there are quite a few recipes that I cannot wait to try including: the sweet potato gratin, battered tofu and the chestnut and miso soup, the latter sounds amazing for winter.

*The Meat-Free Monday Cookbook (£4.49)
You may have seen the meat-free Monday hashtag going around on twitter, that's where I first saw it and if you or your gift recipients take part in #MeatFreeMonday then this would be the ideal cookbook gift for them. Also as I'm already a vegetarian/vegan I'd definitely love to gift this book to my friends and family to encourage them to eat healthier and make more environmentally friendly choices. I'm a huge advocate for the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle as I think it is the only fully compassionate and environmentally friendly diet out there as well as being very healthy and nourishing.
*Vegetables by Antonio Carluccio (£6.49 - sale)
The penultimate cookbook I'm going to recommend isn't a vegetarian cookbook but it has quite a few recipes that are and it's from one of the nicest chefs who ever existed. Sadly Antonio Carluccio passed away last year but his TV shows and recipe books still inspire me to cook. I have a few of his books already as I've given them as gifts to my dad who is also a fan of Antonio Carluccios recipes and the photography throughout all of them is fantastic - I also love the illustrations and end papers within this one. You can see all of the cookbooks in more detail within the video below. 

There's information about lots of specific vegetables from sea kale, peas and beans to rocket, artichoke and more. There are so many vegetarian recipes within the book that I want to try such as spinach fritters, spinach ravioli and a swiss chard and artichoke tart to fresh sauerkraut. Not all of the recipes are vegetarian as some ingredients include ham, anchovies and lamb. I did think that this was a vegetarian cookbook which sadly it isn't but there are still a lot of recipes I can use and enjoy! 

*Deliciously Ella by Ella Mills Woodward (£7.99)
Last but not least is a cookbook that I have wanted for so long! She's just brought out some vegan ready meals which I'd love to try but first, her cookbook. As with all of the others, I love the layout, style and the photographs within this book. I want to try pretty much every recipe, especially the following: buckwheat pancakes with hot chocolate sauce, creamy mushroom soup, green Thai curry, peanut butter slices and so many more.This is the book I'm most excited about and I'll let you in on a little secret, I'm starting up my vegetarian/vegan food blog in the new year so they'll be lots of recipes on there soon. 

I would definitely recommend all four of the books from The Book People, especially the last cookbook! All of them are currently heavily reduced on The Book People website and they always have an amazing range of discounted books from all genres and age ranges. They also have sales, offers and discount codes so you will always find a bargain - it's one of my favourite sites to browse for book deals and we all know how much I read! 
*You Got This Zine from Fiona Likes To Blog (£10, free UK shipping) 
My final book themed gift idea is a bit more of a personal one as it's a mental health zine from Fiona Likes To Blog - you can buy her stickers and other items from her Etsy. I was very kindly sent the double pack of issue one and issue two of her mental health zine. They are mental health mini magazines essentially featuring full colour photographs, illustrations and interviews. I think it could make a wonderful and very thoughtful gift for someone this christmas, if you know that they suffer with depression or anxiety - both of which can be much worse at christmas which I know all too well. They're both definitely little pick me ups and something relatable particularly for those who don't really have anyone in their lives that are experiencing the same thing. Check out her lovely Etsy store which also includes stickers and t-shirts. 
*We Are Knitters Happy Cushion Kit (£31.50 - sale)
For me, the perfect wintery day would be to cook and bake a lot of comfort food in my cosiest loungewear and then snuggle up on the sofa with blankets, soft cushions and either a Harry Potter film, a good book or a fun craft project to make. You may know that I am lucky enough to be sent the amazing Craftiosity subscription boxes to review on the All Subscription Boxes website so I already love crafting or DIY kits. I was very excited for this kit to arrive as it's something I've never made before and while I have tried knitting a few times (one of my aunties is amazing at it), it's something I still struggle with. 

I thought this well designed and presented kit from We Are Knitters would be a fantastic introduction back into the world of knitting but with a modern twist. I chose this kit because a cute heart shaped cushion seemed like quite a unique thing to make and it would look so nice in out living room. You may have seen on my Instagram Stories (@ofbeautyand) that I started this project yesterday (with my aunties guidance) and I can't wait to see the final result. 
The kit contains almost everything you need to make the project from the knitting needles (which are ginormous and could be used as a legal weapon - knitting is far more dangerous than you'd think), the super soft Peruvian wool, needles, tag and instructions. The only item the kit is missing is the stuffing for the cushion but other than that it's a complete kit. There are so many colour options of wool to choose from and I did struggle to pick just one colour but I opted for the 'pearl grey' shade which is gorgeous and will match our living room so well. 

Their kits come in a range of difficulty levels from beginner to advanced and I chose the easy level as I knew that if I struggled then I'd have my very experienced auntie to undo my inevitable mistakes! The process is a little tricky, especially for a relative newbie like me but I'm definitely enjoying it so far after a little help. I'll update my gift guide with photos of my hopefully finished cushion very soon!


What do you think of my 'winter essentials' gift guide? Would you like to receive any of these gift ideas or would you give them to someone else as a christmas gift? 

18 comments

  1. This is getting me in the mood for winter! I do love my beanie hats xx

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  2. Lots of unconventional gift ideas, I like the DIY cushion xx

    Gemma • Gemma Etc . ❤️

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  3. You have some interesting ideas here , I like the idea of the vegan cook book.

    http://littlemissmelanie.com

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  4. The DIY cushion is definitely something I love the look of x

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  5. You've got some great picks here lovely, 🌸✨

    With love, Alisha Valerie x

    | BLOG | TWITTER |

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  6. I love a good cross body bag, that one is gorgeous!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

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  7. Your beanie looks so cosy! I love hats with pom poms on it.

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  8. Some great gift ideas here!

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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  9. There are some really good gift ideas here!!

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  10. The Meat Free Monday cookbook looks right up my street. X

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  11. I love that saddle bag so much!!!

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  12. I love cookbook's, my future home will be filled with them! That hat is super cute too xo

    Char | www.charslittleblog.co.uk

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  13. YES! It alll looks so good! I love being cosy, the fleece looks fab!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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  14. The Science of Spice sounds like something I would enjoy!

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  15. I love the idea of taking up knitting - have done for a while! x

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  16. can't wait to get my bobble hat out!

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