Broke Girl’s Gift Guide: Affordable Christmas Gifts Under $25

One of my many, many talents (besides being able to talk the ear off a brick wall and trip over flat surfaces) is the ability to find products (clothing or otherwise) that look expensive, but in actuality fall into my broke AF budget. London is an expensive city, and with so many festive things to do around Christmas (rooftop ice skating! prosecco pop ups! carnivals in Hyde park!), it can be difficult to scrounge together the cash for presents while still taking part in every mulled wine soaked outing. Really, even outside of London, Christmas seems to squeeze every last penny out of you, and it can be difficult to find affordable gifts that at least don’t look cheap or utterly lame. So, in the spirit of Christmas, I’m sharing my talent with you, and have found a heap of pressies perfect for your friends and family that deserve Cartier when you can only afford Claire’s.

But first, some of my top broke girl tips for finding affordable gifts:

Shop the sale. I’m a big fan of higher end stores and brands like Madewell, Shopbop, and Wildfox, so I always check their sale section before assuming you can’t afford anything. A few items in the guide are heavily marked down luxe.

When in doubt, personalise. You can’t go wrong with a monogrammed necklace, personalised notebook, or zodiac bracelet. Find affordable personalised jewellery and bits on sites like BaubleBar and Etsy. There are plenty of options under $20, and personalisation always adds a dose of thoughtfulness.

Use a shopping aggregator like Shop Style. you can search hundreds of stores by item and then refine by price, color, brand etc. Want to know what you can afford at Topshop? Simply select the store and slide the price down to $25 and under – piece of cake. These tools cut down on so much aimless searching and scrolling and have helped me find items I never would have just searched for on my own.

Now, on to the gift guide!

 

Broke Girl's Gift Guide Affordable Christmas Gifts Under $25

Phone Case // Luggage Tag Set – timeless and expensive looking for under $20 // Personalised Initial Ring – to show you actually gave AF // Frank Coffee Body Scrub //  // Sassy Sticky Note Set // Wildfox Perfume Rollerball – rollerballs are a less expensive alternative to buying bottles of perfume // Grey Pom Pom Beanie // Bath Bomb – a night of self-care for under a tenner // Velour Slipper and Eye Mask Set – super cozy and made by the queen of The Hills herself, Lauren Conrad // Bangle Bracelet – Madewell is by no means cheap, but when you keep a beady eye on the sale section, you can snag a great deal // Off the Shoulder Top – this is on sale for under $20!  // Marble Cactus Decoration // Pajama Pants – for staying cute and comfy without breaking the bank

Do you have any tips or go-to sites for finding stylish bargain gifts?

Covent Garden Christmas – Vlogmas Week 1

Covent Garden all decorated for Christmas in LondonHey team! I’m participating in Vlogmas for the first time this year over on Youtube! Well, sort of half-way vlogmas, as I have a full time job and can’t film daily. No one wants to just watch me wake up, ride the tube, work, ride the tube home, eat, watch Blue Planet, then go to bed. So, a weekly vlog it is!

As London celebrates Christmas on steroids, I’m trying to do something festive every week  in the lead-up to Christmas, and this week I went to Covent Garden and took in all the baubles and bows – while copiously sipping mulled wine of course. So why not bring all my Internet friends along for the (sleigh) ride? Heh. Also have a chatty little update in case you’re interested in the half-way entertaining saga that is my life.

Covent Garden in London at Christmas

I’m starting to get verrrrrry festive – currently listening to the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack and researching a Christmas market to visit this week. All to hopefully vlog of course. Thanks for stopping by, and I can’t wait to share more videos and Christmas posts with you!

Cyber Monday High Street Haul! ASOS, Topshop, and more

Happy Sunday, friends! How was your weekend? After committing to staying in all weekend, I ended up out both nights (typical), and last night somehow was at a Moroccan themed Christmas pop up that then turned into a brass band concert?? Anyway, I had some mulled wine, catch-ups with my friends Sasha and Sam, an intro to Aussie culture thanks to some visiting boys from Oz, and a little boogie to a brass version of Hey Ya, so can’t complain.

ALSO, I’m not unbearably hungover, so I thought I’d share a haul with you! My FIRST EVER haul to be more precise. I’ve been accumulating these affordable high street pieces for autumn and winter, so I knew I should definitely share this weekend as literally everything is on sale due to Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Black Week. Actually a little annoyed that I bought everything full price! Hope you enjoy, and let me know what types of videos you’d like to see? I’m off to cure my slight hangover with Pizza Express, catching up on my favourite YouTubers (Sophia and Cinza & Alex and Michael are my faves right now) and mindless Bumble-ing. Goals, amirite?

What’s in the haul:

Free People Coat – Shopbop – MORE17

http://shopstyle.it/l/oPx7

TopShop Jumper

http://shopstyle.it/l/oPyl

Plaid Skirt

http://shopstyle.it/l/oPyo

Plain Leather Skirt

http://shopstyle.it/l/oPz2

Satin Slip Dress

http://shopstyle.it/l/oPMB

Leather Skirt with Zips

http://shopstyle.it/l/oPAl

Striped Trousers

http://shopstyle.it/l/oPzr

Gold Small Thick Hoops

http://shopstyle.it/l/oPAB

Rucksack

http://shopstyle.it/l/oPD3

Bum Bag

http://shopstyle.it/l/oPEP

Creepers

http://shopstyle.it/l/oPJA

Vanity Fair Diaries

2017 Black Friday Sale Roundup

Tiffanys in London at ChristmasHappy Thanksgiving, friends! They don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in England (Pilgrims coming to America and all), but weirdly I somehow had my third Thanksgiving dinner tonight? I attended a delicious Canadian Thanksgiving at my friend Riley’s, made ALL the beige food for my English housemates, and tonight I headed out to eat (semi-cooking one meal is enough for my taste) with some American friends. Will never be tired of pumpkin pie and gravy.

We may not celebrate Thanksgiving here or have the days off work, but luckily, England has embraced Black Friday sales. I’m not partaking this year, trying to stick to a budget and all, but I thought I’d share some of my favourite sales with you, in case you’re looking to snag a stylish deal.

Reformation – 30% in store and online. New York cool girl brand that’s also extremely sustainable.

 

Madewell – 25% all purchases in store and online. One of my all-time fave stores for classic, yet cool pieces. Usually excellent quality.

Shopbop – 30% full priced items and 75% off sale. Perfect for stocking up on fashion-forward, and a little bit pricier items.

Bandier – 20% off sitewide. Sleek, super-luxe activewear site beloved by one of my blogger idols Something Navy.

NA KD – 30% off all full-priced items using code BLACKWEEK. This blogger popular site is great for picking up inexpensive, trendy pieces.

Bauble Bar – 30% off with code FRIDAY30. Big fan of their ear crawlers and ear cuffs.

 

Uniqlo – Definitely stock up on their Heattech line and cashmere to keep warm this winter
 

Levi’s – 30% off everything. Their Wedgie jeans are my all-time faves.

 
More discounts:
Asos – 20% off everything with code WIN20
TopShop – Up to 50% off certain styles
Pretty Little Thing -Up to 50% off everything
Glossier – 20% off everything

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends and family! Fun fact, I learned today that President Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday as a way to try to bring the country together after the Civil War, how lovely is that?

London’s Best Christmas Lights

Christmas is in full swing here in London (I guess that’s what happens when you live in a country that doesn’t care about Halloween or Thanksgiving), and the Brits have already gone full Buddy the Elf mid sugar high. Usually we Americans tend to be the most obnoxious and excessive when it comes to, well anything, but with Christmas, the UK has us firmly beat. They are OBSESSED here. I really can’t complain, though, because London is an absolute wonderland to experience around Christmastime. Think streets adorned with lights, markets on every corner, and mulled wine in every gloved hand.

London's Best Christmas Lights - Some of my favourites at Cartier on Bond Street

On Monday this week, instead of my usual routine of work, tube, dinner, Gogglebox, mindless scrolling, bed (thrilling, I know), I decided to meet up with some friends from my master’s programme and take in the city at its most festive. We pranced around Central London in the thankfully fairly mild weather, took in some of my favourite lights, and finished the evening off like all true Londonders do – with cocktails. How else are we supposed to stay warm in damp and chilly England? I vlogged the evening, so grab a hot chocolate, put on your snuggie, and check out the best of London’s Christmas lights with me!

London's Best Christmas Lights - a local's favourite spots to see in the city