Holiday Haul

15:10:00

Things have been rather quiet of late on my blog. Work, Christmas, my birthday and New Years put everything on the back burner for a couple of weeks but it's now 2016; the Year of the Rogue!

I am lucky (or unlucky) enough to have my birthday on 27th December, meaning I get to stress out my friends and family even more looking for presents for me!

This year I was well and truly spoilt by my generous circle of family and friends and was overwhelmed by each and every gift. I don't like to give hints, ideas or requests for presents as I love to be surprised. Apparently this makes me a nightmare to buy for, but my blog kind of works like a wishlist so I think it would be presumptuous to hand over a list!

I thought I'd give you a sneak peek into some of the fantastic presents I got during the Christmas break, combining both Christmas and (gasp) my 34th birthday. 


fashion

I am fussy about my clothes, I wouldn't write a blog about it if I wasn't. This means buying clothes for me can be difficult. However I was given some fantastic pieces, combining dapper with casual, fun with function.

Clockwise from top left:
Scandi shawl neck cardigan from Matalan
Buffalo check shacket from Forever 21
Lily & Louie clockwork cufflinks from Not On the High Street
Grey wool braces from Primark


Close up of the details on my Lily & Louie clockwork cufflinks


All the other kids in their pumped up kicks have nothing on my new New Balance. Love this rich burgundy red, they will work with pretty much any shade of denim.



I got 2 pairs of Bertie boots from Caelan, the tan Cedric boots above for Christmas and the navy brogues were for my birthday. I have a pair of much-loved Red Wing-style boots that are on their way out so I was on the look out for replacements. I love the bright white soles with the pops of colour.


My new grey satchel from the Vintage Satchel Co. They are a Belfast-based operation, making hand-made satchels, you can find them in Studio Souk I have a beloved Cambridge Satchel in bright red, but sometimes a more sombre colour is appropriate.


My friend Lizzie always finds some of the best presents, usually that little more unusual and interesting. She got me the cufflinks seen above and this beautiful vintage floral print fabric lapel pin.


My blog-wife Ruth from Willow Lane got me this gorgeous merino wool scarf from J by Jasper Conran.
The rich red is seasonal perfection - just the thing should I ever venture over my door. Will it ever stop raining?!

I also got some gift vouchers and popped into town over the holidays and picked up a few pieces in the sale. Normally, I am a harcore sale shopper, but this year I thought I would be a bit more selective and considered in my buying. I picked up a few separates (they all turned out to be in shades of grey, I might have a colour addiction) to add to my wardrobe.

Clockwise from top left:
Wool casual trousers from River Island
Lightweight oversized parka from New Look Men
Wool slip-on sneakers from Gap 
Lambswool fisherman jumper from Next



(I think these might actually be women's trainers but they fit so who cares?)

grooming

I'm not getting any younger (as my recent birthday can attest) so I'm trying to take better care of my skin and my looks. This involves more effort than I previously have bothered with but hopefully it will all be for the greater good.

I am a man of simple scents. I have a few go-to fragrances which have been getting pretty low of late so I was really happy to get a restock.


I was feeling a little nostalgic so I had challenged my sister to find me white Diesel Plus. This was my failsafe scent in my early twenties but I thought it had gone out of production. A quick spritz on Christmas morning and I was transported back to the early 00's when I was an even worse dresser than I am now!

John Varvatos Artisan has been my favourite fragrance for almost a decade. I discovered it by accident in Gatwick airport but couldn't find it anywhere else when I got home. Luckily, it is now available in Debenhams and Caelan got me the original scent and the Artisan Aqua as a new season alternative.


I really can't recommend this scent enough. If you are looking for a light, easy-to-wear, fresh fragrance, check it out.



We have a bit of a Christmas Eve tradition in our house where we exchange some gifts early. My gifts to Caelan usually consist of new slippers and some accessories; this year he got a new hat and scarf, and his gift to me is some fun bits and pieces from Lush. 

I used my Intergalatic bath bomb on New Years Eve to unwind after an impromptu 13hr stocktaking shift in work. 






Kalamazoo beard wash was one of my best discoveries of 2015. This citrus-y facial wash helps get rid of grease and also gives my beard a good seeing-to, clearing out all that dead skin underneath!

lifestyle

Still with me? Good! This category is possibly a little vague, but it's those gifts that just make life better. 

My favourite book growing up was (and still is) Watership Down. I remember watching the film as a kid and while everyone else was traumatised with the blood and gore, I loved the whole mythology, sociology and message contained within. I read it first in primary school and have continued to re-read it periodically over the years. It's a bit of a comfort blanket.
So imagine my surprise and delight when I found a special edition signed copy under the Christmas tree! Such a thoughtful and heartfelt gift, it's something to treasure forever.




While there is a time and place for sophistication in your home, sometimes you just need a little bit of whimsy and they don't come much more whimsical than this unicorn bottle opener. I just need a bottle of suitably magical shiraz to open...



blog

My final selection of gifts are ones that will help me improve my blog. 

I am trying to improve my photography and have recently made the switch from relying on my phone to using the Nikon DSLR we have. I am a little cautious as I know very little about photography but it will be fun exploring and experimenting. Caelan had previously given me a tripod and remote (which I surreptitiously used in my recent Christmas Jumper Campaign post), and I hope to use these more in outfit posts in the coming year.

He also gifted me with a ring flash for my birthday (which I ironically did not use taking this photo) to help with my photography.


I am a little/very scatter-brained and tend to have a ton of ideas rattling around my head. Sadly, very few of them manifest as they are forgotten or overwritten. So I hope to become more organised in 2016... Enter my personalised blog planner



Like a diary specifically created for bloggers, it couples a daily planner with checklists, ideas and note sections.



Finally, the pièce de résistance, is my fantastic new iPad Mini 4. I've held off on owning a tablet for many years. My phone is an extra limb but I thought I wouldn't have use for a tablet. However, the iPad Mini makes it so much easier to blog on the go. This was my main birthday present from Caelan and at first I was reluctant to accept as I know how much they cost. However, I couldn't be more grateful for it and his generosity.



My golden beauty, matching my gold iPhone 6s


I hope everyone had an enjoyable time over Christmas, it can be a time of fun and frolic but also a time of stress and distress. However you spent yours, I hope you were happy.



All photos property of rogues+brogues. 

*My new years resolution is to get a new photography back drop. You're probably as sick of seeing my breakfast bar as I am!


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