Christmas trip to Paris by car: what’s in my bag

2 days until Christmas! How exciting! My husband is from Paris, so we’re driving down there tomorrow to spend Christmas with his family. I like travelling by car – I like the fact that we don’t have to rush and that we don’t have to worry about baggage allowance. Don’t get me wrong, I like travelling light, but let’s be honest, it’s not really possible to do that at this time of the year – what with all the gifts, etc. We have a large box dedicated just for them! Moreover, I’m pregnant! So, it’s probably better to just take the car. Personally, I’m still travelling light though – here’s what I’ll be carrying and wearing everyday: my new Burberry bag (Christmas gift from my husband), my trusted Ugg boots to keep me warm, a snood or a scarf (both from New Look), and a pair of legging (from Littlewoods) or bamboo tights (I love bamboo tights – they’re so soft and so lightweight; they keep you cool when it’s warm and keep you warm when it’s cold) from Boots.

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And here’s what I’ll be wearing them with: my favourite Sweaty Betty jumper over a tank top, which I’ll wear with the legging (I think it’s perfect for car travel – really comfy), Mango jersey dresses (which I’ll wear with the bamboo tights), a Zara top and a cardigan from Asos (which I’ll again wear with the legging). I’m in my third trimester now and I’m still really tiny, so I haven’t bought any maternity wear yet. I hope I don’t have to. So far, these styles work for me, and they’re all in my normal size 8. I suppose, dress smart (read: ditch the jeans, skirts, and anything tight for a while) and you don’t have to spend money on something that you’ll only wear for a few months or so.

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Oh, and the parka, of course. I bought this last year from Tesco F&F. It looks really good and is of surprisingly good quality for Tesco. In fact, it’s as good as the more expensive ones. I wear it all the time and with literally anything. Definitely my favourite winter coat!

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Anyway, enough with fashion. Moving on to beauty stuff now. I mean, it’s Christmas, and that means Christmas eve dinner and Christmas day brunch, and spending Christmas in Paris means… well, taking a romantic walk in the city and do what Parisians do (whatever that is). My point is, I need to look good, and so, it’s obviously important to pack the right beauty products and make-up. I’m sure you’ll agree. Here’s what I’ve decided to bring with me:

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1. Bare Minerals Active Cell Renewal Night Serum; 2. Neal’s Yard Remedies Beauty Sleep Concentrate and Almond Moisturiser; 3. Electric Hair Hydrate Shampoo (sample from Birchbox); 4. Organic Sweet Almond Oil from Naissance; 5. Balance Me Cleanse & Smooth Face Balm; 6. Pure Tea Tree Oil; 7. Organic Oatmeal; 8. Kats Kalma Geranium Water; 9. Avene eye cream

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1. Jean Paul Gaultier Perfume; 2. Waitrose Cucumber Facial Wipes; 3. MAC Lipstick; 5. Benefit Beautiful Eyes, High Beam and Ultra Plush Lip Gloss; 6. Bare Minerals Foundation, Warmth, Mineral Veil and Primer; 7. Lancome Mascara; 8. Eyeko Fat Eye Stick (sample from Birchbox); 9. Max Factor Eyebrow Pencil and Eye Liner

I did mention that I’m travelling light, right? Well, it’s true. It looks like I’m bringing a lot of stuff, but honestly, they all fit in my Cath Kidston ‘weekend bag’ – see:

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Finally, as you know, we’re travelling by car. That means, we have to cross the English Channel with a ferry, which takes around 1 and 1/2 hour; and it also means spending hours and hours on the road. Obviously, I need to keep myself entertained and what better way to do that than with the latest edition of Vogue and food, which go into what I called my ‘food bag’ from Cath Kidston:

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That’s it! I better go catch some beauty sleep and I’ll tweet from Paris tomorrow! xx

Disclosure: this is a non-sponsored post; it does, however, contain affiliate links.

Sweaty Betty Winter Warmer Luxe Parka

“I love this sporty, stylish and fashionable winter coat from Sweaty Betty. I think it’s great for the city and outdoor activities. Don’t you?”

 

As winter approaches and the weather turns frosty and wetter (not that it hasn’t been wet all along – we live in Britain after all where rain gets featured as one of the top tourist attractions), I’m finding myself entering hibernation mode (involuntarily, of course) more often that I should. Forget outdoor activities, I can’t even bring myself to go to the gym where it’s warm! The thing is though, I prefer exercising outdoor, and I particularly like cycling to work. I can’t stand public transport – whenever I take the bus, I get stuck in traffic; whenever I take the tube, I get stuck underground! Despite the deteriorating weather condition, I still cycle, but I’m forcing myself to do it every time. And that’s the problem, I don’t want to have to force myself to do it, I want to enjoy doing it (like I did in the summer). So, thinking cap on; light-bulb moment achieved: I need to get myself a new clothes (anything) that would make me want to get on my bike. I need to be inspired! I told my husband about it earlier today; his response: “but you’ve got so many exercise clothes already” – men, they never understand, do they?! But you get me, right? Think about that time when you really want to do something just because you’ve bought a killer outfit and you can’t wait to wear it – right, right?? There you go, I knew you’d understand.

When it comes to workout clothes, Sweaty Betty is certainly one of my favourites (if not my favourite). I love their clothes – they’re stylish, comfortable, not too expensive (I don’t think it’s more than the mainstream brands) and the quality is really good. Anyway, look what I found on their website:

Sweaty Betty Winter Warmer Luxe Parka | www.angeliquelee.co.ukThey called it the “Winter Warmer Luxe Parka” – “The ultimate weather-proof jacket for day-to-day style and winter commutes, this durable layer is waterproof and windproof with an insulated lining for extra warmth. Drawing in at the waist for a flattering and feminine fit, this luxe parka jacket features a subtle camo-floral print. Reflective seams, velcro cuffs and a back cycle vent ensure maximum functionality.”

I love it! “Ultimate weather-proof” is exactly what I need to brace the wind and rain in this city! “Insulated lining for extra warmth” means it’s winter-ready – very practical! And the style… don’t you just love the style? I think it’s really flattering; it’s sporty yet fashionable. If I had one of these, I’d want to get on my bike and cycle to work even in the frostiest and wettest weather (within reason, of course – I’m not an unreasonable person; I wouldn’t, for example, cycle in a hurricane). Also, I think the reflective seams are a nice touch; it’d help me stay visible on the road. It’s a great parka for outdoor activities, I give you that (I’m thinking: walking, running, cycling, boating? etc). But I also think it’d make a good city wear – I can see myself wearing it over regular clothes, with leggings, jeans, and boots, going about my day (shopping, Starbucks-ing, lunching, walking around town, and in a few months… even pushing my pram with Baby G inside). So stylish!

So… all I want for Christmas is… (or rather, one of the things I want for Christmas is…) the Sweaty Betty Winter Warmer Luxe Parka! It’s a good investment! I think my husband would agree!

Disclosure: this is a non-sponsored post; all opinions are completely my own.

Style bible: ‘non-maternity maternity’ wear

“Not keen on spending money on maternity wear? Here’s how to update your wardrobe with ‘double function’ pieces.”

 

Over the past week or so, I’ve started noticing that my usual skirts and pants are becoming quite snug. I’m at 20 weeks and you can’t really see my baby bump yet; but it’s there, I can feel it. I probably should buy myself some maternity wear right about now. But the thing is, I’m not very keen on spending money on clothes that I know I’d never wear again past my due date. So, I’ve decided to update my wardrobe with what I’d like to call ‘non-maternity maternity wear’ – that means, stocking up on leggings, jeggings, cardigans, jumpers, loose fit trousers, comfortable dresses, low-heel shoes, ballerina flats, and anything versatile enough to perform the double function. I personally love these basic styles (which I bought from various retailers) – I think they are essential must-own pieces; I like the fact that they go with practically everything and you can easily wear them casually or smart. Not to mention that they are also very comfortable.

Casual Wear | Non-Maternity Maternity Wear | www.angeliquelee.co.uk

Top row (left to right): 1. Sweaty Betty Vitality L/SLV Knitted Jumper; 2. South (Littlewoods) Basic Tank Top; 3. Zara Cap Sleeve Shirt; Bottom row (left to right): 1. Mango Ribbed Sleeve Dress; 2. New Look Black Seamless Ankle Length Legging; 3. New Look Light Blue Slim Fit Jeggings; 4. Zara Medium Wash Denim Jacket; 5. New Look Pink Sateen Ballet Pumps

Smart Casual Wear | Non-Maternity Maternity Wear | www.angeliquelee.co.uk

From top left: 1. Zara Buttoned Neck Shirt; 2. Zara Drawstring Loose Fit Trousers; 3. Aldo Grennan Low Mid Heels