2018: BEST OF.

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I really can't believe I'm sitting here writing up this post to mark the end of the year! It feels like it's come around so quickly now that we're looking back.

As a tribute to the occasion, today I'm going to be sharing my very 'bests' of 2018 - from beauty and style, to the home and memory making - I hope you enjoy :)

BEAUTY

Living Proof, La Mer and Lixirskin are but a few brands I've really fallen in love with during 2018 - I'm sure I could buy anything from their ranges and be happy. Otherwise, it's products like my Lanaiblo hairdryer (best thing ever), Silke hair ties (other best thing ever?) my Hyggee all-in-one essence that have changed my 2018 beauty routine for the better.

And here are a few more of my favourites from this year:



STYLE

I think my style has become somewhat more feminine in 2018. Whilst there always used to be a smidge of casual in and amongst every outfit, I'm all for pretty blouses, bows and berets nigh on daily now ;)

Heeled ballet shoes a la Repetto have been a staple for me this year, as well as these loafers that are one of my most worn pair. And of course the bow-neck blouse and my infatuation with the pleated skirt..

I'm ever-more into quality clothing and style so here's just a teeny snippet of my favourite pieces from the past year:



HOME + LIFESTYLE

I'm obsessed with homeware - it's possibly the area I could spend money most easily.. and indeed I have ;)

I've lately treated both the bed and ourselves to some sumptuous bedding from the White Company and and growing our recipe book collection, Le Manoir being the latest (what a gorgeous book).

There have been a number of lifestyle items that have been making life the equivalent of "two thumbs up" - that meaning either easier, more efficient or more enjoyable. 




MOMENTS

2018 has definitely been a year of ups and downs. For those that don't already know, my father has Dementia-in-Parkinsons disease and to say it's a struggle is I think wildly making light of the situation. But then, conversely, I've had so many moments of joy - with him, the rest of my family, F etc. Food is such a big aspect of my life, I think I tend to think of great meals we've had first! In fact, F will ask me what we did on a given day/holiday and I'll reply with something along the lines of 'hmm let me think, we had the beef, horseradish and cavolo nero.. oh yes we went to the market in Bath!' ;) So by that logic, our two visits to France this year have got to be right up there (if you're after some travel inspiration, I've shared our journey here!). Aside from the views, the towns, the culture, the people - we had great meals across the board whilst we were there! It's really cemented the Francophile in me. I've absolutely loved documenting the smaller things too (my 10 Things series if you fancy a little look) - noting them down for reflection later makes me feel so grateful.

I hope you all have the most wonderful New Year, whatever you've planned (we are going to be spending it away but in a very slow and quiet manner with hopefully just some snow and jazz to keep us company!) And let me take this moment to thank all of you for your continued support, time and energy with regards to Barely There Beauty - it means the world :)


Here's to 2019!


xx


THE CHRISTMAS MARKET.

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Outfit details




Polka dot blouse (past season, similar here)


Navy peacoat (past season, similar here)


Burgundy bucket bag (currently on sale)



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Rows of wooden huts, steam and notes of spice and roasting meats escaping from their rooftops.

Sugary donuts, effervescent with cinnamon. The 'ooh' and 'ah!' as they tinge eager fingers.

Vendors displaying their festive wares. Jewellery, decorations, hand-made, hand-carved.

Steaming copper vats of mulled wine, fruits and spices bobbing merrily in their deep, ruby bath.

The city strewn with festive lights and festive spirit.

Rows of wreaths and trees, decked out in red and gold.

Swathes of bustling shoppers, enthusiastic and joyful. Excited children scampering through their legs.

Christmas music floating across the city, emanating from the brass instruments of the scarlet-clad quartet band.

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The Christmas Market, one of my favourite Christmas traditions.



Wishing you all the most wonderful of Christmasses! I hope you have a lovely one :)

xx

7 CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS I LOVE TO INDULGE IN DURING THE FESTIVE SEASON.

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The run up to Christmas is my favourite part of the whole festive affair.

When it turns December 1st and all the storefronts get out their best Christmas decorations to impress this year, the air fills with merry, Christmas tunes and supermarket shelves start filling with festive fare, it really is the most wonderful time of the year.

We've a few Christmas traditions here at Casa BTB that we like to indulge in and enjoy each Christmas that I'd love to share with you today. I hope you enjoy!

FESTIVE PARTY DRESSES.

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If there were ever a time to be joyously overdressed, Christmas season is it.

Whether it's for Christmas day, New Year's Eve, dinner out with your loved ones, or anything in between, the right dress is often just the thing you need to feel festive, confident and utterly gorgeous. And who doesn't want to feel like that!

For me, I love lace, embroidered, bows and detail. The perfect festive dress for me isn't about glitz and bare skin (although if it is for you then by all means!), but that need not mean it's shouldn't be special, and more importantly shouldn't make you feel special. 





Outfit details


Red lace dress (unfortunately sold out! but very similar here)


Bow heels (from a boutique in Paris - similar Ferragamo alternative here)



Here are some of my personal, favourite festive picks to, for all budgets, to add a a touch of merriment to your festive attire, and a few accessories thrown in for good measure - I hope you find something you love!





xx

10 THINGS THAT'VE MADE ME HAPPY LATELY #18

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one. // the birthday trip to Paris. You can catch up with our trip here, but to summarise, we had the most gorgeous time - it's one of my favourite, most meaningful and sentimental places in the world.

two. // feeling Christmassy and Christmas markets.

three. // shopping for gifts for others (see my bumper Christmas gift guide if you're still doing yours!), naughty online shopping for myself, Black Friday deals and so many lovely things in the stores.

four. // homemade ile flottante - we had it in Paris and I've been trying to recreate the exact, thoroughly superlative recipe - utterly delicious. Also poached pears, chocolate panettone, festive pain perdu and Angelina hot chocolate. I could easily give each a bullet of their own, I'm infatuated.

five. // these patent heeled ballerinas. I picked them up over Black Friday weekend and I love them.

six. // some superlative beauty finds lately. M&S 'gel' nail polish (smooth, fast-drying and a week and counting unchipped!), Huda Beauty's latest eyeshadow palette (so creamy and blendable - I did a look with it here) and Avene's radiance serum are but a few examples.

seven. // watching Masterchef the Professionals together. F and I aren't big TV people but we'll happily sit down to watch this. I'll say it now, my money's on Laurence ;)

eight. // John Lewis couldn't find my online order with their usual speedy service so gave me a bunch of roses to apologise - such a lovely gesture, and they're looking beautiful on our table.

nine. // these cosy Boden pjs.

ten. // Christmas market season - we've got a couple lined up and I'm really looking forward to them :)


xx

WINTER FLORALS.

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Brrrrr.. 

Isn't it getting chilly now?!

Another 'wet and wonderful' day as I sit and write this. The sort of weather bloggers and product photographers wince at because it's so overcast.. Happily not so the other day though!

F and I 'needed' to head out to our most local butchers to get some beef skirt so I got dressed up for a change and we made a bit of a day of it. I don't know what's come over me but I've such a craving for really good cornish pasties lately, it's getting quite unbecoming ;) F has always liked them but I never thought I'd join him in that - I'm really not keen on pies of any kind.. None of that shop-bought hokum though by the way - homemade pastry and quality ingredients mm mmm.

MY QUINTESSENTIAL AUTUMN/WINTER OUTFIT.

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I'm back with another style post today!

I feel like it's been a bit all go in blogging HQ/casa BTB lately. I had a few posts I wanted to get up and then the mammoth task of the Christmas Gift Guide ensued.. (~200 gifts hopefully-beautifully arranged in Photoshop collages really takes quite some work!) But now that's up and I'm able to resurface to the world, whilst there are other projects still going on, I feel like I've a little interim period of calm and I'm feeling a bit more like myself again.

So for today's post, I just wanted to have a catch up with you and share an outfit I've been sporting with much jollity lately. I invite you to fetch yourself a hot drink of your choosing and enjoy :)

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE 2018
- over 180 ideas for all your loved ones.

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Exactly a month before Christmas! (wasn't it September about a week ago?)

For the last couple of years, I can't say I've felt too Christmassy, and left the shopping, wrapping and all that until the very last minute.. But this year is a very different and more festive matter!

I've already got part of our shopping done and dusted, in a very relaxed and casual manner, and so let me give you a little hand with yours :)

I didn't want to cop out and do an affiliate 'boutique' but perhaps ought to have split things up into different posts for the sake of my sanity creating these really-quite-time-consuming Photoshop collages, but alas, I've squished in over 180 ideas here for you, many of them my personal favourites; for him, for her, for the little ones, for the home (and just like last year, ideas for filling up those stockings), I hope you find something you love! xx



GIFTS FOR // LOVERS OF STYLE

I'm pretty surprised and pleased with myself that so many of these pieces are entirely affordable! I suppose I'm subconsciously giving myself the green light to treating myself aren't I? ;)

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1. Star print wrap dress (UK | US) // 2. Pussy bow blouse // 3. Cosy cropped jumper
4. Shades of red bow heels (UK | US) // 5. Chic red chain crossbody // 6. Suede jacket (NEED)

7. Hopelessly chic dotted bra and matching underwear // 8. Cognac blazer
12. Velvet bow mid heels (UK | US) // 13. Scallop-edge shirt // 14. Bow earrings


GIFTS FOR // THE BEAUTY OBSESSIVE

Just a little window into what's wonderful out there in the beauty world at the moment. I've included some of my favourites from the year like Lixirskin and my favourite sheet masks, makeup bags and perfumes. Christmas is always a great time to snag yourself a value set and save some pennies too, so please do feel free to treat yourselves as well as your loved ones ;)

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1. Christophe Robin volumising rose haircare set (UK | US)
2. Kristin Ess haircare - the mask and leave in conditioner in particular

6. Amore Pacific skincare set // 7. GloPro kit // 8. La Mer gift set - a big saving on this one

12. The best makeup bags - can be personalised too. // 13. A natural beauty duo from RMS

14. My mother's favourite Korean skincare // 15. May Coop - sheet masks and the cult Raw Sauce
16. Mamonde skincare gift set // 17. Jason Wu perfume (UK | US)

18. Oribe gift set (UK | US) - a dead cert winner of a gift in my eyes! // 19. Kora body oil 
20. Lixirskin skincare - the Vitamin C, Soft Clay Rubber and Retinol in particular



GIFTS FOR // THE EPICURIOUS

Probably my favourite category ;) For all the kitchen dwellers and readers of cookery books in bed.

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3. My favourite cooking pot - sounds dull but it's gorgeous

7. Or just a chocolate one if you prefer! // 8. Pasta machine (making fresh pasta has changed my life)

9. Do Sourdough book // 10. Japanese Shoyu  // 11. Room For Dessert book (exquisite and another need)

12. Gold filigree cutlery (UK | US) // 13. Chic measuring cups // 14. Make your own fresh cheese
18. Recipes journal (UK | US) // 19. The world's smallest and smartest sous vide machine



GIFTS FOR // HIM

Had a little bit of help from F with this one :) For the special ones in your life.

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4. Shaving gift set // 5. Silk pocket square (an affordable one at that) // 6. DAB radio (UK | US)
7. Fairisle sweater (UK | US) // 8. Leather washbag // 9. Fujifilm camera

16. A really lovely scarf - in camel, a burgundy tartan, or a dark navy and green.




GIFTS FOR // THE NEST-FEATHERER

I can't stop myself buying homeware at the moment. I say that as if it's a new thing though ;) I do think something for the home is the most lovely of gifts for a couple/friend who have just moved out/bought their first home etc.

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1. Marble-y accessories - a marble tray and marbled agate coasters in this gorgeous green
2. Marble side table (that won't break the bank)
3. Himalayan salt shots - I just like how these look, maybe for tealights??

4. A matelasse bedspread (have and adore this) // 5. A cute calendar // 6. Another cute calendar
11. Metal trunk cases - could there by anymore chic a method of storage?
12. 'Places' candle - this particular one is orange blossom, vanilla and sandalwood for Kashmir but there's a Charleston one too which sounds fab

13. Cosy grey throw // 14. Burgundy leather diary 2019 // 15. Adorable notebook
16. Velvet floral cushions // 17. Aerin candle // 18. 'May I Come In' book - fascinating // 19. Trenchcoat mug 



GIFTS FOR // LOVERS OF LUXURY


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1. Tulle embroidered tiered dress (UK | US) // 2. Sleepy cashmere gift set (UK | US)
3. Gold coin necklace (UK | US) // 4. Annie Leibovitz book (UK | US) // 5. Cat eye tortoiseshell sunglasses (UK | US)

6. Set of gloriously fancy soaps (UK | US) // 7. Embossed highlighting compact (UK | US)
8. The most beautiful, pink bra and matching underwear // 9. Some incredibly chic luggage (UK | US)
10. A la rose perfume (UK | US) // 11. Baby's breath gold plated earrings  // 12. Camel wrap coat (UK | US)

13. Balmain rose gold plated hair couture gift set (UK | US) // 14. Sisley skincare gift set (UK | US)
15. These beautiful mirrors (UK | US) // 16. Mulberry leather pouch (UK | US) // 17. Mulberry hued sofa



GIFTS FOR // KEEPING COSY

For snuggly nights in, the creature of comforts and those that enjoy a little pampering.

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4. DIY lemon verbena bath bombs // 5. Silk eye mask (UK | US) - my favourite thing in life

9. Summer Fridays face mask // 10. This wonderfully-French-inspired candle (UK | US)





GIFTS FOR // GADGET-EERS

The latest and greatest for the somewhat tech-y. I've avoided things like iPhones, iPads, Apple watches etc as I wanted to share some perhaps less well heard of choices but of course they'd make a great and special gift too!

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1. Polaroid analog Bluetooth camera (UK | US) // 2. Bluetooth speaker // 3. Mini 3D printer
4. Google Hub Home // 5. Interactive HD pet camera with treat dispenser!

6. Mini dual USB wall charger // 7. 3D pen // 8. Marshall speaker // 9. Leica camera (UK | US)
10. June Oven - a convection oven, air fryer, dehydrator, slow cooker, grill, toaster and proving drawer in one.

11. Wireless earphones // 12. Personalised luxury travel tech case // 13. DAB radio (UK | US)
16. PS1 classic mini console - for the nostalgic, comes with 20 preprogrammed retro games.



GIFTS FOR // FILLING THOSE STOCKINGS!

Small and/or affordable gifts for stuffing stockings to their brims.

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1. Leonor Greyl haircare set (UK | US) - love this brand
2. 'The Art of Stripes' book (have this one and it's adorable) // 3. Silke London silk hair ties (life changing)

4. Set of 3 travel notebooks (UK | US) // 5. Beautiful bobbi pins // 6. Cashmere socks
9. Briogeo haircare set (UK | US) // 10. Becca glowing skin duo (UK | US) // 11. 100 movies scratch list
12. Katie Loxton pouch // 13. Knitted alphabet Christmas ornaments (UK | US) - get one for all the family!

14. Bee embroidered eye mask and makeup pouch // 15. 'Hello Gorgeous' phone case
19. Le Labo discovery set (UK | US) // 20. Diptyque Baies gift set (UK | US)

21. Kora gift set (UK | US) // 22. Iles Formula travel gift set (UK | US)


GIFTS FOR // THOSE WITH LITTLE ONES

Gifts for all of those naughty little monkeys, and for new mums and dads. Some of these are so heartwarming and adorable it makes me want little ones myself!

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6. Alice in Wonderland book // 7. Swaddling blanket ('Life grows lovely where you are' - my heart's going to burst!)

14. Doggy jigsaw // 15. Snowglobe biscuit jar // 16. Woodland finger puppet set (how cute!)



Happy shopping and happy festive season!

xx

WARM + ROSY FESTIVE HOLIDAY MAKEUP.

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Gosh, is it that time of the year already? ;)

Today I'm bringing you a festively rosy makeup look, perfect for an evening, and featuring the most gorgeous palette that I didn't think I would, but have been dipping into daily..


MY BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING LIST.

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T H E   P E R F E C T   W E E K E N D   T O   T R E A T   Y O U R S E L F . . .

I have waves of shopping urges, where I feel the extra inclination to start going a bit click-crazy and filling up my online carts..

This such one has timed itself rather nicely with the onset of Black Friday, so in preparation I've prepared a little selection of items on my shopping/wish list, in my cart, or already making their way home to me! (I'm terrible).

I'm a bit infatuated with homeware, style and a little helping of beauty at the moment, so that's primarily what I'll be sharing! And I've also added some coupon codes for my favourite sites, which I'll update as cyber weekend goes on. I hope you find something you love! :) (and apologies for reusing last years snap!)

Joules: Up to 50% off

Boden: 30% off with code N3N1

La Redoute: 40% off everything with the code BLACKFRIDAY

Cultbeauty: Up to 40% off

Feelunique: Up to 30% off

Dear Frances: 25% off with code BF25

Monica Vinader: 30% off


H O M E W A R E



M Y   S T Y L E



B E A U T Y


xx

BAKED APPLES // WITH CINNAMON + DATE NECTAR.

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Well hello apple season.

And hello to my excuse for making oodles of sweet, sticky and otherwise unctuous apple-y desserts!

I said I'd let you know what I ended up doing with these apples we picked (up at the farm shop ;) in this recent OOTD, and whilst it was hard to choose a worthy recipe, I plumped for some beautifully juicy, sticky stuffed apples, baked to bursting point and oozing with syrupy, honeyed juices.

With only a handful of ingredients, they're the perfect, fruity treat to whip up for the winter months.

AUTUMNAL DRESSING AS A SIZE 14 (AND UP).

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I did a summer version of this post a few months ago and it had a really great reception (in fact some of you even emailed me to comment/have a chat about it which was so lovely), so here is the A/W edition.

Again, I'll start with the proviso that whatever size or shape you are, you can dress precisely how you wish. But for me, some items/brands/stores/styles just don't seem to be cut well for my body or aren't comfortable, and others just really are. So I'm going to share the positive today, and let you know where I get my favourite pieces to accommodate a less than flat stomach, quality layering items that'll last you through the years and some of my personal tips for styling a body that isn't shaped like (or as toned as!) a mannequin this autumn/winter.

12 SKIN HEROES FOR COLD WEATHER.

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It's always a bit of a process, swapping out your skincare routine every change in season, in favour of something a little more fitting for the weather, but a process no less enjoyable in my eyes.

Personally, my skin seems to vary a lot with the seasons, and with it, the products I like to use.

I'm feeling in a bit of a chatty mood, so if you care to hear/see me ramble a bit about skincare then read on!

THE MUST-HAVE PRINT I'LL BE WEARING ALL SEASON.

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Oh look, another tweed jacket!

I've been wearing them seemingly non-stop lately (like this post, and another here), but with good reason because they're just the perfect piece for this inbetween-y weather we've had lately (although saying that, it's pretty bleak and brisk outside as I write this, and I've just been out in a coat and scarf!).

A BIRTHDAY TRIP TO PARIS - PART TWO.

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E I F F E L   I N   L O V E

Sort of Part Three really as I've already shared what I wore on my birthday over in this recent post.. But nevertheless! Read on for the next installment in our Parisian trip :)



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