Kitty Blackadder

A Scottish blog about anxiety, minimalism and eyeshadow.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Custom Advent Calendars - The One for my Sister

Time for the fourth post in the series!
 Before we start I’ll just recap with sister’s ‘description’.

SISTER: 20 years old, uni student, doesn’t drink much. Likes nail varnish (but owns a boat load already), makeup and things with bows on them. Quite girly and likes trying new makeup/beauty stuff. No real hobby to speak of, other than general girlyness.

My sister is the easiest person in the world for me to buy for, and even with all the budget challenges of this project I didn’t really struggle – which is saying something! I’m proud of her gifts overall, I think she’ll really like them, and I think she’ll love the idea and probably do one for me next year (which I realise must sound incredibly selfish, but actually, I just mean that I could see this being a new tradition!)

December 1st, The Book People, Christmas Cupcakes and Cookies
I actually bought this before I knew I was doing the advent calendar thing, so it’s a little out of the normal budget range but, I figured, it would be good for her to have right at the start of December so that she has plenty of time before Christmas to actually organise and do the baking.
It was still a bargain for a book though, and I’m actually really impressed – the quality of the book, the ideas, the photos and the recipes is really high. It was in the sale and I had a couple of discount codes so that brought the price down as well.
Cost for the day; £2.50
Overall cost to date: £2.50

December 2nd – The Works, Christmas tissues
Thought I’d get these out the way early on for Jenna as I think she’ll be a little ‘meh’ about them. I mean I’m sure she will like them and use them and they are cute, but I think they’re a little too practical for her tastes! If they were covered in glitter and flower scented then maybe she’d be more excited, but as is, they’ll just be alright.  I debated taking them out and to be honest if I see something better I will, but then I think I’m overreacting a bit – she will like them just fine.
Cost for the day; £0.50
Overall cost to date; £3.00

December 3rd – H&M, multipack rose stud earrings
I was in store recently and saw these marked down from £4 to £2 so I decided to buy myself a pack but, when I was at the till point they scanned for £1 instead so I ran back to get another pack for my sister! She loves floral prints and wearing flower clips in her hair so I know she’ll love these. She doesn’t wear a lot of earrings but she’s always saying she’d like to wear more, so maybe these will encourage her a bit. The range of colours is really nice, there was actually a pack with brighter, more saturated colours, but I felt these ones were much more classic, and, much more in line with what she usually wears.
Cost for the day; £1.00
Overall cost to date; £4.00

December 4th –The Works, snowflake cookie cutter
This obviously ties in with the baking book she received on December 1st. I had a rake through the cupboard and we have a lot of the more basic cookie cutters; squares, circles, hearts, gingerbread men, Christmas trees etc. but I thought the snowflake cookies in the book were so pretty that I wanted to get her this so she could do those too. This actually came in part of a ‘cookie for Santa’ type kit, with a little paper doily, and a little bit of note paper, so I imagine that pushed the price up a little (and I’ve recycled as I don’t need them for this), but this was still cheaper than I could find it elsewhere.
Cost for the day; £2.00
Overall cost to date; £6.00

December 5th – Boots, White Collection mini shower gel in Calming Chamomile
**Repeat Explanation from previous post, Sorry for the boringness**
This is one of the buys I’m most proud of finding for this. Boots has (I think) reworked their White Collection range this year so it now contains three very distinct smells; Calming Chamomile, Uplifting Bergamot and Reviving Mandarin. They’re also selling a mini set that contains a body lotion and body wash in each of those scents; so six pieces total. The kit sells for £6, but is part of the 3 for 2 deal that Boots does on it’s Christmas gifts. I think the smells are all lovely (and smell a lot more complex and fancy than the price tag would suggest), and, more helpfully there’s ones Mum and Sis will genuinely like and would pick for themselves.
So taking into account the 3 for 2 offer, I paid £4 for the set, meaning;
Cost for the day: £0.67
Overall cost to date: £6.67

December 6th – Amazon, dominos
When we were kids my little sister loved forcing me to spend hours playing dominos with her. We used to stay at my grandparent’s house for a week or so during the summer and we all spent about half of everyday playing dominos with my sister. She’s very competitive and so I know buying these for her brings about a world of pain for myself at Christmas – not to mention Gran who’ll probably be having ‘nam like flashbacks. However, I know we’ll all laugh about it really, and it’s nice to slow down at Christmas and take time to do things like this that normally we’re far too busy for.
Cost for the day: £1.00
Overall cost to date; £7.67

December 7th – Primark, Christmas socks
My sister’s first pair of Christmas socks. Again, I’ve gone with the more mundane pair first so that they’re wearable earlier on in the season… not that I’m sure she’ll be too worried about that to be honest! Actually she mostly wears tights not socks, so there’s a good chance these will be around the house PJ socks, but still, I’m sure they’ll bring a smile to her face. As I said previously, these were supposed to be 3 packs for £2, but ended up scanning through at £1.
Cost for the day: £0.33
Overall cost to date: £8.00

December 8th – Burt’s Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil 4.25 g
This is a normal/full size Burt’s Bees lip balm that again came from the 6 piece kit that I bought and split up. These sell in Boots for £3.69 and so the price I paid was a real bargain. Jenna loves girly lotions and potions, but not so much hand salves and the other kind of stuff that Burt’s Bees produces, so this is the best thing to give her by far. Also, pomegranate is one of her favourite fruits, though I’ve never used this lip balm personally so I can’t comment on how pomegranateish it actually is
Cost for the day; £1.40
Overall cost to date: £9.40

December 9th – Scratch card
Her turn today for a scratch card – which she’ll like even more than mum does as she’s freakishly lucky with these things and almost always wins something, even if it is just a pound! Still, she’ll enjoy it and if anyone wins I can guarantee it’ll be her. I’d probably like to just stick to a £1 here as her costs are already a bit high, but then I couldn’t very well give mum a £2 one and not do the same for her. Hmm, we’ll see.
Cost for the day; £1.00
Overall cost to date; £10.40

December 10th – eBay, nail wrap/sticker things
The name for these has completely gone out of my head – these ones are stickers… I think! I always forget the difference wraps/foils/stickers/transfers etc. Anyway these were from eBay and it was 99p for one but if you ordered two, then you got two random designs free. Nice one. As for quality, I have no idea what they’ll be like, but the two of us are pretty hopeless with these kind of things regardless, but we do have a laugh attempting them, and I guess it’s just all about having fun really.
Cost for the day; £0.99
Overall cost to date; 11.39

December 11th – Primark, Christmas studs
Jenna's turn for some festive Primark studs. As I said above on whatever day she got her H&M studs; she doesn’t wear a lot of earrings – she wants to, but she just forgets or loses them all. Hopefully she’ll be able to hang onto these for at least the duration of the festive period! It was £2 for a pack containing six sets, I've given her two sets and therefore;
Cost for the day; £0.67
Overall cost to date; £12.06

December 12th – Boots, Boots Extracts mini body coconut body butter
Again, part of a pack that I split and which, combined with the fact it was in the 3 for 2 offer, worked out to be very good value. There wasn’t much say as to which sister received as mother HATES the smell of coconut and so clearly, I couldn’t give her this one. Fortunately sis loves the smell – she has good taste – and so I’m sure she’ll be more than chuffed with this 50g tub of the stuff. It actually has a lovely smell, not overly sweet and fake like a lot of coconut products can often be.
Cost for the day; £1.33
Overall cost to date; £13.39

December 13th – Marks & Spencers, coco butter hand cream
This, as I said in mum’s entry, was part of a gift set that was half price and that I also got cashback on – a real bargain. This one smells, if anything, nothing like Palmers cocoa butter (which is the ‘true’ cocoa butter experience for me!). This one has a lovely, gentle talcum powder kind of smell, with just a little hint of something else poking through. Really nice smell, but not sure I’d have guessed it was cocoa butter to be honest.  Jenna doesn’t use a huge amount of hand cream – she doesn’t seem as afflicted by dry skin as I am in general – but I haven’t seen her buy any this winter, and everyone needs some at some point, even if it’s just on occasion.
Cost for the day; £0.40
Overall cost to date; £13.79

December 14th – eBay, foot warmers
If I was slightly hesitant about getting these for mum because I wasn’t sure about when she’d use them, I certainly don’t need to worry about that with little sister. She commutes for about 90 minutes or more to Uni using public transport and I’m sure one day when it’s -18c outside or something, she’ll appreciate these. As I said when talking about mum’s; I got them for much cheaper than the £2.50 that they’re going for on eBay now, but I’m sure it’s normal for the prices to jump around a little.
Cost for the day; £1.20
Overall cost to date; £14.99

December 15th – Pounland, big bag of Rolos
She’s always had a fondness for Rolos, especially Rolo Cookies; does anyone remember those?! Not the big biscuits they made recently, but the normal sized Rolos  that had a little bit biscuit in them. Those were amazing. Anyway, no Rolo cookies around anymore, so she’ll need to settle for the regular kind. I guess all that remains to be seen is who she gives the last one to.
Cost for the day; £1.00
Overall cost to date; £15.99

December 16th – Marks & Spencers, Christmas pants
I love, love the design of these I got for my sister – they’re so her. Christmas, but in a cute, girly way. She’ll love them And she’ll love the novelty of having novelty pants. Admittedly it’s not the style of pants she would ordinarily go for but hey, it’s not a life commitment it’s just some penguin covered panties. As I said when writing about mum’s; these were on sale and I got cashback, so they were a great buy.
Cost for the day; £1.05
Overall cost to date; £17.04

December 17th – H&M, lint roller
Her turn for the much needed lint roller today. Admittedly, seeing as she’s twenty and a uni student, she’s probably bothered less by it than mum with her work trousers, but still, I know it drives her mad sometimes. Also, the thing about being a 20 year old student is that it’s quite typical not to notice the situation until you’re flying out the door in a mad rush while trying to apply mascara and locate your keys. That’s why it’s handy it’s a handbag version – for bus stop de-fluffing.
Cost for the day; £1.00
Overall cost to date; £18.04

December 18th – Primark, Christmas socks
Time for the second pair of Christmas socks. Much more bold a design that proudly declares; Christmas is on its way! You can never have too many socks at this time of year when it’s so cold, and you can never have enough pairs of novelty socks, period.
Cost for the day; £0.33
Overall cost to date; £18.37

December 19th – The Body Shop, lip balm in watermelon
 A long time ago, as in years ago I (allegedly) stole a watermelon lip balm from my sister. Or so she says. And over the years, ever new lip balm she’s got, when asked she’s replied; “it’s not as good as that watermelon one you stole from me”. So this lip balm will hopefully bring an end to the digs and nagging reminders every time watermelon or lip balm is mentioned. Finally, I’m free!
Cost for the day; £0.90
Overall cost to date; £19.27

December 20th – Burt’s Bees, coconut foot cream
Time for her second Burt’s Bees product from the divvied up gift kit. It’s the 20ml tube of coconut foot cream. It has a foil seal so I can’t smell it for you, but my sister LOVES the smell of coconut so I’m sure it’ll be great for her. I wasn’t sure at first about giving her foot cream; I’ve never heard her mention using it, but hey, it’s only a little tube, it’s great quality stuff and it’s one of her favourite smells. I’m sure she’ll have it used up in no time!
Cost for the day; £1.40
Overall cost to date; £20.47

December 21st – Revlon, nail varnish, 110 Really Rosy
My sister loves nail varnish as much as I do, which is saying something. Recently I bought a colour from Sinful Colours (945 Soul Mate) that she covets. I had planned to get her this for the calendar, as Sinful Colours are really reasonably priced anyway, but then I was in Poundland at some point and saw the Revlon stuff which is a pretty close dupe. It’s not exact, the Revlon one is a little darker, but in terms of hue and shade; it’s pretty much the same. So I got her that one for half the price of a Sinful Colours one!
Cost for the day; £1.00
Overall cost to date; £21.47

December 22nd – LUSH, Father Christmas bath bomb
Okay, so this was a little expensive for today, but I really wanted to get her a bath bomb. When we were kids, whenever we were in Glasgow, our parents would take us into LUSH and let us choose a couple of them. We always chose the biggest, most multi-coloured, glittery ones possible – total nightmare for the parents having to clean the tub afterwards! It’s been years since she’s had a LUSH bathbomb, and I’m not sure she’s even that crazy about them now (I know; blasphemy!) but for nostalgia sake, she just had to have one! I knew I wanted to get her a Christmas themed one, and so it was then just a case of finding what scent suited her best and this one – scented like mandarin, was a winner by far.
Cost for the day; £3.25
Overall cost to date: £24.72

December 23rd – Boots, White Collection mini body lotion in Calming Chamomile
The last of the White Collection products that I bet you’re sick of my talking about, so I won’t this time!
Cost for the day; £0.67
Overall cost to date; £25.39

December 24th – Haven’t decided yet!
Although I haven’t really come in under budget for this one – though I still think I’ve done not too badly overall – I’d still like to do something a little more special/substantial than the other stuff. Again, I’m not in too big of a hurry to sort something out, I need to pace myself – Christmas is still a while away!
A couple of ideas I’m playing with are:
-      Pyjamas. I think if that’s what I get mum then I’ll probably get them for her too so they can both be all nice and snuggled up in new jim jams.
-      Mini pamper kit for Christmas Night. Face mask, little candle, mini alcohol bottle and um… fluffy socks? Ok, so would need to fine tune this one, and I worry it would just be more of the same sort of stuff 
-    Something Disney. Jenna, just like her big sister, loves Disney. But while my love is mainly the theme parks, Jenna loves the DVDs and merchandise. I'd love to get her something, but to be honest it's a little hard to know what she doesn't have now!

So there you have it, a run down of the adventy goodness that awaits my little sister! 
Please leave any thoughts or questions in the comments below, I'd love to read them. :)

Thanks for reading,

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