#ShopLocal // Christmas Gift Guide

Hide yo wallets! Hide yo ATM cards!

The recession is here y’all and so is Christmas!!!

I’ve always seen Christmas time as my own personal recession anyway…since it’s the time of year I spend with reckless abandon…both on my loved ones and myself.

Anyhoo! In my humble, completely unprofessional opinion, there’s no better way to stimulate a country’s ailing economy by spending more money…locally.

So tell Amazon to go suck an egg (most of the Skybox companies have passed their Christmas shipping deadlines anyyyywaaayyyy) and check out these great gift options for your peeps…or….yourself.

$800 and under

So if I’m even bothering to get you a gift, and you’re not Mombert or Dadbert or Brobert, you probably fall into this category. You ma top tier peeps so I’m gonna shell a little more on you than I would other folks in my life.

Rebel Swimwear – $700-$800 at The Shop


Woven Baskets – $576 – $684 at The Shop


Meiling Tunic – $650 at The Shop


Shop Shari Necklace – $600 at Exhibit A

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Delia Alleyne Wrap Jumper – $600 at The Shop


Lisa See Tai Fringe Kimono – $558 at The Shop


$500 and under

Cocoa Vintage Necklace – $475 at The Shop


Toni Crockett Design Throw Pillows – $400 each at Exhibit A


Lend & Borough Tote – $351 at The Shop


The Urban Factory Bracelet – $380 at Exhibit A


Colouriot Jewelry for Bene Caribe Necklace – $280 each at Akimbo


Zidelle Crop Top – $360 at The Shop


Island Bags Pouch – $320 at Exhibit A


Aya Made Necklace – $250 at Akimbo


Wholesome You Body Care Gift Set – $225 at Akimbo


JoVew by Makisa Bag – $315 at Akimbo


Drevait Clutch – $360 at Akimbo


Bay Leaf Tunic – $350 at Akimbo


Sanianitos Sunnies – $250 at The Shop


Greta Michelle Tea Cups – $245 each at The Shop


$200 and under

Yes this category exists!

Cocoa Vintage Cocoa Pod Studs – $125 (gold) and $100 (brown/yellow) at The Shop


Nikki Biedes Bracelet – $175 at Exhibit A


Immortelle Beauty Gift Set – $150 at The Shop


Wholesome You Hair Care Gift Set – $140 at Akimbo


Turtle Warriors Tassel Bracelets – $150 each at The Shop


Immortelle Beauty Ambré Candle – $125 at Exhibit A


Nola Daniels Coconut Tea Cup – $72 at The Shop


Classy Gents Beard Oil and Balm – $130 and $60 at Akimbo


I still have to hit up Exhibit A and Blue Basin to see what they have on offer, so this guide will probably get updated on the weekend.

This list is by no means exhaustive – there’s no way I could document every single item at these stores, so I just selected the items I liked the most 🙂

Please pay a visit to either The Shop at the Normandie Hotel or Akimbo on Pro Queen Street, Arima, to grab some locally made goodies for the loves in your life.

Happy shopping!


A Christmas Tag on Christmas Eve

1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?

Love Actually is hands down the one Christmas movie I HAVE to watch every single year. I also love It’s a Wonderful Life.


2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

Christmas morning with my family.

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?

I remember my little brother and I used to spend every Christmas Eve drawing an elaborate map of the house and planning how we were going to sneak into our parents’ room shortly after midnight to get the key to the corridor gate (we used to sleep with it locked) to go open our presents. It was so extravagant and extra, and totally unnecessary, lol. I remember one year my parents fell asleep before they put out the gifts and I had to tell Brandon that Santa was running late, put him back to bed, and go wake my parents up like ‘wtf dudes! you had ONE job’

4. Favourite festive food?
I really enjoy turkey. And I also love candy canes. Together, they’re unstoppable.
5. Favourite Christmas gift?
This is a tough one…I’ve gotten so many great gifts over the years. Most recently, maybe the Macbook Pro I’m typing on right now. She’s hard to give up even though I have a new Air I should be using.

6. Favourite Christmas scent?

Oh God I’m a total scent-o-phile (if that’s a thing. I’m sure there’s a more accurate word for this). I can spend an hour just picking up candles and soaps and smelling them. I really enjoy a cinnamon scent for Christmas, or a mulled wine WITH cinnamon.


7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

Not now. When I was younger I used to do a HEAP of chores on Christmas Eve. Wash the dishes, clean the yard, all kinda madness…because I thought it would make up for any bad behaviour throughout the year. I’m glad I caught on eventually.

8. What tops your tree?

Mom has some crazy but beautiful leaf/flower combination going on right now.

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?

I distinctly recall writing to Santa and asking for a scarlet bird in a gold cage. I never got it. My parents probably used to read those letters and just wonder why they had to make such a mad child.

10. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?

Easily it’s giving presents to the people I love. I love the whole process from observing quietly throughout the year to see what they drop hints about, acquiring the gifts (sometimes it takes some serious negotiation and manoeuvers), wrapping, then waiting to see their reactions when they receive said gift. There is no greater joy at Christmas time for me.

I’m wishing all my friends, family, and the readers and followers of my blog a very Merry Christmas. Hope everyone has a WONDERFUL day tomorrow!

Pencil This In // Christmas Pop Ups

There has been NO shortage of shopping opportunities over the last month and a half. Since Bits and Pieces kicked things off in November, every time you turn, there has been a pop up sale or market.

I’m not complaining, of course. Christmas markets are, for me, where all of this began. My first trip to any local market of that kind was Chez Nous back in 2011, I think, when they were still up at Knightsbridge. It’s where I bought my first pair of Denise Hendrie earrings, my first 1ndividual tee and a gift set from Immortelle Beauty.

The Christmas markets continue over the next few weeks – Upmarket happens this Sunday at Woodbrook Youth facility, and again next week Sunday at Country Club.

However, there are two events I am particularly looking forward to over the course of the next two weeks.

The first actually begins today. It’s Janice Derrick’s Christmas Open Studio, and it’s taking place at the jeweller’s studio in Cascade.


Janice will of course have her exquisite jewellery available, and she’ll be joined by Lend & Borough (I first met Melissa at last year’s studio…and let’s just say my love affair with her bags has been quite healthy since), Jade Drakes jewellery (available today only), Richard Hubbard, Sew Lisa and Adam Williams Ceramics (Saturday only).

The Open Studio happens today from 4pm to 9pm and again tomorrow from 10am to 6pm.

If you’re still on the hunt for something wonderful for yourself or a loved one for Christmas (or just because it’s the weekend) I strongly suggest you find your way to this event.

The next pop up I’m super excited about is Desperate Gifts, hosted at Propaganda Space, Belmont.


Desperate Gifts is the brainchild of Robert Young from The Cloth and it runs from December 18th to January 3rd (the timing, as you can guess, is an apt reflection of the name…surely desperation starts setting in once this rolls around right?).

Thankfully anything you buy at this event won’t reek of a last minute rush. How could it when the items on sale, no doubt, were carefully and meticulously crafted?

Literally anything you buy here will be a hit:

Items from The Cloth, of course.



You can also shop Dappered by Mark Eastman, Lisa’s Fabrics, Brianna McCarthy…even the elusive Hak Gwai will be making an appearance!

These are just a few of the sellers who’ll be at Desperate Gifts though, so be sure to drop in and take it all in.

So that’s it for me. Once I hit these two markets I should be completely DONE with Christmas shopping. Technically I’m already done but I’m one of those people who keeps buying when I shouldn’t. Oh well. No one complains 😀


Happy shopping!


Mini Haul, Because It’s Christmas // Chejo & Lotus Wares

Maybe I’m using the Christmas thing a bit too much now. There’s only so many ‘presents’ you could actually buy for yourself before the excuse starts to morph into something more along the lines of ‘I’ve started and now I can’t stop’. I’m a runaway train. Clearly.

This isn’t all of the items I’ve acquired through the transfer of money over the last few weeks, but they’re probably the most interesting.

I saw on Instagram that Chejo was going to be at the Mindscape Exhbition being behld at Bohemia Gallery from the 28th of November to the 5th of December. It took my friend Tanya posting a pic of her Chejo purchase (and a necklace I wanted too! Dammit Tanya!!) on Instagram for me to get off my butt and head down to Murray Street to check out the goods.

I ended up getting a vertebrae necklace in black leather and gunmetal. I don’t normally wear a lot of black jewellery, and I certainly don’t wear much silver/gunmetal, but I impulsively bought the necklace anyway, telling myself I could mix metals, and I wear a lot of black..so I’d totally find something to wear it with. To be fair…I’m probably right. Lol.


Thennnnn I remembered a pair of earrings that I saw on Chejo’s Etsy shop a while back that I had really wanted to buy at the time and didn’t because…restraint. Well restraint went out the door, since Kristy happened to have a pair in T&T, just not with her the night I went. So after a few days I managed to get my hands on these babies.


Then yesterday I was having one of the worst days ever…and decided that the only thing that could possibly make me feel better was a Christmas scented candle. Random. I know. I’ve always wanted to visit Lotus Wares, which is this awesome homewares & gourmet food store located in Christina Court in Boissiere. I headed there straight after work to see what nasal delights I could find. The shop itself would probably take a day or two to go through completely…it’s a real treasure trove in there. I wanted to smell every candle and play with every sparkly Christmas ornament I could find, but I desisted and asked for help instead. I got the last Illume Mulled Wine Luxury Scented Candle (I won’t even say how much I spent on a candle…real shame). It smells absolutely divine, and actually did improve my mood somewhat (the power of suggestion folks!).

Also, cool fact about Lotus Wares…they have a website where you can either create a wishlist or place an order for collection (payment can be made when collecting or over the phone).

Another cool fact…Chejo will be at Bohemia Gallery tomorrow and Thursday from 4 – 8pm.

Totally just shared that information so you all can go shop too and make me feel marginally better about all this shopping.