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ANNA LOU'S FAVOURITE VALENTINE'S DAY GIFTS

Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and in Anna Lou’s world that only means one thing: presents. Whether it’s Valentine's Day gifts for a girlfriend, best friend, mother, or just a little something for yourself (after all, you deserve it…) – the infamous day is a reminder that it’s time to show someone close to your heart how much they really mean to you. FOR GIRLFRIENDS… Firstly, you’re probably feeling really smug because you and your special lady get to indulge in traditional Valentines activities, ranging from the cringey giant teddy bear and bunch of roses, right through to a fancy dinner reservation and bottle of champagne. However, if another box of Thornton’s just isn’t going to cut it this year, don’t panic – Anna Lou is on hand to help you say it right with a piece of unique British jewellery that will be cherished for years to come.

Love necklace - £54

FOR BEST FRIENDS… In the mid 90’s, five wise ladies descended upon the nation and decided it was time for us girls to stand up and be noticed. With their “Girl Power” campaign and daring outfits, the classically British Spice Girls have sent a message that’s lasted through the years: us girls have got to stick together. So with this in mind, what better way to empower your BFFL than with some fresh new jewels? Pieces adorned with hearts and lips give a subtle acknowledgement of V-Day, and will take you right through from daytime to dancefloor come February 14th.

Acrylic Lips necklace - £15

  FOR MOTHERS… Let’s face it, you owe her one. She’s fed you, clothed you, changed hundreds of your nappies, and helped you to become the (almost) grown-up you are today, and it’s about time you gave something back. A personalised piece will make Mum feel truly special, and gain you those all-important brownie points in the process – so what are you waiting for?

Initial sideways necklace - £67.50

FOR YOU… You are fabulous, and there’s absolutely no shame in spoiling yourself every once in a while (trust Anna Lou!). So if the thought of Cupids and rose petals is getting you a little down, give yourself a much-deserved pick-me-up. Whether it’s a box of your favourite chocolates, a massage or some new arm candy, V-Day is the perfect excuse to give yourself a little boost. A delicate heart themed piece is an understated way to mark the day.

Heart Cuff - £42

By Charlea Glanville

LAST MINUTE GIFTS

It's not long to go until Christmas and if you are anything like me, you keep putting off buying presents as there's nothing special or unique enough, and you keep saying to yourself I can find something better. So much so, you begin to sound like a broken record. But with Christmas just under two weeks away, the panic starts to set in and your left more clueless than ever, wondering what on earth you're going to get them. To make gift hunting a little easier for you, we at Anna Lou of London have listed our favourite last minute gifts...after all, good things come in small packages. The best part? If you order by 22nd they will be delivered to you in time for Christmas! last minute gifts Personalised gifts unfortunately cannot be delivered in time for Christmas however we still have some initial necklaces and bracelets available which can be posted in time for Christmas. Click here to see what stock we currently have available. pearl bracelet initial

Another personalised number. A pearl bracelet with Gold/Silver Initial available at £18.00

shooting star

These Shooting Star Studs available at £58.00

knotted bangles

The Forget me knot bracelets available at £35.00

wedding rings gold

Gold Stackable Band Rings available at £40.00.

By Hyejin Kwon

Choose it, Style it, Shoot it, Engraved Heart Bracelet by Emily Divine

Thankfully, the sun has started to come back into our lives, bringing with it bright colours and florals and happiness all round! It's time to start styling spring and possibly even summer outfits for the months to come and what better than added a touch of sparkle, in this case, the engraved heart bracelet. We asked Emily, one of our blogger ambassadors to 'Choose it, Style it, Shoot it',  the engraved heart bracelet being her piece of choice. We love the Spring look that she's styled and absolutely adore that bracelet on her! She looks absolutely stunning rocking Brit Chic perfectly. Read more of Emily’s style tips below…   Red Stripes and Daisy Print by Emily Divine

Emily Divine

‘Sometimes the more casual outfits are the best. Whenever I'm asked what my 'go-to' look is, I'll always say jeans, a striped top and a slick of red lipstick.’

Emily Divine

‘In my books, stripes = good. Even better when they match the colour of your shoes.’

Emily Divine

‘My clover necklace that I had happened to have slept in, rather appropriately matched my jumper (okay, it's not quite a flower, but near enough) and happens to be my new favourite. I'm all for symbolic jewellery and positive affirmations, so hopefully my clover will bring me luck and the engraved 'Imagine' heart adorning my wrist will help keep those creative juices flowing. Anna Lou eye candy galore, huh?!’

Emily Divine

  To get your engraved bracelet and rock this Spring look too, click here. To see the full post and others by Emily, see the full feature here.   All images courtesy Emily Divine

The Ultimate DIY Mother's Day Hamper

As you may have heard us mention a few times, Mother’s day is very fast approaching. For those who haven’t quite got around to it yet (eek pull your finger out), now is the time to turn your mind to one of the women you love the most. This year, instead of the half wilted flowers and slightly rubbish card, why not go for something a little bit special with the ultimate DIY Mother's Day Hamper. This is something you could even do with your own little ones on a rainy afternoon with little else for entertainment.  The Photo Album We all know how much Mum’s love to wander back down memory lane with the aid of a sentimental photo album. Find or buy a notebook and get creative! You can cover with sequins, make glitter hearts or even get funky with some florescent paint! Pull together some silly photos of you both from years gone by, and with a little bit of prit stick, some page decor and some cheeky annotations, you have yourself a cheap yet charming home made photo album. The Biscuits Because which Mummy doesn’t have a sweet tooth? Baking a batch of biscuits is a lovely and simple task that will leave your house smelling gorgeous and will be a lovely home-made treat to accompany Mummy’s afternoon cuppa! Wait for them to cool before putting into a clear cellophane bag and finishing with a ribbon. Here’s a recipe for some exceptionally scrummy custard and white chocolate biscuits! The Necklace that Says it all Although time’s run out to order a bespoke piece, there’s still just about time to really show her you love her with one of Anna Lou’s ‘Love you’ pieces. This necklace is one of our favourites. The Decoration Cover an old shoe box in wrapping paper (you knew you’d use it one day!), plump up with some tissue paper and fill with your goodies! The perfect Mother’s Day Hamper from the perfect daughter!

Top Mother's Day Gift Ideas

There are only three more Sunday's until that all important mothering Sunday and if you haven't yet thought about what you are going to treat yours with, we are on hand to help. So here's what you already know... - Your Mum is pretty special so she deserves a special gift. - Ideally you'd like something unique that she can keep for a while rather than a throw away token. - If you can get something that she will love without breaking the bank that would be even better. Check, check and check. Here at Anna Lou of London we've been in the gifting business long enough to know what's really important, and further more we know the type of items that will raise a smile on the day. Mothers Day Gift Ideas As a result we've only gone and reduced all of our 100% silk scarves by half price just in time for Mother's day - don't say we aren't good to you! It's the Mother's Day must have item - it's beautiful (100% silk, great quality), it's timeless (a silk scarf is chic at any age), versatile (so many ways to wear it), thoughtful (a gift like this shows you really put thought into it) and, most importantly, it's now affordable. Did someone say perfect? There's 11 different styles to choose from, from classic monochrome prints to bright blue scenic pictures, so you can be sure that she won't see her best friend sporting the same one three days later, and there's 3 different shapes, meaning you can opt for the chic neckerchief or the long slim. It's a no brainer right? You can shop all of the scarves here and if scarves don't quite suit your mum then take a look at all of our Mother's day gift ideas here.

Our Top Ten Valentines Gift Ideas!

We know, we know, it's still only mid January but how quickly is the new year flying in already folks? Valentines is less than a month away so if you want to make sure you get your coveted piece from the other half you better start leaving those hints, like, about NOW! (Our bespoke items take two weeks to make remember!) So what are your hints going to look like? Well he was good to you at Christmas so maybe you shouldn't ask for too much? Eh as if! C'mon he needs all the help he can get if you don't want to end up with a pair of earrings even your Nan wouldn't wear. So to help you (and him) out we've put together our top ten Valentines gift ideas to give you a few ideas of what a great V-Day gift could look like! Happy Valentines Day 1. The Love Necklace - well it says it all really doesn't it? This necklace is simple and to the point and you really couldn't argue if you were given this as it shows he more than cares. Plus its gorgeous right? 2. Pearl Heart stud earrings - maybe the 'L' word hasn't quite been mentioned yet and you don't want to expect too much? These cute heart earrings come in three different colours and are only £17.50 in the sale at the moment. 3. Love hairclip - its cute and its affordable, its the perfect first time Valentines gift! 4. The engraved heart Charm bracelet - This simple bracelet can be engraved with anything you like, making the perfect personal gift. 5. Infinity Ring - simple, elegant and meaningful. If you're not into obvious, overly smushy V-day pressies then this one is for you. 6. JeTaime Necklace - team this with a trip to Paris boys and you are onto a winner. Too much? Really? Oh ok well the necklace is still a great present! 7. Pearl LOVE bracelets - Cute, fun and straight to the point. We like. 8. P.S I Love you ring - so your other half should really write the name of this item on the card to give you the full effect but this heart shaped cubic zirconia ring is just gawjus! 9. Cliffs of Dover Silk Scarf - not red, not Valentines related and no mention of love, are you sure this is a Valentines gift? Well not everything loves the cheese so this one's for you sophisticated gals who like to pretend that Valentines is all just a big marketing ploy (but still expect a gift, naturally) 10. The Love Locket - and finally this is the serious one. Nothing says love better than a gorgeous timeless locket engraved with your names/ marriage dates/ initials. If you opened to find a pic inside even more brownie points to him! Have you started thinking about Valentines? Let us know which products you love!

Christmas Shopping and How to Plan Ahead...

We know what you are thinking - Christmas? CHRISTMAS? It's not even November yet!! We know, we know, but hear us out... as of today there are only 66 days until the dreaded C word and when you think of it like that, there really isn't as much time as you think. Of course its not really dreaded, the actual holiday is wonderful - relaxation, food, drinks, presents, merriment - no its not the day itself that is dreaded, its all the planning that goes in beforehand, and precisely the shopping for gifts. If you are already thinking about the amount of work that needs to be done, the presents that need to be bought, the food that needs to be prepared, the travel that needs to be organised, the decorations that need to be brought down from the attic and dusted off once again, then reading this may already be bringing you out in a cold sweat. But, fear not as that is exactly why we are writing this post now and not in a months time, because its never too early to start planning. Planning ahead now and doing things in stages will have you feeling all smug and organised as December approaches and everyone else is running around like headless chickens trying to find that perfect gift. So what can you do now to make Christmas shopping a much less stressful task? 1. Make Wishlists - buying gifts is always a lot easier if you have a rough idea of the type of things you are looking for. Most online sites now have a wishlist function, meaning you can ask loved ones to add things they fancy along the way, or why not even everyone to create a Christmas wishlist Pinterest board and you can all share with one another? The gift will still be a surprise on the day as they won't know exactly which item you have chosen but at least everyone gets something they love! Just don't forget to create one for yourself too! You can follow us on Pinterest here, and don't forget to pin your fave items from our site! 2. If somethings right, don't delay - how often have you had a great idea for a Christmas gift only to go back in December and find its no longer available/ sold out and had to go back to the drawing board? If you know someone will love something, then why wait? The chances are their tastes won't change that drastically within a few months so save yourself that last minute stress and go with your instincts. The only thing you need to worry about then is a good enough hiding place. At Anna Lou of London we have already started stocking up on some of our best sellers for the Christmas period so get in early and start shopping! 3. Factor in extra delivery times - Many sites get so inundated with orders in December that their usual delivery times may no longer apply, then on top of that the postal services can take up to twice as long during the Christmas period, so if you are buying online don't forget to allow plenty of time for your order to get to you. Even throughout December, at Anna Lou of London we try to keep our delivery times as fast as possible to make sure you get your pieces in time but there are still those who forget that bespoke pieces can take up to two weeks to personalise. So if you are planning something bespoke, we recommend you get in touch with your ideas as far in advance as you can! 4. Finally, don't panic - Christmas can be a stressful time for many families, especially parents but lets face it everyone usually has a jolly good time no matter what presents they get and ultimately its a holiday of celebration and a chance to spend quality time with loved ones so its best to remember that when you find yourself pushing through the frantic crowds of a shopping centre on Christmas Eve! Do you pre-plan your Christmas shopping? Any other tips on how to save time?  

The arrival of Royal Baby George!

It seems as if the nation has been waiting with bated breath for an eternity in anticipation of the arrival of the royal baby and finally the time has come and little baby Prince George is with us safe and well. A big congrats to Will & Kate on the birth of their first child, which is an exciting time for any couple, we can’t wait to see what a handsome Prince, George will grow into. While Kate was the subject of many a maternity style column, we are sure that George will now also feature highly in any baby name ranks and childrenswear inspiration and here at Anna Lou of London we can’t help but join in the fun. All this talk of babies has got us thinking about the perfect Christening gifts and what to buy for both mother and baby during this special time. Traditionally giving a christening or baptism gift was a way of wishing a child a good start in life so people would offer a small monetary gift or a present of value in order to invest in a child’s future. During the Tudor era, the idea of silver was introduced and it became customary to give a child a silver apostle spoon, which is where the term ‘born with a silver spoon in his mouth’ was first derived. By the Victorian era, presents had varied slightly but were still supposed to show value and investment so by then the tradition of Sterling Silver presents had evolved. Nowadays things have changed a little and people tend to give meaningful gifts which a child can keep forever or more practical gifts which parents may enjoy but the old tradition of sterling silver is still very much in favour. And why not? A sterling Silver gift needn't be overly expensive but shows meaning to the family and is something which can be treasured and won’t date as the child grows up. It may not be customary but we think it’s also a rather nice touch getting a little something for Mum at the same time, seeing as she has done all of the hard work! So why not consider matching sterling silver charm gifts for both mum and baby. At Anna Lou of London we have a huge selection of christening gift options which can be personalised with names or dates, necklaces for mum which can be adorned with baby’s initials or matching charms for both which can be added to any number of chains, necklaces or bracelets. So if you are celebrating, like Will and Kate, the arrival of a newborn in the family, why not wish them a good start and invest in their future with a traditional Sterling Silver gift?