Saturday Spotlight Eight – Brilliant Christmas Gifts

It’s Saturday again: I can hardly believe it! The week sure does fly by when you only have class two days out of seven… :P

I’ve been thinking of writing about this for a while, but wasn’t sure how. Then I realised, I could do a Saturday Spotlight about it! You see, at Christmas I got a bunch of amazing gifts I was really excited about, for various reasons. I got a really cool Scratch Map from Grant, some delicious shower gels and some cozy cozy slippers, and I am loving them all : ) But the ones I found myself saying ‘Thank goodness I have this!’ are, above all, the ones that I find really, really useful. And though of course all my family and friends know how much I appreciate their gifts, I wanted to gush a little more about how glad I am to have so many people around me who know just what I want and need : )

1. Wash Bag

I made this picture a little more fun than a picture of a (really really useful) soap bag.

Not long ago (seven months though, blimey!), I was backpacking around Costa Rica with Grant, and the whole time I remember being sooo jealous of his soap bag. I began to commandeer it for my own toiletries after a while: it was just so damn useful! I’d been using a makeup bag as my own wash kit, and it was pretty but not exactly suited for the purpose. I would go get a shower only to find half-way through that I’d forgotten some important thing I needed because it didn’t fit in my bag. Well, no more! My new kit has handy compartments for everything, can comfortably accommodate all my girly bottles of stuff, and has a handy hook which lets me hang it from the towel rail or my shelf in my room. Now, I just grab my towel and wash bag, and nip across the hall to the showers. And I’ve never forgotten an item yet. :D

2. Organiser/Diary

Turns out, I wasn't a disorganized person after all: I just didn't have one of these!

My brother Colm got me this from Paperchase and OMGSOUSEFUL. Honestly, I don’t know where I’d be without this thing. I haven’t yet figured out how to use the university’s wi-fi, so I seriously need a paper version of my calendar, and this handy little book is perfect for keeping me right. I use it to log my daily schedule, to keep note of new people I meet and their contact deets, and for noting the opening times of my favourite shops, etc. Plus, I know this might throw me over the edge into Geek Canyon, but with the handy little bracket in the clip… I always have a pen on me! And seriously, I’ve always wanted to be that person who always has a pen handy. Score!

3. Kindle

I downloaded a LOT of travel books. They're so cheap!

Need I say more? There’s a reason why I walk the extra ten minutes to the tram stop* instead of just catching the bus to school every morning: and it’s that the tram is the only form of transport I’ve ever used that doesn’t make me nauseous if I read during the journey. This means that, every morning before class starts, I have 20 minutes of uninterrupted reading time, and I don’t feel bad about not using it to study. For the last three years, since I started university, every time I open a book to read for my own enjoyment, I get a sense of guilt so strong that I just have to put the book away and start doing some of my reading for class. (For some reason, the hours spent listlessly scrolling through Facebook are fine: it’s only when I try to do something slightly more stimulating that I get these guilt pangs). Anyway, I’ve already downloaded a bunch of stuff to help me follow my classes, as well as some books just for me, and a copy of Le Monde newspaper (the broadsheet version really isn’t very tram-friendly).

*Or at least I did until the temperature dropped like 15° overnight and I can’t bring myself to walk all that way on a cold and frosty morning.

4. Glasses

See how smart they make me look? SEE HOW SMRT?

I love my big new purple-rimmed glasses! I didn’t want to add ‘mess around with contacts’ to my pre-class checklist, since I still haven’t mastered the technique of placing those finicky little plastic films on my eyeballs. I also didn’t want to be going to the optician’s every month for more lenses or fluid or what-have-you. Glasses are long-term, reliable and make me look smart! : ) Oh, and the headaches I’d been having since I gave up on the contacts have stopped now, too.


5. Fingerless Gloves/Mittens

I'll leave you to ponder how I managed to take this photo :P

I have been wearing these constantly since I got here. (It’s absolutely freezing. These last few days we’ve had this awful razor-wind that makes you feel like your face and hands don’t have any skin). These gloves/mittens are super-cute, super-cozy and allow me to pay for things, scan my travelcard and take photographs without having to remove my gloves, which was always such a complete and utter pain. Thanks, Mum!


That’s it for today, then. The moral of the post is: if you want your friends to go on appreciating your Christmas gifts day after day for months and months and months… get them something really useful. If you know them really well, it shouldn’t be difficult to think of the challenges they face in their day-to-day life and to find something that would help them overcome those challenges.


And if that fails, get them an Amazon gift card because I have a crapload of gift credit right now and it’s amazing!


Lots of love and bon week-end!





Filed under France, Saturday Spotlight

3 responses to “Saturday Spotlight Eight – Brilliant Christmas Gifts

  1. Colm

    Your hand wasn’t in the right glove when you took the photo! How do I claim my prize?

  2. Is it silly that I am insanely jealous of those fingerless gloves (as opposed to that snappy kindle)? They are awesome! :-)

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