Under-£150 hiking boots | Festive baking recipes | Skincare sets | DIY Christmas decoration kits

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This cult Swedish homeware designer has just dropped a collaboration with Arket

It's one of those pieces you always see artfully draped over a bed, sofa or chair (or doggos) while scrolling #interiorsinspo on Instagram – but despite the lambswool and cashmere Crux blanket gaining cult status since its launch in 1991, followed by a more affordable cotton version 20 years later, we're guessing you'd struggle to name its designer, despite her being much-celebrated in her home country of Sweden. Now high street favourite Arket is shining a spotlight on Pia Wallén with the second instalment of its Nordic Stories series – an exclusive collaboration with independent creators and cultural institutions from the region.

Having originally trained as a fashion designer before moving into interiors, the Stockholm-based creator has combined both passions in a capsule collection that features womenswear, accessories and homeware, with the first pieces dropping today. The initial edit includes what can only be described as a near-perfect oversized camel coat (£290) – which will also be available in Kermit green for those who prefer brights – and slim woollen knits (£45) that are ideal for Scandi-style layering. Looking for Wallén's signature cross motif? The coveted cotton Cross blanket (£180) is available in four colours and it's also been incorporated into felt coasters (£16 for four). Meanwhile, if you're one of the many who's fallen for all things padded and quilted this season, look no further than the cushions (£55) and keep an eye out for the collarless button-up jacket, matching midi skirt, and tote bags in the second instalment, as well as a camel padded blanket that cleverly disguises a giant cross. We predict another design classic in the making…  From £16, arket.com


The Christmas countdown is on, and nobody ever complained about being too prepared when it comes to getting your presents sorted. Right on cue, Decléor has launched its Christmas collection that heroes the wonders essential oils can do for your skin as well as your mind. Here are six sets to get for everyone on your list… 
In partnership with Decléor
Decléor / £80
GREEN MANDARIN GLOWING CHRISTMAS COLLECTION
Give the gift of glowy skin with this Green Mandarin Essential Oil collection that's bound to impress
Buy now
Decléor / £120
ESSENTIAL OILS LAB CHRISTMAS ADVENT CALENDAR
Nothing beats the thrill of an advent calendar, and this one has ​​24 luxury products to discover
Buy now
Decléor / £74
NEROLI BIGARADE HYDRATING CHRISTMAS COLLECTION
Neroli Bigarade Essential Oil increases moisture levels in skin, making it the perfect winter TLC treat
Buy now
Decléor / £60
ANTIDOTE & ROSEMARY PURIFYING CHRISTMAS COLLECTION
Rosemary gets to work in this mighty collection to leave combination skin purified and luminous
Buy now
Decléor / £130
LAVENDER FINE FIRMING CHRISTMAS COLLECTION
Futureproof your skin with this lavender trio of essential oil serum, day cream and night balm
Buy now
Decléor / £140
WHITE MAGNOLIA CHRISTMAS COLLECTION
Designed to nourish mature skin, this White Magnolia Essential Oil-infused collection is pure luxury
Buy now

In partnership with Dr. Oetker
Tastes of TikTok: Lava Cakes

Winter calls for indulgent, warming desserts that can match the joy of unapologetically slipping into your dressing gown and slippers at 5pm. One such pudding we can't wait to try that's doing the rounds on TikTok is Lava Cake, which gets its name from the eruption of rich chocolate that happens when you dig your spoon into the indulgent sponge. Think of your wildest chocolate dreams becoming a reality, then double it. 

The good news is you can make your own Lava Cakes at home with a handful of ingredients and all the same drama thanks to Dr. Oetker. All you need is dark chocolate, butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla paste, flour and cocoa powder. For even more chocolatey indulgence try placing a square of your favourite chocolate onto the centre of your pudding before you bake it. The chocolate will melt as the pudding bakes and ooze out even more deliciousness to the gasps and endless admiration of your dinner guests. Excuse us while we fetch a mixing bowl…

Get the recipe

9 cool-toned make-up buys that suit everyone
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Feeling crafty? 8 DIY Christmas kits that will add a homemade touch to your festive decor

While we love an in-store Christmas grotto as much as the next person, if there's anything the pandemic-induced lockdowns taught us, it's that mindful activities can do wonders when it comes to managing stress. So as we head into a busy festive season, we'll be taking some time out from our packed calendars to add a personal touch to this year's Christmas decorations with the help of these DIY kits. Whether you're waiting until a week before the big day to decorate, or have been itching to put your tree up since October, it's time to heat the mulled wine, put Mariah Carey on repeat and get crafty.

When it comes to baubles, those who are talented with a needle will enjoy Bobo Stitch's festive sweater (£17.50) and Bergin & Bath's set of three felt baubles (£15), while those who like to get their hands messy should head for Posh Totty Designs Creates' marble bauble kit (£25), IG Ceramics' 24-piece Christmas decorations pottery kit (£38) or The Biscuiteers' DIY decorations kit (£35) – just make sure you don't eat them all before 25th December. For a Christmas table centrepiece, string some fairy lights through the rattan star garland made using Wonder Weaver Design's kit (£23.95) or if last year's lights can't be resurrected, make your own with Lume Lighting's fairy light making kit (£30). And don't forget the crackers – Make and Create's kit (£40) offers an eco-friendly alternative to plastic-filled versions with the help of print designer Elizabeth Rachael. Christmas grotto, we'll see you in 2022.


Hiking boots are everywhere – 7 classic black pairs under £150
read more
 
Chrome homeware is the anti-maximalist decor trend to embrace this winter
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