#ChristyLovesWimbledon: Cocktail Making with Lanson, with The Ana Mum Diary

Strawberries and champagne – two Wimbledon must-haves that are the perfect accompaniment for an afternoon of tennis and sun.

Luckily, our lovely friend, Amanda, from The Ana Mum Diary is here to share her perfectly simple yet delicious champagne cocktail recipe that only consists of three ingredients. Where do we sign up?

For this recipe, all you will need is:

  • 1 punnet of strawberries – approximately 400g
  • 2 mint leaves
  • 1 bottle of Champagne

Amanda’s top tip: “if you can buy or grow wild or Alpine strawberries, they taste amazing.”

Firstly, take your punnet of strawberries and pull off the green stems and leaves, then add to a blender with two mint leaves for a fresh kick and blitz these up until they make a puree.  

If you have a particularly sweet tooth or your strawberries aren’t in season, feel free to add a little sugar syrup, but if the strawberries are ripe (which they should be in July), your puree should be sweet enough from the natural sugars in the fruit.

Next, add a three teaspoons of your puree into a champagne flute, and top off with ice cold champagne. Et voila, the perfect summer cocktail to accompany an afternoon of spectatorship.

Amanda says: “This should make enough for one or two bottles of champagne depending on how strong you want the strawberry taste to come though. If you’re feeling daring, a slight variation on the recipe would be to add a teaspoon of brandy to each champagne glass too.”

Enjoy!

 
 

#ChristyLovesWimbledon: Wimbledon Crafts, with Along Came Cherry

Wimbledon is now in full swing which means that in Britain, summer has officially arrived. If you are planning any Wimbledon themed parties or BBQs then our friend, Jess, from Along Came Cherry, is here with some Wimbledon inspired crafts this Summer. We’ve got our scissors at the ready…

First up, is this impressive- looking tennis racket garland that may look complicated, but is actually rather easy to master.

For this garland you will need:

  • A small scrap of cardboard
  • 1x glue gun
  • 1 roll of white yarn
  • 1 metre of felt (Jess has used white and grey but you could use any colour you wish)
  • 1 pair of scissors

To start, take your cardboard and cut the outline of a tennis racket shape out of the cardboard, ensuring to cut a hole in the middle for your racket wire. This should be cut to the size that you want your rackets, but we would recommend 10cm x 5cm.

Next, take your cardboard template and use this to cut out racket shapes in the felt until you have 15 or so rackets to hang on your garland.

Then, cut small strands of yarn to fit inside your rackets. About 4 pieces of yarn per racket should make it look detailed enough. Then (carefully) use your glue gun to attach the yarn to your felt in a lattice fashion.

Finally, cut a piece of yarn to the desired length of your garland, and use the glue gun to attach your completed rackets to the string. Once fully dried, hang up over your fireplace or attach each end to a tree for the perfect Wimbledon decoration.

Now, what would a Wimbledon party be without a celebration of Strawberries? This next garland will ensure that once all your guests have snaffled the strawberries, you’ll still have motifs of the fashionable fruit dotted around your Wimbledon party.

For the strawberry garland, you will need:

  • 1 metre of red felt
  • 1 metre of green felt
  • Needle and thread (in green or red)
  • 1 pair of scissors

Start by cutting a strawberry shape (similar to a heart shape) out of the red felt until you have around 15 strawberries. Next, take the green felt and cut out the foliage to sit on top of the strawberry.

Then take your thread and stitch the foliage to the strawberry. Once you have stitched them together, leave around 10cm of thread and stitch the next strawberry together. Not only will the thread attach you two pieces of felt together, but it will also provide the integral structure for your garland. And you’re finished!

Not only are both garlands really simple to make, but they provide you and your family with a great afternoon of activities and some fabulous handmade decoration for the sporting party of the year.

 
 

#ChristyLovesWimbledon: Bringing Wimbledon In To Your Home, with Love Chic Living

As you may have already guessed, the team here at Christy HQ can’t get enough of Wimbledon this year, and like a lot of people, we eat, breath and sleep tennis at this time of year.

By why should it just stop at the odd Wimbledon-themed party once a year? Why not take some inspiration from the court and bring it into our homes for the ultimate summer upgrade?

Luckily, our friend, Jen, from Love Chic Living, is also an avid Wimbledon fan and is here to help discover the ultimate in tennis-inspired home décor.

Upcycling Tennis Racquets

Credit: Houzz

This first idea is a nifty DIY project that will transform a vintage tennis racquet (these can be found online or in most charity shops) into a fabulous multi-purpose addition to your hallway.

Jen says: “As above, you can turn them into great wall hooks in the entrance hallway, or use them in a wall collage or display, or even add a few little hooks to them to store your jewellery.”

We think it’s a must for any tennis lover. What would you use yours for?

Tennis Wallpaper

Credit: NOTHS

Next up is this beautifully intricate tennis-motif wallpaper from Cazalet Designs. It features a delicate design on a lush green background which makes the piece simultaneously bold yet subtle. It’s fun without being too quirky and wouldn’t jar with other décor pieces.

Jen adds: “Coordinated as in the picture with bright contemporary décor, it looks cool without being kitsch. This would be ideal as a statement wallpaper or even an all over pattern in a smaller room.”

Towels

Now, how could we mention tennis-inspired decor without including our beautiful range of Wimbledon textiles? Possibly the easiest way to incorporate the sports-luxe look into your home.

Jen’s favourite is the Wimbledon Sports Towel in white. She says: “With just a nod to the tennis scene, this is a bang on-trend way to add some tennis-inspired interiors to your home”.

Vintage Wall Art

Credit: Etsy

If like us, you can’t get enough of the industrial interiors trend that is everywhere at the moment, this next piece from Etsy will be perfect for you.

A fan or the piece, Jen adds: “I just love this piece, it’s so different, stylish and not obvious at all. For the diehard tennis fan, a piece like this is a must. Perfect displayed on its own or as part of a larger wall display, maybe even with the upcycled vintage tennis racquets we mentioned earlier.

 
 

#ChristyLovesWimbledon: Guide To Wimbledon Etiquette, with William Hanson

Also known as The Championships, Wimbledon is arguably the most prestigious tennis event in the world and has been held in the London suburb of Wimbledon since 1877. This year, the two-week event starts on the 3rd July and to ensure that you’re properly prepared, we spoke to William Hanson, the UK’s leading etiquette coach and expert,  who gives his advice for those attending Wimbledon for the first time. Follow his advice, and in no time you’ll be sipping on Pimms on the Centre Court in no time.

Dress code

William Hanson says: “Although there are no hard-and-fast rules for spectators (they need not wear all white) “It is generally acknowledged that Wimbledon is an ‘occasion’ and should be treated like such and so smarter dress is worn.

“Panama’s for the men and large brimmed sunhats for women are a good idea, as indeed a good pair of sunglasses.”

Advice for spectators

If this is your first time at Wimbledon, there’s a few things to note to avoid any potential scowls from fellow attendees.

  1. If you’re inside a court watching a game, your phone must be switched off
  2. Similarly, chatting is kept to an absolute minimum
  3. No flashlight photography
  4. No selfie sticks

William adds: “For first-timers, it is important to know that you cannot leave or take your seats whilst a game is in play. Wardens control the spectator entrances and exits and sometimes you can wait anything up to fifteen minutes before the game is completed.”

Celebrations and commiserations

When it comes to cheering on your favourite player, William says there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to show your appreciation: “I would suggest that spectators do not make a song and dance about any British sporting prowess or success that Mr Murray may have: flag waving and nice cheering (not during actual play, mind you) is preferred – there’s no need to go overboard.”

Similarly, if the player you’re routing for doesn’t win, keep that classic stiff upper lip that us Brits are famous for. William says: “If Murray does not do as well as hoped, one should remember to be gracious in defeat. Congratulate the victor and do not sulk churlishly or lash out.”

 Get the perfect selfie before heading to Wimbledon and we’ll see you court side.

Love, Christy

 
 

#ChristyLovesWimbledon: Essentials to Pack for a Day at Wimbledon

It’s that time of year again when it feels like summer, strawberries and cream are back in style and the world, once again, can’t take their eyes off of that little yellow ball. That’s right, Wimbledon is upon us and for that lucky few who get to grace Henman Hill and see the action in person (well, sort of), it’s important to be prepared for the day ahead.

A properly stocked bag is the key to enjoying all that the tennis has to offer. With the help of lifestyle and travel blogger, Elle Croft, we’ll share our packing essentials for a day at Wimbledon.

A set of Wimbledon towels at a picnic

Sunglasses

Not just practical, a statement pair of sunnies will keep you looking chic among the celebs you’re bound to spot at The Championships.

Picnic

There’s plenty of scrumptious food available on site, but let’s face it, there’s no picnic like a Wimbledon picnic. We’d recommend keeping the menu light and fresh with recipes like this strawberry, avocado and spinach salad, or these turkey, apple and brie sandwiches.

Elle’s Top tip: “keep it compact, as the maximum bag size per person is 40cm x 30cm x 30cm.”

CSunscreen

Elle says: “British weather is admittedly unpredictable, but you can still get burnt under cloud cover, and trust me, from experience, the one souvenir you don’t want to bring home from Wimbledon is a sunburn.”

Waterproof

Time to be realistic, this is Britain we’re talking about which means a day of grey clouds and constant drizzle isn’t out of the question. While umbrellas aren’t banned from Wimbledon, there is a risk of blocking the view of those behind you or poking your neighbour’s eye out. Instead, we’d recommend taking some quality waterproofs to ensure you stay dry and comfortable, no matter the weather.

Cash

Elle says: “If you queue for Grounds tickets you’ll need cash just to get in. Once you’re inside you can pay by cash or card to buy your programme, Pimms, and that all-important strawberries and cream”.

A picnic blanket

A picnic blanket, possibly our ultimate essential for a day at Wimbledon, will ensure that you always have a place to sit, whether you’re queuing up, enjoying a picnic or sitting tight on Henman Hill.

Top Tip: Our Wimbledon Blanket will make you look like a total pro and can be doubled up as a throw if it gets a little chilly at night.

Drinks

A day at Wimbledon wouldn’t be complete without a sip of Pimms, but don’t forget, you can bring your own drinks in, too. Elle says: “Whether it’s pink lemonade or pinot grigio, pack it in your bag – but be sure to check the regulations first!”

A portable charger

Wimbledon is the perfect Instagram opportunity. The Pimms, the lush green grass and the endless strawberries and cream are made to be documented, so as well as your phone, ensure you take a portable charger to give yourself a well-needed battery boost throughout the day.

Not only will this ensure that you can stay in touch with your fellow attendees, but you can keep those Instagram stories going, too. Elle warns: “Leave the selfie stick at home, though – they’re banned.”

Comfortable shoes

Whether you’ve got a long day of queuing ahead of you are going for a stroll to discover the outer courts and the stunning flower displays dotted around the walkways, comfortable shoes are a must. We’d recommend avoiding a heel and sticking to tennis shoes, but if you still want a bit of height, opt for a classic wedge.

For more Wimbledon tips from Elle, check out her post here.

 
 

#ChristyLovesWimbledon: How to throw the perfect Wimbledon screening party

Summer marks the start of a special time of year for Christy, not only because the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming, but because summer is officially Wimbledon season.

Christy is extremely proud to be the official towel supplier for Wimbledon, particularly when the likes of Andy Murray and Serena Williams are seen sporting our championship towels. And while we would love to be courtside brushing shoulders with Bradley Cooper during the Men’s Finals, for many of us, it is but a distant dream.

But instead of sitting in despair, why not take the opportunity to throw a Wimbledon viewing party for your friends and family? Keep reading to discover how to throw a ‘proper’ British party and enjoy the games at the most elegant sporting party of the year.

Decorations 

The colour theme for any Wimbledon party should, of course, be green and purple to represent the iconic colours of the men’s championship towel. Think bunting, flags, crisp White linens to contrast and your finest bone china to really impress your guests.

For extra bonus points, pitch your own tennis court in your yard using a net and rackets from a toy store. This will keep your guests entertained between games and give them a chance to polish up on their own tennis skills.

Food

Every tennis fan knows that Wimbledon is synonymous with the iconic dessert of strawberries and cream, but why not try experimenting with these two ingredients to serve a trio of desserts that will really impress your guests?

For the first dessert, we would recommend sticking with the classic strawberries and cream dish. It is the perfect accompaniment to a hot day and will provide a healthy(ish) option for your guests.

Next up is something a little more indulgent – strawberry and cream donuts. Simply use this fabulous doughnut recipe from Epicurious and swap out the vanilla filling for fresh cream and sliced strawberries. Just be sure to let the doughnuts come down to room temperature before filling to avoid a pre-party disaster.

And finally, the third dessert in our trio is a real crowd pleaser – a strawberries and cream cheesecake. This delicious recipe from taste.com can be made a couple of days in advance to give yourself some much-needed spare time on the big day.

Drink

There’s only one drink you’ll need for a Wimbledon viewing party: Pimms.

For the perfect Pimms pitcher, you will need:

  • Plenty of ice cubes
  • 200ml Pimm’s No.1
  • 600ml lemonade
  • 5 mint sprigs
  • ½ cucumber, sliced
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 10 strawberries, sliced

To assemble your pitcher, add ice until it reaches the halfway point in your jug. Then pour your Pimms and lemonade over the ice, ensuring to leave room for your sliced goodies. Finally, add your cucumber, orange, strawberries and mint, stir and serve.

So, are you ready for an indulgence of Pimms, strawberries and cream and tennis this summer? Come immerse yourself in the world of Wimbledon over the next two weeks on the Christy blog. We’ll be posting regular updates with more recipes, craft ideas, home style all inspired by our favourite sporting event of the year.

Serve it, Smash it, Win it, Love it.

Love, Christy.

 
 

The Nutcracker Garland Tutorial, by Laura Pearson-Smith

By Laura Pearson-Smith, founder, http://www.alifewithfrills.co.uk

Here at Christy, we think that Christmas is the perfect excuse to get your scissors out of the drawer and get crafting. Luckily, so does our friend Laura from A Life With Thrills. In this blog post, Laura provides an easy step-by-step guide for making a Nutcracker themed garland, decorated with ballerinas, snowflakes and sparkling beads, perfect as an afternoon activity with the kids.

To make this sparkly festive garland inspired by The Sugar Plum Fairy, you will need: a selection of white, gold and silver ribbons, thin gold elastic, pink A4 card, silver A5 paper, snow and Christmas-themed die-cuts, white pompoms and some small bells. It’s a great way to utilise left over ribbon, tags and decorations from wrapping your presents.

Step One

Cut your collected ribbons and cut them to the length that you would like your garland. Lightly twist them together then tie the ends with your gold elastic.

Nutcracker Garland 1 Nutcracker Garland 2

Step Two

You are going to make your own Sugar Plum Fairy. I’ve put one of these in the centre of the garland, but you can make as many as you want, in whatever size you want. Fold your pink card in half and on the fold, copy my outline of one side of the ballet dancer. When you cut this out and unfold it, you will have a complete body. Next, make one of the paper snowflakes that we all made in school (fold up a square piece of your silver paper then cut designs out of it and unfold), make a slit in the centre and pull down over the top of The Sugar Plum Fairy to resemble a ballet skirt.

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Step Three

With your gold elastic and left-over ribbon, tie on your Sugar Plum Fairy, die-cuts, bells and snowballs along the length of your garland, then hang up on your wall.

Nutcracker Garland 7

 
 

Looking after guests this Christmas

One of the best things about Christmas is the time spent with family and friends. We teamed up with Aerobed and asked Kate from My Family Fever to share the best ways to make your guests feel comfortable while they’re at your house. Here’s what Kate suggests:

It is imperative that guests get a sufficient and quality night’s sleep – sleeping on uncomfortable surfaces such as the floor or sofa or even a poor mattress can lead to pain and discomfort.

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It can often be difficult to get a quality night’s sleep when staying away from home, therefore here are a few tips for your guests that could potentially help:

  1. Try to avoid sleeping on your front. The spine will never be in alignment in this position as one has to severely turn the head in order to breathe and usually the pelvis is in torsion with one leg lifted up.
  1. Always have a pillow – or something that can be shaped into a pillow to support the neck. Even if sleeping directly on the floor, having a supportive headrest will immediately relieve the pressure placed upon the upper region of your spine – and where possible travel with your own pillow from home.
  1. If suffering from any discomfort in the low back, place a spare pillow or cushion between your knees (if sleeping on your side) or under your knees (if sleeping on your back) to relieve the pressure on the lumbar spine area.

As well as providing a comfortable sleeping area, there are other things you can do to make your guests feel comfortable. Make sure you provide them with everything they might need during their stay, from soap and shampoo, to jugs of water and soft fluffy towels.

Guest_Box

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It’s important to make the guest room as homelike as possible, and add in little touches to make your guests feel welcome, such as books to read, pictures on the wall, thick blackout curtains and clean fresh bedding.

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Is there anything else you do to make sure your guests have a happy stay? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d would love to hear your ideas!

 
 

Be Guest Room Ready

Blogs by Marie

You’ve ordered the Turkey, wrapped the gifts and decorated the tree, but there is more to being the perfect hostess than hors d’oeuvres and pretty place settings.

Making overnight guests feel right at home requires a few thoughtful touches to the spare room. Here are our top five tips to get yourself “guest room ready”

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  1. Dress To Impress – Freshly laundered, good quality bed linen is the fastest way to make your guests home away from home feel (but with a little added 5 star treatment!) A quick spritz of fragranced linen water when ironing leaves a clean and fresh scent that will linger throughout their stay.

A Flat sheet under the duvet and Extra blankets allows guests to be in control of their temperature.

 

  1. Hanging Out – Clear a little space in the wardrobe or a drawer, and add a hook to the back of the door or if space allows a freestanding rail so guest have somewhere to hang their clothes.

 

  1. Midnight Feast – Leave a jug or bottle of fresh water and a glass on the bedside table (along with a good book and a simple sprig of foliage or single stem flower)

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  1. Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush – Don’t neglect the bathroom. Drying off with a fluffy towel is one of life’s little luxuries. A bath towel and two hand towels per guest is ideal. A bathrobe and even some slippers give that at home feel. Stock up on toiletry supplies and leave them neatly arranged but visible and easily accessible. A simple toothbrush and toothpaste is often appreciated too.
  1. Tech savvy – It maybe the season of rest but god forbid we can’t have a quick nose at our emails or check out what your third cousin twice removed is up to on Facebook! So leave your guests a little note with wifi details, or print it out and frame it for a hotel touch.

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Create Your Very Own #DreamChristy Bow

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With Christmas creeping closer and closer, and your to-do list getting longer and longer, we thought we would share a quick and easy craft that will only take minutes to make, but are sure to receive lots of compliments on Christmas day.

To make your own #DreamChristy Christmas bow, simply download our template and cut around your favourite fabric/texture to create these beautifully unique and festive bows!

Now, what could be simpler than that?

Click here to download

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