Archive of ‘Christmas’ category

Christmas Table Decoration Tips, from Bloom & Wild

By Sara Gordon, Brand and Creative Director, Bloom & Wild

Tip 1: Choose a theme or color

o   Hygge

  • The home trend of 2016 is Hygge
  • Create warmth with lots of pillar candles
  • Luxurious table cloth and napkins
  • Use lots of white and blues
  • Create a stylish centerpiece with our Scandi inspired bouquet The Sadie
  • These wild, white and wintery blooms contain seasonal blue thistle, white wax flower and white athena roses
  • Fill the room with throws and cushions to create extra warmth 

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o   Classic Christmas

  • Lots of red and gold
  • Add some gold baubles to the table to create some Christmas sparkle
  • Christmas smells – rosemary, pine, oranges
  • Create a centerpiece with large candles surrounded by a festive wreath
  • The Fin –  a letterbox wreath, comes with a gold ribbon, dried oranges and pine cones

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Tip 2: Make your guests feel special

  • Place settings can add a special touch to your table
  • Choose classic options like a gold spray painted pine cone or leaf
  • Make place setting settings with our Posy Party – filled with red roses, thistles and white wax flowers

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Tip 3: Enjoy yourself!

  • Christmas is about your family and friends
  • A cosy atmosphere will help make the day great
  • Good food and fizz

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#ChristyChristmas: It’s time to… Beautify for the Holidays

#ChristyChristmas: It’s time to… Beautify for the Holidays

Hello there! My name is Lauren. I run a lifestyle blog called Live.Happy.Inspired out of my little cozy studio in San Francisco. The blog covers everything from decorating to cooking to beauty. It is about the things that inspire me in everyday life.

Today, I’m going to be sharing with you a few products that I use to keep me looking beautiful all winter long. The key during the winter months (other than an insanely cozy blanket) is to keep your skin hydrated. That means drinking lots of water and tea. These beauty products are my favorites that I keep going back to throughout the winter.

1 – Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm

I’ll admit that the thought of rubbing oily balm all over my face as a means of cleaning it, sounded terrifying. Why would I put oil all over when I’m trying to get rid of it? Well, just trust me and try it. First, you apply to dry skin, rubbing especially on tough-to-wash makeup. Let it soak for a few minutes. Then rinse off with warm water. Not only does it leave your skin clean but also it’s not stripping like some cleansers. In the winter it’s important that all of your steps work to keep skin moisturized.

2 – First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask

Masks are one of my favorite parts of my beauty routine. I always do a mask every Sunday. Catch up on your favorite shows on Sunday morning while masking. I promise you, it’s the best. I have a few masks that I rotate between depending on what my skin concern is at the moment. In the winter, when my skin is feeling dry, I reach for this ultra-soothing and moisturizing oatmeal mask. It works wonders at repairing red, irritated winter skin.

3 – Belif True Cream Moisturizing Balm

It’s hard to find a moisturizer that is super-hydrating without feeling heavy or greasy. I actually have both of Belif’s moisturizers. I switch between this and the Aqua Balm depending on the season. This moisturizer works beautifully beneath makeup because it absorbs quickly yet manages to keep skin hydrated all day.

4 – Bite Agave Lip Mask

No one likes scaly lips during the holidays. How are you supposed to smooch your sweetheart under the mistletoe with scratchy, dragon lips? That is just not happening. Enter the Bite Agave Lip Mask. It keeps my lips hydrated for hours. I also like that the ingredients are all food grade and organic. This shade has a slight shimmer but there is also a red one and a clear one. If I’m going to wear lipstick, I put this on while getting ready then wipe off just before I get ready to apply. Then my lips are smooth and perfectly ready for a dark lip.

5 – Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lipstick in Blow

Speaking of dark lipsticks, my absolute favorite wintery shade of lipstick is Marc Jacobs Le Marc in Blow. I love how it looks with my darker hair. It looks pretty stunning on mostly everyone. You just have to make sure you have the confidence to go along with wearing such a gusty shade. It’s perfect for holiday parties and special events to add a little edge to your ensemble. It’s definitely a statement-maker.

So I hope you have enjoyed reading about my top 5 beauty products to keep gorgeous all winter long. Keep following along on Instagram @elliesf and online at www.livehappyinspired.com

Xoxo L

 

Make your own #ChristyChristmas Crackers…

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Make your own #ChristyChristmas Crackers

Looking for extra festive fun in the lead up to Christmas?
Making your own Christmas crackers is not only super easy, but it’s fun to share with the whole family.

The equipment list is as follows:

• Wrapping paper
• Scissors
• Ruler
• Ribbon
• Glue
• Cracker Snaps
(these can be bought inexpensively from most craft shops.)
• 3 Empty Toilet Rolls
• Token Gifts, Handwritten Jokes and a traditional Christmas Hat

Firstly, roll out your wrapping paper and cut a landscape rectangle measuring 20cm (across) x 30 cm (down). Take your rectangle, turn it face down and rule 10cm in from each end. Mark the 10cm point, by drawing a line from bottom to top, firmly with a sharp pencil.

Next, take one of your Cracker Snaps and affix with a blob of glue at either end in a straight line across the top of the rectangle.

You should end up with something like this:

diagram

Using the pencil markings, place the 3 empty toilet rolls in the columns drawn out. Delicately roll the toilet rolls so the wrapping paper wraps around and covers them. I like to add a dot of glue in the centre to hold the paper together nicely too.

You’ll now have a wrapped cylinder. Pull one of the end toilet rolls out very slightly. Gently twist and push the end back inwards to make a crease – this will become your first end. Grab your cut of ribbon and tie in a neat bow around your newly made groove. Once it looks exactly how you’d like it to, remove the toilet roll altogether.

Take your gifts, hand written joke, Christmas hat (… and anything else you want to throw in for that matter)  through the opposite end, then repeat the last step (ensuring none of your inner items fall out in the process!)

You should now have your final cracker! You may want to decorate further using name plates. Children may choose to decorate further using pens, stickers or bows too!

Share your crackers with us @christy_linens. Hope you enjoy!

 

#ChristyChristmas: Time to… Welcome Guests with the Perfectly Folded Towels

#ChristyChristmas: Time to… Welcome Guests with the Perfectly Folded Towels

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It’s finally that time of year where friends and family travel from far and wide to stay with loved ones over the Christmas period. If you’re expecting guests this year, it’s crucial you create an environment that ensures your visitors feel at home whilst staying with you.

A good host understands exactly how to prepare their home in order to make their guests feel comfortable at all times. This includes keeping your house clean and tidy, and filling it with all the amenities your guests may possibly need.

If in doubt, take inspiration from top hotels. How do they welcome their guests? What do they provide for them? How do they lay out the room before a guest arrives? By recreating your favourite hotel room, you’ll be sure to provide your guests with everything they could possibly need during their stay.

A common item that guests often don’t have space for is a big fluffy towel, a key item for after a shower on a cold winter’s morning. Your guests will think it’s a Christmas miracle when they arrive to see a much needed towel perfectly placed at the end of their beds.

But remember, presentation is everything. We all secretly want our friends and family to be impressed when we show them where they will be staying for the next few days, so we asked our friend Jennifer Scott from The Daily Connoisseur to create  this handy little tutorial to show you a quick and easy way to fold your towels like the professionals.

This neat little trick will give your guest room a professional touch that will leave your visitors wondering whether they’ve stepped into a five star hotel. Watch Jennifer’s video below and find out exactly how to fold your towels in a way that will impress your guests.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRipK3z3LBw

Have you tried out this tutorial for yourself? Head over to our Facebook page and let us how you got on. Send us a photo if you’re feeling brave, we’d love see your results!

 

5 tips on Decorating your home for Christmas

5 tips on Decorating your home for Christmas from Anna E. Lee, award winning blogger from Anna L. Interiors

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The Christmas season is one of my favorite times of the year for many reasons. Between the time spent with family and friends, the old Christmas movies, and the sparkling outdoor lights, what’s not to love?

I have to say, that as an interior designer, something I look forward to the most is coming up with new ideas on how decorate our home for the holidays.  While last year, our design was “rustic elegance” – with soft golds, bronze, burlap, and lots of pine; this year’s décor is going to be a bit more bohemian chic – offering a combination of pattern, greys, browns, sea shells, and non-conventional greenery.  It’s something that is totally different from what I would normally do however I’m very excited for the challenge!

Whether you come up with a new theme or not each year, holiday spending can quickly get out of control.  To combat it, I’m going to do my best to use home décor items that I already own, making small purchases as needed.  As a recent college graduate and newly-wed, money is a bit tight; so I’m all about cutting corners.  However in saying this, I can’t stress enough that just because you are financially strained that doesn’t mean you cannot have a beautifully designed home.  Everyone deserves good design.  Below I’ve shared with you a few tips on how to decorate your home for the Christmas season.  I hope you enjoy!

I N C O R P O R A T E   F R E S H   G R E E N E R Y

Whether it’s from the store or the farmers market, incorporating fresh greenery into your home is one of the easiest ways to brighten it up the holidays.  Along with the traditional pine, I’ve incorporated some eucalyptus into my design scheme this year.

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I N F U S E

Scent is something that can be easily overlooked when designing a space despite the fact that it plays a major role in the overall feel.  Whether you have scented candles or plan on boiling some cinnamon sticks on the stove, don’t forget to infuse your home with some holiday flavor!

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R E P U R P O S E   I T E M S   T H A T    Y O U   A L R E A D Y   O W N

One of my favorite things about designing for the holidays is the challenge of repurposing items that I already own.  While I do end up buying some new décor each year, using what I have helps to dramatically decrease overall holiday cost.  The fun thing about my theme for this year, bohemian chic, is that I can get really creative and eclectic with it.

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M I X   I T   U P

Don’t be afraid to experiment with non-traditional patterns and colors.  While last year our Christmas décor was a combination of soft golds, bronze, and burlap; this year it’s going to be a bit bohemian chic, featuring a lot more pattern along with greys, greens, and browns.  I might even incorporate a few seashells!

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I N C L U D E   T H E   W H O L E   F A M I L Y

Even if you’re the one who is in charge of the decorating, make sure to include your family somewhere in the process.  One of our traditions growing up was to make a day of going out and picking a Christmas tree.  When we got home we’d put on Christmas music, have some hot chocolate and sugar cookies, and decorate the tree.  This is one of my favorite Christmas memories.  If you live alone, invite some friends over to join in on the fun!  Who doesn’t love putting up a tree?!

 

 

How To Make Thanksgiving Day Even More Delicious: Joy the Baker’s Pumpkin Pie Recipe

How To Make Thanksgiving Day Even More Delicious: Joy the Baker’s Pumpkin Pie Recipe

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With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we thought it would be the perfect time to revisit some of our favourite fall and winter recipes previously featured in our popular 2014 Christmas Guide, when we teamed up with Joy from joythebaker.com to bring you two scrumptious recipes from her delightful book Homemade Decedence.

Whether you’re more of a savoury or sweet person, we’ve got the perfect recipe for you to serve to your family and friends over Thanksgiving, which you’ll find in the guide. In this post, we’ll tell you how to make a perfectly indulgent Thanksgiving dessert.

Homemade Decadence Pumpkin Pie With Pecan Praline Topping

To create your very own pumpkin pie, you will need the following ingredients.

Buttermilk Pie Crust

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold buttermilk

Filling

2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups cold heavy cream
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup very coarsely chopped pecans (some halved pecan pieces are fine)

To Make the Buttermilk Pie Crust

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and, using your fingers or a pastry cutter, quickly work the butter into the flour mixture, pour in the buttermilk, and using a fork, stir until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. It will be moist and shaggy. Divide the dough in 2 and gently knead each half into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. To roll out the pie crust, on a well-floured counter, roll the bottom crust until it is ⅛ inch thick and about 12 inches in diameter. Occasionally move the crust around the floured counter during rolling to ensure that it is not sticking to the counter. Transfer it to a pie dish and trim the edges. For a single pie crust, fold the edges under and crimp with your fingers or a fork. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.
  3. For a double-crusted pie, roll out the top crust in the same manner. Fill the pie and top with the second crust. Fold both layers of pie dough and a crimp with a fork or your fingers. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before cooking.

To Make the Pumpkin Filling and Praline Topping

  1. Put a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.
  1. For the filling, combine the pumpkin purée, brown and granulated sugars, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, cardamom, and salt in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the mixture begins to bubble and become fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in the heavy cream. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla.
  1. Transfer the filling to the prepared pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake until the pie no longer jiggles in the center, 40 to 50 minutes.
  1. Meanwhile, for the topping, in a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, cream, and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until thick and bubbly, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and pecans.
  1. Let the pie cool for 30 minutes before topping. The pie will settle and deflate slightly. That’s great.
  1. Check to see that the praline topping is still pourable. If it has hardened too much, heat it over low heat until just pourable, or microwave for 30 seconds. Pour the topping evenly over the pie. The topping may seem loose, but will thicken and harden as it cools. Let cool completely before serving. I like my pumpkin pie served cold, so I store my pie in the refrigerator until serving time.
  1. The pie will last, well wrapped in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.

Have you got a Thanksgiving recipe you want to share with us? Tell us on Facebook, we’d love to hear your ideas.

 

The Holidays Are Coming!

The Holidays Are Coming!

Christmas is the time of year where twinkling lights line the streets, the eggnog is a-flowing and there is an indescribable feeling of excitement in the air. Here at Christy, we love the holiday season, which is why we’re celebrating Christmas by sharing a series of festive blog posts in the run up to our favorite time of the year.

For this festive inspired series, we’ve enlisted help from some of our favorite bloggers such as Lauren from Live Happy Inspired, Anna from Anna E Lee Interiors and Kristen from Stylenik. With their help, we’ll bring to you some the best tips, tricks, ideas and guides for the run up to Christmas.

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Want even more festive fun? Grab a blanket, put the fire on, and settle down with our Guide to a Classic British Christmas, where you can get inspiration for crafts, recipes and activities for the holiday season.

If you have any suggestion for topics you’d like to see covered on the Christy’s blog over Christmas, head over to our Facebook page or comment below to share your ideas and inspiration with us.

Happy Holidays!

Love, Christy

 

Try a New Tradition this Festive Season

When Christmas is in full swing it’s easy to get caught up in all the chaos, but reclaiming a few minutes for yourself can have many benefits. One relaxing and worthwhile activity you can do during this time is to write a Christmas letter to your friends and family. As featured in our Christy Guide to a Classic British Christmas, Emma Farrow from Teapots and Twine says this is a fantastic way to reflect on the past year.

If you didn’t get chance to do this in December, you could always turn the tradition into a new year’s letter. This would be a great opportunity to update your loved ones and make plans for the year ahead. Emma Farrow says: “I think that the key to a great Christmas letter is being positive, personal and avoiding the urge to brag … If you have children then they may enjoy being involved in composing your Christmas letter too. Ask for their help to create a fun quiz about your family and use this as framework for sharing your news, or ask each child to write down their favourite memory from the past year and pick a photo to accompany it. I think it is important to pass on the tradition of Christmas letter writing to the younger generation so that they learn more meaningful ways of communicating than via social media. They will love reading the letters back in years to come so don’t forget to keep a copy for your family too.”

While you’re composing the letter, why not take another piece of paper and write out some family resolutions for 2015? Working on these together ensures you have realistic expectations, while putting them down on paper will improve the chances of people taking them seriously. We’d love to hear some of your resolutions for 2015; keep us posted via Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/christylinens) and Twitter (@Christy_Linens).