Archive - December, 2013

23.12.13 Christmas Family House Tour: Laura Green works her Christmas Magic

meri meri cakes

I first met Interior designer and mum of two, Laura when we shot her gorgeous 1930’s renovation for a house tour with her family last year. When she invited me back to see her house with a sprinkle of Christmas magic, I couldn’t resist.  That and she make the most amazing cakes.

Laura green's christmas house

Laura green's christmas house

Laura has a keen eye for styling and a distinct style which shows throughout each room of her home. Walking through the door give you goosebumps. It’s a beautiful house which feels loved and experiencing it in full Christmas glory was a magical treat.

Laura green's christmas house

laura green's christmas house

Laura green's christmas house

TO VIEW THE FULL TOUR CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW.

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22.12.13 Seriously Last minute Christmas Gifts: Our guide!

So for all you last minute shoppers sometimes the last minute scramble is not quite so fun. If you are looking for a few extra gifts you haven’t quite found, or looking to do your whole entire shop in one go, check these ideas out.

last minute gifts

Time poor/ Cash Rich

If you don’t actually want to go out shopping or don’t have the time, for this you have a few options. Think vouchers or last minute delivery shops.

Vouchers. These are often downloadable and with a printer you can print out your voucher and put it in an envelope to hand deliver literally seconds before meeting your giftee!

Mr and Mrs Smith offer a ‘Get a Room e voucher for selected amounts and can be used on booking their luxury hotels, many of which are fabulous for children. Babington House anyone?

For the kids, there is an array of cool and kitch downloadable games and ideas to entertain them such as these paper dolls. Just print at home to keep them amused over Christmas. (The Paper Dolls above can be downloaded from Etsy at the Black Apple) or these printable paper fox dolls with outfits from The Marimakes are just gorgeous too.  At Etsy,  you can find lots of ideas for downloadable handmade gifts such as the dog silhouette print by Linen Workshop you can frame, to designs to print out and make yourself at home. (See below – make it!)

Charity Vouchers giving everything from chickens, mosquito nets or providing water for a whole community can be bought on behalf of someone you love from a selection of organisations such as Oxfam and Actionaid. You can also donate online on behalf of someone else, directly to charities such as a personal favourite of mine, The Small Things Orphanage in Tanzania. Your money here can sponsor a child to go to school for a specific amount, but they are always grateful for any amount. You receive a personal response and can view images and videos of the children through their site. (One year I sent actual gifts and saw pictures of the children with the gifts I had sent. It was wonderful, especially for the kids to see what we had sent being played with.)

If you want to support your local area, why not organise a voucher from your local hairdressers, spa or favourite restaurant for the adults on your list.  By calling them up, they will often email you a voucher or email you can print out at home. For the kiddies, how about some cinema vouchers or a season ticket to their favourite zoo or farm park? For tweens and teens try a subscription to a cool magazine they would be interested in? Most of these things you should be able to do online and print out the voucher or confirmation.

Physical presents to wrap up…

If you are happy to go out and buy your gifts, but don’t know where to start with all the queues and mayhem,  then head to a bookshop for some really inspirational and crowd pleasing presents for kids and parents alike. Great books don’t need batteries and don’t take up too much space. They are educational and inspiring for imaginative little minds. Some of my favourite for gifts are Maps, Mamoko and Nina’s Book of Little Things.

At Amazon, you have until 9am on 23rd December to choose your gifts you want personally delivered to you for Christmas. John Lewis offers a late ‘click and collect’ service if all you want to do is drive in and collect your items without stepping foot in the chaos of the shops. These are my favourite crowd pleaser’s still available.

Wooden pullalong dog  £16.99,   lego friends set £28.99 and the Bear and Hare back pack  £15.00 all available from John Lewis.

Alex and Alexa is perfect for your designer trendsetter and offer a same day courier service to people living in Greater London. So you lucky Londoners can still bag your favourite girl these Rio Candy Retro Roller Skates in time for an extra fee.

For the skint but creative last minute Larry’s…Make it!!

Adults love brownies. Especially these ones! Erm…and so do the kids!

How about Tibbles the Elephant from Jennifer Carson? Only £2.20 for the pattern.

Or choose to make some animal pom poms for a speedy fun gift for some littlies! The Very clever Mr Printables blog will tell you how for absolutely nada…= free! :0)

Failing that. There’s always cool hard cash. But ALWAYS wrap your envelope in beautiful paper or add a few secret chocs on the front for fun. Everyone wants a beautifully decorated package or one covered in chocolate snowmen. It’s the rules.

Good luck! x

 

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12.12.13 It’s nearly Christmas…Guess it’s time for a Christmas House Tour?

laura green xmas 13

Next week on Chalkboard Living:

Laura Green’s Christmas House Tour.

It’s a Map thing. For lovers of maps and kids with an adventurous side.

My last minute Christmas Gift Guide. For all you last minute shoppers. You know who you are.

It’s going to be a great week. Enjoy the weekend!

T xx

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