Tag Archive - Christmas

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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14.10.13 My Weekend: Sarah Yewman

christmas family cooking

Sarah Yewman is mum-to-three, wife-to-one and the ‘oldest-intern-in-town’, at Templar Publishing.  She is the creative genius behind the Davina McCall Dudebox creation, author & illustrator of childrens picture books  and artist / peg person painter extrordinaire.  She writes her blog about her ongoing creative exploits – The Yewman Projects.

My weekend starts with our first fire of the season. (You’ve gotta class Friday night as the start of the weekend!) I’ve happily succumbed to the wood-burning stove.

light my fire

At this time of year a weekend wouldn’t be a weekend for us, without a Saturday morning on the sidelines of a muddy football pitch.

sat morning mudfest football

I love the winter, wrapping up warm, lots of layers, cosy fires and not forgetting plenty of comfort food. Talking of which, dare I mention the ‘C’ word?

Christmas might be a swear word in your household at the moment, but in ours, the tradition of making mincemeat, cake and puds can’t come too early, particularly as I’m doing it in my brand new kitchen.

lick the spoon

christmas cooking

We have been working on a big renovation of our house. The building work is almost done and I’m finally getting to the exciting bit of choosing colours and accessories. Weekends at the moment seem to include sorting out the rooms and choosing all the fun stuff.

cool toilet roll holder

colourcharts

Here are a few of my fave rooms and purchases.

sarah yewman's house

Find Sarah’s cool vessel pendant light here  & the cute moose light here.

We love a bit of creating in this house. Weekends always usually involve some kind of creating! This is my 6 year old Lucy having some colouring-in therapy.

luce colouring

I feel very privileged to be working on the Templar Publishing charity initiative, creating the website and auction for their 80 paper watches, designed by 80 of the UK’s top illustrators, all in aid of Breast Cancer Care.

paper watch project

For the last week or two, I’ve been working on the website to get it live and I’m pleased to report we pushed the button this weekend. If you would like to own your unique piece of art, watch out for the auction starting on Sun 3rd Nov.

To find out more about the paper watch project you can visit the website here.

 

 

 

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29.11.12 Out & About: Visit Santa!

No Christmas is complete without a visit to Santa. Yes, it might only be November but competition to meet the big man is fierce! Often the big London stores sell out months in advance! If you want to avoid a last minute scramble to your local shopping centre, read our round up of some of the more inspiring places to see him outside of central London… And get it booked!

1. Santa’s Spectacular Grotto & Festive Farm, Willows Farm Village, St Albans, Hertfordshire  2. Santa’s Cellar Grotto, Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking, Surrey  3. Santa Land, Wookey Hole Caves, Somerset 4. Santa’s Grotto at Kew Gardens  5.Santa’s Grotto at the Reindeer Centre, Nr Ashford, Kent,   6.  Santa’s Magical Journey, Thursford, Norfolk.

Click below to see more information on each event.

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