Wednesday, 21 December 2011

What a beautiful idea. . .

What a perfectly beautiful idea for Christmas- - so many Christmas cards all around, but what about a Christmas POSTcard?





*Available from here. . .

Monday, 19 December 2011

The Prince and the Sugarplum Fairy




For the longest time have been hopelessly obsessed with the Nutcracker ballet-- it is happy & heroic & speaks to every little girl at heart... & is perfectly Christmas-y. . . 

Given my slight obsession & my love for all things Christmas, you can understand my absolute delight when I stumbled upon these darling decorations:



Every Christmas, just know I will be too excited to pull these beautiful glass ornaments out of their box, perhaps with a little Tchaikovsky playing softly in the background. . . 



*Nutcracker ornaments available from Domayne

Friday, 16 December 2011

Christmas Gifts: For Him

Christmas Gifts: For Him



Christmas is almost here & today more gift ideas-- today, 'For Him'. . .  

1. Espresso machine-- for most, the only way to wake up each morning is with a strong, smooth coffee... A new coffee machine will make this job easier & the final product so much more delicious...

2. A jacket-- an often needed, but not often found item of clothing is a good jacket. Perfect for autumn days & cooler summer nights, a neutral & versatile fabric will find this piece being used again & again...

3. A day trip in a vintage car-- for many men, their boyhood dream of sitting behind the wheel of a beastly, powerful car still remains. Why not make a day of it & take a romantic trip up the coast? Another option for this gift is 'Hot Laps'-- they may not be driving the car, but will certainly be feeling the power as they sit in the passenger seat of a race car...

4. Cufflinks-- for the man who has everything, cufflinks may well be the answer...

5. A bicycle-- one of the most enjoyable & environmentally friendly modes of transport, a bicycle can be used for the daily commute to work or just for leisurely weekend rides...

6. Dress shirts-- a beautiful dress shirt is luxurious to the touch & if well cared for (* please see below for care instructions), will last season after season... Nautical hues are timeless as will as classic stripes...

7. Boat shoes-- timeless & the most comfortable of footwear... Nautical, sturdy, long lasting & ever-stylish, these shoes can be worn all year round & with shorts or slacks...

8. A newspaper subscription-- in the new age of computers & hand held devices, a newspaper is very seldom seen... Bring back this time honored tradition of reading the morning newspaper over a freshly brewed coffee before work...

9. Personalised calling cards-- another tradition that has faded away is the art of hand written notes. A set of personalised note cards with matching, lined envelopes will give your beau the opportunity to write short letters, thank you notes & the occasional love letter too...

* Dress Shirt Care Instructions
Ironing

• Begin to iron your dress shirt by beginning with the underside of the collar. Smooth away from the collar points towards the back of the neck. Continue by ironing the front of the collar.
• Next, iron the yoke area from the neck outwards, and then iron the pleats in the same direction of the fold.
• Iron the cuffs of your shirt inside out as well. Put the sleeves down flat and iron upwards toward the shoulders.
• Don’t forget to iron the other side of the shirt sleeve before moving on to the next sleeve.
• Iron the body of your shirt by starting at the top and moving downwards towards the hem.

Tips to Extend the Life of Your Dress Shirts

• Ironing your shirt: Check for stains before you begin to press your shirt. It must be clean, or you will set the stain into the fabric. To remove stains such as ink, you can purchase an over-the-counter ink stain remover or use a home remedy such as rubbing alcohol. Remove red wine stains by pouring white wine over the mark and laundering again.
• If you don’t have good quality steam iron, you should try to iron your shirt when the fabric is damp. You can press it far more easily to remove all wrinkles, and it’s less likely that you will damage your shirt in any way.
• Spray your cologne on your body instead of on your shirts. Wait for it to dry before dressing, as cologne can stain your shirt permanently over time.
• Check dress shirts occasionally for damage or needed repairs. Keep your eyes open for loose threads and buttons.

Storing

• Hang your dress shirt on a supportive hanger such as a wooden one or a thicker plastic one. If the hanger has firm shoulders, it will prevent unsightly bumps. Wire hangers are not recommended for your shirts.
• If you store your shirts from season to season, be sure to have them washed before packing them away. Store them in a plastic case to prevent insects and odors from reaching your dress shirts during storage.


Thursday, 15 December 2011

Perfect Christmas Day cocktail


Ingredients


  • 1 1/2 cups vodka
  • 2 English cucumbers; 1 peeled and coarsely chopped, 1 left whole
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 bottles (750 mL each) sparkling water
  • 1/2 to 1 cup Ginger Simple Syrup Ginger Simple Syrup

Directions

  1. Put vodka and chopped cucumber in a nonreactive container. Refrigerate 1 hour. Strain; discard cucumber. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use, up to 2 days.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the remaining cucumber lengthwise into wide strips; discard seeds.
  3. Fill eight tumblers with ice. Add 3 cucumber strips and 3 tablespoons infused vodka to each glass. Squeeze, then drop, a lime wedge into each. Top with sparkling water; stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons syrup.
Ginger Simple Syrup

Ingredients


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 piece (about 10 inches long and 4 ounces; or use several small pieces) fresh ginger, peeled and cut into very thin rounds

Directions

  1. Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add ginger; bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, and let steep 30 minutes. Pour syrup through a fine sieve into an airtight container; discard ginger. Refrigerate up to 1 month.
 * From Martha Stewart

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Christmas Gifts: For Her

Christmas Gifts: For Her





Now less then 2 weeks until Christmas & the shopping centers are full, the Christmas lights are sparkling & the smell of baking shortbread is in the air.... Christmas time can be the cause of much stress & many anxious nights-- wondering if your loved ones will love the gifts you give them as much as you have loved choosing them... If you still have not found the perfect Christmas gift, here is a list of perfect gifts 'For Her'...

1. Lingerie-- it sounds racy, but what girl doesn't love to wear pretty, lacy underthings? & with so many beautiful options out there, half the fun will be choosing them...

2. A scarf-- the ever versatile accessory-- hung loosely around the neck, tied in the hair, looped around handbag handles or tied snugly around the neck in winter-- the most used & long loved item in a girls closet...

3. A bag-- with so many beautiful, classic options gracing the runways & stores, a bag is now an investment piece. Don't buy into fads of trends-- choose a neutral colour & a classic structure & this present will last your loved one for many, many years to come...

4. A watch-- the classic time piece. When chosen wisely is also an investment in style. Man style is on trend, but so many out there with subtle, feminine twists-- rose gold, diamonds, & mother of pearl to name a few...

5. Shoes-- every girl adores her shoes-- & a pair of classic pumps will have your loved one squealing with delight on Christmas morning. Look for neutral colours & classic styles with subtle embelishments.

6. Flowers-- when all else fails- flowers. A bunch of perfect, luscious, baby pink peonies will fill your house with their subtle aroma & brighten any room for at least 2 weeks, with proper care. (*See below for flower care tips...)

7. Jewelry-- Tiffany's, Cartier, Harry Winston to name a few-- a piece of jewelry will be with your loved one for life. Choose a timeless style in the gold that she wears & this piece could very well become an heirloom...

8. Luxurious beauty products-- lip balms, body butters & body oils will be a daily, luxurious treat for your loved one. Beautifully scented & silken to the touch, these products will bring opulence to the every day....

*Flower Care:
-Select the vase you wish to use and make sure it is clean. If it isn't scrub it out in the sink with a little detergent, or even better, a little bleach in water. Now fill the vase with COLD water, and add a sachet of flower preservative.

-If you have a pre-made arrangement, take it out of the wrapping paper, and roll the rubber band or ties away from the stem ends. Strip any leaves off the stems that would be underwater. If you have purchased a bunch, or want to make your own arrangement, cut the rubber bands or ties, and strip every leaf from the lower half of each stem.  


-Cut 1-2 cm off each stem end, then place your flowers in water IMMEDIATELY. 

-Put your flowers in a cool position. Don't place the vase in direct sunlight, or near a heater or in a warm draught.  

-Make sure you top up the vase water with fresh water + preservative every day. Make a complete change of water every 3 days or so.



Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A hostess guide. . .


When one is hosting a simply amazing New Year's soiree, it is imperative, above all else, that they have the perfect dress. . .  There are so many things to consider & plan when organising a party-- but the most important of all is 'What to wear?'
This year will be hosting my very own New Year party. . .  Have already found a simply beautiful dress, but with so many other wonderful options, am beginning to think I may need a plan B & C & D at least (just in case!). . .





Monday, 12 December 2011

Christmas Sparkles. . .

Christmas Sparkles. . .
That time of the year when everything is so much sparklier-- especially the jewels. . .  Can not think of a more perfect way to finish of your Christmas outfit then with one of these delectable embellishments. . . 
 

Christmas Sparkles. . . by amour-love 

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Christmas: Red










Bright, joyful, festive, jolly, warm, loving, homely, regal, traditional, Christmas-y. . .


*Pictures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 from here, picture 8 from here, pictures 9 & 10 from here

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The most wonderful time of the year. . .


As the days get longer & the shops get busier, I know we are getting closer & closer to my very favourite time of the year. . .  So much shopping still to do, Christmas cards still to write & packing for my holidays away still to do. . .  But everytime I see twinkling Christmas lights or presents under a tree I feel so warm & sparkly inside, for this really is the most wonderful time of the year. . . 



*The sparkling lights from my Christmas tree. . .

*Images from here & here

Monday, 5 December 2011

Monday, Monday morning. . .






Feeling festive on this Monday morning as I get ready for the week. . . 
A strong latte & a spritz of perfume before I rush out the door-- Christmas letters to be posted, a busy day to be had, all the while feeling a little bit sparklier knowing Christmas is almost here. . . 

Images via: here, here, here, here & here

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Christmas Gift Idea's

Christmas Gift Idea's 

The time of the year when we must buy special gifts for our loved ones & as years go by, can be quite difficult to think of new gifts to give that show just how much you care. . . So have come up with some darling gifts suitable for all budgets & in will bring joy year after year. . .


1. A picnic hamper already filled with macarons & champagne; a picnic blanket & some delicious cheeses & sourdough bread & fruit; some insect repellant & some tickets to an outdoor theater show-- ready to use, with everything you will need for a beautiful night under the stars.

2. A subscription to glossy box-- each month a beautifully wrapped box of beauty products will arrive at their doorstep. . .  Truly the gift that keeps on giving.

3. A subscription to their favourite magazine-- another gift that gives month after month. Imagine their excitement when checking their letter box to find a lovely new glossy just waiting to be read!

4. A cashmere throw will be a staple for the rest of their life-- perfect for an aeroplane trip or as a shawl on a cool spring night-- purchase in a neutral colour to ensure it will match any outfit.
5. Personalised stationery-- with the art of letter writing slowly becoming obselete, why not give a beautiful set note cards & envelopes, with a beautiful pen to encourage an afternoon spent writing to faraway friends.

6. A delectable box of truffles will never be received without a smile-- bu why not bake your own batch of sweet little delights & gift them in a beautiful box & bound up with a festive bow. A home made gift is always appreciated.

7. A french coffee press will excite the senses as your loved one prepares each cup of coffee. While waiting for the coffee to steep, their house will be filled with the intoxicating scent of  freshly brewing coffee.

8. Delicate crystal Christmas ornaments will bring joy to your loved one year after year as they decorate their tree. Why not add a new ornament to their collection each year?

9. A beautiful tea cup & tin of tea-- each day as they brew a fresh cup of tea, you will not be far from their mind. . .

10. Receiving a beautiful plant is as lovely getting flowers-- especially given it will bring them joy for a long time after a bunch of flowers has died. . .