If there’s one thing London excels at it’s blinging itself up come party season. Of course, some areas of the city are better at it than others; the trees at Canary Wharf underground station, for example, look as though someone just threw lights at them from afar and turned their heel on their handiwork not long after.
Hello and welcome to the first of my holiday gift guides!
I recently visited Brighton with some friends in search of some unique Christmas gifts and I had such a lovely time there I wanted to share my top finds with you.
If you’re not handy to Brighton fear not: all of the shops featured can be found online as well. I’ll pop their websites at the bottom of this post.
As the festive season looms ever larger we’re all going to need to keep our energy up to carry us through the upcoming glut of mulled wine, Christmas parties and anger-inducing gift buying.
So Christmas has now been and gone and with a bit of luck you’ll have been blessed with some great memories made with family and, if our house is anything to go by, a good feed. If you’re only just coming to from your food coma with rather a lot of leftover turkey still to eat you fear not! I’ve had a wee look online for the best recipes to ensure all that glorious grub doesn’t go to waste.
As Christmas draws ever closer the shops are becoming inundated with panic buyers – I speak from bitter experience – desperate to snap up the perfect present for their beloveds or the dreaded Secret Santa. But it doesn’t have to be this traumatic. I’ve scoured the internet for the best last minute DIY Christmas gifts so pour yourself a large glass of your preferred poison and follow the links below for some festive inspiration!
* For girls and boys who like to pamper themselves
If you enjoyed my sugar scrub post last Christmas check out this video from Miss Kris whose easy to follow tutorials use store cupboard staples to create perfect pamper gifts for the beauty lover in your life. You can tailor the scents to suit the recipient for a truly personal gift:
Similarly if you fancy yourself as a bit of a mad scientist check out these luxurious bath bombs over at Ali Does It Herself. I love reading Ali’s blog, especially when she doesn’t sugar coat things that go wrong in the DIY department. A seasoned do-er up-per she will keep you right and warn of pitfalls to look out for thanks to her having tried and tested everything herself in advance.
* For the last minute Christmas party invite
So you’ve bumped into a friend in the queue for turkeys and they’ve invited you over for mince pies and mulled wine. Disaster strikes – the soiree is but a few hours away and you want to bring a gift befitting of your lovely host. What about homemade shot glasses you can make in an afternoon? I spied this in this week’s Stylist magazine and requires one ingredient – round, boiled candies. Stylist spotted it over on The Watering Mouth whose original recipe I’m posting here. While a little fiddly to shape around the shot glass (see video!) this gift will elevate you to showstopping party guest in 0 to 60 seconds flat. And hey, what’s better than a shot glass you can eat? Waste not want not I say.
* For dear friends who have children but also like booze
It’s back over to Ali for her homemade coffee liqueur recipe. All that looking after wee ones is tiring (I bet) so give the gift that keeps on giving and can be made as little as one week ahead of time. (NB: Obviously I’m not advocating parents should perform their childcare duties while under the influence. However, most parents I know are a little pooped by the time party season rolls around so why not help them stay awake with a little caffeine kick. They’ve earned it!)
* For friends pining the autumnal warmth of the Pumpkin Spiced Latte
I’ve yet to try this one but it’s on my list for this weekend – spiced latte hand soaps from the folks over at A Beautiful Mess. These look incredibly easy to make – I’ll keep you posted as to whether this is actually the case or not – and with a good dose of my favourite spice, cinnamon they’re almost good enough to eat. Almost. Please don’t try to eat them.
* A little something for everyone
Sticking with A Beautiful Mess – one of my all time favourite blogs – check out this list of 50 DIY gift ideas to try out. They range from the super swift 30 minute Sharpie personalised mugs to the trickier, more time consuming but oh-so-impressive leather clutch bag.
Hopefully this little list will inspire you as it has me to give crafting and DIY a try this Christmas. May it save you from the stress of barging your way through crowds on the high street and buy you more time at home with your loved ones at this special time of year. I’d love to hear how you get on! And if you have any wonderful gift ideas please comment and share them below! xx