Blogmas – How I Wrap My Christmas Gifts 2017

I’ve already touched on how I decorate my Christmas tree so today its the turn of how I wrap my Christmas gifts. I’m a bit pedantic when it comes to Christmas gift wrapping and always try and stick to a theme. This year the theme is Scandi style meets American classic – simple but very very festive…

christmas wrapping scheme

Wrapping Paper

This year’s wrapping paper of choice is a simple, glossy, festive red. Cox & Cox are great for Christmas wrap and ribbons as everything comes in bumper sizes! After a cursory glance around the high street stores, there didn’t seem to be much available above a 5-metre roll with most averaging 3 metres. This is a humungous 10-metre roll which although a little pricey, will be more than enough to cover every gift (and its now on sale…WIN)! I’ve gone with a Cox & Cox scheme before choosing this beautiful dark grey and copper scheme complete with matching ribbon and copper jingle bells (very annoying, do not attempt if your pre-Christmas nerves are already in shreds)!

Ribbon

*I’m a bit funny with ribbon so I apologise if all this makes me sound like a ridiculous human being!* I’ve chosen to go the whole hog with the matching red and cream ‘Merry Christmas’ ribbon. Normally I’m not one for slogans or pictures on a ribbon (I usually opt for a wide luxurious satin) but this is really very pretty and subtlety chic. If you shop on the high street you’ll find that ribbon is generally sold in tiny quantities so I usually get mine in a haberdashery store where you can buy by the metre. Chances are I still run out but at least this way I can top up without the inconvenience of my chosen colour selling out (this has happened more times than I care to remember with M&S). This ribbon is (like the wrap) sold in a bumper 15-metre reel – I purchased two so I can really go to town!

Gift Tag

It wouldn’t be a Jessica Rhoades Christmas gift without a giant sparkly gift tag! I favour this postal tag shape and choose the colour depending on the years’ theme. This year its gold (actually if I’m honest it’s usually gold)!

Topper

For the final flourish, I like to tuck something pretty into my Christmas Gifts. In previous years I’ve used sparkly twigs, jingle bells, chocolate coins, buttons and baubles. This year I’ve opted for a candy cane to tie the theme together and give a bit of an American twist.

Tools

So apart from the giant tub of Quality Street, the stash of Christmas movies and the wine there are a few more essentials you need to gather before you start to wrap.

  1. A sharp pair of scissors (there is nothing worse than trying to cut ribbon with a blunt pair of scissors.) I have a pair of fabric scissors I keep specifically in my wrapping kit.
  2. Sticky tape – I love those little dispensers you wear on your wrist – so handy!
  3. Pen – A gold or silver pen or a new handwriting pen are good options for writing your gift tags
  4. Miscellaneous – depending on what you choose to top your gift with you may need sticky dots, glue, wire cutters…the list is endless

How do you wrap your Christmas gifts? Do you pick a yearly theme?

Elf On The Shelf – The Adventures Of Tuukka Tuukka DAY18

elf in the washing machine

Blogmas -A Guide To Christmas Etiquette

The hullabaloo and general noise surrounding Christmas often makes it difficult for us to see the bigger picture. Feelings are easily hurt, stress levels are through the roof and alcohol is plentiful. I thought I would write a little five-point guide to a few things to bear in mind over Christmas week and beyond. Sometimes a little mindfulness and taking a step back to consider can make a huge difference to your outlook and enjoyment of proceedings. Here is my guide to Christmas Etiquette…

chocolate orange espresso martini

Treat Others As You Would Like To Be Treated

As somebody who has worked in both retail and service industries, I say this with a wealth of experience…If you are hitting the shops or bars this Christmas, please be kind. Working over Christmas in these sectors is a hard, hard slog. Unfortunately, I have been on the receiving end of rude and aggressive behaviour and for that person, it can really take the shine off the whole festive season. As we head into Christmas week, spare a thought for anyone who works long hours over Christmas – specifically bar and shop workers and anybody in the healthcare and emergency professions. Just because you are lucky enough to have time off it doesn’t entitle you to be mean to those who don’t. A simple smile, a please and thank you and a merry Christmas means the absolute world in what can often be pretty thankless jobs.

Don’t Post On Social Media Without Permission

If you want to document your Christmas on social media that is entirely your choice. However, if the pictures you share involve others then do make sure you ask permission before sharing, particularly where children are involved.

Do A Good Deed

As I was leaving the supermarket this morning a little girl in the queue behind me found she could only afford one of the two items she had brought to the till. Quick as a flash, the man behind her paid the difference. Such a small gesture and yet the smile on the little girl’s face was priceless. I’m sure it made the man in question feel rather good also. It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture but being mindful of simple things really can have the power to change someone’s day for the batter.

Be Gracious

Say thank you. Bring a gift for your host and acknowledge the effort that others have put in. It might be as simple as admiring a beautifully wrapped gift or complimenting the Christmas decorations but a kind word at Christmas goes a long way.

Dress To Impress

Forget garlands of tinsel, light up jumpers and reindeer antlers, Christmas is a special day and therefore worthy of donning your ‘Sunday best’. Generally speaking, December is cold; we’re not talking party frocks here but rather simple elegance. A well-tailored pair of trousers, a cashmere sweater and some statement jewels are always a winner!

Do you have any Yuletide bugbears? What would you add to your own Christmas Etiquette list?

Debrett’s Guide To Christmas Etiquette 

Elf On The Shelf – The Adventures Of Tuukka Tuukka DAY17

trapped elf

SaveSave

SaveSave

Blogmas – How I Decorate My Christmas Tree

The ritual of putting up the Christmas tree is one of the highlights of the year. I’ve already talked at length about the proper way to decorate the tree (festive tunes and wine feature heavily) so without further ado here’s the big reveal…

blush pink christmas tree

blush pink and gold christmas decorations

pearl christmas bauble

The Great Tree Debate…Real v Fake

I can appreciate a real Christmas tree, really I can. The smell is beautiful, it’s traditional and feels authentic. The downsides to a real tree are well documented –

  1. Dropped needles,
  2. That pungent whiff that arises when the tree suddenly decides that it has had enough of being stuffed in a hot room and covered with glitter!
  3. Gapping. This is my main issue and it’s purely a case of personal preference. I like to operate what I call a ‘more is more’ aesthetic. This includes judiciously filling the gaps with sparkling gold twigs. A real tree just isn’t dense enough for the footballer’s wife/glitter explosion look I tend to gravitate toward.

Colour Scheme

I’ve always been a traditional girl at heart and really, you just can’t beat red, gold and green for all the Christmas feels. However, last year it suddenly dawned on me that I had collected an inordinate amount of blush coloured baubles and trinkets including a rather fabulous bejewelled bird (clearly I have been very easily seduced by the whole ‘millennial pink’ movement). Normally I would use this colour scheme to dress the stairs or the above the fireplace but such was the quantity I decided to go for the whole hog and create what would probably have been my childhood fantasy tree!

More Is Always More

You may have gathered by now that I am no minimalist when it comes to dressing the Christmas tree! Maximalism all the way! This year I’ve have managed to restrain myself, only adding one or two new pieces to my collection though West Elm has me very tempted with their Christmas offering! Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the market!

Which side of the Christmas tree debate do you fall on? How do you decorate yours?

Elf On The Shelf – The Adventures Of Tuukka Tuukka DAY 16

online shopping elf

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Blogmas – My Top Five Christmas Movies

So it’s pretty much a given that decorating the tree requires wine and Christmas songs (check out my top ten festive tunes). Wrapping presents, on the other hand, requires a stash of Christmas movies and a humongous tub of Quality Street to go with the wine which is non-negotiable (and probably the reason the tenth Christmas present never looks quite as pristine as the first).  Now I’m about to make an announcement that I realise many of you may consider to be sacrilege…I don’t like ELF! I know I am in the minority but I just can’t bear to watch Will Ferrell so it was never going to be a winner in the Rhoades household. That bombshell aside I’m not overly fussy when it comes to Christmas movies…of course, I have my favourites but I’ll happily watch pretty much anything that’s Christmas- related…I even own ‘Jingle All The Way’ on DVD (yep that’s the one with Arnie dressed as Turboman) so you see my standards are not particularly high within this genre. Heres what made my top five Christmas movies…

Christmas Movies

Arthur Christmas

Arthur Christmas has been my favourite Christmas film for the past, I would say five years. It tells the story of Arthur – Santas second son who takes it upon himself to deliver a present to a little girl whos been missed! The whole concept is so clever and offers a very modern interpretation of how Santa manages to get around the whole world in one night. The characters are brilliant (there’s Steve, the Versace wearing elder brother, the retired, cantankerous Grandsanta and Briony The Elf – special skills include wrapping any gift with only three bits of sticky tape)! Just pure awesomeness!

The Muppet Christmas Carol

There are so many variations of A Christmas Carol and randomly, this is one of the best! Growing up it was always My brother and I’s favourite and we had a tradition of saving it for Christmas Eve! Everybody knows the story…Miserly Scrooge is visited by three spirits – the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future. Over the course of one Christmas Eve, he is shown the error of his ways, emerging as kind and generous and full of Christmas spirit! Michael Cane makes the perfect Scrooge and Kermit & Miss Piggy as Bob & Mrs Kratchit is sheer genius! The music is what makes this film – I’m pretty sure my brother and I know all the words my heart!

The Santa Clause

I went to the cinema to watch this (the Lonsdale for all you Carlisle peeps) and vaguely recall not being impressed! It’s obviously a bit of a grower as its the first one I reach for when December hits and has spawned two sequels! It’s a very American tale of a high flying businessman who finds himself as the new Santa after knocking the old one off his roof! Much hilarity ensues as he finds himself slowly becoming Santa over the course of a year and having to deal with the inevitable fall out with his family who thinks he’s lost the plot!

Home Alone / Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

For anyone born in the 80s, Home Alone was the definitive Christmas movie. Given that I was only a couple of years younger than Kevin when the film came out, everything he did just seemed hilarious! I vividly remember sitting in the cinema belly laughing at all the booby traps set for the hapless burglars! The music still has the power to take me right back to my childhood Christmases and I honestly think that the sequel is every bit as good if not better than the original (the least said about the third and fourth instalments the better)!

Love Actually

I honestly don’t remember a Christmas without  Love Actually and yet it’s not really that old! The critics all seem to hate this movie but I’m yet to come across anyone who doesn’t just think its the best thing EVER! There are so many perfect moments in this film – Hugh Grants Prime Minister dancing down the stairs, Emma Thomson silently sobbing as she realises her husband is having an affair, Andrew Lincoln declaring his love for Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy in pretty much every scene he’s in, the final All I Want For Christmas number…I could go on and on but I’ve got myself all fired up now and need to watch it immediately!

Which Christmas movies make your top five?

Elf On The Shelf – The Adventures Of Tuukka Tuukka DAY13

Elf In The Night Garden

*this post contains affiliate links* 

SaveSave

Blogmas – The Scent Of Christmas

Of all the senses, the sense of smell has the power to evoke feelings and memories like no other. Christmas is always going to be a nostalgia-heavy time of year. It’s an annual ritual that for good or bad is bound up with the memories and feelings that we gather as we go through life. I thought I’d put together a list of my favourite Christmassy scents – the traditional scent of Christmas and those extra special smells that conjure up memories of Christmases past…

Mince Pies & Eucalyptus

Mulled Wine & Mince Pies

I’m not sure who decreed that the aroma of alcohol and spice is a festive idyll but that fragrant, boozy scent is what Christmas is made of! As soon as December rolls around I crack out the mince pies, pour myself a steaming mug of mulled wine, make a wish and take a deep breath…Christmas has arrived!

Frost

I’m sure you understand what I mean when I say frost! I don’t think its even a smell as such, more of a mixture of senses combining to form that gorgeous sense of the season. Its the feeling of the cold on the tip of your nose, an unexpected shiver and that clean, sharp, fresh scent of winter.

Neom Christmas Wish

If you’ve been following Blogmas on Jessica Rhoades you will have seen that a luxury scented candle has made it onto not one but two posts so far…lets make it an uneven three! If you are looking for Christmas in a candle you won’t find better than the annual Christmas Wish Candle from NEOM. I’m a bit of a sucker for NEOM in the general sense (Their Real Luxury candle is on my permanent wish list alongside Diptyques Mimosa which was my wedding day scent). The fragrance of mandarin, cinnamon and tonka bean not only fills the house with that warming traditional scent of the season but also helps you to relax and unwind in the process.

NEOM Christmas Wish Candle

Agent Provocateur Eau De Parfam 

I’ve worn Agent Provocateur on and off for, probably clocking on twenty years (oh my bloody god). It’s certainly not Christmassy in the traditional sense – it’s a heady, old-fashioned rosey-musk that’s both sexy and uber glamorous. This scent is made to wear with sumptuous fabrics – velvets, furs (faux of course) and sequins –  it’s the perfect Christmas accessory!

Agent Provocateur Eau De Parfam

Christmas Decorations

Bear with me, I feel I need to justify this one. There’s something about that first whiff when you open your box of decorations after a years hibernation. A mixture of must and tinsel (I don’t even own any tinsel so lord knows why my decs have taken on that particular scent) this takes me right back to my childhood – when that smell takes hold, I feel I can almost touch that childish sense of excitement and wonder!

Stuffing

The scent of stuffing = the scent of Christmas dinner. i.e the roast to end all roasts. I actually think stuffing is the best bit of the whole meal…you know that scene in the Vicar of Dibley (yep the one with three Christmas dinners) where shes presented with a starter of ‘balls of stuffing’ – that’s actually my Nirvana!

Eucalyptus & Pine

At this time of year, I am often to be found stalking the flower stalls in the market as they lay out fresh tubs of Eucalyptus and pine. There is nothing in the world like this scent on a frosty morning – with a little imagination you could have landed right in the middle of Dickensian England, rubbing shoulders with Scrooge and Bob Cratchit…the power of scent!

What typifies the scent of Christmas for you?

Elf On The Shelf – The Adventures Of Tuukka Tuukka DAY12

Elf On The Shelf Wearing My Shoes

*this post contains affiliate links*

Blogmas – Five Beautiful Christmas Gifts For Girls

Unlike the male of the species, I find buying Christmas gifts for girls to be an utter joy. Speaking for myself, I always have my eye on something, from the fantasy (check out my fantasy Christmas wish list) to the practical so I feel like I’m pretty easy to buy for (although Mr.R would probably tell you otherwise). There are so many great options out there for girls and my rule of thumb tends to be first, think of your recipient – her likes and dislikes and buy accordingly (that ones’ obvious) but secondly, don’t buy anything you do not personally like or believe to be beautiful. A thoughtful gift in my view should always have something of yourself in it. Here are my top five picks of gorgeous Christmas gifts for girls!

Five beautiful gifts for girls

The No-BrainerFornasetti Ortensia Scented Candle £140

A beautiful candle is always a welcome gift and is pretty much my first port of call for any occasion be it a birthday, Christmas or even Mothers Day. Scented candles have come along way since the days of cheap headache-inducing scents and this absolute stunner from Fornasetti is the ultimate. Pricey, I grant you –  this is one for the life, lust, list. Do I need it? No. Do I want it…hmm absolutely!

Fornasetti Candle

For The Nail Care ObsessiveMani & Lola Nail Polish Subscription Box From £54 For A 3 Month Subscription

Most girls have their ‘thing’. That ‘thing’ could be lipstick, it could be jeans, it could be nails. Nails are having a moment in the spotlight with pointy talons nails and elaborate designs gracing the fingers of everyone from the Kardashians to Adele (personally I prefer a short, dark nail but you know, you can’t be at the cutting edge of everything in life)! There are a plethora of beauty boxes and subscription packages out there to choose from but this nail lover specific package would be such a treat as either a one-off gift or a subscription if you’re feeling generous!

Mani & Lola Subscription Box

For The Girl Who’s Always ColdHush Leopard Cashmere Scarf £159

A luxury scarf is one accessory that absolutely everybody loves to receive. This sumptuous cashmere piece is a timeless classic that will come out year after year…leopard print is a neutral after all!

Hush Cashmere Scarf

For The Luxury LoverGucci Marmont Petite Textured Leather Wallet £380

A little on the spendy side but who doesn’t love a bit of luxury in their life from time to time? I think with a purse you can really go to town with a standout print or colour and this gorgeous vibrant red purse manages to be festive, classic and luxurious all in one fell swoop.

Gucci Marmont Purse

For The Stationary GeekHello Day Original 2018 Daily Planner | Tate £46

I’ve mentioned it before but I am a Virgo and I like to be organised. I also am a bit of a stationary geek so when I first laid eyes on Hello Day’s beautiful Instagram feed, one of their 2018 planners went straight onto my wishlist! These planners come in four great designs and feature typography affirmations from Too Wordy, the option to personalise and a gift wrap service…literally the perfect gift!

Hello Day Daily Planner

Do you find it easy to buy Christmas gifts for girls? Do you have any fail-safe gifting ideas?

Elf On The Shelf – The Adventures Of Tuukka Tuukka DAY10

elf on the door wreath

*this post contains affiliate links*

Blogmas – My Unashamedly Glitzy & Glam Door Wreath

Ahh, the door wreath. Is there a more welcoming sight than a front door adorned with a garland of winter foliage, pine cones and red ribbons? A door wreath proclaims to the world that yes, Christmas has indeed arrived in your household and seems to add a certain assurance of a warm and hospitable greeting. Visions of steaming mugs of mulled wine and the spicy scent of warm mince pies abound! I have a borderline obsessive love for my door wreath which is the complete antithesis to the traditional circlet I’ve just described! Let me just say straight off…it’s a little, shall we say, garish! It’s bright and shiny and span-dangly and it creates the most almighty mess when it drops its little gold palettes (which FYI are also horribly sharp and not at all baby friendly). Despite all of this I would be really quite heartbroken if I had to give it up. A little bit of history…My mam bought this wreath a long time ago – I have a feeling it could be ten years or more. It came from Fenwick in Newcastle and was unlike anything we had seen (or have seen since for that matter). We both fell in love and excitedly headed back to home to see it in action. this is where things fell a little flat. Now my mam has the most beautiful front door – it’s a wide, solid wooden door with a  modern edge which we thought would be the perfect backdrop for our super fancy new wreath. Unfortunately, it just seemed to get a bit lost against the wood – nice but not wow! Mam persevered for a few years until I had my own front door to decorate and then the golden wreath of dreams became mine! I now always make sure my front door is painted in a moody shade with a slightly matt finish – yep the sole reason being that for one month of the year I get to show off my fantasy wreath in all its glory! How do you decorate your front door for Christmas? Do you opt for fresh foliage or do you have something more sentimental to bring out each year?

glitzy and glam door wreath gold sparkly foor wreath gold christmas door wreath

I mentioned that I had never come across anything similar but Amara has a lovely selection of glitzy and unusual wreaths if you are fancying something a little different this year…

Amara Door Wreath

 

Check out my top tips for storing your Christmas decorations HERE

Elf On The Shelf – The Adventures Of Tuukka Tuukka DAY9

elf toasting marshmallows