Hello gorgeous! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas over here at Lace n Ruffles HQ. I’ve got my Christmas ‘wish-knit’ sorted, and have got a cabinet full of natural beauty products dropped in for the party season – woot! How’s your holiday preparation looking? While I absolutely adore Christmas traditions such as scoring bargains at pre-Christmas sale, sipping warm mulled wine and listening to Michael Bublé Christmas album, I’ve shaken things up a tad bit this season. Here’re the things I’m doing differently to throw (part of) Christmas rulebook out the window and to keep it all fun and exciting.
♥ Tiffany Blue Christmas Tree
Who says Christmas tree has to be red and green? When I was in Hong Kong for Christmas last year, a 10-feet tall Tiffany & Co. blue and silver Christmas tree out the front of their flagship store had my jaw dropped to the floor! Lavish and opulent with Tiffany & Co. jewelleries and elaborate Christmas ornaments dangling 10-feet high, it was kind of like the fairytale Christmas tree for grown-up girls. I have to admit I’m pretty obsessed with all things Tiffany blue, if you’ve seen my recent lookbook here and here you’d know for sure! And it’s got me inspired. Perhaps I could create my own miniature version of a Tiffany & Co Christmas tree at home.
I was a lucky bunny as the team over at Super A-mart furniture store has got me spoilt with a gift card just in time for my tree project. I picked up this white LED light tree from my local Super A-mart store which is perfect as the centrepiece. A tree with fairy lights attached ready for hanging Christmas ornaments – winning! The best thing about it ? It’s also a jewellery tree for my Tiffany & Co. collections – quite handy for the party season, right? And when Christmas is over, simply take off those ornaments and it can stay as a jewellery tree and the centrepiece in my lounge room.
♥ Chia Seeds Beetroot Vanilla Iced Tea
Confession: My pantry is already overflowing with Ferrero Rocher, chocolate brownies and Rocky Road (okay, trust me half of those I bought are for gifts!). While choco temptations are too hard to resist for the festive season, I try to stay away from sugary drinks – after all, my healthy living motto is all about striking a good balance and indulging once in a while in moderation. When I was in Europe for Christmas, you’d see me having a bowl of sugarless chai latte everyday. For a healthy festive drink recipe on steamy summer days here in Australia, I simply can’t go past my favourite iced tea! I used a pack of vanilla tea I bought from Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne, and took inspirations from a beetroot vanilla cake recipe I came across. The subtle sour taste of beetroot powder and sweet vanilla aroma are just match made in heaven! Of course, beetroot powder also gives my iced tea a gorgeous ruby red shade for the festive touch! Not only is beetroot great as a substitute for cranberry juice if you’re after a twist on the tradition, it also boosts stamina and contains powerful anti-oxidants for your body. Your guests who arrive with a hangover from last night’s party will for sure love you for this energizing iced tea recipe!
4 tablespoon of vanilla tea (loose tea leaves)
1 tablespoon of chia seeds
1 tablespoon of beetroot powder
In a large teapot, brew vanilla tea in boiled water for around 5 minutes. Allow it to cool down in room temperature for 30 minutes. Add a tablespoon of chia seeds and beetroot powder to the teapot, stir well and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Make around 500 ml. Ahhh – refreshing!
♥ The Gift Of Giving
I got a call from World Vision last month for their Christmas Appeal to sponsor a child in the less fortunate families, and that was by far the best Christmas present ever. I bought my husband a gift of giving to this adorable 4 year old girl Oyunerdene and her family who live in Mongolia. Four weeks later, we received in the mail the cutest handwritten note and a drawing of Christmas tree from Oyun. That’s the most heart-warming present handmade with love from thousands of miles away! For $48 a month (honestly, it’s less than what you’ll spend on a pair of shoes!), the reward is immense. I’ve always been a supporter of World Vision because they’re very transparent with where the funds from supporters go, which is over three-quarter toward their field programs and advocacy work. It’s a delight to know that my donations not only reach my sponsored child’s family, but also to their communities to change systems and policies that help break the poverty cycle. A Christmas gift that keep giving back for years to come – seriously, what not to love?
Here’re a few other wonderful charity gift ideas:
So tell me Dear Readers, are you celebrating Christmas a bit differently this year? From home decor to festive recipes and gift ideas, how do you put a twist on Christmas traditions? Dazzle me with your inspirations in the comments below, or tag your festive photos using #lacenruffles for your chance to get a shoutout on our page!
Until next time, have yourself a little merry Christmas.
Disclaimer: this story was created in collaboration with Super A-mart while all opinions are genuinely my own.